Hawkeye Hits will run each Tuesday and Friday morning on Hawkeye Insider before 9 a.m. CT and is a story meant for only premium members. It is pertinent and noteworthy information about the Iowa Hawkeyes gathered by our insiders over the past handful of days. Other premium information can also be found on the message board, The Swarm.
Hawkeye Hits will bring you the inside information you desire on the Hawkeye football team, the Hawkeye basketball team, any other sports, as well as recruiting nuggets.
The Friday September 11 edition begins NOW. Grab your coffee and donuts!
Word out of Iowa City this week is that health wise, there's a few nicks and bruises. Derrick Mitchell and George Kittle are among those expected to be questionable for the contest. Mitchell dressed last week, but just didn't play. I do not think health holds back Mitchell on Saturday, but it could with Kittle.
- Jake Duzey and Darian Cooper are still farther away than the week-to-week guys. Head coach Kirk Ferentz wouldn't make guesses or estimates on either, but still sounds like there's quite a ways to go for Cooper. Duzey could be back sooner rather than later I believe.
- I haven't made my prediction yet but I truly think that if Iowa's offensive line holds up, they win the game. I might be saying that a lot this year but if they can control the line of scrimmage like they did against Illinois State, I like their chances in almost every game.
- The first team defense pitched a shutout last weekend, and it was no surprise to me. I have been saying all along how good this unit can be. The only areas they needed to shore up headed into the season was defensive tackle and linebacker. I loved what I saw out of Jaleel Johnson and Nathan Bazata in the opening win, and Cole Fisher had an excellent game as well, showing more speed than I anticipated.
- On the other hand, the defense will have their hands full tomorrow evening. The wide receivers present a problem, and despite having a deep secondary, they all need to step up to contain the Cyclone passing game. Jordan Lomax and Miles Taylor weren't very sharp last weekend, and they'll need to be tomorrow.
- Big plays. Have to have them. I know a little bit about Paul Rhoads and I know they wish they were recruiting better. A lot of teams do. But I do know he can coach and do a lot with the bit of talent that he does have. He saw last week's Iowa game. He knows what works for them when they're successful. I expect Paul Rhoads to make Iowa throw the ball down field to win the game. I think Beathard has the potential to do it, but I also think the Iowa State defense will force the Hawkeyes to prove it. They'll sell out against the Iowa running game early I believe.
- Defensive back K.J. Sails of Florida will take his official visit to Iowa for their home game against Pitt in eight days. He's one of the top targets remaining in a near-full class, and it's a Big Ten battle for his services. He'll also take an official visit to Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes have already had him on campus once, so this one is going as planned and is right on track.
- I'm not ready to make a prediction on where Matt Farniok plays his college football right now. I think Nebraska could be fading for his services, though. Michigan State could be surging. Florida State is in the top four as well but it's difficult to see him heading to the southeast. He'll have his family's blessing on either of the four schools that also includes Iowa, of course, and even older brother Tom Farniok has signed off on the Hawkeyes despite playing for Iowa State during his college years. Force me to make a call now, and I probably take Iowa.
- The lone huge target left available on the basketball recruiting radar is power forward Tyler Cook, a top 100 player. It doesn't appear like the final chapter of his recruitment is very near, but the Hawkeyes are in good shape. It is believed that Iowa is at the top of his list, alongside Florida. Missouri and Arkansas are both still in the mix, but the Hawkeyes and Gators are believed to be the favorites.
- 2017 football commit Coy Kirkpatrick, a defensive end from Madrid, will be visiting Iowa State this weekend for the Cy-Hawk Game. It is a bit of a surprise to see an in-state pledge visit the Cyclones, especially on the weekend they host Iowa. Plenty of other in-state visitors will be on hand, and although their guests of Iowa State, it could be a good opportunity for the Hawkeyes to impress with their style of play.