Schwartz: 10 Sentences: Hawkeyes Appear Headed In Right Direction

April 28, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

What a moment Thursday night when two Hawkeye football players went in the first round of the NFL Draft, then again two days later when Iowa’s count in the draft climbed to four. But this week’s 10 Sentences is based on another moment from the three-day draft:

1. It was already a good weekend for the Hawkeyes as four heard their name called in the NFL draft: tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant in the first round, and defensive end Anthony Nelson and safety Amani Hooker in the fourth.

2. They all deserve their success, and I look forward to periodically tracking their professional progress during moments when I remember to care about the NFL, but there was another happening during the draft that really caught my attention.

3.  The screencap represents the three Mississippi State defensive players selected in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft – three NFL players whom the Hawkeyes had to overcome to win the Outback Bowl, 27-22: Jeffery Simmons, Montez Sweat, and Johnathan Abram.

4 And indeed the Hawkeyes did overcome Mississippi State, with the Hawkeyes winning, 27-22

5. At first glance, this is a game when one really sees the difference between Greg Davis running the offense and Brian Ferentz – not that we needed a lot of reminding that Davis wasn’t the right person for the job, but rather from an emotional and observable point of view.

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6. Of course Ferentz, who just finished his second season in the role, isn’t Davis – that’s not what I’m trying to say (then perhaps I can learn to write a little more clearly?) – instead, this game was the moment when it came into focus just how nice it is when the inevitable (an Iowa loss to a top 5 defense) in no longer inevitable.

7. Ferentz is not without his faults as an offense coordinator, just as I am not without my faults as a college teacher and others are not without their faults in their chosen vocation; thing is, it’s good to have tangible proof to which we can point that either proves or strongly suggest that someone is in the correct role, especially when that role is something that directly impacts our emotions, such as the role the University of Iowa offensive coordinator plays in all of our emotional lives each fall.

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8. The 19th, 26th and 27th players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft all played defense just a few months ago in a game against Iowa, and the Hawkeyes responded on offense by putting up 27 points on 214 yards passing and three touchdown passes by Nate Stanley.

9. The rushing game couldn’t get anything established against the Bulldogs; the Hawkeyes’ leading rusher was Toren Young, who totaled seven rushing yards on three carries – that right there is a testament to, and example of, what Mississippi State could do up front as well as a living explanation for why NFL teams couldn’t get Bulldogs defensive players on their rosters quick enough.

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10. Yet still Ferentz, his father, their assistants, and of course the players found a way around the nonexistent running game, scored some points, and won the game; it’s enough to make us consider, as we get near the summer dead time of college sports, what is possible, or perhaps more importantly as a fan, what no longer has to be considered impossible.

* Talk with David Schwartz online @daveschwartz.

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