Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Iowa Hawkeyes season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Iowa Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 9-4 overall, 5-4
Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz, 21st year, 152-101
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IOWA OFFENSE
– The offense was hit or miss. The passing game was okay and effective, but considering how good the offensive line was, the ground attack wasn’t there like it should’ve been. The Hawkeyes managed 31 points or more six times and won all six games – and went 3-4 when it was under the mark.
– How is the passing attack going to be better without NFL tight ends TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant to throw to? It won’t be, but Nate Stanley might just be – don’t snicker – the best quarterback in the Big Ten. The senior needs to up the completion percentage after hitting just 59% of his throws, but he threw for 2,862 yards and 26 touchdowns with ten picks.
He’s a veteran who know what he’s doing, he’s got the size, and he’s got the next-level ability. Now he has to take the team on his back … and without those amazing tight ends.
– So who tries to replace Hockenson and Fant? All they did was lead the team in receiving yards, and leading wide receiver Nick Easley is gone, too. The Hawkeyes have a strong, dangerous wideout twosome in Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette. They’ll stretch the field, and it’ll be up to senior Nate Wieting and Shaun Beyer to step in at tight end. They’re going to be good, but there will be a drop off.
– Will there be more of a running game after coming up with just 1,928 yards and averaging fewer than four yards per carry? Junior Mekhi Sargent is back after leading the way with 745 yards and nine scores, Toren Young is a power back who finished second on the team, and Ivory Kelly-Martin is back with the burst to do more. The Hawkeyes have the backs, but …
– The O line needs to be stronger. It’s Iowa, so the front five will be terrific, but it might take a little working around all-star Toren Young at one tackle gig and Tristn Wirfs back on the other side. The coaching staff will have to use a little magic to come up with the right front three in the interior – here’s your biggest job in fall camp.