• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

2017 Hawkeye Football schedule

Hawk Talk

It’s time to talk football.
Officially, for me anyway, summer is over and Iowa football is up next.
For the next two weeks I’ll look at the schedule, predict if the Hawks will be favored and try to come up with nine regular season wins.
Why nine wins?
Mike Evans, one of my homeboys from the Lodge, and I, have had a bet for the last three years on how many wins the Hawkeyes will have at the end of the regular season.
Two years ago I said 10 wins and the Hawkeyes won their first 12 games.
Last year I also said 10 and the Hawks won eight.
The winner gets a Heineken beer so I’m one for two.
I’ll talk about the first six games, which include four home games and two on the road.

Sept. 2: Wyoming Cowboys

The Cowboys are coming off an 8-6 season and return one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
Josh Allen, a 6-5, 230-pound quarterback, is projected to be one of the top picks in the NFL draft next spring. Josh passed for over 3,200 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2016.
He also ran for 523 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Cowboys did lose their leading rusher and top three receivers.
Wyoming has nine starters back on a defense that gave up an average of 34 points per game and 435 yards per game.
This should be a good test for the Hawkeye defense.
Iowa should be able to move the ball on offense and is already favored by 13. I think they will cover the spread.

Sept. 9: at the Iowa State Cyclones

The ‘Clones finished 3-9 last season including a 42-3 loss to the Hawkeyes.
The Cyclone offense is led by All-Big 12 end Allen Lazard.
The 6-5 senior caught 69 passes for seven touchdowns and over 1,000 yards receiving.
State has five starters back on offense and averaged 28 points, 163 yards rushing and 259 yards passing.
Jacob Park is listed as the top quarterback. He passed for 1,791 yards, 12 touchdowns and had five interceptions last season.
Their defense also has five starters back and they gave up an average of 31 points per game.
The ‘Clones brought in three junior college transfers at the defensive line plus they return three defensive backs.
Iowa State always plays Iowa tough, especially at home.
Iowa should be favored, but had better be ready.
Sept. 16: North Texas Mean Green
Dan McCarney was fired shortly after North Texas lost to Iowa, 62-16, in 2015.
The Mean Green finished 5-8 last season and actually went to a bowl game.
They return six starters on an offense that averaged 24 points and 342 total yards per game.
Sophomore quarterback Mason Fine is back after starting as a freshman, passing for 1,572 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions.
The Mean Green will have to replace all three receivers from last season, but have three offensive linemen back.
Their defense, which gave up an average of 33 points and 440 total yards per game, has four starters back, but they lost all three starting linebackers.
Hopefully, the Hawkeyes will be 2-0 coming into the game and should be favored by over 10.
Iowa should cover the spread.

Sept. 23: Penn State Nittany Lions

This will be a payback game. The Lions smoked the Hawks, 41-14, at Happy Valley last year and finished 11-3.
Iowa went from the bottom to the top the following week when they knocked off third-ranked Michigan, 14-13, on a last-second field goal by freshman Keith Duncan.
Earlier in the season, Michigan smoked Penn State 49-10... go figure.
Saquon Barkley is back after rushing for 1,496 yards last season. That is the highest total by a sophomore in Penn State history.
Saquon torched the Hawkeyes for 169 yards (8.4 per carry) and scored twice in last year’s game.
The Nittany Lions ran for 359 yards against the Hawks, the most Iowa gave up all season.
Quarterback Trace McSorley is also back on an offense that returns 10 starters.
Their offense averaged 37 points and 432 yards total offense per game.
On defense, State has six back, including two linebackers.
The Lions’ defense gave up 25 points per game last year and held Iowa to 52 yards on the ground, the second lowest of the season. Iowa had 34 rushing yards against North Dakota State.
Penn State is predicted to be a contender for the East Division title and they will be favored at Iowa.
This could be one of the two night games in Iowa City and I think the Hawks will show up better than they did at Happy Valley.

Sept. 30: at the Michigan State Spartans

The last time Iowa played the Spartans was at the Big Ten championship, Dec. 5, 2015, with the Hawkeyes losing 16-13.
Michigan State scored the go-ahead touchdown with 27 seconds left in the game.
The Spartans went on a 22-play drive for the winning score that took 9:09 and covered 82 yards.
The two teams went in different directions last season, as Iowa went 8-5, Michigan State 3-9.
The Spartans won their first two games, including a win at Notre Dame. They then lost seven straight before beating Rutgers.
Talk about rebuilding… Michigan State has only two starters back on offense, center Brian Allen and running back L.J. Scott.
Sophomore Brian Lewerke has a shot to be the top quarterback as he started two games last season before breaking his leg.
Junior L.J. Scott led the rushing attack with 994 yards and six touchdowns.
State averaged 24 points per game last season and 395 total yards per game on offense.
On defense, the Spartans have three returning starters, including two linebackers.
State gave up an average of 27.8 points per game last year which was 10th-best in the Big Ten.
Iowa leads the all time series 23-21-2, but the Spartans have won the last two.
The Hawks will be favored, but it should be a close game.

Oct. 7: Illinois Fighting Illini

Lovey Smith is in his second year as head coach at Illinois.
The former head coach of the Chicago Bears went 3-9 last season including a 28-0 loss at Iowa.
LeShun Daniels scored twice, including a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks had 260 yards on the ground, with LeShun leading the way with 159 (6.1 per carry).
The Illini offense has five starters back, including three linemen.
They averaged 19 points per game which was 13th in the conference.
Chayce Crouch and Jeff George Jr. are battling for starting quarterback. Both played last year.
Illinois has its top running back, Kendrick Foster, returning. He rushed for 720 yards and scored seven times.
On defense, the Illini have three starters back, including two defensive backs.
The defense gave up an average of 31 points per game and 405 total offensive yards.
Iowa will be favored and should cover.

Six down and six to go. I have Iowa favored in five of the first six.
Next week I’ll talk about the remaining six games, including a home game against Ohio State.