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Thread: Versus Iowa

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    Versus Iowa

    It’s midsummer, it’s the doldrums, and there’s really no reason not to take a quick peek at the annual ISU-Iowa game. I know that a lot of you consider the Hawkeyes to be in a shambles, the program short on talent, but that isn’t necessarily true. So first, let’s take a look at their team, then at some of the matchups.

    Offensive Line
    Yes, it’s June, so some things are as much up in the air for them as they are for us. I also know that a lot of you considered Iowa to have a poor offensive line last season, but that was largely due to injuries—and you can’t expect them to be snakebit again. Truth be told, if all of their players like Bryan Bulaga and Dace Richardson (especially) are completely healthy, they’ll have a seasoned and versatile group with a great deal of depth—not to mention a far more experienced group than our own.

    Receivers
    Iowa’s younger receivers were forced into action because they had to play. Now, with the injured veterans back, this suddenly becomes a much different unit. Tony Moeaki is decidedly a playmaker, and Andy Brodell is nearly that level. Of course, with a season o f experience, guys like Brandon Myers, Trey Stross, Darrell Johnson-Koulianos and Paul Chaney aren’t going to be any worse.

    Running Backs
    The first question here is Shonn Greene—is he even eligible? As a freshman he was soft, as a soph, in condition, he was a powerful back with a burst. After a year at a juco, which player is he? Juco Nate Guillory has great speed, and could be dangerous on swing or screen plays. The answer to Iowa’s dilemma could rest with the freshmen, though. Jeff Brinson (5-11 203) looks a lot like the backs Iowa has trotted out the last decade or so. And Northwestern did fairly well a few years ago with a freshman back very like Jewel Hampton in Tyrell Sutton. Hawks could easily get a thousand to1,500 yards out of the tailback position, even tailback-by-committee.

    Quarterback
    Ah, and where it all comes down to. Much like Brett Meyer would have been, I think that Jake Christensen will be much better with an improved offensive line and the return of hi star receivers. Just how much better is the question, ranging from merely "competent" to "good". The problem is that with Iowa’s defense, "competent" could very easily be good enough. Note that I wasn’t impressed with what I’ve seen of Stanzi.

    Defensive Line
    It all begins right here. With two seasoned seniors inside, and two explosive pass rushers at the ends, this will be one of the top starting units in the country. Note that I said starting units, because depth beyond the first four is a question mark. Certainly Cody Hundertmark and Chad Geary have some experience, but anything beyond them is a mystery. Of course, both Clayborn and Ballard can flip inside, but then who plays outside? Still, this early in the season, the starting four is enough to be a problem.

    Linebackers
    With just A.J. Edds returning, Iowa will be young here, but they’ll also not only have a great deal of talent, but unlike the defensive line, a great deal of depth. Jacody Coleman will take over in the middle, and might be Iowa’s best middle linebacker in quite a while—including that guy named Hodge. The Weakside is still a mishmash, with former safety Jeff Tarpinian, former prep stud Jeremiha Hunter, speedy athlete Dezman Moses and rangy, fast Tyler Nielsen among those in the mix. As I said, plenty of athletic talent.

    Defensive Backs
    Now we get to Iowa’s shaky spot on D. The Hawks never have had great corners, the recent NFL draft notwithstanding, though that might be about to change. Slightly. Seniors Bradley Fletcher and Drew Gardner might both start, and will doubtless see plenty of time, but they are more the workmanlike type who do a decent job. Soph Jordan Bernstine, however, has all the speed and athleticism in the world, and a solid 5-11 200 pound hitter’s frame. He’s still raw, though, not having played defense in high school. With their next two best corner prospects having departed to "Oh, That’s a Felony?" Land, the Hawks brought back academic bad boy Amari Spievey. In his time at juco, he was quite a playmaker, with tons of interceptions and various returns for touchdowns. How that juco performance translates to major college football remains to be seen, but Iowa was desperate. Beyond him is only Chris Rowell, who brings more of what Fletcher and Gardner have to offer, and a gaggle of true frosh. Demarco Paine is likely the best of that group, but might not be ready for corner right away.
    Safety isn’t a whole lot better, with senior Harold Dalton returning at one spot. He’s solid, reasonably athletic, and unspectacular. Ferentz seems determined to have Brett Greenwood start at the other spot, and while he’s savvy and hard hitting, I saw him take some horrible angles in pursuit last season. Diaunte Morrow has credentials as a playmaker, but he’ll also be looking to improve his quickness and speed, as Bob Sanders did through his Iowa career. Lance Tillison is more athletic than the others, but he’s as raw as Bernstine, and still might be a year away. For Sanders comparisons, look to incoming frosh David Cato, who is a sell out run blitzer, a missile in run support. I saw (and see) absolutely nothing of him in pass coverage, however.

    Special Teams
    Ryan Donahue got better as a punter as the season progressed, but the Hawks will be looking for a placekicker as much as we will be. They might well find the answer in the same place as we do, as incoming frosh Trent Mossbrucker could be a quick solution. With a lot of athletes coming off redshirts, Iowa’s coverage should be better, and the aforementioned Paine is one of a number of guys who could excel as a returner.


    The Matchups (oh, you didn’t think I’d ever get here?)

    ISU OL vs UI DL:
    I’d be crazy to say that Iowa doesn’t have the edge, but this is closer than it has been the past several years, and I think that we’ll be able to create some running seams against their blitz—say, either for A-Rob slipping through, or perhaps Bates. Frankly, it would be great to see a young Cyclone line come of age against a tough front like this one. Either way, it’s a crucial step in their development, preparing for conference play.

    ISU Rushing Game vs UI Linebackers:
    I’m certainly not expecting a 100 yard day from anyone, however, I’d like to think the backs can scoot through the holes effectively enough to keep the pass rush somewhat at home. Of course, by "backs", I mean Arnaud and Bates, too. This might be a big game for a fireplug like Jason Scales.

    ISU Passing Game vs UI Defense:
    All right, so they’re going to cause some problems with their pass rush. It’ll be dealt with by quick drop offs underneath to Hamilton and Sumrall or quarterback draws. I’d like to think that speedy Wallace Franklin, Jason Carlson or Sedrick Johnson might be able to wreak havoc on a relatively weak secondary with a touchdown strike or two.

    ISU DL vs UI OL:
    I told you that Iowa’s line isn’t as bad as some think, but neither is the Cyclone defensive line. If Chris Lyle (as he did in the Spring) or Rashawn Parker can step up, Jerrod Black, Austin Alburtis and Michael Tate are among the players who should be able to generate some penetration inside. Not a promising situation for Iowa’s inexperienced running backs.

    ISU Linebackers vs UI Rushing Game:
    Jesse Smith is tough and savvy, which should be enough. Michael Bibbs, Josh Raven, and Cameron Bell are as fast as any Hawk linebackers. I expect Nate Frere, Bailey Johnson and Co to keep the Hawk blockers off of them. Not good news for Iowa’s young backs.

    ISU Defense vs UI Passing Game:
    I fully expect Moeaki to be a great deal of trouble. He’s big and athletic enough that Bibbs, let alone the safeties, will have their hands full trying to deal with him—the pressure up front will have to help. An experienced, speedy secondary should have somewhat better luck with Brodell and company—but did I mention that getting pressure up front is important? Lyle, Black and the others really have to give Kurtis Taylor some help.

    ISU Special Teams vs UI Special Teams:
    Having competent kickers, at least on kickoffs, will mean a world of difference. Mike Brandtner should also deeply appreciate not being asked to pooch kick so often. That said, all aspects of special teams for both squads looks astoundingly similar—good punters, solid punt and kickoff returners, intriguing incoming freshmen both as returners and placekickers. I have to call this a wash—though it may prove differently.

    Prediction:
    Are you seriously looking for any predictions from me? In June? Are you nuts? Call me back in September.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Still too early, we do not know how many Hawkeyes will make it to the field.


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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Seriously. There was a thread exactly like this a couple days ago. Instead, let's try a position-by-position comparison thread for, say, Nebraska or Missouri. Just for a change of pace. For once. (Not that I don't appreciate the hard work you put into this write up, Aclone, but honestly this has already been discussed to death).



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Is there a character limit on Cyclone Fanatic? If not, can we institute one?

    Great write up AClone. Where do you find the time???



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    That was a very good analysis. Good work!



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal&gold View Post
    Seriously. There was a thread exactly like this a couple days ago. Instead, let's try a position-by-position comparison thread for, say, Nebraska or Missouri. Just for a change of pace. For once. (Not that I don't appreciate the hard work you put into this write up, Aclone, but honestly this has already been discussed to death).
    Sorry, I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and due to computer problems was unable to post it sooner. Yes, I saw that in the "in-state rivals" section, I just wanted to be more comprehensive, and make it a "versus" thread.

    I'll work on the Nebby matchup soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue52 View Post
    Is there a character limit on Cyclone Fanatic? If not, can we institute one?

    Great write up AClone. Where do you find the time???
    I'm a writer, hopefully soon a published author. Sometimes when I'm hit with writer's block, it helps to write about sports.

    Sorry about the length, I just wanted to be thorough in my observations. I've been following ISU (and Iowa) football for thirty years now.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    It’s midsummer, it’s the doldrums, and there’s really no reason not to take a quick peek at the annual ISU-Iowa game. I know that a lot of you consider the Hawkeyes to be in a shambles, the program short on talent, but that isn’t necessarily true. So first, let’s take a look at their team, then at some of the matchups.

    Offensive Line
    Yes, it’s June, so some things are as much up in the air for them as they are for us. I also know that a lot of you considered Iowa to have a poor offensive line last season, but that was largely due to injuries—and you can’t expect them to be snakebit again. Truth be told, if all of their players like Bryan Bulaga and Dace Richardson (especially) are completely healthy, they’ll have a seasoned and versatile group with a great deal of depth—not to mention a far more experienced group than our own.

    Receivers
    Iowa’s younger receivers were forced into action because they had to play. Now, with the injured veterans back, this suddenly becomes a much different unit. Tony Moeaki is decidedly a playmaker, and Andy Brodell is nearly that level. Of course, with a season o f experience, guys like Brandon Myers, Trey Stross, Darrell Johnson-Koulianos and Paul Chaney aren’t going to be any worse.

    Running Backs
    The first question here is Shonn Greene—is he even eligible? As a freshman he was soft, as a soph, in condition, he was a powerful back with a burst. After a year at a juco, which player is he? Juco Nate Guillory has great speed, and could be dangerous on swing or screen plays. The answer to Iowa’s dilemma could rest with the freshmen, though. Jeff Brinson (5-11 203) looks a lot like the backs Iowa has trotted out the last decade or so. And Northwestern did fairly well a few years ago with a freshman back very like Jewel Hampton in Tyrell Sutton. Hawks could easily get a thousand to1,500 yards out of the tailback position, even tailback-by-committee.

    Quarterback
    Ah, and where it all comes down to. Much like Brett Meyer would have been, I think that Jake Christensen will be much better with an improved offensive line and the return of hi star receivers. Just how much better is the question, ranging from merely "competent" to "good". The problem is that with Iowa’s defense, "competent" could very easily be good enough. Note that I wasn’t impressed with what I’ve seen of Stanzi.

    Defensive Line
    It all begins right here. With two seasoned seniors inside, and two explosive pass rushers at the ends, this will be one of the top starting units in the country. Note that I said starting units, because depth beyond the first four is a question mark. Certainly Cody Hundertmark and Chad Geary have some experience, but anything beyond them is a mystery. Of course, both Clayborn and Ballard can flip inside, but then who plays outside? Still, this early in the season, the starting four is enough to be a problem.

    Linebackers
    With just A.J. Edds returning, Iowa will be young here, but they’ll also not only have a great deal of talent, but unlike the defensive line, a great deal of depth. Jacody Coleman will take over in the middle, and might be Iowa’s best middle linebacker in quite a while—including that guy named Hodge. The Weakside is still a mishmash, with former safety Jeff Tarpinian, former prep stud Jeremiha Hunter, speedy athlete Dezman Moses and rangy, fast Tyler Nielsen among those in the mix. As I said, plenty of athletic talent.

    Defensive Backs
    Now we get to Iowa’s shaky spot on D. The Hawks never have had great corners, the recent NFL draft notwithstanding, though that might be about to change. Slightly. Seniors Bradley Fletcher and Drew Gardner might both start, and will doubtless see plenty of time, but they are more the workmanlike type who do a decent job. Soph Jordan Bernstine, however, has all the speed and athleticism in the world, and a solid 5-11 200 pound hitter’s frame. He’s still raw, though, not having played defense in high school. With their next two best corner prospects having departed to "Oh, That’s a Felony?" Land, the Hawks brought back academic bad boy Amari Spievey. In his time at juco, he was quite a playmaker, with tons of interceptions and various returns for touchdowns. How that juco performance translates to major college football remains to be seen, but Iowa was desperate. Beyond him is only Chris Rowell, who brings more of what Fletcher and Gardner have to offer, and a gaggle of true frosh. Demarco Paine is likely the best of that group, but might not be ready for corner right away.
    Safety isn’t a whole lot better, with senior Harold Dalton returning at one spot. He’s solid, reasonably athletic, and unspectacular. Ferentz seems determined to have Brett Greenwood start at the other spot, and while he’s savvy and hard hitting, I saw him take some horrible angles in pursuit last season. Diaunte Morrow has credentials as a playmaker, but he’ll also be looking to improve his quickness and speed, as Bob Sanders did through his Iowa career. Lance Tillison is more athletic than the others, but he’s as raw as Bernstine, and still might be a year away. For Sanders comparisons, look to incoming frosh David Cato, who is a sell out run blitzer, a missile in run support. I saw (and see) absolutely nothing of him in pass coverage, however.

    Special Teams
    Ryan Donahue got better as a punter as the season progressed, but the Hawks will be looking for a placekicker as much as we will be. They might well find the answer in the same place as we do, as incoming frosh Trent Mossbrucker could be a quick solution. With a lot of athletes coming off redshirts, Iowa’s coverage should be better, and the aforementioned Paine is one of a number of guys who could excel as a returner.


    The Matchups (oh, you didn’t think I’d ever get here?)

    ISU OL vs UI DL:
    I’d be crazy to say that Iowa doesn’t have the edge, but this is closer than it has been the past several years, and I think that we’ll be able to create some running seams against their blitz—say, either for A-Rob slipping through, or perhaps Bates. Frankly, it would be great to see a young Cyclone line come of age against a tough front like this one. Either way, it’s a crucial step in their development, preparing for conference play.

    ISU Rushing Game vs UI Linebackers:
    I’m certainly not expecting a 100 yard day from anyone, however, I’d like to think the backs can scoot through the holes effectively enough to keep the pass rush somewhat at home. Of course, by "backs", I mean Arnaud and Bates, too. This might be a big game for a fireplug like Jason Scales.

    ISU Passing Game vs UI Defense:
    All right, so they’re going to cause some problems with their pass rush. It’ll be dealt with by quick drop offs underneath to Hamilton and Sumrall or quarterback draws. I’d like to think that speedy Wallace Franklin, Jason Carlson or Sedrick Johnson might be able to wreak havoc on a relatively weak secondary with a touchdown strike or two.

    ISU DL vs UI OL:
    I told you that Iowa’s line isn’t as bad as some think, but neither is the Cyclone defensive line. If Chris Lyle (as he did in the Spring) or Rashawn Parker can step up, Jerrod Black, Austin Alburtis and Michael Tate are among the players who should be able to generate some penetration inside. Not a promising situation for Iowa’s inexperienced running backs.

    ISU Linebackers vs UI Rushing Game:
    Jesse Smith is tough and savvy, which should be enough. Michael Bibbs, Josh Raven, and Cameron Bell are as fast as any Hawk linebackers. I expect Nate Frere, Bailey Johnson and Co to keep the Hawk blockers off of them. Not good news for Iowa’s young backs.

    ISU Defense vs UI Passing Game:
    I fully expect Moeaki to be a great deal of trouble. He’s big and athletic enough that Bibbs, let alone the safeties, will have their hands full trying to deal with him—the pressure up front will have to help. An experienced, speedy secondary should have somewhat better luck with Brodell and company—but did I mention that getting pressure up front is important? Lyle, Black and the others really have to give Kurtis Taylor some help.

    ISU Special Teams vs UI Special Teams:
    Having competent kickers, at least on kickoffs, will mean a world of difference. Mike Brandtner should also deeply appreciate not being asked to pooch kick so often. That said, all aspects of special teams for both squads looks astoundingly similar—good punters, solid punt and kickoff returners, intriguing incoming freshmen both as returners and placekickers. I have to call this a wash—though it may prove differently.

    Prediction:
    Are you seriously looking for any predictions from me? In June? Are you nuts? Call me back in September.
    Good job. Probably better analysis than we'll see in any of the papers leading up to the game.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Do you know Phil Steele, Aclone?


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Do you know Phil Steele, Aclone?
    I've always considered Phil Steele somewhat overrated. He tosses in too much info about departed players that is irrelevant to the current season.

    I did, however, have my own sports website in the mid-nineties, with Johnny Orr doing a column for me. Unfortunately, I wasn't well capitalized enough to keep it running until the contacts Johnny offered with his corporate ties to pan out.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    I am not impressed with Iowa's defensive line. If Iowa's two D-ends are so great they would have started last year. Their touted best D-Line in the big 10 (according to preseason preditions by College Football News for 2007) was owned by our "medicore" O-Line last year-not one sack and 130ish net rushing yards that could have been more. I think our coaching is superior and that will be the difference. Also, we have two quarterbacks that both seem to have aggressive "kill" attitudes towards their opponents. If Bates looks anything this season like he did in the spring game we will have a fun year.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    I think we'll win by forfeit due to Iowa not having enough eligable players.


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    Re: Versus Iowa

    And in all seriousness there is a lot of time between now and when we play for more of those dumb@#$ to get in trouble.



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by anticyclonic View Post
    I am not impressed with Iowa's defensive line. If Iowa's two D-ends are so great they would have started last year.
    Uh, yeah, makes perfect sense that two freshmen would have started over two returning seniors. That'd be just like how Jerrod Black started over Tuba Rubin, right?



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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Aclone View Post
    Uh, yeah, makes perfect sense that two freshmen would have started over two returning seniors. That'd be just like how Jerrod Black started over Tuba Rubin, right?
    ISU lost Tuba Rubin who is getting a shot at the NFL, and is replacing him with Jerrod Black (if not Frere), a sophomore with limited experience. He has potential long-term, but right now it's a step down for us.

    Iowa lost Mattison & Iwebema who are getting shots at the NFL, and they're replacing them with sophomores who have limited experience. That's a step down for them too, even though most of their fans aren't smart enough to know it.


    Last edited by MontyBurns; 06-20-2008 at 05:44 PM.
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    Jamie Pollard, 2005-. 4 years. 1 bowl game, 0 NCAA's, 0 NIT's. Postseason participation: 13%. The next big step.

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    Re: Versus Iowa

    Quote Originally Posted by MontyBurns View Post
    ISU lost Tuba Rubin who is getting a shot at the NFL, and is replacing him with Jerrod Black (if not Frere), a sophomore with limited experience. He has potential long-term, but right now it's a step down for us.

    Iowa lost Mattison & Iwebema who are getting shots at the NFL, and they're replacing them with sophomores who have limited experience. That's a step down for them too, even though most of their fans aren't smart enough to know it.
    The parallel to his point was that Jerrod Black should have started over Rubin last year (when he redshirted), so he must be no good. And Black is, of course, a redshirt frosh this season rather than a sophomore.

    And it's hardly accurate to say that Ballard and Clayborn have "limited experience". Both played quite a bit down the stretch, partly due to injuries, even lining up as tackles at times. Indeed, Iowa used them whenever they wanted fresh legs and a pass rush, so they decidedly have pass rushing experience.

    I'll even add that while we might be losing Tuba's experience, we may be gaining overall in Black and company, for while Jerrod might not have Tuba's experience (and Ahtyba didn't have that much experience going into the season) and heart, we'll probably be gaining in pure penetration/pass rush ability.

    Ahtyba excelled at pursuing sideline to sideline and controlling the point of attack, but he was hardly the greatest pass rusher--a skill that Jerrod Black apparently excels at.


    Last edited by Aclone; 06-21-2008 at 01:40 PM.

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  • Football
  • Iowa State vs. North Dakota State
  • August 30, 2014
  • 06:00 PM