The Iowa Hawkeyes open a season of high expectations on Saturday when they host Montana. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says after a long pre-season his players are ready for a game. Ferentz says they had their ups and downs, but they’re ready to go out and play a game.
Ferentz says the Hawkeyes need to be sharp against a Montana team that he feels will provide a tough challenge. He says there are always a lot of unknowns in the first game and they’ll try to be a sound as they can and be ready to see some things they haven’t seen on film.
Montana is one of the top programs in one-double-a and Ferentz says the Grizzlies remind him of U-N-I. He says they’re very sound, well-coached and play with toughness.
Ferentz says three freshman will play on Saturday, including freshman receivers Domminick Douglas and Anthony Bowman. Ferentz says it is easier for young receivers to adjust to the college level. He says it’s easier further away from the football as you don’t need the physical maturity as much as you do playing on the interior line.
A better start to the season has been a goal for the Hawks who have struggled during the month of September in recent years. Ferentz says they adjusted their pre-season schedule as a result, as he says they “amped up the volume” and altered things a little bit to do more high speed work. Ferentz says it’s not a dramatic change, but significant.
Junior wide receiver Eric McCollum has left the squad and will transfer. McCollom started his Iowa career as a quarterback and made the switch to receiver during spring drills in 2005.