6 Questions with the HN Staff

Each week, the HN Staff sits down to talk about this week's game. See what Rob Howe and Jon Miller had to say about the matchup with the Arizona Wildcats.

Note: Due to an illness on my part, the preview package this week will consist of only the 6 questions. Things should return to normal next week. I apologize for any problems this causes. -Brian Finley

1. With both Moeaki and Gronkowski likely out, which team is impacted more by the loss of their top TE?

Rob: Iowa. Moeaki is an extreme blocker and has been integral in the Iowa running game. With Bulaga likely out on the offensive line and Tony at TE, the Hawkeyes arguably would be without their top two blockers.

Jon:  This is a tough question to answer, as I don't know the qualities of Arizona's backup. But it can't help them at all, as Gronkowski had nearly 700 yards and 50 catches last year for 10 touchdowns in 10 games.  We do know about Moeaki, and wihle I tihnk Allen Reisner is a very good pass catcher, he is not in Tony's league as a blocker.  Few, if any, tight ends in America are. I think Iowa will miss Moeaki the most in the running game.  Arizona has been without Gronkowski most of August and all of September, so they have had more time to adjust.

2. Who gets more carries, Wegher or Robinson?

Rob: Wegher, but it's a toss-up. Robinson probably gets the first two series and then Wegher the third. I don't Iowa is going to be that successful running the ball, anyway. Stanzi might need to win this one for the Hawkeyes.

Jon: One fumble or missed blocking assignment could be the answer here, but I will go with Wegher.  He just looked like a natural in there against Iowa State, but the sledding is going to be much more challenging this week than it was against ISU.  The Cyclones might have the worst defense in the Big 12.  Wait, take the might out of it, they do.  Arizona may have one of the top three defenses in the Pac 10. 

3. Can Iowa win this week without four strong quarters from Rick Stanzi?

Rob: Yeah, I suppose they could get by without four strong quarters. But if he turns the ball over as many times in the first two weeks, that could be the nail in the Hawkeyes' coffin. I don't think Rick needs to be great, but he can't keep hurting his team by giving the ball away. He needs to play a smarter game. He has a good defense and an exceptional punter.

Jon-Yes, but I hope we don't have to prove that.  I think Arizona is going to have a tough time scoring points, too.  So defense and special teams could win it for Iowa, but what Stanzi cannot do is turn the ball over. I was hopeful he had moved beyond some young mistakes with the ball, but in two games this year, he has not shown that to be the case.

4. How much of an impact can the crowd have this week, given Arizona is starting a freshman quarterback who will be playing in his first road game?

Rob: The 2:30 start probably helps. It gives the natives more time to get rowdy. I keep thinking back to the 2003 game against Arizona State and then the following year in the return contest in the desert. Both of those games were dominated by the home team. I think this one will be closer and the crowd very well could be the difference.

Jon-Huge.  I recall sitting in the stands for the Arizona State game in 2003.  The crowd was one with the defense that day, and the defense pretty much ate the Sun Devils alive.  Being that this is a 2:30 game, the Hawks fans are going to be geared up for this contest and some of them may have a bit of the silly juice in them that seems to raise the volume.  Freshman quarterback making his road debut in Kinnick?  I smell a good day for the defense, and the crowd can feed a defense.

5. Will Arizona have a back to rush for more than 100 yards against the Hawkeyes?

Rob- I'm going to say no. I think Iowa matches up well with this type of offense. Arizona won't spread out the Iowa secondary and linebackers. Guys like Hunter and Angerer should be able to roll to the football and make plays.

Jon-This could be a trick question, because that's happened the last two weeks...well, last week Alexander Robinson was right at 100 yards, so you can give that to me.  However, UNI and ISU play spread offenses while Arizona's offense is more straight ahead and power football, something Norm Parker's teams have been really stout against in recent years.  Gap control is a big deal, and I think that is easier to do when they are coming right at you.  I will say no, but that doesn't mean Arizona won't get over 100 total as a team.  Iowa comes into this game giving up just under 140 per game.

6. Who is your pick to click?

Rob- I'll say Hunter. I think Arizona will pay more attention to blocking Angerer, freeing up his running mate to rack up some tackles.

Jon- I think it's time for Pat Angerer to have a huge day.  He has been taken out of the tackle box quite a bit the last two weeks chasing down would be receivers and playing zone coverage.  I think he is all over the place on Saturday

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