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Spring football: 5 questions heading into the Hawkeyes 2014 season

[ 0 ] March 12, 2014 |

The Hawkeyes take the field against Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

5 QUESTIONS WITH ANDREW LOGUE

1. Are the Hawkeyes hitting the road this spring?

Coach Kirk Ferentz has said he wants to hold another spring practice at Valley High School in West Des Moines, similar to last year’s open workout. It’s tentatively scheduled for the second week in April, but details are still being worked out. Iowa’s spring drills don’t begin until March 26.

2. More than half of the Big Ten is facing some sort of quarterback quandary. Is Iowa one of those teams?

No. A year ago at this time, Jake Rudock was an unknown. He went on to win the starting job and complete 59 percent of his passes for 2,383 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions. He wasn’t flashy, but he was reliable. C.J. Beathard is a highlight waiting to happen, but let’s not forget he was just 9-of-27 passing in limited action, with one touchdown and two interceptions. If a true quarterback competition develops, it would a be a bad sign for the Hawkeyes.

3. Any concerns about William Lowe’s rhabdomyolysis suit becoming a distraction?

For better or worse, these things tend to drag out. So at this point, it’s a back-burner topic. And nobody should be surprised by Lowe’s lawsuit. With 13 players involved in the infamous 2011 workout, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody ended up in court. I’m sure Ferentz doesn’t want to be reminded about rhabdogate, but it’s more of an irritant than a distraction.

4. Will the Hawkeyes have a sellout this season?

Yes. But the only reason I feel certain about that is because the schedule includes home games against Iowa State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. One of those matchups should result in a capacity crowd at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes failed to draw more than 70,000 to any game last season, after having a string of 30 consecutive sellouts end in 2012. It’s not just an Iowa thing. Schools across the country are seeing a dip in attendance.

5. Given the Hawkeyes’ 8-5 turnaround in 2013, how many wins does Ferentz need to keep his fan base happy?

Based on what I’ve witnessed, anything short of a national title is bound to irk some diehards. Especially those who harp of Ferentz’s salary and ignore the challenges of coaching a program rooted in a shallow recruiting pool. I think 9-3 is a reasonable goal. None of Iowa’s games is unwinnable, but roadies at Pitt and Minnesota could be tricky. Even matchups at Purdue and Illinois could be too close for comfort. And you can expect some sort of toe-stubber at home.

BIG TEN BUZZ

A running back rotation at Purdue (where Iowa kicks off the Big Ten schedule Sept. 27) has hit a snag. Senior tailback Raheem Mostert (230 career yards on 43 carries) will take a break from spring drills to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. He won the 60- and 200-meters at the Big Ten meet. That means Akeem Hunt (1,086 career yards, 198 carries) will get more reps. … Conference newcomer Maryland will be missing receivers Stefon Diggs (34 catches, 587 yards in 2014) and Deon Long (32, 489) for much of the spring. Both are recovering from leg injuries, but should be full speed in August. … Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave is sidelined by a sore shoulder, which he hurt during the Capital One Bowl. Coach Gary Andersen has said the starting job is Stave’s to lose, but Dave Miller of National Football Post notes that junior college transfer Tanner McEvoy has moved from safety to quarterback, and Andersen might prefer a dual-threat player. … While former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter remains in the headlines (testifying in federal court as to whether players should be considered employees), Trevor Siemian is adjusting to his role as a full-time starter. He shared the job the Colter the past two seasons. … Nebraska made news last week when coach Bo Pelini received a one-year contract extension, taking him through 2018. But it’s actually part of Pelini’s original contract that he receive an additional year after each season. So, maybe we shouldn’t read too much into it.

HAWKEYE NATION, YOUR FEEDBACK WANTED

You can steer the conversation this spring, by e-mailing comments and questions to me at alogue@dmreg.com, or via Twitter (@AndrewMLogue). Let me know what you’ll be paying attention to, and what you think I should keep an eye on. Some of those thoughts will appear in this notebook. Please include your hometown in your message.

This week’s question(s): How should Iowa approach the running back rotation of Jordan Canzeri and Mark Weisman in 2014? Where does LeShun Daniels fit in? Who else should play?

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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