Kinnick Stadium Entrance (via GoHawksTV)
No rain expected. Players have worked hard all spring and are excited to have a crowd in Kinnick today.— Brian Ferentz (@CoachBFerentz) April 14, 2012
If you aren't going to make it to Kinnick click here for live streaming details. It's not free but $10 isn't a bad deal if you have much of a drive or are allergic to rain. If you are making the trip you may want to bookmark this link. KCRG says watch the weather, or they'll watch it for you. Also, you can stick around this place as there will be an open thread to discuss whatever.
KCRG will also have a live stream of the game. I assume it's free and I'm not sure what the difference between the broadcast and the BTN broadcast will be. I'll try to find out and update in the comments.
For Iowa fans not attending today's open practice, KCRG.com will livestream the BTN feed beginning at noon— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) April 14, 2012
WHEN THE GAME/PRACTICE IS ON WHAT DO WE WATCH? Hawk Central has a short list of things to keep an eye on. There's new coaches on the field. There's also a battle for the starting running back position taking place. Keenan Davis won't participate and that means there will be plenty of reps for the wide receivers fighting for playing time. Ryan Suchomel also has a list of things he's watching.
MOREHOUSE ALSO HAS WHAT TO WATCH. He starts with the new coaches. He also covers all the position battles and who to watch.
WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING (IF YOU CARE). First, the offensive line. I want to see if Andrew Donnal improved his footwork and is worthy of the starting left tackle position. He's sitting behind Brandon Scherff on the spring depth chart and if they are both worthy perhaps one can slide to left guard. Senior Matt Tobin currently has the lock-down on that position but I'll also watch his back-up Drew Clark.
On the other side Nolan MacMillan is back and I want to see what kind of shape he's in. Also, red shirt freshman Austin Blythe had his name moved to the top of the depth chart this spring. He must be impressive to overtake junior Connor Boffeli. There's also the center position which is locked down by James Ferentz. But, I'll be interested to see new addition Eric Simmons and if he's the center of the next three years.
It's going to be windy so I expect the quarterbacks to struggle a little bit. We know what we have in starter James Vandenberg. Greg Davis said Jake Rudock's head was "spinning" from the new offensive terminology. I'm interested in who looks the best of Cody Sokol and Rudock.
The talk all week has been the development and involvement of C.J. Fiedorowicz in the new Iowa offense. Ray Hamilton burned his red shirt last season in very limited playing time. He's one to watch for sure. Behind Zach Derby, C.J. and Hamilton is Jake Duzey and Henry Krieger-Coble. Duzey was an over sized wide receiver in high school that made the move to tight end his first year on campus. If Iowa's going to split tight ends out in the slot both he and Krieger-Coble could find a niche there.
On the defensive side of the line, I'll be watching to see if any of the young faces can get a good push. Even if they can hold their ground it would be improvement over this time last year. Also, there's Melvin Spears and Riley McMinn at defensive end. Iowa needs some speed on the edge and hopefully those two have it.
I expect the defensive back seven to be look like the best unit today. The offense is without Keenan Davis and learning a new system and tempo. It will be a good situation for Jacob Hillyer, Don Shumpert, Steven Staggs, Jordan Cotton and Blake Haluska to show what they can do. That's not a scary group of receivers, even with Kevonte Martin-Manley as the leader. Iowa needs help in the wide receiving unit and hopefully it's coming this summer.
The linebacker position has suffered from the injury bug the last two seasons so watching the depth there will be important. Quinton Alston looked good in a short stint last season and hopefully he's progressed. Travis Perry is a walk-on red shirt freshman who's currently running with the two's. Marcus Collins and Cole Fisher are co-second-string behind Anthony Hitchens.
The special teams will get plenty of work and lets hope that the kickoff specialist, who ever wins that battle, can put the ball in the end zone. The weather should be crap so field goals and punting will be tricky.
RECRUITS THAT WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE. I'm sure there's a lot more and that information will emerge over the course of the day or the days following. Here's what I've found via Twitter:
Delano Hill- 6'1" 190 pound S from Detroit, Michigan. (Rivals three-star, holds an Iowa offer.) Hill arrived in Iowa City with former teammates and future Hawkeyes Ruben Lile and Laron Taylor. That's a good sign because the rest of the Cass Tech crew is heading to Michigan to take in their spring game.
John Kenny - 6'2" 210 pound LB from Carmel, Indiana. (Rivals three-star, holds an Iowa offer.)
Merrick Jackson - 6'2" 320 pound DT from Belleville, Illinois.(Rvials three-star, holds an Iowa offer.)
Jake Campos - 6'7" 250 pound OT from West Des Moines, Iowa. (Rivals four-star, holds Iowa offer.) Campos won't be at the spring game but was in Iowa City yesterday.
GATENS IS LOOKING GOOD IN THE PORTSMOUTH INVITATIONAL. He had a solid debut in a 74-71 overtime loss to kick things off Thursday night. Gatens dropped in 12 points and had four assists and two steals. Friday, Gatens dropped the game winning three pointer after his team rallied from eight points down. According to Pat Harty, Gatens finished with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.
SPRING SIGNING IS OPEN AND MCCAFFERY'S LAST SCHOLLY IS STILL IN PLAY. Fran McCaffery could bank his lone remaining scholarship to have two to distribute next season or he could add a late recruit to the five that have already signed on for 2012. McCaffery says "It's still in play. There aren't a ton of guys we're looking at, but we are still looking at some. "
- Big Ten Network's "The Journey" will be covering football this fall
- Hawkeye golfers prepared for home tournament
- Ex-Hawkeye Alex Karras, 76, suing NFL
- Jonathan Babineaux, film producer
- Hawkeyes build around, build up D-line
- Jarrod Uthoff to leave Wisconsin
- Gable fired up for Olympic Trials in Iowa City
- Iowa baseball heads to Omaha for double-header
- Bank sues former Hawkeye Tim Dwight