AMES — Wally Burnham isn’t surprised by what he sees on tape of the Iowa Hawkeyes offense anymore.
Time after time, year after year, it’s the same. No spread. There isn’t a ton of shotgun. The Hawkeyes huddle up, play with two tight ends. Iowa likes to ground and pound.
“They’re still old Iowa. They’re going to do what they do. They’re going to run the ball, and play action pass you, and screen you and draw you,” Burnham said after Iowa State’s practice Tuesday evening. “If you can figure out when they’re going to do all those things, it’s not very hard. But they’re a good Iowa team. Been really impressed with the quarterback.”
The quarterback position is what makes this Iowa team different. Junior C.J. Beathard isn’t like most Iowa quarterbacks of the past. He is just as likely to throw the deep ball as he is the four-yard out. If a play breaks down, Beathard has the ability to tuck it and run.
Iowa State’s veteran defensive coordinator called him a game changer.
“He throws with great timing, great velocity. He can throw the long ball, he didn’t throw it much last Saturday because they didn’t have to,” Burnham said. “He makes really good reads. You can tell if we let him get out of the pocket and start scrambling, the thing about it is he’s going to scramble to throw the ball. So we’ve got to have coverage the entire play and then we’ve got to have somebody come contain him.”
*** Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads commented on the death of former Iowa defensive back Tyler Sash after practice. Sash was 27. You can see Rhoads’ full comments in the video above.
“It’s just tragic. Awful, in life, let alone in athletics. The sadness that goes along with losing someone so young, somebody that was so vibrant, and meant so much and impacted so many people, as well as a program.”
*** Burnham said that redshirt sophomore linebacker Brian Mills’ status for the Iowa game is up in the air. The Clermont, Fla.-native suffered an undisclosed injury against UNI that could hold him out of the rivalry game.
“From what the trainers said he could be out. He didn’t practice again today. He’s out there, but he’s limited. So it would be hard for him to go out there and go full speed.”
*** Burnham was also quite happy with the play of his defensive newcomers in the UNI game.
“I was very pleased. Surprised, probably, simply because we’d never played a game with them. Didn’t how they would react to the crowd, to an opponent they’d never played against and we didn’t know what they were going to do, basically, on offense.”
*** Offensive coordinator Mark Mangino said the mistakes made by the offensive line against UNI were fixable.
“I thought their performance was just average. I think we’re capable of better. I didn’t like the idea that we didn’t finish some blocks that we should have. There were some times though that they got in some rhythm, and made some creases in the defense, and gave our running backs some space to run. We had a couple breakdowns in protection with the backs and the o-line that we’ve got to get fixed, and we are.”