The “3 for 3” blog, Monday Edition …
1: SLUMP BUSTER … Two weeks back, the Iowa football team faced a part of its schedule — one of the easiest schedules in years, to be blunt — with upcoming games against Indiana and Purdue (winless at the time in the Big Ten).
The stretch provided an opportunity to build both wins and confidence for arguably the youngest team in the 14 seasons of coach Kirk Ferentz.
Instead, confidence was dashed. And smashed. And the Hawkeyes have crashed.
Which raises the question …
One sign that points toward the next victory being a calendar-flip away: Iowa could face two dangerous running quarterbacks the next two weeks.
If fleet-footed Denard Robinson returns from an elbow injury for Michigan, the run stop-challenged Hawkeyes will face back-to-back challenges with speedy Taylor Martinez of Nebraska waiting next. Even if Robinson fails to return, 2-0 backup Devin Gardner has the Wolverines offense looking as polished as ever.
Iowa has struggled to stop running quarterbacks: Prosecution Exhibit A — Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois (119 yards rush, 6.6 per carry vs. Iowa); Exibit B — Northwestern’s Kain Colter (166, 6.4 in win over Iowa).
One stat to ponder: Lynch alone has more yards of total offense (3,517) than Iowa’s entire team (3,216). Another thing to ponder: He’s only a junior, so Iowa will see him to open 2013.
2: CHIZIK WATCH … How high are the expectations at Auburn? Well, this high: Formr Iowa foe Gene Chizik won more games in his first three seasons than any coach in the history of one of the country’s top programs (30), including a national title, and is on the verge of losing his job.
What has put the former Iowa State coach on the edge of the employment-watch cliff: The team has made a jaw-dropping leap backwards in his fourth season, tumbling to a 2-8 record and unfathomable 0-7 in the SEC.
Many games have been less than close, including 63-21 against Texas A&M and 38-0 versus Georgia. One of the Chizik-led wins this season was 31-28 in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe, a team that just dropped back to back games to Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State.
So which Chizik is it — Chizik 2012, or Chizik National Title Guy?
I think it’s neither, though leans more toward Chizik 2012 than Auburn fans would like to consider. The 30 victories is misleading, considering almost half (14) came in the national title season.
Those wins belong more to NFL quarterback Cam Newton than Chizik.
3: SPEAKING OF CHIZIK … If the coach had remained in Ames, where he finished with a 5-19 record in two seasons, how would his Cyclone story have developed?
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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football