2014 Hawkeye Football Schedule
By Don Lund
When the football spring game is over in April, I have the month of May off for covering live Hawkeye sports.
June is the start of Prime Time and Game Time which goes through July.
Last week was the end of basketball coverage for the summer which means one thing... it’s time to talk football.
From now until October, it’s all football on Hawk Talk.
The next two weeks I’ll break down Iowa’s schedule and try to predict if the Hawks will be favored or not.
I really like the way the conference split.
It’s so much more natural to have Illinois and Wisconsin on the Hawkeyes’ schedule every year along with Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and even Purdue.
Iowa opens up with three straight home games against University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Ball State and Iowa State. Then they travel to Pittsburgh, open the Big Ten season at Purdue, have a bye, and then host Indiana for homecoming.
I’ll look at the first six games.
Aug. 30: UNI
Not too many Hawkeye fans can forget the UNI Panthers coming into Kinnick in 2009 and almost upsetting Iowa.
The Hawks led 17-16, but the Panthers drove to Iowa’s 23-yard-line with seven seconds to play.
Broderick Binns blocked a UNI field goal but the Panthers recovered the ball and had one more chance to kick with one second left.
This time Jeremiah Hunter blocked the kick, Pat Angerer recovered the ball and the Hawks would finish 11-2, 6-2 in the Big Ten and beat Georgia Tech 24-14 in the Orange Bowl.
The Panthers finished 7-5 last year including a 28-20 win over Iowa State.
They also lost three overtime games and a one-point loss to North Dakota State, which won the D-II championship.
The Panther offense should be solid with running back David Johnson leading the way. David might be the best college running back in Iowa as he rushed for 1,291 yards, scored 10 touchdowns and also caught 38 passes.
Barkley Hill, who transferred from Iowa this summer, could be a solid backup.
Quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgan also returns after completing 62 percent for 1,824 yards and 14 touchdown passes.
UNI averaged 26 points per game and 354 yards total offense last season.
On defense, the Panthers gave up 18.8 points per game. They will be led by defensive tackle Xavier Williams (6-4, 311) who was all-conference last year, and linebacker Jake Farley. Jake, the coach’s son, averaged 11 tackles last year before breaking his leg.
I don’t think Iowa will overlook the Panthers and it will be a good test for the new linebackers.
The Hawks will be favored.
Sept. 6: Ball State
The Ball State Cardinals had a breakout season last year finishing, 10-3, 7-1 in the conference.
They will be rebuilding this fall, losing quarterback Keith Wenning and five other starters on offense. Keith passed for 4,148 yards, 35 touchdowns and completed 64 percent of his passes.
The Cardinal offense averaged 38.5 points and 476.5 yards of total offense per game.
Senior running back Jahwan Edwards leads the way with 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Ball State also has three returning starters on the offensive line and one wide receiver.
The Cardinal defense has to replace five starters, including three defensive linemen. Ben Ingle, a junior linebacker, was second-team all-conference last year. Ball State’s defense gave up an average of 24 points per game last season. Opponents averaged 195 yards on the ground last season.
Look for the Hawkeyes to pound it out against the Cardinals and be favored.
Sept. 13: Iowa State
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 27-7 lead over the ‘Clones last year at Ames and held on to a 27-21 victory,
Iowa pounded out 218 yards on the ground, including 145 for Mark Weisman. Mark had a career-high 35 carries and Jake Rudock threw two touchdown passes.
State has 10 starters back on offense, including all five offensive linemen.
Running back Aaron Wimberly and wide receiver Quinton Bundrage lead the ‘Clones. Aaron ran for a team-high 567 yards and scored twice while Quinton caught 48 passes and scored nine touchdowns.
Iowa State averaged 24 points and 363 yards total offense last fall.
It will be interesting to see how new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino will help pick up the offense.
Mark was Coach of the Year in 2007 when he led Kansas to 12 wins, a school record.
On defense the ‘Clones gave up 36 points per game and an average of over 463 yards, They have to replace six starters including three defensive linemen. Paul Rhoads, the head ‘Clone, went the junior college route to help out his defense.
Look for Iowa to run the ball, like they did last year.
This will be a good test for the Hawks’ new linebackers and Iowa will be favored at Kinnick.
Sept. 20: at Pittsburgh
The last time Iowa traveled to Pittsburgh in 2008, the Panthers won, 21-20.
Shonn Greene ran for 146 yards and scored a touchdown.
Ricky Stanzi and Jake Christensen were battling for the quarterback position. They split time in the first half and Jake played the entire second half.
Pittsburgh finished 7-6 last year, 3-5 in their conference.
They have seven starters back on offense, but have to find a new quarterback. They averaged 26.3 points per game.
The Panther defense gave up 27 points and 347 yards per game last season. They have to replace six starters including three defensive linemen.
This game could be a toss-up, but I like Iowa’s offense to run the ball and score.
Sept. 27: at Purdue
Iowa opens the Big Ten season on the road against the Boilermakers.
Last year, Jordan Canzeri had a breakout game with 165 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown as Iowa rolled at Purdue, 38-14.
Purdue finished 1-11, 0-8 in the Big Ten last year.
Their offense has to replace five starters and averaged 14.9 points... the lowest in the Big Ten.
The defense also has to replace five starters and gave up an average of 38 points per game.
Look for the Hawkeyes to be favored and to get three or four running backs some good carries.
Oct. 4: Bye
Oct. 11: Indiana
The Hoosiers finished 5-7, 3-5 in the Big Ten last year.
They have eight starters back of offense, including quarterbacks Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld.
Tre is the better runner, Nate a better passer.
Indiana averaged 38 points and over 500 yards per game last year.
The Hoosier defense gave up 38.8 points per game and has nine starters back, including four linebackers (Indiana plays a 3-4 defense).
The new Hawkeye linebackers will have their work cut out for them and this could be a shootout.
Look for Iowa to be favored at home.
It’s kind of scary, but the Hawkeyes could be favored in their first six games; 6-0 or even 5-1 would be a good start.
Next week, I’ll talk about the final six games.