Maryland’s football team could have been populated with dudes carrying baseball bats from Sammy Sosa’s closet and the Hawkeyes still would have pounded them. The 23-0 victory last Saturday was one of the most dominate defensive performances of the Ferentz era: a shutout, only 39 plays ran, and 116 total yards allowed. So after October began with the greatest back to back offensive performances in program history, the third game of the Halloween month is an unreal defensive performance. Iowa can beat you in a shootout or a grind it out. Your 2018 Hawkeyes are positioned for greatness. How do I know this? As I set down my black and gold kool-aid, it is simple: great teams can beat you in many different ways, and outside of Alabama, your Hawkeyes have led for the most amount of game time in the country.
Entering Saturday’s game at Penn State (2:30 CT kickoff on ESPN): the Hawkeye D ranks 3rd in total defense, 2nd in rush D, and 5th in scoring. These are national statistics people, so yes Penn State is more scared than when the NCAA calls. The best defensive line in the Big Ten (yes better than Meeechigan’s) can taunt Penn St QB Trace (who names their kid after a compass?) McSorley with his cheesy signature home run swing as often as they would like, it won’t result in McSorley beating the Hawkeyes like last year. The Nittany Lions strength on O is running with McSorley and RB Miles Sanders. This strength is easily negated by the Hawkeye dominant run D. Their pass game looks like a bunch of wrestlers using a beach ball on a windy day. The key is minimizing the big plays, which is Phil Parker’s forte. Don’t be surprised if Penn State doesn’t cross the 50 on Saturday.
Offensively, this is the most dynamic Hawkeye offense since 2010. Geez, that really is 8 years. So yeah we’ve been waiting for this like that winning lotto ticket being found in the mailbox. After blowing the Wisconsin game, the confidence of offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is higher than Bradley Cooper walking through a Vegas hotel. With Penn State ranking 71st in defense, Iowa’s Nate Stanley, who is the best QB in the country on 3rd down, will have his best performance on a big stage. The mistakes Iowa made against Wisconsin in terms of play calling and execution are buried 6 feet deep. All that the Hawkeye O will be carrying is baseball bats as they take the Penn State defense deep more than Babe Ruth playing t-ball.
Stiks pik to clik: TE Noah Fant. The best athlete on the field was recently named the 6th best draft eligible player in America. The underutilization and decoy plan Brian Ferentz had with Fant vs Wisconsin was lit on fire and thrown in a dumpster behind an Indian restaurant. Fant will be everywhere on Saturday. Split-wide, in motion, and in-line. #87 has 150 yards receiving and 2 TDs including one on a isolation in the red zone. Defensively, the Hawkeye D will pick off McSorley twice and AJ Epenesa gets 2 sacks both celebrated with a home run swing.
The Hawkeyes haven’t had a convincing road win in several years, which coincides with the last time the black and gold had the combo of dynamic O and a punishing D. The 2018 Hawkeyes have it. As stated week 1, I told y’all to buckle up for wild ride of greatness. Wisconsin was a small bump in the road. In honor of Compass McSorley, I’ve got my Louisville Slugger and I’m calling my shot: the Hawkeyes will be victorious in State College on Saturday by 3 touchdowns (or 21 runs in Compass McSorley speak). The Nittany Lions will be embarrassed. McSorley will quit for rec league softball. Penn State Head Coach James Franklin who listens to Toni Braxton during the game, will retire to be a low brow R&B producer. The Sunday morning splinters the Nittany Lions are pulling out of the rear won’t be from the Paterno era locker room benches, it will be from the black and gold bat carrying beat down. On Saturday against Penn State, validation happens. Hawkeye domination happens. In Heaven There is No Beer…