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Don Lund

Bowl Committee

Hawk Talk

I had a good feeling last week before Iowa hosted Northwestern Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
After Iowa played one of its worst games in a couple of years against Maryland and lost 38-31 two weeks ago, I thought Iowa would bounce back against the Wildcats.
Why?
Kirk Ferentz might not be the best coach ever, but he is a stand-up guy and the players respect him.
Also Iowa has some great leaders, especially the four captains.
You start with All American Brandon Scherff, who led the offensive line to its best day... no sacks and the Hawkeye running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

Hawkeye women think big

The Iowa Hawkeye women won 27 games last year, which tied for the second-most in school history.
The Hawks finished second in the Big Ten Tournament and return four starters, including all-world point guard Samantha Logic.
Iowa led the Big Ten in scoring and assists, plus the Hawks set a school record for scoring offense in 2013-2014, averaging 78.2 points per game.
The Hawkeyes are ranked 19th in the preseason AP top-25 poll.
So when I say there was excitement and optimism at media day last Thursday, you can see why.

A little short

Hawk Talk

When I did the preseason schedule and Maryland was on it, I have to admit I don’t ever remember seeing the Terrapins play football.
The preseason magazines said they had some great wide receivers, a good quarterback and a great kicking game. They were right!
I thought Maryland would score against the Hawks, but I also thought Iowa could score against them.
I was kind of right as the Maryland offense scored 31 points, Iowa scored 31 but a pick-six by the Terrapins ended up being the difference in the game; Maryland 38, Iowa 31.
Dropped passes, penalties and poor tackling.

Now we’re talking

I don’t know about you, but I was getting tired of hearing about who should start... Jake Rudock or C.J. Beathard.
Jake has been out for a game and a half but looked sharp in the Hawkeyes’ 45-29 Homecoming win last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
If Indiana had two quarterbacks, like Iowa, they might have made it a closer game, but when starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld went out with a shoulder injury in the first half, the Hoosiers were toast.
Jake came out strong, going 9-11 for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.

Iowa Hawkeye men reload

Hawk Talk

By Don Lund
Sports Writer
The Iowa Hawkeye men’s basketball team lost two starters from last year, Devyn Marble and Melsahn Basabe. Devyn was the leading scorer and Mel did a great job defensively as well as hitting the boards.
Zach McCabe also had some starts and did a great job of coming off the bench.
The cupboard isn’t bare with three starters back and three other players that have started.
Throw in junior college All-American Trey Dickerson and I like Iowa’s chances.
Media day was last Thursday, Oct. 2, and there was a good vibe in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Hawks get defensive

Hawk Talk

All the Hawkeye fans, including my home boys from the Lodge, got their wish last Saturday as C. J. Beathard got to start against Purdue.
Jake Rudock was still injured, so C.J. got the first start of his career.
With 11 minutes left in the second quarter, I wondered if the C.J. fans were still happy.
Iowa trailed 10-0, C.J. had thrown a pick-six, and the Hawkeyes didn’t have a first down.
I’ve got to give C.J. credit. He didn’t get down on himself, started making plays and the Hawks outscored the Boilermakers 24-0 and won their fourth straight road game, 24-10.

Hello C.J.

Hawk Talk

Some of my homeboys from the Lodge have been telling me C.J. Beathard should be the starting quarterback for the Hawkeyes.
I like C.J., but when your starting quarterback, Jake Rudock, is completing 67 percent of his passes, has five touchdown passes and two interceptions it’s hard to pull the switch.
Jake injured his leg before halftime of Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh with Iowa trailing 17-7.
C.J. played the whole second half and Iowa came back for a wonderful 24-20 win over Pittsburgh.
What if C.J. doesn’t get hurt? Does he still go in?

Too close for comfort

Hawk Talk

One of the biggest knocks on Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is that his teams play up or down to the opponent.
That works well when you’re playing up to a good team but can get a little nerve wracking when you play down to a team that you are big time favorites against... like Ball State.
Remember Hawk fans, this isn’t the same Ball State Cardinal team that Iowa beat 56-0 (2005) and 45-0 (2010).
These Cardinals won 17 of the last 19 games and have knocked off two Big Ten schools along the way.
Iowa’s come from behind 17-13 win over Ball State last Saturday was anything but pretty.

A Win is a win

Hawk Talk

I’m sure plenty of Hawkeye fans out there are somewhat disappointed with Iowa’s 31-23 victory over the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) last Saturday.
Why was it so close?
Why didn’t we blow them out?
The simple answer is the UNI Panthers are pretty good.
They beat Iowa State last year.
Two years ago, they opened with Wisconsin and lost, 26-21.
UNI returned most of its defense, including three pretty good defensive backs.

The defense

This is the final part of Hawkeye preview for the 2014 season.
This week I’ll look at the defense.

The Hawkeye defense should be a strong point this fall, especially the defensive line, which has all four starters back.
The big question will be replacing the three starting linebackers, James Morris, Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirksey.
Anthony and Christian have a shot to start for the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns respectively.
Quinton Alston (6-1, 232) played as a true freshman, saw action in all 13 games last year and was Academic All-Big Ten as a junior.

Offense Preview

Hawk Talk

This is the second part of a three-part story on Hawkeye football.
Last week I looked at the special teams, the quarterbacks and fullbacks.
This week I’ll look at the offensive line, tight ends, wide receivers and running backs.
The offensive line should be one of the strengths of the team, especially when you have Brandon Scherff back for his senior year.
Brandon checks in at 6-5, 320 pounds and is on everybody’s preseason All-American teams.
It was the best news of the of season last year when he said, “I’ll be back.”

Special Teams

Hawk Talk

Media day was last Monday and the next three weeks I’ll be breaking down the special teams, the offense and defense.
I’m starting with the special teams this year because Iowa has to replace one of the best kickers ever to play for the Hawkeyes... Mike Meyer.
The 6-2, 190-pound player from Dubuque finished second in career field goals (61) and career scoring (324 points).
Only Nate Kaeding did better with 67 field goals and 373 total points.
Mike also set a school record with 122 straight PATs. Nate held the record with 60 straight.