'Even' Season

October 20, 2009

Written by Jon Miller

I bet you are wondering, ‘Jon, what in the heck are you talking about here?’

I totally understand, with a headline like that.  But hear me out.

As I was driving home from Tuesday’s Iowa press conference, I had a thought pop into my head, one that was based on the first few weeks of the season.

I recall saying in Iowa State week that Iowa’s preparation against UNI would carry over into the game prep for the Cyclones.  It did, and Iowa went from a narrow win against the spread offense of the Panthers where the defense forced just one turnover to a blowout win, gaining five turnovers, against the Cyclones.

I recall saying during the Arizona week that the preparation for the Wildcats offense would be good prep for the Penn State game, because Arizona ran a bit more of a traditional look that wanted to feature the running game.  The Hawks beat the Wildcats by 10 in a game where they trailed at the half and only forced one turnover.  The following week against Penn State, Iowa won that game by 11 and forced 4 turnovers and the defense was lights out after the Nits second possession.

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I recall saying that the Arkansas State offense would provide some good preparation for the game against the Wolverines the following week.  The Hawks beat the Red Hawks by three points, forcing two turnovers but also committing two of their own.  The next week against Michigan, Iowa forced five turnovers.

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And last week, I said that the preparation Iowa would have for Wisconsin would be of benefit for when Iowa played Michigan State, too.  The Hawks were down 10-0 to the Badgers and the defense was pushed around in the first half.  They made adjustments at halftime and held the Badgers to less than 70 yards of offense in the second half and they forced three turnovers in that game.  Hey, the season is getting long in the tooth and perhaps the Hawks are becoming quicker studies.

As I think about this week’s matchup against Michigan State, I am keeping this ‘even weeks’ trend in mind…from an Iowa defensive perspective.

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And yes, I do think that there are aspects of Indiana’s offense that will prepare Iowa for Northwestern the following week.  But that interesting schedule setup may come to an end when Iowa plays at Ohio State, because, well, they have no offense.

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