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!
- It makes sense to start off with all the injuries. That will be a key in this game. Wisconsin's health got the best of them against Alabama when the margin of victory really expanded in the second half. The Crimson Tide probably still get the win in that matchup, but injuries probably impacted the amount they were defeated by. Iowa could be challenged with that kind of adversity against the Badgers.
- The folks banged up: Boone Myers, LeShun Daniels, Drew Ott, Miles Taylor, Greg Mabin, and Jake Duzey. There's a rumor of another starter that is dinged now but I will not speculate or include rumors.
- First off, none have been ruled out. There's a chance of that happening but none of that has yet to be decided.
- Myers has a stinger, and he's picked up a couple this year. That is an injury that tends to linger and hang around and repeat itself. I'm going to guess his status will be decided the morning of the game or the night before. I expect Daniels to play. He's been practicing and looking better according to Kirk Ferentz. How much he plays will probably be determined how effective he looks early. Jake Duzey didn't take any steps back after playing last week. He's practicing and should see more playing time this week.
- Drew Ott seemed to take another step last week. He'll play. I have a feeling he's inching closer to 100 percent. Mabin plays in my opinion. Miles Taylor is probably a 50/50 call. He only got a few snaps last week so it may depend how fresh he looks in warmups. If Taylor can't go, Anthony Gair should be healthy enough to play in his absence.
- The keys to the game: Turnovers, C.J. Beathard, Special Teams, Health.
- Iowa has to win the turnover battle to win in Madison. The defense has to be opportunistic.
- C.J. Beathard's improvisation and ability to escape the pocket and make plays is an important element for the Iowa offense. That has to emerge again against Wisconsin.
- Winning the field position battle is also important and to play mistake free on special teams. They've had a gaffe in this portion of the game for three contests so far. Iowa can't beat the Badgers while having to overcome a miscue like that.
- The depth is building for Iowa but not enough to defeat the defending Big Ten West champs with a ton of guys limited. They desperately need the Drew Ott and LeShun Daniels we saw in the first week.
- Ryan Burns of our Minnesota site confirmed that Minneapolis (Minn.) North athlete Tyler Johnson will take an official visit to Iowa next weekend. He's listed as a safety in the Scout database.
- Johnson is a relatively new name to the picture. He's an athlete that could play on both sides of the ball. Iowa could view him as an alternative plan to K.J. Sails at defensive back or see him as someone that can step in and be a wideout for the Hawkeyes. He holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
- Speaking of East Bay (Fla.) defensive back K.J. Sails, he has taken his official visits to Iowa and Wisconsin. Those are the two contenders and his trips to Madison and Iowa City are now wrapped up. He's still being lightly recruited by Florida State and the Seminoles are kind of keeping him warm as a fallback option down the line just in case. At this point, I still see him as a Hawkeye at the end of the day.