Pregame Roundtable: Talking Iowa’s remaining five games

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 27, 2014 5:00 AM

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So here we are. Iowa is seven games into the season, with five more games to go. The Hawkeyes sit with a 5-2 record. This week, Iowa prepares for Northwestern, which has a 3-4 record, and like Iowa, is coming off a bye week. The Daily Iowan’s Pregame staff sits down to talk  …

Jacob Sheyko, football reporter: I’ll start this thing off with a question. To some, Iowa’s first seven games have been a disappointment. In your opinion, is this a result of this team being truly disappointing thus far or inflated expectations from the fans? 

Danny Payne, football reporter: I think it’s a combination of both. The fans, media, and a lot of other people around this team probably had the bar set too high coming into the year. Some people thought 10-2 or 11-1 was a strong possibility, but with the way Iowa has played so far, I cannot see that happening.
With that said, there are some pieces on this team that have underperformed or have been underutilized. We could talk about this for hours, but we’re on a word limit here. In short, the Hawkeyes aren’t what we thought they were going to be coming into the year.

Cody Goodwin, Pregame Editor: I agree, wholeheartedly.

Sheyko: I agree, too. It’s probably some form of a combination of the two. I think the biggest mistake was fans and media (me included) looking at the Hawkeyes schedule and thinking they would waltz their way through the first 10 games until their matchups with Wisconsin and Nebraska. I think people tend to forget that Kirk Ferentz-coached teams always play opponents close, no matter how good or bad they are.
Just look at the 2009-10 season, one that ended with Iowa winning the Orange Bowl. Iowa lost just two games all season, but just about two of its 10 wins could be considered blowouts.
The question from here is: What’s the biggest thing that needs to change from the first seven games?

Payne: There are a few ways we could take this, but I’ll let one of you guys take the one we’ve been talking about all year.
This team needs an identity. It doesn’t have one. A rusher hasn’t gone over 100 yards in a single game. Jake Rudock is throwing the ball more than ever. The defense hasn’t shown up in certain situations. Opposing teams can run all over Iowa.
So, yeah, Ferentz and Company need to find out how this team is going to win games. If not, this year could go down as one big ol’ missed opportunity.

Goodwin: The whole lack-of-identity part is what’s really, really confusing. And part of that might be on the play calling more than anything, but it doesn’t bode well for a team to not really know what it is, per se, when there are five games left in the season.
Perhaps Ferentz has some tricks up his sleeve now that we’re into the final month of the season. Maybe he doesn’t. And perhaps that’s part of the fun in all this (if we want to call it that).

Payne: We’ll save our predictions for this week’s edition of Pregame, but in the mean time, enjoy your Monday and go Blackhawks. Right, Cody?

Goodwin: Ahem, “Cue the Chelsea Dagger.”

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