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Schwartz: Ten Sentences – Daydreaming of Football Edition

June 2, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Is it too soon to be excited? It’s not too soon to be excited. We’ll have time to dissect the big questions as football season draws near. For now, here are 10 things I’m excited to see this fall:

1. I’m excited to see what A.J. Epenesa looks like when he plays a high majority of defensive snaps, especially if he’s figured out enough about run defense to force offensive coordinators to actively account for him in their game planning,

2. I’m even more excited to watch Epenesa in passing downs – especially those plays when offenses do scheme for him but it turns out that no matter what they do, he finds a way to disrupt the quarterback.

3. I’m excited to see if Iowa’s defense is as good as advertised; multiple experts with far more knowledge of Xs and Os forecast the Hawkeyes’ defense to rank in the top 10 – if not top 5 – in the nation.

4. I’m especially excited to see what happens Oct. 26 in Evanston, when two of the Big Ten’s best defenses go head to head, a game that, if both teams are relatively healthy, could be a competitive, violent 13-10 rumble.

5. I’m excited, and a little apprehensive, to experience the atmosphere inside Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 14 when the Hawkeyes and Cyclones play what should be one of their most intense, tight games in years.

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6. I’m excited that David Montgomery is gone, but I respect what Matt Campbell and his staff are doing in Ames and recognize that this might be a year in which there’s no shame in losing to the Cyclones, should that happen, because they have the potential to be a 9-3 team during the regular season.

7. I’m excited by the possibility of the Hawkeyes running their win streak against ISU to five games, especially since a win this season might mean something substantial to strength-of-schedule, AP voters, and bowl-selection committees.

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8. I’m excited that the Hawkeyes have a third-year starting quarterback, a luxury few college programs can boast.

9, I’m even more excited that the quarterback is Nate Stanley, who is not only experienced but talented – especially if it doesn’t take him four games for the third straight season to find his touch on medium-range and deep passes; can you imagine how dangerous Iowa’s offense could be if Stanley looks in sync with his linemen and receivers from Game 1 instead of waiting until early October?

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10. I’m excited by Brian Ferentz’s continued evolution as an offensive coordinator and his willingness to challenge his father’s on-field conservatism, just as I’m excited to witness Kirk Ferentz’s ability to open himself up to new approaches even as he stays true to his own football philosophy, even if it is sometimes frustrating.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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