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 is coming off a 10-6 victory over Wisconsin in Madison. I spoke to two national sources that I've gotten to know the past few years that really study the game of college football, know the game of college football inside and out, know the history, and are two good ones to know if wanting to put down a few bets each Saturday. Their expertise has always been the Big Ten, and they offered up their thoughts to me so far.
- Source 1: That is a huge win for Iowa. They are very well-coached top to bottom. They have that toughness you have to have in order to be a special team. They need to watch out for Illinois, though. The Illini are not totally awful, and it's a game sandwiched in between Wisconsin and Northwestern.
- Source 2: They've shown a lot of different good things this year. There is so much for a defense and offense to prepare for. I don't remember them doing much of that before. That defense is real, and it has to be to win at Camp Randall Stadium in any year. THen they held them to 6 points. Winning at Camp Randall is no joke. Some of the best teams in the Big Ten over the last 15 years have lost there.
- The running game did better than I thought it would against Wisconsin. It was another game over 100 yards for Canzeri and you hope he doesn't have to be used as much against Illinois. He's a smaller body and the Badgers game always seems to take a bit longer to recover. Getting LeShun Daniels healthier would be a nice shot in the arm for the Hawkeyes.
- As mentioned a few days, Tevaun Smith will be out a couple more weeks. It is a knee issue for him. Jerminic Smith will play in his spot while he is gone. He has nice explosiveness, looks smooth, and runs good routes. All of that in which I posted during fall camp when I said he should play this year. He played a little bit before Tevaun went down but now his role is much larger. Like I said, he runs good routes, but not always the correct routes. On Saturday against Wisconsin he just looked very unsure of himself. I think he ran the wrong one for C.J. Beathard a couple times, stopped a few routes short, and walked off the field confused on a few different occasions. He has a lot of potential and will only get better.
- Desmond King was a stud again. Not a lot more can be said about the kind of year he has coming. He and Jourdan Lewis of Michigan are the best two cornerbacks in the Big Ten to me, and I'm not sure it's even all that close. Don't look now but King is starting to attract some NFL Draft buzz, some of which say he could rise up and end up being a first round draft pick.
- Drew Ott just might be inches away from 100 percent. He had a very disruptive game against Wisconsin, in on a few sacks, and forcing a crucial fumble.
- Boone Myers did not appear on the depth chart for this week's game against Illinois so the assumption right now is that he will not play again this upcoming Saturday. It would be start number two for Cole Croston.
- Illinois is 4-1 on the year but has a handful of wins against some weak competition. I still don't believe this is an awful team that most are accustomed to from the Illini. They might actually be better under interim head coach Bill Cubit than they were Tim Beckman. Quarterback Wes Lunt gives them a bit of firepower on offense because of his arm strength but he needs more help from his wideouts. Outside of the North Carolina game where they got blown back to the stone ages, the Illini defense has been effective. I'll say it now, I predict a Hawkeye win this week, but I think the margin of victory will be right around the cover line of -10.
- There isn't a whole lot going on at the moment other than Fran McCaffery sifting through some 2017 prospects and handing out a few offers (as has already been mentioned on previous Hawkeye Hits) to fill that class as well. The football team offered 2018 offensive tackle Jackson Carman of Ohio earlier last week.
- Minnesota athlete Tyler Johnson, who can play safety and wideout, had an official visit scheduled to Iowa for this weekend's game against Illinois but has had to reschedule it. That is kind of an alarm sign. It could have been initiated by the Hawkeyes because they feel K.J. Sails is theirs. I think K.J. Sails is theirs, as do a lot of other smart people I trust in the recruiting industry.
- It's really surprising four-star offensive tackle Matt Farniok has not made a decision yet. It's very surprising he has not taken an official yet. Nebraska is probably the leader, but they're falling on some challenging times. Does that factor in? Iowa was already narrowing the gap before this slide began.
- Offensive tackle Alaric Jackson is another option at offensive tackle. He's from Detroit and a big, long kid with all-world potential. Michigan State would have landed him a while ago most likely but they're slow playing him. They're only going to take another offensive tackle if it's a bonafide stud, so he may be someone that only gets a real look from them if they have a scholarship available on Signing Day or close to it. That would leave it down to another Iowa-Wisconsin battle if that is the case.