Hawkeye Hits will run each Tuesday and Friday morning on Hawkeye Insider 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 Tuesday September 29 edition begins NOW. Grab your coffee and donuts!
- Iowa moved to 4-0 on the year with the win over North Texas. C.J. Beathard was terrific again, completing his first 15 passes. He leads the Big Ten now in passing efficiency.
- The running game has been great every week, a key to Iowa success. Jordan Canzeri has shouldered a heavy workload the last two games and performed very well. No offense to him but I think his durability has to start being a question. How long can he hold up and be fresh by doing thi? I'm not totally sure but I think they need LeShun Daniels healthy against Wisconsin. The Badgers are a different animal when it comes to physicality. This is the game on the schedule meant for LeShun.
- The wide receivers have quietly had a great season. Tevaun Smith is stretching the defense, Jacob Hillyer is producing timely big plays, and Matt VandeBerg is second in the Big Ten in receptions. Their blocking has been phenomenal as well.
- The tight ends are becoming more involved in the passing game. Henry Krieger-Coble and George Kittle both had some big catches against North Texas. Now add Jake Duzey, and this is an element to Iowa's game I expect to be even more effective.
- The offensive line has been great this year but going up against Wisconsin will be their biggest test. One lineman having an outstanding season is right guard Jordan Walsh.
- For Iowa to win, I think they need LeShun Daniels to be ready and at least near 100 percent. I think they have to win the game in the trenches. I could also see Jake Duzey recording a touchdown on Saturday.
- Defensively, the Hawkeyes have been great. The defensive line has won the battle at the line of the scrimmage for the most part. The linebackers are improved. The secondary has been sensational, especially Desmond King.
- Iowa did allow over 180 yards rushing against North Texas is a concern leading up to the Wisconsin game. They have to clean that up or they have no chance. It's about being better on the edge. They have done so in every game except for the last one. It was a struggle by Drew Ott but I think he's getting closer to being healthy.
- Another concern is the pass rush. They need it against the Badgers. An area the Hawkeyes have been exposed multiple times this season is when one of the linebackers has been matched up defending a running back on a pass play, particularly Josey Jewell. Wisconsin is going to look to exploit that.
- Iowa is cooking on the basketball recruiting trail. They now have landed a top 100 prospect in each of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 classes; Tyler Cook in 2016, Connor McCaffery in 2017, and Joe Wieskamp in 2018. I believe right now they are finished in 2016, have one spot available in 2017, and one more in 2018. That could obviously change depending on any roster shake-up.
- On football recruiting, Iowa only has a couple more spots available. They'd love to close out the class with an offensive tackle, a defensive back, and possibly a wideout or defensive tackle. The offensive tackle they want is Matt Farniok, the defensive back is K.J. Sails, and they're still searching at wide receiver. Jovan Swann is wanted at defensive tackle but they need to get him on campus.
- Farniok will be a challenge to lure in. Nebraska is a top contender as well. If Iowa strikes out, offensive tackle Alaric Jackson from Detroit becomes an option. Sails is down to Iowa and Wisconsin, and has now visited both schools. I still think the Hawkeyes land him.