Hawkeyes Here To Stay
By: Peter G.
Wow, what an amazing year of college football. From some of the most thrilling moments to ever occur on a college playing field to the moments where you questioned if there were anyone with a brain on the sideline you were rooting for (same goes for referees). But the thing is, we’re not done yet, nowhere near done. Few teams remain in the hunt for the national championship after this wild, wild season. Some teams were expected to be near the to like the Crimson Tide of Alabama or Oklahoma. Most teams are out though. One of those teams came so close and has proven us wrong every single week of the season. That team is Iowa.
Iowa, like most other teams will have one more game. The Hawkeyes are a team that doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t commit penalties, has a ravaging defense and can really put a hurt on teams with their offense. Iowa will play in one of the biggest bowl games this year, after a very successful 12-1 season so far. The granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl, will host the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Stanford Cardinal on New Year’s Day of 2016.
As with any college football squad, the play of the team will always fall on the shoulders of the quarterback. The Hawkeyes have one of the best signal callers in the country with their junior quarterback C.J. Beathard. Beathard won the starting job this offseason over Jake Rudock, who ended up transferring to Michigan (and hasn’t had too bad of a season either). Beathard has had a great year so far throwing for 14 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. He’s ran in 6 touchdowns as well as he always shows his athleticism at 6’2 ft, 209 lbs. Beathard has done a fantastic job in head coach Kirk Ferentz’s offensive system and will continue to produce if he doesn’t declare for the NFL draft next year.
Another huge part of Iowa’s offense this year is their mean rushing attack. The three-headed monster is led by senior Jordan Canzeri, junior LeShun Daniels Jr. and sophomore Akrum Wadley. Canzeri is a great every down back and has the most carries on the team with 178 and 976 yards so far. Spell backs like the powerful LeShun Daniels Jr. and speedy Akrum Wadley are a fantastic compliment as well. As a team the Hawkeyes have totaled 2496 yards rushing with 35 touchdowns, a fantastic stat to keep in mind.
The defense for the Hawkeyes is superb. Led by one of the best players in the country, junior cornerback Desmond King, the Hawkeyes can shut down the run and force turnovers like their life depends on it. King, a two star recruit out of high school in Detroit, is now the reigning Jim Thorpe award winner (given to the best defensive back in college football) and defensive back of the year in the Big Ten Conference. He also was a finalist for the Walter Camp award (given to college football’s best player just like the Heisman Trophy). King has 43 tackles and 8 interceptions this year. Those 8 go for best in the Big Ten and 2nd best in the country. If King stays for his senior season, He again will be one of the best in the country.
Iowa’s head coach Kirk Ferentz according to most people started this year on the hot seat. After a long tenure at Iowa, another average 7-win team might not have been enough for Ferentz to save his job. I think it is safe to say that he has quieted all of those people. Iowa started off this season 12-0 and a berth in the Big Ten championship game with an almost guaranteed playoff spot for the winner. Late in the game, Michigan State put on one of the most impressive offensive drives of the season to take the lead and they eventually won.
Not all has been lost though. Iowa can finish its dream season with a win in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1959. All eyes will be on Pasadena on New Year’s Day.