LIKE LAST YEAR. The Iowa Football team will travel West to hold one of their spring practices in front of Central Iowa fans at Valley High School Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa. Fans were asked to get tickets to the free open practice and it's reached near sellout status. There may still be a few tickets available so call around to the participating Hy-Vee stores for availability.
The gates open for fans at 11:30 AM (CT) and practice gets going at 1:00 PM (CT). The annual spring game will still take place at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City Saturday April 26th.
Since this is a practice, you can expect to see Iowa specialists take the field first warming up with kicks and punts. Players will take the field and go through a brief warm-up session before breaking off with their individual position coaches for 12 minutes of drills. Although, last year we saw something different, they opened practice with onside kick coverage practice and some punt recovery stuff.
From there, positions combine for more drills. Quarterbacks will throw to wide receivers; running backs will block linebackers. Then Iowa will get to a skeleton look (7 on 7) with linemen squaring off at one end of the field. After some 7 on 7 work Iowa comes together as a team to scrimmage a bit. It's controlled, meaning it's a situational scrimmaging. Finally, Iowa will work on goal line offense and finish up with special teams (field goal/extra points).
Iowa's defense didn't change much under Norm Parker. Phil Parker's first season as defensive coordinator was more of the same. Last year, we saw a lot of changes in Parker's strategy so Saturday will be fun to watch Iowa work on blitz packages and maybe the Raider package. Iowa's defense should be ahead of the offense unless the coaches sit Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat. The offense versus the defense in 7 on 7 drills may tell us more than actual scrimmaging.
SOME THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO READ BEFORE PRACTICE.
- There's a lot of new faces so the roster is certainly handy
- Here's a breakdown of position battles
- Spring prospectus
- Here's a link to the On Iowa Podcast in which Marc Morehouse and I breakdown position battles
- Our offensive primer
NO WORRIES ALONG THE DEFENSIVE LINE. Iowa loses Dominic Alvis from last year's squad but Mike Hardy filled in for Alvis after the Michigan State game and had 29 tackles and 1.5 sacks as a starter. Iowa returns the entire front four plus depth.