1) OK, who is the mudder?
Kinnick Stadium is going to be a soup bowl today. The south endzone might have standing water on it before the game. That’s unheard of in Division I. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. That Steelers’ game last year?
So, who does this favor? I think the Hawkeyes. I think Iowa is older, bigger and better on both lines of scrimmage. Not hugely better, but better. I think the wet will make 230-pound RB Shonn Greene a consistent weapon, but the same could probably be said for ISU’s Alexander Robinson.
I just got back from watching the first half of the CR Prairie-CR Wash game. Constant rain. Keenan Davis had a couple long completion, a long punt return and a fumble, by the way.
It’s a dishwasher at Prairie and that’s, what, 12 miles from Kinnick?
2) Ricky Stanzi, meet Iowa State’s blitz. Iowa State’s blitz, here’s Ricky Stanzi.
The two are going to get to know each other today. But which one draws blood?
For ISU, blood is a sack, a fumble or just forcing an extra pump and messing with timing. For Stanzi, it’s seeing blitz and making the defense pay. This is where Iowa’s receivers have to be better than they were last year. They have to help Stanzi and get open fast on the blitz.
3) The whole point behind ISU’s “Tampa Two” defense is to make it difficult to pass.
This will work better if they can keep Iowa’s tight ends (it’s early, but you have to like Brandon Myers and Allen Reisner and Tony Moeaki is only going to help) out of the seams. If they do, the Hawkeyes will likely look to feed Shonn Greene.
The matchup between ISU noseguard Nate Frere and Iowa center Rob Bruggeman becomes very interesting in this scenario.
4) ISU defensive end Kurtis Taylor, second in the Big 12 North in sacks last year, vs. Iowa right tackle Kyle Calloway.
Another thing about the Tampa Two is wide splits on the defensive line. The idea is to pull offensive tackles into space where they have to try to keep up with a speedy end.
This matchup will yield something for one side.
5) I think I write this every year, but ISU seems to have grasped the emotional element of this rivarly and has made it work in its favor.
Maybe it was Ferentz’s mood Tuesday, but I think emotion is an intangible that stands on both sidelines today.