Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says his Hawkeyes still lack an identity heading into the Big Ten race. 21st ranked Iowa is 2-1 and opens the league race on Saturday at eighth-ranked Ohio State. Ferentz says every season is new with it’s own identity. He says teams develop personalities like people do and he says this team has a different makeup and will develop as the season progresses. He says the things that happen in this game will help decide what happens with the teams identity.
The Hawks last victory in Columbus was back in 1991. With nearly 105-thousand fans, Ohio Stadium is one of college football’s most intimidating environments. He says the number one factor in that environment is that O-S-U usually has a pretty good team and you end up being the underdog going in. Ferentz says he doesn’t know of anybody who has had better talent year in and year out.
Ferentz says this Ohio State team is much better than the one the Hawkeyes thumped 33-7 in Iowa City in 2004. He says the big difference is the experience up front on defense and offense over last year.
Two of the best linebacking corps in the country will be on display. Ohio State’s led by A.J. Hawk and Iowa’s featuring Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge. Ferentz says it’d probably be hard to find a college game with better linebackers on the field and he says it should be exciting to watch.
Iowa has shown an improved ground game this season and Ferentz calls in a collaborative effort. He says he hasn’t seen many good running teams that don’t have backs that do a good job. He says they’re also blocking better than they were last year and part of that is due to experience.