We're Talkin' Iowa Football Spring Game-Type Substance

When/where: Saturday, April 16; Kinnick Stadium; 12pm CDT (approximately).  There's no admission fee, but you're encouraged to bring canned goods or other non-perishable food items.  The practice is also being streamed on BTN.com ($$$); I'm not aware of any plans to air it on BTN proper later.  

Five Things We're Paying Attention To Today.  

1) Quarterbacks.  How good does Vandy look?  Is Derby getting more comfortable?  Is Wienke the clear back-up quarterback?  How accurate are all of the quarterbacks?

2) Keenan and friends.  Marvin McNutt is sitting out the spring game while rehabbing his shoulder/thumb injuries, so we won't get to see a key cog in Iowa's passing game today.  We will, however, get to see the future of the Iowa receiving corps on display -- is Keenan Davis asserting himself as one of the best receivers on the team?  Will Don Shumpert and/or Kevante Martin-Manley do something to justify the buzz they've been generating?  And what of the walk-on contingent -- who will be this year's Don Nordmann?  (Early favorite: Steven Staggs, since he's shockingly listed as the other starting receiver today opposite Davis.)

3) Trench warfare.  Iowa fans have grown accustomed to seeing the defensive line bully the offensive line during these events: not only are they intimately familiar with what the offense likes to do, but they've rolled out a steady stream of all-conference performers like Clayborn, Ballard, Klug, King, Kroul, etc.  This year, though, the table are turned a bit: the offensive line is returning a trio of starters (Reiff, Ferentz, Zusevics), as well as a few guys with ample starting experience (Gettis and MacMillan, though he's been slowed by an injury during spring ball).  Meanwhile, the defensive line has Mike Daniels, Broderick Binns, and, er, a whole bunch of guys we don't know too much about.  All of which is to say: we ought to see the offensive line opening up some nice holes for the running game and pass protecting well.

4) Secondary.  Outside of Prater at cornerback, there's not too much we know about this unit.  As discussed extensively, Micah Hyde is playing at free safety, although it's anyone's guess as to whether he'll still be there by September.  But it will be interesting to see how he looks back there today, as well as how good his replacements at cornerback (Bernstine, Castillo, BJ Lowery) look as well.  Bernstine could see some time at safety, as well, and this could be our first real glimpse at Iowa's latest walk-on-turned-starting-safety story, Colin Sleeper.

5) The kicking game.  Are either Meyer or Mossbrucker consistently hitting kicks?  Is Eric Guthrie still holding off Jonny Mullings at punter?  

Of course, we're also curious about the men behind Coker at running back, but I'm not sure we'll learn too much about the depth there today -- De'Andre Johnson has been slowed by an injury this spring and Jason White, while a fine story and a hard worker, probably won't be as much of a factor when the incoming freshmen arrive this summer.

What are you looking forward to seeing?  The usual rules of open threading apply: no porn, no slurs, no illegal online streams, etc.

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