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 November 10 edition begins NOW. Grab your coffee and donuts!
- Personnel wise, I thought Indiana would be a challenge for Iowa defensively. The Hawkeyes have a very good defense as a whole but Indiana has some very good athletes on offense that are very shifty. It came to fruition a few times with Jordan Howard breaking free after a few good moves. It was also a breakdown from a few Hawkeyes on that side of the ball. They got it corrected and really shored things up in the second half.
- I thought it was going to be a LeShun Daniels game and it ended up being that but not for the reasons I believed. I thought Indiana would match up better against Akrum Wadley than Daniels but that wasn't really the case. Wadley broke free early for a 65 yard touchdown run and it turned into a game for Daniels because Wadley tweaked an ankle. He is fine though and should be able to go this week.
- Jordan Canzeri should play this week barring any setbacks. He was cleared to play against Indiana but they wanted to give him another week to be safe. He's on the depth chart for this week's game and should figure into the rotation in the backfield in some manner. What manner? That is impossible to know with all the weapons they have back there now and everyone being available for the first time.
- Ike Boettger is still not listed on the depth chart at right tackle. I would think that he is questionable at best for this Saturday's rivalry game against Minnesota.
- C.J. Beathard looked the healthiest he's been in a while. Seeing him out there scrambling around more and more tells me he's getting more comfortable with what he can do with that injury and that it has slightly improved. That is big for Iowa. He changes things on offense when he is able to be mobile and make plays with his legs. It's just another component the defense has to prepare for and the offense just flows better when he can run.
- Iowa is now 9-0. They've never been 10-0 and they will have the opportunity to do just that when they take on the Gophers Saturday. The Hawkeyes opened as a 12 point betting favorite which seemed high to me. But couple that with the fact Minnesota just went through the buzzsaw of Ohio State and Michigan and this could be a game that Iowa can run away with much to the surprise of many. I'm thinking they cover at this point and have one of those impressive signature moments as a squad.
- Looking ahead, the Nebraska upset over Michigan State wasn't optimal for Iowa in a few ways. The Hawkeyes aren't afraid of anyone but I've been thinking for a few weeks now that Michigan State is just a better matchup for them than Ohio State when they reach the Big Ten Title Game, but only because the Spartans are a similar style of football team as Kirk Ferentz's group. The Spartans can still make it to Indianapolis but best case scenario for Iowa would have been that they reach there undefeated. However, I still think Michigan State beats Ohio State in Columbus.
- From the other side of things, I thought that Indiana would be the toughest game remaining for Iowa. That's now changed. Nebraska beating Michigan State gives them a newfound confidence and gives them a ton of momentum to finish the season a strong note. Avoiding the seventh loss also enables them to win out, get in a bowl game, and they can avoid a losing record. They have a lot to play for now when they host the Hawkeyes the day after Thanksgiving, assuming they defeat Rutgers.
- For this week's playoff poll, Iowa will assuredly move up. They'll definitely jump ahead of Michigan State and TCU. They should jump LSU but that is probably much less of a certainty. Oklahoma State should jump Iowa. That won't make that many people happy in Iowa but at the same time, the Cowboys deserve to be ranked ahead of Baylor. I think Iowa should fall into the #6 or #7 slot.
- My top 4 this week would be Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State. The fourth spot is the challenge in figuring out what the committee will do. The easiest thing to do would be to just slide Notre Dame up there but something tells me it could be Oklahoma State.
- It was announced before the second exhibition game of the year that Isaiah Moss would be redshirting this year. I predicted that last week. I still think that Brandon Hutton will also use a redshirt year.
- Iowa did lose to Augustana in the scrimmage. I do not think it is time to panic. It isn't optimal at all but Fran and the coaching staff are still figuring things out with this group and trying to see what works and what doesn't. They'll want to find a rotation to hone in on soon, though.
- Some of the issues that Fran McCaffery mentioned afterwards in the loss to Augustana were that they over-rotated on defense (which was disappointing because they worked on it over and over in the days leading up to the game) and that they lost the game on the glass. Augustana beat them up on the boards. Iowa has to rebound better.
- Fran also mentioned that he wanted to play Augustana because they are a good team and he wanted a challenge before facing Marquette, Iowa State, Florida State, and before heading to Orlando for the tournament down there.
- McCaffery was thrilled with the play of Dale Jones, Nicholas Baer, and Brady Ellingson. It was a close game so he couldn't go back to his young guys like Christian Williams, Andrew Fleming, Dom Uhl, and Ahmad Wagner like he would have liked. He says they'll be fine, though. It sounded like McCaffery hinted after the game he felt good about 8 guys in the rotation so far. The five starters, along with Dale Jones, Brady Ellingson, and Nicholas Baer. They'd like to get to a 10-man rotation and they think Williams, Fleming, Wagner, and Uhl can be effective.
- I expect this to be a big recruiting weekend for Iowa as they play at night, so it is easier for visitors to get to Iowa in time for the game, and it's a marquee matchup as they take on one of their biggest rivals.
- Most of the commits should be in town, and we'll be checking on guys like Matt Farniok, Alaric Jackson, and Jovan Swann to see if they will be making it as well. It should be a solid group of 2017 prospects in attendance as well, and a few already confirmed are quarterback Arion Nieves and wideout Jaevon McQuitty.
- I do not think he is a take at this time but Iowa is still pursuing 2016 running back James Robinson of Rockford, Illinois at this time. It could be a back-up plan just in case but he was offered by the Hawkeyes early on and is having a great senior season. If they whiff on Farniok, Jackson, and Swann, maybe they take the best player available to finish out the class and he would fall into that category?