It’s CyHawk week baby! The Hawkeyes are going for their seventh win in a row in the series this Saturday in the first game played at Kinnick in the series since 2018! It’s going to be a fun and rowdy time but lets take a look at this weeks stock watch to gauge how the Hawkeyes might fair. As we now have a game under our belt, I will now be portraying which pieces of the program are falling in value and which are rising. I want YOU the reader to add in the comments below whether or not you would buy or sell these Hawkeye assets while looking ahead to the rest of the season. Remember, the old adage is in deed “buy low sell high”, but just remember, just because a unit or player is low, that doesn’t mean they will eventually rise. Looking at you BF.
Ticker Symbol: (AAMLB)
The All American middle linebacker picked up right where he left off in in 2021. The senior captain laid the lumber all day and finished with 11 Tackles including 1 for loss that resulted in a Jackrabbit safety. One could argue that over the last year, Campbell may actually be one of the best offensive talents on the Hawkeyes as he has scored 14 points himself (pick six, fumble recovery, safety). Campbell’s vision and anticipation has seemed to become even better during the offseason as he was constantly filling holes that for an instant seemed open. The Hawkeyes are going to need their captain to be on top of his game again with Jestin Jacobs being ruled out for Iowa State. I expect Campbell to deliver.
Ticker Symbol: (WOFS)
I will be the first to admit that I thought the walk-on free safety from Cedar Rapids Xavier was potentially the weak spot of the defense. With arrival of Xavier Nwankpa last spring, there were those who questioned whether having Schulte on the the field was Iowa’s best option. As has normally been the case over the last decade however, Phil Parker knows what he’s doing. Schulte seemed to be everywhere during the Hawks 7-3 win. One pivotal sequence in the game was just before halftime with SDSU as deep in Iowa territory as they would be all day. Schulte had two of his four breakups on the day in succession leading to a long field goal attempt for SDSU. The second PBU was most reflective of Schulte’s instincts and hopefully emblematic of what we can expect the rest of the season. SDSU ran a late cross over the middle with the running back and Schulte read the play the whole way, anticipating the cross and laying a big hit on a fairly big back. If Schulte can step in and immediately be a Jack Koerner clone, this Hawkeye defense will be historic.
Ticker Symbol: (DEQB)
The former Ames High quarter back turned defensive end is looking like he’ll give his 2021 team high seven sacks a good run for its money this year. Evans opened the sack ledger with two against the Jackrabbits including another half tackle for loss. Evans, who seemed noticeably beefier, was harrying SDSU quarterback Mark Gronowski all game. Evans speed on the outside is a huge asset for this defense as it allows him to fly up field stressing the opposing tackle and closing the pocket while also being able to dip back underneath and keep contain of the quarterback. When he was paired with Lukas Van Ness at the other end spot, the Jackrabbits were simply overwhelmed by the rush.
Ticker Symbol: (SPTMS.LGND)
Long ticker symbol above but Terry Roberts finally had a chance to prove he is more than just a special teams legend. Roberts, who was starting in place of Jermari Harris, had a wonderful game with four tackles and two passes defended. He also continued to clock into work on special teams hustling down the field and downing numerous Tory Taylor punts deep in SDSU territory. Harris is so easy to like with his never ending hustle, swagger, and smile that adorns his face all game. It’s easy to tell that the #2 is having fun out on the field and in a game that can be taken to seriously at times, that is refreshing to see.
Ticker Symbol (MVP)
It does my heart well as a former kicker/punter to see people understand fully the importance of a punters roll on a football team. Nothing about the Aussie sensation surprises me anymore. The ability to manipulate the football like Tory Taylor does in order for it to check up or take off sideways is an incredibly difficult skill with extremely thin margins separating a good punt from a shank. What is even more difficult to do is manipulate the ball in that manner and punt for distance. To them do it consistently over the course of a game that includes TEN punts is Ray Guy award quality. Taylor’s ten punts averaged 47.9 yards with seven being downed inside the 20. Taylor’s performance directly resulted in 4 points which ended up being the difference in the game. If Iowa is going to have ANY chance at reaching it’s goals this year, Taylor is going to have to repeat this performance each and every week. You know what’s crazy...? I think he can.
The Entire Offense
Ticker Symbol (GROSS)
Where does one even begin? By now if you are a reader of this site you have probably heard the breakdown of Iowa’s horrendous performance from numerous outlets. Plain and simple, this Hawkeye offense is a national punch line and it will take a massive turn around to even begin to change the narrative. For those of you who want to make the quip that Iowa has always been made fun of nationally for its boring style of offense, and that we shouldn’t care because we won, this is different. If Iowa trots out that scheme with that QB for eleven more games, they won’t even go 6-6. I feel bad for Petras. He seems like a broken player on the field. He seemingly sees ghosts in the pocket which speeds him up or he is getting drilled by rusher who dominates our o-line. It’s not like the play calling is helping though. The route trees that Iowa runs are some of the blandest in all of the sport. There are constantly two pass catchers in the same sector of the field and quite often at the same levels allowing for one defender to easily cover both. This, coupled with poor line play, allows a defense to attack the Hawks whichever way suits them best. What it will lead to most often however is a loaded box which inevitably makes it impossible for Iowa to run the football. It doesn’t matter what the talent difference is when a defense crashes 9-10 guys down to stop the run, ya ain’t goin’ anywhere nancy! I believe if the offense can get healthy again, which is a big if at this point, than they will improve enough to make a bowl game. That is our only chance however because unfortunately, the scheme’s not changing.
Another Stock Watch is in the books. Hopefully at some point this year I can claim that the offense is on the way up. I guess it kind of has to be at some point right? I mean, how much lower can it get.........?