#32 Iowa Football 2012 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall Rank: #32
#6 Big Ten Conference
Iowa College Football 2012 Team Preview
Iowa Team Page


After a couple mediocre seasons by Iowa standards, Coach Kirk Ferentz has shaken up his coaching staff, most notably with two new coordinators. This is still Iowa football so do not expect major changes. On offense they want to get quicker and on defense they want to take advantage of their quality cornerbacks and move a safety up to help out in run defense. Those are minor changes and this is still a team that will try and run first to set up the pass and play tough in your face defense.

2011 Record: (7-6, 4-4)
2011 Bowl: Insight Bowl vs. Oklahoma (L 14-31)
Coach: Kirk Ferentz (96-66 at Iowa, 108-87 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Davis
Defensive Coordinator: Phil Parker

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: De’Andre Johnson, RB, 79 yards
Passing: James Vandenberg, QB, 3,022 yards
Receiving: Keenan Davis, WR, 713 yards
Tackles: Christian Kirksey, LB, 110; James Morris, LB, 110
Sacks: Dominic Alvis, DE, 1.5
Interceptions: Micah Hyde, CB, 3; Tanner Miller, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: C James Ferentz, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, WR Kevonte Martin-Manley, K Mike Meyer, G Matt Tobin

Key Losses: S Jordan Bernstine, DE Broderick Binns, RB Marcus Coker, DT Mike Daniels, G Adam Gettis, WR Marvin McNutt, DT Tom Nardo, LB Tyler Nielsen, OT Riley Reiff, CB Shaun Prater, OT Markus Zusevics

Quarterback James Vandenberg had a superb junior campaign, throwing for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns. He even added three more touchdowns on the ground and threw just seven interceptions. Those are very good numbers for an Iowa quarterback who also had a very good ground game. Iowa did not have to throw as much as they did, but it worked. The loss of wide receiver Marvin McNutt is an issue after he caught 82 passes for 1,315 yards and a dozen touchdowns. However, Keenan Davis quietly had a very good year. Kevonte Martin-Manley had a quality freshman campaign as well and those two will be ready to pick up the slack left behind by McNutt. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz also made some noise during the offseason and should be more involved in the offense. The offensive line did not live up to their names last year. They allowed 2.23 sacks per game and Iowa ranked last in the Big Ten in rushing offense. And now both tackles are gone. But built around center James Ferentz is another solid group of linemen. Iowa always reloads on the o-line and this year will be no different. Look for sophomore Brandon Scherff to emerge as the new left tackle and replace Riley Reiff.

It is starting to become bad luck to be an Iowa running back. The latest victims were Marcus Coker, who transferred to Stony Brook following a late season suspension in 2011, and his probable replacement Jordan Canzeri, who suffered a knee injury and is out for 2012. That leaves some talented options, but still unproven options. Sophomores Damon Bullock and De’Andre Johnson will battle for carries with freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill. But the problems are continuing as Garmon already got in a bit of trouble with the law over the summer. It is a talented group and the Iowa backs always seem to step up when their name is called, but the lack of experience will be an issue for a while. The bigger problem is on the other side of the ball where the defensive front four has to replace just about everybody. Unlike the offensive line, the defensive line does not have the pure talent and depth available. End Dominic Alvis and end turned tackle Steve Bigach are the only returning players with any real experience. The rest of the line will have to be filled in with some new faces like redshirt freshman tackle Darian Cooper.

The Bottom Line:
With a new defensive line, the pressure will be on the rest of the defense to help them along. Linebackers Christian Kirksey and James Morris are back after tallying 110 tackles each in 2011. It will be tough to ask them to do much more than that. The secondary is young at the safety spots, but corners Micah Hyde and B.J. Lowery are a couple of the best in the conference. If Hyde and Lowery can lock down the receivers, it does give the Iowa defense a lot more options. The front four will not likely get into the backfield on a consistent basis, but new coordinator Phil Parker can get a little creative with his blitz packages as long Iowa is comfortable with Hyde and Lowery in single coverage.

Projected Bowl: Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 137.69 (79th in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 234.77 (59, 3)
Total Offense: 372.46 (76, 7)
Scoring Offense: 27.54 (58, 6)
Rushing Defense: 156.00 (62, 7)
Pass Defense: 222.92 (58, 11)
Total Defense: 378.92 (60, 8)
Scoring Defense: 23.85 (46, 8)
Turnover Margin: .08 (49, 6)
Sacks: 1.69 (77, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.23 (78, 7)

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:
#64 Micah Hyde

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#216 Jaleel Johnson
#224 Ryan Ward
#245 Faith Ekakitie