By Kyler Schutzman
The Iowa Hawkeyes are by far the favorite in the state in cities such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and so many more. Iowa is of course coming back from their record 12-0 season, but fell short losing in the Big Ten Championship against Michigan State, then also taking a loss in the Rose Bowl to Christian McCaffrey and Stanford.
Going into the 2016 season, Iowa has a lot of familiar faces on the roster. C.J. Beathard, Desmond King, Greg Mabin, Josey Jewell, Matt Vandeberg, all of these players are back and playing Iowa football for the 2016 season. Iowa also has some new faces as well. One face that has caught the attention of fans, and also on the starting lineup is Anthony Nelson, the redshirt freshman out of Urbandale, Iowa. Starting at DE, the redshirt freshman has helped the Iowa defense start the season out 2-0. In those games combined he collected 8 tackles and 3.5 sacks. And the returning Desmond King is bound to make some moves very soon, but considering he was one of the leaders in interceptions in the FBS the quarterbacks aren’t throwing to his side of the field. Now, everyone knows that defense can win championships, but it helps a lot if there’s an equally good offense pairing with them.
Iowa happens to be one of the lucky teams that pairs good defense, with great offense. In the 2 wins Iowa has this season, C.J. Beathard has completed 32 passes on 48 attempts, 427 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. One of Beathard’s main targets, Matt Vandeberg is without a doubt being used to his full potential so far this season. Vandeberg currently has 11 receptions and 228 yards, averaging 20.7 yards per reception, with the longest reception being 36 yards. So far Vandeberg has found the endzone only once this year, but throughout these next 10 games one would think Beathard would get him there again. Now onto the Iowa running backs.
The Iowa backfield is lead by two running backs in their 3rd and 4th year in college, LeShun Daniels Jr., and Akrum Wadley. Daniels currently has 195 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry on 25 attempts. Wadley who is the second string running back, has 170 rushing yards and averaged 8.1 yards per carry. Combined, this backfield duo has 6 touchdowns through the team’s first 2 games of the 2016 season. Who knows what is left for these two. Daniels is in his senior year, meaning that he will either be entering into the NFL draft or pursuing a career in another field that he chooses. Wadley on the other hand is only a junior, so he can either declare for the NFL after this season or he can stay another year and finish at the University of Iowa. Only time will tell the future for these two, and of course the rest of the 2016 Iowa Hawkeyes football team.
Hopefully Iowa continues their win streak they’ve started so far in this 2016-2017 season. Next week comes North Dakota State, which is one of the top teams in the FCS. Iowa will be playing hard, and playing for one objective and one objective only; to get that third win to continue the road to 12-0…again.
Picture Credit – http://l.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/GHNNwryGw_vVthaWhZIkpQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en/homerun/feed_manager_auto_publish_494/300772b0d9505d78424bdd81a00c2947