Ross: Perspective Added to CyHawk Week

September 10, 2015

Written by Ross Peterson

Hawkeye Nation

This was not the week I envisioned when it began.

I was on a high after Saturday’s win. Every question I wanted to have answered in the first week was answered to near perfection. My confidence was growing and growing heading into this weekend’s game against Iowa State and it still is.

Then on Tuesday, the journey took an unexpected turn with the sad news of Tyler Sash’s death.

For some, it may not yet be time to move forward.  This inexplicable loss is not easy to deal with.  It’s OK to allow yourself to get excited about the football game coming up on Saturday, though it will not be an easy thing.  I’ll give it my best shot as that is what I am here to do.

Let’s start with last week.

Drew Ott is a beast. LeShun Daniels looks like he’s ready for a breakout season. CJ Beathard did what he needed to do. He worked a good game plan behind a dominant line and didn’t have to show much of the playbook, or his big arm, in the process.  It felt like Iowa left a few potential tricks in the bag

What I was most impressed with was the way Kirk Ferentz took those off season tweaks and showed how things may have changed on the field as well as what has changed off the field. The fourth down conversion on the opening drive, the fake field goal attempt and most maybe surprising was not taking a knee to end the first half.

Fake field goals and fourth down conversions were never the norm, but we can all recall seeing those things from the Hawkeyes before Saturday.

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I don’t remember the last time a Ferentz led team pushed the ball up the field in that situation. 44 seconds remaining and the ball on your side of the field has meant the half was over and you could plan on going to halftime with the scoreboard not changing.

But things have changed. The crowd responded with cheers on each one of those decisions. If anybody at the University was resistant to the idea that fans were ready for these changes, the standing ovations that accompanied those calls should’ve settled that issue.

The game was not without a few faults from the black and gold. There were a few frustrating penalties, the receivers did not seem to be getting separation and the lack of depth in the defensive backfield was exposed.

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The penalties will hopefully decrease over these next few important weeks. I’m not worried about that, as Ferentz-led teams are typically disciplined in that regard.

As for the the receivers and defensive backs, I am a little more worried about those areas.

CJ Beatherd will not be the quarterback he can be, or the quarterback we’re all hoping he can be, if he doesn’t have open receivers down the field. The defensive backs are preparing for one of the deepest group of receivers they’ll see all year.

That’s where I see this game being decided. The team that makes the most mistakes in the passing game will ultimately lose the game.

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Iowa will have to establish the running game again and I think they’ll be able to do that. The Iowa State defensive line is improved, but I think the talent level of the Iowa offensive line has been underrated.

Less than a month ago, there were concerns about Boone Myers. After Saturday the consensus seems to be that Drew Ott made him look worse than he is and by facing Ott every day in practice has made him better than he was.

I won’t speculate on what impact this week’s tragedy will have on the team. But I think I know what impact it will have on the fan base.

Hawkeye fans have been on the verge of fracturing, as a group. That process slowed down on Saturday and came to a complete halt on Tuesday. We were reminded of those great times at Kinnick, but more importantly, we were reminded that win or lose, it’s a game. It’s young men giving their all. That’s the perspective that was needed.

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