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Iowa football: 5 questions about the Hawkeyes

[ 0 ] August 29, 2012 |

5 questions about Hawkeye football with Register reporter Randy Peterson:

What newcomer receivers are likely to play on Saturday?

Coach Kirk Ferentz addressed this one during his weekly press conference Tuesday, saying that Jacob Hillyer and Don Shumpert are likely to play Saturday.

“Jake and Don were quietly improving at the end of spring,” Ferentz said. “Over the last three weeks, both of those guys have shown us a lot more maybe than they did previously. I’ll throw Jordan Cotton in there, too. He’s flashed at times, but he’s just off his best three weeks as a Hawkeye.

“I think our guys have potential, but how they react to game situations – we don’t know that yet, and we’re on the road. Hopefully they can handle the activities of the weekend.”

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After having dual-threat quarterbacks like Brad Banks and Drew Tate, I would like to know why coach Ferentz reverted back to (dropback) quarterbacks?

Playing the additional ball-carrier role isn’t primary when Iowa looks for quarterbacks, but certainly elusiveness helps. You’re correct that the Hawkeyes haven’t been blessed with speed burners at that position, and certainly James Vandenberg is more likely to make a big play through the air than on the ground.

That’s the Iowa style, although that could change with new coordinator Greg Davis running the offense. He had more versatile quarterbacks at Texas, but recruiting for Iowa isn’t exactly like recruiting at Texas.

Here are some recent Iowa quarterback rushing statistics: Brad Banks rushed for 432 yards in 2002, but after that in recent years, the quarterback with the next-best rushing total was Matt Rogers with 140 yards in 1991. You mentioned Drew Tate: 41 rushing yards in 2005.

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Does running back Jordan Canzeri play this year after undergoing ACL surgery in late March?

Canzeri told reporters at media day that he fully intended to play in 2012, and that his ACL surgery had progressed well. He’s been cleared to practice, but he was not used during two open scrimmages at Kinnick Stadium.

The guess is that if he continues to recover as well as he says he is, then he’ll play at some point. However, that’s a big if. If he doesn’t play, he can still apply for a medical redshirt. It could depend on how Damon Bullock and the freshmen handle themselves during the non-conference season.

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How much of a change in offensive approach should we expect with new offensive coordinator Greg Davis in place?

Coaches at Northern Illinois are wondering the same thing.

Davis isn’t going to reinvent the offense. He’s going to install some new things — like quicker snap counts, more passes to running backs, and maybe a little more no-huddle. But if you’re looking for five-wide on every play, forget it.

Backs made 33 of Iowa’s 240 receptions last season, so look for that catch total to increase.

Remember, Damon Bullock has played both running back and receiver.

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Will the new Hawkeye defense allow it’s corners to play tighter coverage rather than play 12 yards off on 3rd and 8?

That’s the plan. Reporters pressed new coordinator Phil Parker about that during the spring, and he said his players have been asking the same. Micah Hyde will be able to do it. He’s proven that he’s one of the best. B.J. Lowery still needs to prove it, but word is that he’s capable, too. The players want to do it, so they must feel confident that they’ll get the job done.

“It’s what every guy wants to do,” Hyde said. “Us against them. That’s the way it should be.”

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JOIN IN THE HAWKEYE CONVERSATION

Do you have a question about Hawkeye football? Here are three ways to ask Register sportswriter Randy Peterson — then see if your question is answered next week:

– Email randypeterson@dmreg.com

– Join a live chat at 12:30 next Wednesday at HawkCentral.com.

– Send a tweet to @RandyPete.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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