The Iowa Hawkeyes finished the 2008 football season with a 9 - 4 record and ranked #20 in the AP Top 25 Poll. Iowa had some impressive wins after losing three games in a row. Iowa beat South Carolina in the Outback Bowl 31-10. The Hawkeyes lost only one game at home against Northwestern.
Running back Shonn Greene had one amazing season for the Hawkeyes. He rushed for over 100 yards in every game, and won the Doak Walker Award. He didn’t play in 2007 due to bad grades, so he worked at the furniture store and went to a community college. He worked very hard to get up to the big level. He is now a pro with the New York Jets, so hopefully he does well there. I think Jewel Hampton will do a good job replacing Greene, but he won’t rush for 100 or more yards per game and score twenty touchdowns.
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi was a good replace for Jake Christensen. Stanzi threw better passes and was a better leader for the Hawkeyes. He and Christensen switched off the first three games, but Stanzi won the regular job. Stanzi was having a terrible game against Iowa State, but Kirk Ferentz called Christensen for relief of Stanzi, and helped Iowa beat their big rivals. I think Stanzi will do a nice job for Iowa this season.
Tight end Tony Moeaki eyes a good senior season for the Hawkeyes. He will need to come up very big since Brandon Myers left to go to the pros. I think Coach Ferentz can lead the Hawkeyes through this season.
Iowa’s two toughest games are Penn State and Ohio State, and those are both road games. Penn State will want sweet revenge on the Hawks for the 24-23 upset in November 2008. Another team that will want revenge on Iowa is the Minnesota Golden Gophers because Iowa demolished them 55-0 in the last game at the Metrodome.
Iowa’s first three games are in Iowa, but one of the games is in Ames, Iowa against the rival Iowa State Cyclones. Most Hawkeye road games in the midwest are almost extra home games because Hawkeye fans like to travel to see their boys play some smashmouth football. Iowa fans are loyal, not bandwagon. There are a lot of Iowa fans in Minnesota and Illinois, so I bet some people give them a little hard time for being Hawkeye fans, but they don’t care.
Go Hawkeyes, let’s go to the Rose Bowl.