Much has been written and discussed about the Iowa losses the last two weeks. Is the team ready to climb the ladder or are they sliding down the ladder? Many think that the team or staff are lacking in what it takes to compete in the Big Ten. My reply is "Wrong again, Shaina!"
While the defense has played well the last two weeks, the offense has sputtered. At the center of the attack on Iowa's offense has been the quarterback play and why Brad Banks has not been given a chance. After all, Banks is not going to get better as he rides the pines.
Kyle McCann's play against Michigan State was abysmal. Four interceptions are totally unacceptable as part of one's game performance as a quarterback. However, I view that as an anomaly rather than as a benchmark. McCann should return to his home game performance play this week as Indiana invades Iowa City.
However, Brad Banks has warranted a chance to play. Hyped in the pre-season as our "change of pace" quarterback, he has played only one series in three weeks. Didn't our pace need changing? Not only could we use Brad's feet so fleet but also the assault rifle that he has hanging from his shoulder. Wouldn't you like to see a Run and Gun? I am growing tired of dink passes and not throwing the ball down the field. Kahlil Hill was wide open several times in the second half of each of the last to games. All to no avail! Can you remember Tim Dwight wide open in the Wisconsin game at Madison only to never see the ball thrown his way? Hill has been as wide open as his former fellow Iowa City High alumnus. If McCann can't make that throw this week then it is time to make a change. Although I feel that Kyle will turn in a good performance on Saturday, Banks should play a considerable amount of time.
Now on to the unspecial play of special teams. The new game "Punting for touchdowns" has proven unpopular with fans of the Black and Gold. But don't put all the blame on David Bradley. The blocking and long snapping have left a lot to be desired. All will be better this week after relentless drilling. However, the biggest news about special teams is the return of the Erie Assassin, Bob Sanders, and his friends Benny Sapp, Dallas Clark, Grant Steen and R.J. Meyer to the kick and punt coverage units. One can only dream of a meeting of Mr. Indiana, Antwann Randle El and the aforementioned Erie Assassin at FULL SPEED! That could solve many of the defensive problems of containing the Hoosier magician.
The defensive unit should be more proficient in stopping Randle-El than in the three straight losses suffered at his feet and hands the last three years. Increased team speed and improved line play should afford the defense an ability to slow down the Indiana attack.
That places the ball back in the court of the offense. My feeling is that the offense gets back on track with big numbers on Saturday.
Iowa 44, Indiana 20