Q&A with a Iowa Hawkeye Blogger

Well Buckeyes football is back! Is it me or did this week go by super slow? I am glad the players got to enjoy some well deserved rest so now our attention turns to the Iowa Hawkeyes for tomorrows game. This week I had the pleasure and privilege to work with Rick (@plannedsickdays)
of blackheartgoldpants.com.

MotSaG: What is the Hawkeyes players attitudes this week after dropping that game last weekend to Sparty?

BHGP: Well, I’m not sure exactly. The video interviews from Tuesday didn’t move the needle. I mean they said basically the same things they’be been saying all season. Ferentz has been saying since January that this group wants to right the 4-8 record of 2012. They are focused and know what they have to do. They were asked if the Horseshoe is intimidating an deflected in their answers. I don’t think they’re down from the loss to MSU. Ferentz’s coaching style doesn’t allow his players to get too up or too down on a weekly basis.

MotSaG: Iowa has yet to surrender a rushing touchdown and are surrendering an average of 88.5 yards per game on the ground but gave up 163 yards to Northern Illinois and 135 to Michigan St both being losses. Can Iowa shut down the Buckeyes running attack?

BHGP: I think so. Iowa’s weakness is on the edge and defensive end Dominic Alvis has improved over last year (he played 2012 perhaps still recovering from a torn ACL). Alvis got banged up against MSU and according to Ferentz, is good to go. Iowa’s D has found a way to contain mobile quarterbacks but I don’t think they’ve seen the speed at that position that Braxton Miller has. If OSU wants to power run up the middle, I think that plays into Iowa’s strength. If OSU can option the end and utilize space in the run game I think that exposes Iowa a little bit.

MotSaG: The Buckeyes have proven they are very good against the run with them shutting down Northwestern and that powerful Badger ground game. Can Iowa be the first successful team to run against the Buckeyes?

BHGP: Had Iowa beat MSU I’d probably say yes but that Sparty defense exposed Iowa a little bit. The Hawks were 66/33 rush to pass going into that game and after Weisman left with an ankle injury the ground game was dead in the water. I think Iowa will struggle to find running room but will stick with the game plan and try to win the TOP and keep the ball out of Braxton Miller’s hands. They may not rush for more than 3 ypc but they’ll stick with it if the defense can keep the score close.

MotSaG: What is the biggest difference for Iowa this season compared to last year?

BHGP: The biggest difference has to be quarterback play. The offense starts with the QB and last year James Vandenberg and Greg Davis’ offense were not a fit. Jake Rudock can make plays with his feet and extend drives. He’s won two rivalry games on the road and shown poise and pocket presence we didn’t expect to see until maybe later in the season.

MotSaG: Iowa is the 9th ranked total defense in the country and Ohio State is currently 15th. Do you see this being a low scoring affair?

BHGP: I do as I look at the weather forecast. I believe there’s a 60% chance for rain in Columbus. I’ve been all over the map regarding a prediction. I can see Miller shredding Iowa’s secondary, but I can see 24-14ish too.

MotSaG: What are some of the match-ups Iowa fans are looking forward to this weekend?

BHGP: Probably Adam Woodbury vs. other Big Ten centers. Iowa fan has moved onto basketball after the loss to MSU. I’m kidding, kinda

MotSaG: What does Iowa fans feel the Buckeyes biggest weakness is?

BHGP: Maybe the OSU DLine? I know you’re young there and there’s been injuries. Iowa’s offensive line has played well this early season and they’ll have to have their best game of the season for Iowa to have a chance Saturday.

MotSaG: Kirk Ferentz is 1-7 versus the Buckeyes. Why shouldn’t Buckeye fans over look the Hawkeyes?

BHGP: Probably because they’re a conference foe. The games matter. Iowa isn’t Toledo and a loss hurts conference championship chances.

MotSaG: Iowa only plays 1 team the rest of the season that’s under .500 how do you think they will finish the season?

BHGP: Prior to the season I thought Iowa could get to 7-5 and win a mid-tier bowl game to finish 8-5. They’re 4-2 now and need three wins against OSU, NW, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue and Nebraska to do that. I think Purdue is a win and maybe they get Northwestern, Wisconsin or Michigan as those three are at home. I’m sticking with 7-5 although 6-6 is probably more realistic.

MotSaG: What is your prediction for the game (score included)?

BHGP: Last week I was ready to call it 45-10 OSU. As the game approaches I feel a little better about Iowa’s chances. Iowa 24, OSU 20. (ps. I never pick against my team).

I said before the Northwestern game it was going to be close and I was worried about it, guess what I was right about something!! Honestly no disrespect to Iowa but I think Rick’s first thoughts on the score 45-10 Buckeyes is going to be closer to reality. We always hear numbers don’t lie but I am having a hard time accepting the fact that Iowa is one of the top 10 teams in stopping the run only for the fact they gave up 163 yards to N. Illinois and 135 to Michigan State and we all know the Buckeyes have more talent in our backfield than what the Hawkeyes defense has seen so far. I know its weird to say I feel their run stopping stats are a mirage in a week 7 match-up but I see the Miller, Hyde and Wilson running all over the field tomorrow.

The thing that scares me about this Buckeyes team is the fact that their secondary seems very very suspect this season and to me personally I can’t stand this cushion crap that the corners keep giving the receivers. I am old school, get up on that line bump them a few times get that timing off. I know there’s reasons they do what they do, the coaches forgot more about the game than I probably will ever retain but seeing the Buckeyes stop the run just to give up a first down playing the zone crap drives me nuts. I am going with The Ohio State Buckeyes 45-17 at the ‘Shoe.

I would like to thank Rick (@plannedsickdays) from blackheartsgoldpants.com for helping me with this weeks post and go check out their site they doe great work and love what they are doing like us. By the way Rick its alright to be a homer I would do the same for my Buckeyes!!

If you want to get involved and have questions about upcoming opponents feel free to send them in to me and I can send them on. Email your questions to AskMotSaG@gmail.com or MotSaG@gmail.com. Would love to know your thoughts on this post and hope you enjoyed it.