Before we begin, two must-see links:
- Burnt Orange Nation, a Texas SBN affiliate done so goddamn well it makes this place look like a Buckeye blog, probably ran away with Post Of The Year with this epic beatdown of Richard Billingsley's ridiculously inaccurate BCS poll. The numbers might be intimidating, but the analysis is the stuff of legend. Prepare to be stunned.
- Jebus continues his tour of duty at EDSBS alongside not only the beautiful and talented Holly of Ladies... and Snarkastic, but The Kid from the astonishingly well-done Fire Mark May. Up tomorrow: Who knows! I forgot to ask, and both JHC and Orson are offline. Blogs! We don't fact-check for shit!
Moving on. Make no mistake about it, readers; Minnesota is bad.
This, of course, is wonderful news for Iowa. The Hawkeyes haven't faced a team this woefully inept since the Conference USA officials who screwed the Hawkeyes without the decency to spit on it first in the 2006 Outback Bowl. Not that I'm still bitter. Yes I am.
As is prone to any normal person, my mind wandered quite frequently when trying to focus on the minutiae of a team whose 1-9 record makes them look better than they are. I think I deleted all the random thoughts, but there may be some still in there. Just forewarning you.
WHEN IOWA HAS THE BALL
Iowa OL vs. Minnesota DL
Isn't it weird that we haven't complained about the offensive line for a few weeks now? I don't know if it's the influx of Bulaga and Doering (possible) or a general decline in the quality of opposing fronts (ding ding ding), but Iowa's been able to run the ball with some effectiveness for a while now. Expect the running lanes to triple in is this nsfw? size this week, as Minnesota's defensive front is miserable. They're missing defensive captain Willie Van De Steeg to injury, and the rest of them are just weak, slow, and sloppy. This will be a joy to watch.
Iowa WR/TE vs. Minnesota DB
First, Trey Stross is back, which instantly gives Christensen another quality starting receiver. Based on his breakout performance last week (8 rec., 119 yds.) against a putrid Northwestern secondary, it looks like DJK is here to stay. Now the hard part: developing consistency. Fortunately, there may not be a better secondary against whom to do that than the Goofers' back four. They're missing so many players that three unheralded true freshmen are starting. This will be a joy to watch.
Iowa RB vs. Minnesota LB
After an angry psycho performance in which he single-handedly saved the Hawkeyes from defeat against a still-lowly Michigan State team, Albert Young was largely held in check by Northwestern. He and Damian Sims, in fact, were held under 100 yards, but punched the ball into the end zone three times in the second half. It's, shall we say, fair to expect gaudier stats this weekend; Minnesota's linebacking corps is somewhere between decimated and untalented. They're missing defensive captains Mike Sherels and John Shevlin to injury, and the rest of them are just weak, slow, and sloppy. This will be a joy to watch.
Iowa QB vs. Minnesota D
There's really no way around numbers like this: Minnesota moustache insurance gives up 230 yards per game on the ground... and 320 more through the air. 550 yards is, for most defenses, by far the worst performance of the year. For Minnesota, it's another day at the slaughterhouse. We've seen that Jake Christensen can put numbers up against a far-below-average secondary. It's time to see what he can do against a historically bad defense. This, again, will be a joy to watch.
WHEN MINNESOTA HAS THE BALL
Minnesota OL vs. Iowa DL
Give Minnesota credit: they put points up. It takes a special type of team to score 48 points and lose, after all. But no, for all Minnesota does wrong, moving the ball isn't a problem. Holding onto it, sure, but that's not all on the offensive line. Still, Iowa's defensive line at its best level of performance since 2004. Kroul and King are rounding into dominant form, Mattison and Iwebema are looking good, and the entire unit's ably backed up by freshmen Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard. Clayborn's even big enough to spend some time at tackle if need be. As it stands, this is Iowa's deepest, most talented, and most experienced unit.
Minnesota WR/TE vs. Iowa DB
Ernie Wheelwright is somehow still eligible to play collegiate wearing adult diapers as party hats football, which is simply stunning. I'll also never forgive Wheelwright for a play in 2004 where he was pushed out of bounds on a fly right, sprinted 15 yards down the field (out of bounds, mind you), then jumped back in to set one foot back in as he was catching the ball. Somehow, the officials deemed that an appropriate effort to get back in bounds and gave him the catch. Fuck you Ernie Wheelwright. I hate your name.
Minnesota RB vs. Iowa LB
Amir Pinnix is the chief tailback, but he's not even the main ball-carrier; Weber (more on him later) has 120 carries to Pinnix's 103. They've combined for---actually I do not give a shit and I know that you do not either.
Minnesota QB vs. Iowa D
God this is like scouting Jason McElwain. So they scored a shitload of points once. BFD.
how surprised would a blind pedestrian be if you ran him over on purpose? he'd hear the car coming with his ninja hearing, but it's not like he'd know you were planning on hitting him or anything
whats the deal with airline food am I right folks
Final score ought to be 37-13 Iowa, and I never want to read or talk about 2007 Minnesota football ever again.