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Who will be missed most?

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 20, 2009 7:21 AM

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Tony Moeaki will be missed most

With all due respect to the 16 other seniors playing their last game as an Iowa Hawkeye in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday against Minnesota, tight end Tony Moeaki will be missed more than anyone next season.

The 6-4, 250-pound cocaptain’s effect on the Iowa offense is irreplaceable. He would have played in every game of his career, and started the majority of them, if it wasn’t for injuries. He may be fragile, but when he is on the field, he is extremely effective.

The Wheaton, Ill., native has collected 72 receptions in his career, totaling 742 yards and 11 touchdowns to this point.

This season, Moeaki has gained 302 yards and four touchdowns on 26 grabs. He ranks fourth on the team in receptions and is second in touchdowns behind Marvin McNutt’s seven.

What stands out most about Moeaki though, is his proficiency in both the pass and run games. His versatility enables him to block defensive ends, allowing the Hawkeyes to run the ball outside.

But there’s no doubt his speed makes him a vertical threat that most tight ends simply are not. Iowa will gladly take the mismatch of Moeaki one-on-one with a linebacker any play.

He also spreads the field because he draws so much attention from defenses, which have double-covered Moeaki the second half of the season and allowing receivers such as McNutt to get open and make plays.

On Monday, Moeaki was named one of eight semifinalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. He has a chance to follow the footsteps of former Iowa tight end Dallas Clark, who won the award in 2002.

If Moeaki does, the Hawkeyes will miss him next season when, like Clark, he will play on Sundays.

— by Robbie Lehman

Linebackers will be missed most

The foundation of Iowa’s defense this year has been the linebackers. The secondary and defensive line have certainly been explosive at times (see Adrian Clayborn at Penn State, or Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood at Iowa State), but the linebackers have been rock-solid through 11 games.

Two-thirds of said foundation, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, will be gone after this season.

Certainly, Tony Moeaki will be missed. His presence in the middle of the field has been superb for the Hawkeyes, and this season, he is a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, presented to the best tight end in college football.

But Iowa is used to missing Moeaki.

This season he has missed three games, last year four, and in 2007, he missed the last eight games of the season.

Neither Angerer or Edds have missed a game this season or last season, and Edds has started 36-straight games.

In addition to being healthy, the senior linebackers have been productive. Angerer is third in the nation in tackles with 119. Edds has a lower number, 64, but he has three interceptions.

Both intercepted Daryll Clark in State College, Pa., and Angerer also forced a key fumble late in the game against the Nittany Lions.

In seven of the 10 games he has played this season, he has recorded double-digit tackles. In his last three games, he has 42 tackles, including 17 two weeks ago against Northwestern. Twice, the Bettendorf native has finished one tackle short of reaching double digits.

If you look closely at every tackle during the Minnesota game, you will be sure to see No. 43 or No. 49 near the prone figure of the ball carrier.

The hard-hitting Angerer and always-reliable Edds will be missed much more than the injury-prone Moeaki next season.

— by J.T. Bugos


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