Wilson knows what to expect from Iowa

TAMPA – There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles in Iowa’s offense. The game plan goes something like this: run the ball on first and second downs and if it’s short yardage, run again on third down. If it’s four or more yards, then throw the football.

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It’s boring but effective. LeShun Daniels Jr. had run for 1,013 yards and 10 TDs while Akrum Wadley has 966 yards and 10 touchdowns. When C.J. Beathard has to throw the ball, there aren’t a lot of deep routes. He averages only 6.7 yards per attempt and best receiver Riley McCarron has 41 catches for 506 yards (just 12.34 yards per catch) and 4 TDs.

This is what we typically expect out of a Big Ten team. Line it up. Run the ball. Throw when necessary and occasionally sneak in a deep throw as a surprise.

“They’ve got two 1,000-yard rushers,” points out Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson, who figures to be as lonely as a Maytag repairman if the Gators aren’t able to stuff the Iowa running game. If Iowa is running the ball successfully, the ball won’t go in the air very much against a Florida secondary that features the best cornerback tandem in the country in Wilson and All-American Jalen Tabor.

Wilson knows he can’t allow the Hawkeyes to bore him. He has to stay on his toes and expect the unexpected.

“They definitely like to run the ball and play smash mouth football,” Wilson said. “At the same time they do have some good receivers and run some good concepts. If they try to lull us to sleep they can hit us over the top with the guys they have at receiver.”

Should Iowa try to surprise with its passing game, Wilson believes the Gators will be ready. Florida expected smash mouth from Michigan last year and got a generous dose of power football between the tackles, but the Wolverines went over the top for 278 yards and 3 unexpected touchdowns.

This year, Wilson expects the Gators to be ready.

“We just gotta be disciplined and be ready to go out there and play smash mouth football,” Wilson said. “Like last year against Michigan, we just gotta be ready to come out there and play.”

After a season in which he was in on 31 tackles with 3 interceptions, one of which he ran back 78 yards for a TD against Missouri, Wilson’s NFL Draft stock has risen dramatically. Last year opponents paid a price when they made the mistake of going Tabor’s way to avoid head to head matchups with All-American Vernon Hargreaves III. Opponents learned the hard way this year that there is no advantage trying to go against the corner opposite of Tabor. 

Wilson has played so well that his name is popping up in first round projections of NFL mock drafts. At the very worst, you figure he will go in the second round but even though he’s expected to go so early, Wilson says he’s still got a decision to make about staying in school one more year or leaving for the NFL.

Asked if he’s come to a conclusion about what he’ll do, Wilson said Thursday, “Not yet, I haven’t. Of course I’m sure you know I requested my grade but I haven’t made any decision.”

Should Wilson elect to stay, he could play in a secondary next year that features younger brother Marco Wilson, a Florida commitment from American Heritage in Plantation. That, he says, is “something I’m thinking about also” but it’s just one more thing to factor into a decision.

“Definitely a personal choice,” Wilson said. “I’m not going to base it off anyone else because it’s about me and my future.”


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