Our most-hated rival (as determined by the B1G back in the day) Purdue isn’t that dang easy to hate. Jeff Brohm? Ran off to Louisville because he knew Cooper DeJean was gonna score touchdowns three different ways against his squad. Charlie Jones? Off to the NFL after breaking our hearts. [Charlie, you made a great choice.] David Bell? For all things good in the world you also will never get to singlehandedly destroy Hawkeye souls. We are left with former Hawkeye Tyrone Tracy Jr. to dislike, and we can’t. Tyrone was a great Hawkeye and we wish him success with the exception of the upcoming matchup.
We can’t even get mad at the Boilers for this Tweet. Even though they whupped us, the Tweet was an all-timer.
So, let’s get fake mad and talk about this week’s matchup.
Deacon Hill to Diante Vines
Big Deac is now our guy. After Cade McNamara went out with an injury, I had zero expectations of winning the ballgame. To his credit, Brian Ferentz didn’t go “scared turtle” on the game (Kirk is often the reason for this), and he let Deacon throw the ball. Iowa’s wide receivers played hot potato most of the game, dropping five to six balls. If I’m Brian, my first play is play-action to hopefully a healthy Kaleb Johnson, and I’d hit Diante Vines on a confidence-boosting pass and catch. Iowa’s wideouts have not had much work in the past number of years, but the Hawks can change this narrative. If we show some love to Vines and company, they will respond in a positive manner. When have I ever been wrong?
Iowa’s Defensive Line
Iowa fans have PTSD thinking back to Purdue quarterbacks sitting comfortably in the pocket and dissecting Phil Parker’s teams. Iowa’s 24-3 game last year was a thing of beauty, but I still have nightmares about some of those Hawk/Boiler games. I had great hopes for Iowa’s defensive line this year. I still think that they will put it together. Joe Evans has had a very good year, but I expected Iowa’s front four to put more pressure on opposing signal callers. I’d like to see Aaron Graves or Anterio Thompson become that explosive edge rusher that we have been lacking. Thompson’s punt block against Western Michigan showed he is an athletic freak of nature. For being 6’3” and 293 pounds, dude can move!
Thompson almost could have taken that ball from the punter’s hands. If the Hawks can put some pressure on Hudson Card, Iowa’s back-end guys like Cooper DeJean and Xavier Nwankpa can turn interceptions into points. And to be honest, we need defensive and special teams scores to win more often than not.
A Not-So-Nice “Homecoming” For Tyrone Tracy Jr.
No hard feelings directed at this former Hawk, but I don’t want former Hawkeyes beating us. Tracy has been a Swiss Army knife of sorts for the Boilers. Tracy is averaging an insane 33.7 yards on kick returns including a touchdown. He’s averaging an impressive 6.3 yards per rush, and he has caught eight passes out of the backfield. Drew Stevens needs to not give Tracy a chance to return any kicks, and Jay Higgins and Nick Anderson need to know where Double T is on the field. You know Tracy still has great friends on the team, but it would be extra special for him to beat his former mates at Kinnick.
A Cooper DeJean Sighting on Offense?
Ha! Totally kidding. Kirk and company would never do this. I can’t even imagine the reception it would receive for Coop to jog out on to Duke Slater Field as an offensive player. We have seen what DeJean does with the football in his hands. I still go back to this play from Coop’s high school days. It looks like he is playing a videogame and he’s a 99 overall on Madden. [KCAU-TV]
With Cade McNamara at quarterback I didn’t see needing to utilize DeJean on offense. With Cade out, I think putting Cooper in the wildcat would give teams something extra to prepare for. Iowa faces Wisconsin following the Purdue game for what very well could be the Big Ten West “championship”. It would be worthwhile giving the Badgers something extra to think about. Take it away, Kirk and Brian.
As always, Go Hawks!