I was jacked up for some Hawkeye football last Saturday.
I filled my cooler with food and liquids and headed into Kinnick about 9 a.m. for the 11 a.m. practice.
Of course I wasn’t the first one there but I found a great parking spot outside the stadium.
The lot starting filling up around 10 a.m. and then a line formed in front of the gates about 10:30 a.m.
I went in a little after 11 a.m. and the sun was baking down on the new prescription turf.
During practice I talked to John Streif, longtime trainer for Iowa, and he didn’t think the heat was too bad on the field – thank goodness for a nice breeze.
The new field is spectacular. Let’s hope that means many more wins at Kinnick.
As for the scrimmage, I’ll start on offense.
Jewel Hampton, Bryan Bulaga, Julian Vandervelde, Colin Sandeman, Kyle Calloway and freshman Brandon Wegher didn’t play, so the offensive line was left tackle Kyle Haganman, left guard Riley Reiff, center Raf Eubanks, right guard Dan Doering and right tackle Dace Richardson.
I’ll tell you what – that right side with Dan 6-6, 300 and Dace 6-6, 305 – those are some big dudes.
They opened some nice holes and Paki O’Meara, Jeff Brinson and Adam Robinson ran through them. Paki had a nice break away run and finished with eight carries for 59 yards. Adam looked good catching passes.
True freshman Keenan Davis showed that he will see some playing time at receiver. He also was catching punts.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Trey Stross, Marvin McNutt, Don Nordmann and Paul Chaney give the wide receiver position some good depth, size and talent.
What a great move to have Tony Moeaki wear a red jersey, which means like a QB, no tackling allowed. He has been injured enough and doesn’t have to prove anything.
I thought Rick Stanzi made some nice throws and finished the day 12-18 for 149 yards and two touchdowns. As far as who is No. 2, your guess is as good as mine. James Vandenberg and Chris Wienke had some good moments but they were playing against the top defense.
The Hawkeye defense looked in midseason form.
I like the front four with Christian Ballard playing tackle along side Karl Klug.
Broderick Binns played d-end as did Adrian Clayborn, and the second team offensive line could not block them very consistently.
It looks like Shaun Prater will start at corner with Jordan Bernstine out for the season.
The ankle injury is a tough break for Jordan, who has been nicked up his first two years. The good news is he has a red shirt year he can use.
Shaun is suspended for the first game because he was picked up for an alcohol offense last year. William Lowe could be the starter against UNI.
Both Daniel Murray and Trent Mossbrucker hit some long distant field goals. It will be interesting who the long field goal kicker is.
Overall it was great to see the Hawkeyes in action. Sept. 5 cannot come soon enough!