The Iowa Hawkeyes got pretty far last year on a ton of good luck. That good luck came to an end when some angry Northwestern defenders shredded QB Ricky Stanzi’s ankle. They won 11 games last year, and return Stanzi as well as RB Jewel Hampton to the offense, to go along with the best front four defensively in the Big Ten. That front four makes it nearly impossible to run against this team. This is a very good football team, which has a manageable schedule.
All of their 2010 rematches from 2009 are teams they were able to beat, save for Northwestern, but Stanzi might have some payback in his mind for that team. The key date seems to be November 20th when the play Ohio State at home. Granted this team has come a long way, and they will have a lot of work to accomplish by then if they want to play for a Big Ten title at home.
On top of an impressive front four the defense holds the next big thing for this team. LB Troy Johnson will take over for the departed Pat Angerer. He played in just one game a year ago, but was named Defensive player of the week for doing so. I would not want to have to stay up nights trying to figure out how to score on this defense that gave up just 200 points in 2009.
The really key will be the play of QB Stanzi. He must be more accurate, and cut down on the INT’s if this team is to have any shot at a Big Ten title, and the BCS beyond that. He gets both of his favorite targets back, but if he goes down, or plays erratically there is a big hole behind him on the depth chart.
- The Business of College Football
- MTR College Sports