Welcome to 2016
Hawk fans, the moment you’ve been waiting for since halfway through the first quarter of the Rose Bowl. The 2016 college football season has started, and Iowa’s season starts just hours from now. This year is shaping up to look very similar to last, and an Iowa team hungry for revenge is sure to leave no stone unturned in search of the season they desire.
Like I said, this team is hungry. Last year’s team was all about taking Iowa football to new heights. They’re there. This year’s team has to prove they belong. Iowa certainly feels like they’re playing with a chip on their shoulder. They weren’t satisfied. I think we’ll see this team play the same Iowa football they did last year. Work hard, run the ball, play tough football.
CJ Beathard returns for his senior season and second year as starter. There’s no doubt that he proved his worth to the team last year, and proved that Kirk Ferentz made a smart decision with his quarterbacks (Jake Rudock did pretty well for Michigan, himself). Seniors Jordan Canzeri and Tevaun Smith graduated, and that leaves holes in the offense. Iowa still returns three of the “Four Horsemen” of the running corps, but wide receiver is a position that is has no leader. Hopefully one will emerge that is a perfect fit for Beathard like Smith was.
Desmond King returns for his senior season, and he’s a force to be reckoned with in the secondary. Returning Jim Thorpe Award winner/Consensus All-American King hopes to make as big of an impact this year as he has previously. He plays aggressive football, and dares teams to send the ball to his side. Other defensive stars like Josey Jewell and Greg Mabin will hold down the rest of the secondary, and Jaleel Johnson and Nathan Bazata, returning starters, should continue to make big plays at the line. Iowa’s defense looks to be stronger than last year, and we should see the improvement on the field.
Miami, Ohio. Doesn’t really intimidate you, does it? Well, it shouldn’t. Miami isn’t much. They were 3-9 last year against MAC teams, and Iowa shouldn’t have a problem taking care of them. There isn’t much to be said. This will be a great game to get the rust off and show what they can do. Iowa wins 38 – 13.