On Saturday, Iowa will wrap up its non-conference season with an 11 a.m. game against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. The Hawkeyes sit with a 2-1 record while the Warhawks’s 1-2 season has come with losses against two top-20 teams.
As Iowa looks for its third home win of the season, many fans are saying, Louisiana who?
On Tuesday, Iowa coach Ferentz said not so fast about their opponent.
“Their schemes both offensively and defensively really pose some different challenges,” Ferentz said at his weekly news conference. “They’re a little bit different, a little unique compared to what we’ve played in recent memory.
The team planned extra practice this week and know they need to be ready for anything.
The Warhawks use a “stacked set-up” with three linebackers and five defensive backs, according to Ferentz. The team has limited its opponents to 108.3 rushing yards a game and has nine returning starters.
Iowa’s defense has faced challenges this season but in the fourth quarter of the Pitt game, they started to come together. They limited the Panthers to 60 yards on its last 15 plays with zero points.
The team had disappointing news this week with the sudden departure of linebacker Bruce Davis for personal reasons. Tyler Nielsen will now backup James Morris at middle linebacker.
Advantage: Toss-up. I am still waiting for Iowa’s D to really step up.
ULM runs a spread offense that revolves around quarterback Kolton Browning, who represented 70 percent of the offense and had 3,000 yards in 2010. He is off to a good start this season, along with quarterback Cody Wells, and he has a lot of receiving corp. weapons. Browning has thrown passes to 17 different receivers in his career with 11 different players catching them in 2011.
Tavarese Maye leads the receivers with 213 yards and two touchdowns while Centarius Donald is the team’s top running back with 25 carries for 183 yards to date.
Hawkeye quarterback James Vandenberg had a breakout game last Saturday, rallying his team to a miraculous win. He had 399 yards passing and catapulted into the national spotlight with his performance.
Iowa’s receiving corp. is emerging as a strength with Marvin McNutt, Jr., Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley. The group caught 22 passes for 317 yards with help from the team’s tight ends, who caught four passes for 67 yards last week.
Running back Marcus Coker continues to hold down the fort and had 23 carries for 86 yards last week in the pass-happy game.
Iowa’s players continue to improve and in last week’s game they held Pitt to two kickoff returns for 19 yards. Kicker Mike Meyer missed two field goals while punter Eric Guthrie continues remains consistent with a long punt of 50 yards.
The Warhawks have freshman Justin Manton who is 1 for 4 this season and punter Conner Fryoux has a long of 48 yards.
Iowa needs to prevent the Warhawks from their customary fast start. After Saturday’s win, this should be motivation for the Hawkeyes to keep winning. I see another close game, riddled with frustrations, but Iowa takes the win.
Result: Iowa wins 35-27
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Written by Debbie Baratz