Despite those sweet nothings, you can't help but look ahead. Iowa could come out dogging it and still hammer Buffalo by 42 points.
The MAC's Bulls come in sporting an 11-game losing streak following a 24-10 defeat at the hands of Rutgers last Saturday. CBS.Sportsline.com ranked Buffalo the 117th best team in Division I-A this week -- wait, there are only 117 Division I-A teams.
Buffalo struggles big time on offense. The Bulls averaged just 17.1 points per game last season. Quarterback Randall Secky (as in sucky) completed just 48 percent of his passes last season. Against stalwart Rutgers, Secky completed only 7 of 20 for 60 yards.
The option attack did net Buffalo 220 yards on 42 carries for a decent average of 5.3 yards/carry last week. Dan Dawson was the feature back after playing second fiddle to Aaron Leeper last year. The two backs will likely split time against Iowa.
As I said before, this game this game will be nothing more than a scrimmage against someone other than yourself. It gives the coaches a chance to further evaluate and instruct the players using live competition and game film. They won't be too concerned with the overall winning margin, although even the coaches have to expect a blowout.
One point of interest for coaches and fans alike will be the performance of safety Chris Smith, who will play in place of Bob Sanders for at least the next 3-4 weeks. Now it's Smith's time to shine and pick up the slack left behind by the "Hammer." A backup to Smith will also need to surface and it's likely to come in the person of redshirt freshman Marcus Paschal.
Sanders is a big loss, but he just one player on a team that is very much built on team defense. I like Iowa to the tune of 55-7 over Buffalo.
It's hard to imagine that Iowa has gotten back to the point where a 21-3 win brings grumblings, particularly with where the Hawks were just a few years ago.
The Miami game did a few things for me:
The secondary also picked off four passes, two by Jovon Johnson. The first pick by Johnson was a gift as Roethlisberger was attempting to throw the ball out-of-bound but instead found Johnson who returned to the Miami 1-yard line. The play came about because Jared Clauss was breathing down the neck of Roethlisberger. Smith had a gem of an interception making a diving catch on a ball that appeared headed for a touchdown. Sean Considine made a leaping interception and Johnson made his second pick in the end zone on a jump ball situation.
Despite being just 5-foot-8, Johnson has some hops. And it seemed like Iowa's secondary has good team speed -- in fact, the entire defense as whole has tremendous closing speed. Iowa rattled Roethlisberger with relentless pressure and good coverage on the receivers, something that we didn't have against Miami last year.
I still have a concern with Chandler's arm strength and was certainly left scratching my head after seeing Chandler under throw Brown by three yards on a 15-yard pass.
Iowa fans should remind themselves that the Hawks beat a good football with an offensive plan similar to that which seventh graders learn on Day One right after learning how to insert the butt pad into their girdles. Anytime you can win with a simple plan and execute without being seriously threatened by the opponent, it is a good thing.
Big, big games lurk ahead for the Hawkeyes. So, Iowa fans, fasten your seat belts because things speed up from here on out.