The Iowa Hawkeyes will be headed to a bowl game when the regular season ends but the destination will be determined by the final two games. The Hawks take a 6-4 record into Saturday’s home finale against Michigan. “I read all that stuff last week and put it down. And clearly, nobody knows anything about anything right now,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says. He says things will all change from week to week.
Iowa’s 4-8 record in 2012 was crowded with close losses. One of the exceptions was a 42-17 thrashing at the hands of Michigan. “Last year we never even got our hands up, especially in that second quarter, it was over pretty quickly,”Ferentz says. Led by dual threat quarterback Devin Gardner the Wolvervines rolled up 513 yards against the Iowa defense in last year’s meeting.
Ferentz says the good news is that they are a totally different team this year than last year. But he says the one thing that doesn’t change is Michigan has a lot of talented players that are well coached. Ferentz says the Hawkeye defense will need to do a good job of containing Gardner as he is a very dangerous player.
Ferentz says Jordan Canzeri has played his way into a bigger role on offense. Canzeri had 165 yards of rushing in Iowa’s last game at Purdue. He says the bye week has helped all the backs get fresher as everyone get worn down during the season. Saturday will be the final home game for a senior class that Ferentz says has played a big role in helping the program bounce back. “It wasn’t much fun last year at the end of the year,” Ferentz says. He says the seniors really came together this season to turn things around and show the younger guys what needs to be done.
Michigan is 7-3 after a triple overtime win at Northwestern and coach Brady Hoke was asked on the Big Ten teleconference is he will wear a coat on Saturday. Hoke likes to endure the elements and coach in shirt sleeves but the predicted game time temperature for Saturday is expected to dip near 20 degrees. “Well, we’ll see how it goes. If I was a smart guy, I probably would. We’ll just see how it goes,” Hoke responded.
Hoke says one of the reasons Iowa has made strides this season is the play of sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock. He says Rudock makes all the throws and has done a good job of getting the team in the right runs. Hoke says the Hawkeyes have always been known for their “toughness”.
Hoke says the Iowa defense is much better against the run this season and a trio of senior linebackers is a big part of that, and the front does a nice job of keeping blockers off the linebackers.
Both teams are 3-3 in the Big Ten.