Jake Christensen and Other Controversial Iowa Hawkeyes

ross stansberyCorrespondent IJuly 25, 2008

Some players and coaches at Iowa are not well-liked by the fans.  This article will discuss what is good and bad about these people. I will be talking about Jake Christensen, Ken O'Keefe, Matt Kroul, and Daniel Murray.

Ken O'Keefe has one of the hardest jobs, being an offensive coordinator who bases his offense off the run.  Last year, his offensive line just wasn't there.  People will say he has not had a good offense since 2002. 

Well, let's take a look at those teams they will mention.

The 2003 offense was not a well-liked offense because Nathan Chandler threw an interception almost every game.  Still, the team won 10 games and beat Florida in the Outback Bowl. 

2004 was when people really complained about the offense, not that year but in later years because the yardage was not very good.

Let's start off by talking about the main problem: The team's five running backs were injured during the start of the season, all with ACL injuries. 

This left the team with one running back, a walk-on from Emmetsburg, Iowa, named Sam Brownlee.  He did all he could do and gained 200-some yards during the season, but that left all the offense in the hands of true sophomore Drew Tate. 

Tate threw for 2,000 yards and led the team to a victory over LSU in the Capital One Bowl with a late touchdown pass to Warren Hollaway.

The next year was when people really got on his case, but the reasons are blurred.

When the season started, everyone was pumped for the new season.  Iowa was 5-1 when they were struck with a devastating injury to their star receiver—Ed Hinkel broke his arm against Purdue.  The team was 6-5 when he returned, and he caught four touchdown passes in the final regular season game. 

They then lost to Florida in the worst-officiated game I have ever seen.  They still had a chance late and were screwed over (sorry for the language, but it’s the best word I could think of) by an onside recovery called back on an offside penalty that didn't happen. 

The next year, Iowa struggled on defense for the only time in the last decade.  They couldn't stop anybody.

Last year is when it all fell apart. 

In the offseason, one of the best receivers was caught doing something stupid, but this is not the time or the place to get into that.  So he was off the team. 

The next thing to happen was against Wisconsin, where the next two top receivers were injured—a torn hamstring for Andy Brodell and a broken wrist for Tony Moeki.  The team still was able to go 6-6 with a sophomore quarterback. 

Now, I will talk about some of the bad things O'Keefe did last year.  He would stop running too soon and call plays that the defense was anticipating. 

But to some of the fans out there, one thing I heard a fan say this year was the dumbest thing they have ever said: "Get aggressive, O'Keefe.  Run the ball."

Matt Kroul isn't really hated—people just don't realize what he does.  He is not as well-liked because the other defensive tackle, Mitch King, has such a motor.  During the game, it seemed as though Kroul would take on two linemen to get King in the backfield. 

Sometimes King would run right past the back and Kroul would meet them near the line of scrimmage.  He was fourth on the team in tackles with 74.  He just seems like he isn't near the action on some plays.

Daniel Murray is the kicker and was very inconsistent at the start of the season, but near the end, the coaches started to trust him.  That is about all that can be said about him.

Jake Christensen is the guy that everyone seems to blame for everything.  He had a rough season.  He was the seventh-most-sacked quarterback. 

His receivers wouldn't catch the ball sometimes, and sometimes he just missed, like every other guy in the country.  The running backs struggled to gain yards because of the lack of blocking.

Next season, the only hope is to get better.  I think Iowa will go 8-5 and win the Alamo Bowl.


Go Hawks