Iowa/FIU: 6 Questions with the HN Staff

Each week, the HN Staff passes around a set of 6 questions about this week's game. Find out what Jon Miller, Rob Howe, and Brian Finley had to say about this week's matchup.

1. Will there be any change in the way the QB situation shakes out this week, versus last week?

Jon: We'll have to see what shakes out in the game.  I suspect the rotation will go along the lines as we saw last week; three series for Jake and three series for Rick.  Some might argue that Rick should go first, to see what he can do against the opposition's defense while they are fresh and the 'game is on the line'.  If we could pull this off in a vaccum, I'd be fine with that because I want to see how Rick responds, too, since Kirk has opened this competition up.  But I suspect Jake will go first, which I am also fine with.  I just hope they have this decided by ISU week, so that one quarterback will get all of the practice reps.  I do think FIU will blitz a ton in this game (as should every Iowa opponent until Iowa proves it can make you pay), so we might see things shake out a bit.

Rob: I'll take this question to mean will things be different in terms of playing time. In that case, I think it will be pretty similar. Last week didn't produce a clear-cut No. 1 QB in the coaches' minds. As result, they'll game plan to get both guys reps with the first team. I also think that we'll see the same thing against Iowa State.

Brian: I think the first half will go about the same, but I think the second half may be based a bit more on feel. I think one of these guys needs to feel a bit of job security before heading into Iowa State, and the coaching staff may use the second half to help establish that.

2. Who will get more touches, Jewel Hampton or Paki O'Meara?

Jon: I think that Paki is going to be in the game second, and I think that Iowa should find success on the ground again this week, so I will go with him.  Jewell looked great in his debut, and we have seen that before.  That's not to say that he won't be a great running back, but I would like to see some more seasoning before I crown him.  Thanks, Dennis Green.

Rob: Paki. I think he has more trust from the coaches in terms of blitz pickup and blocking assignments in general. I do think as the season advances that Hampton very well could move into the No. 2 spot. I just don't see it happening this early in the season.

Brian: I think it will be close, but I think Hampton will get the edge because of (a) late-game rushes and (b) kick returns. (For the record, last week, Hampton edged Paki by 1 touch, thanks to the opening kick return.

3. Outside of QB, with all the close competition at various positions, which Hawkeye(s) needs to raise his level of play this week to keep his starting job going forward?

Jon: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.  Listen, I think the world of DJK, and that has nothing to do with his high school highlight tape.  He was the media favorite at media day, due to his maturity in answering questions and his million dollar personality.  He has million dollar ability, too.  We just have to see him make the ten dollar catches; simple out routes.  Once Trey Stross gets healthy, he will push DJK for that starting spot.  I realize that this is DJK's third year as a receiver (the start of the third year) and while some folks think that I am too critical of him, it's only because I see so much potential in him.

Rob: I think it's Jacody Coleman. He has Pat Angerer and Gavin McGrath nipping at his heals, and he had a less-than spectacular game against Maine. Coleman needs to put himself in better position to make plays and do a better job with recognition.

Brian: I agree it's Jacody Coleman. Last year, he played with reckless abandon, flying to the ball and clobbering whoever had it. This past week, be seemed a bit timid. Angerer had a very solid game, and may be pushing for starting time/

4. If you're FIU, which Iowa offensive player are you most focused on taking away?

Jon: The quarterback's ability to have time to think.  If I am an opposing defensive coordinator, as I have already said here, I blitz Iowa until they beat me for six not just once, but twice.  There has been just one instance over the past 13 games where Iowa has made a team pay for that, and that was Syracuse, and Iowa also had a healthy Tony Moeaki in that game.  Tony is not there this week.  I would especially blitz early in the year, and during this QB shuffle, because the timing between the passer and receiver is not normally 100 percent, and all the more challenging with two quarterbacks splitting reps.  Did I mention that this 'competition' needs to be finalized before the start of ISU week?

Rob: In my mind, it's Brandon Myers. Iowa still has not shown an ability to throw the ball down the field to its receivers, and until it does, I press the line to take away the run and tight end. In addition, the receivers still are dropping passes.

Brian: Shonn Greene. In order for FIU to have a chance in this game, they need to force Iowa to throw the ball. If Shonn Greene starts battering those FIU LBs and safeties early on, it'll open things up exponentially, and it'll be over for FIU.

5. Will this be the week that Andy Brodell finally scores a touchdown on punt returns?

Jon:  This is a pretty shaky limb to go out on, because so few punts are returned for scores and because Brodell has never crossed the goal line.  But I will say 'yes'.  After reading through the most comprehensive punt returning interview I have ever seen a Hawkeye give, and seeing a Kansas return man go for six via a punt return last week against FIU, it's time for Andy to score.

Rob: These things usually happen when you least expect it. And as long as it's been since a Hawkeye has taken one to the house, I've stopped even considering it a possibility. I think Brodell has a chance this season, and FIU gave one up last week against Kansas, but I think the visitors will tighten up on that coverage and keep Brodell from hitting pay dirt. He should get plenty of opportunities, though.

Brian: Based on how close he was on a few of the returns last week, I think there's more than a slight chance he might. With a few more blocks up ahead, (I'm thinking of a missed block by Prater last week....) Brodell may find that gap up the middle to take one.

6. Who is your pick to click?

Jon: I think Iowa's offense could sputter a bit this week (Kansas didn't break 400 yards against FIU) so I will go with A.J. Edds.  He was arguably the player of the game last week (Shonn Greene won our UniversiTees POTG poll by just a few votes over Edds) and he is arguably the best player on the team. 

Rob: I'll go with Mitch King. He absorbed a lot of double teams last week, allowing Adrian Clayborn to be free to make plays. This week, FIU will pay more attention to Clayborn and King will get off of more blocks inside.

Brian: Shonn Greene. I think Iowa, satisfied with his conditioning based on last week's 22 carries, will put him in a position to be a bit more effective, mixing up the play calling, maybe subbing other backs earlier. This puts Shonn up over 120 yards, with at least one score, maybe two.

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