Iowa 2008 Football Team Overview

By: 515forums



After a season marred by scandals and a poor record Iowa looks to turn it around in 2008. 18 football players have been named to the 2007 fall academic all-Big Ten team, which is a good sign going into 2008. Hopefully the bad apples have left the tree. Douglas has transferred and hopefully both him and the University of Iowa can move forward. One way or another *knock on wood* we won't have the same off the field problems this year.

The sophomores are experienced

Iowa had 31 first-year student-athletes see game action either on offense, defense or special teams in 2007. In addition to the 11 true freshmen, 20 redshirt freshmen saw the field. The Hawkeyes ranked third in the country in playing the most true and redshirt freshmen; North Carolina played 38 and Florida 33. Iowa tied for eighth nationally in playing 11 true freshmen.

Iowa had 11 true freshmen play in 2007: DT Cody Hundertmark, DB Cedric Everson, DE Christian Ballard, LB Jacody Coleman, DB Diauntae Morrow, LB Dezman Moses, WR Colin Sandeman, DB Jordan Bernstine, RB Jevon Pugh, TE Allen Reisner and OL Bryan Bulaga.

The 11 true freshmen are the most that have seen action under Kirk Ferentz in a single season. Iowa had seven true freshmen play in 2003 and 2000.

Ended on a Good Note

Iowa won four of its last six and just missed being selected for a bowl game. The Hawkeyes could return as many as 18 out of 24 starters (includes two kicking starters) for the 2008 campaign. Iowa was bowl eligible for the seventh straight season and finished in the Big Ten's upper division for the sixth time in seven years. Nine starters return on offense,

Returning Starters

The Hawkeyes could return as many as 18 out of 24 starters (including the K/P).

Offense

Iowa loves to start the game on offense. Iowa has started on offense in 92 of its last 104 games. Iowa has started the game on offense in 94 of 110 games under Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes scored 13 touchdowns and a field goal on their last 15 red zone possessions over the last four games in 2007.

On offense they could return 9. Iowa threw only seven interceptions in 2007 (six by Jake Christensen and one by Ricky Stanzi). The seven picks are the second-fewest thrown by an Iowa team. Iowa's 2002 team established the school record for fewest interceptions (5). The Hawkeyes did not record a turnover in five games in 2007 (Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State).

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Iowa broke the school record for fewest turnovers in a season (13). The previous school record was 15 (nine interceptions and six fumbles), established in 1963 (eight games). Iowa ranked first in the Big Ten and 20th in the country in turnover margin (+8).

For 2007, Christensen completed 198-370 passes for 2,269 yards. The sophomore threw 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Christensen threw three touchdowns or more in three games in 2007 (Syracuse, Indiana and Western Michigan). He was 4-2 as a starter in home games and 13 of his 17 touchdown passes came in Kinnick Stadium. His passing yardage total (2,269) ranks 12th-best in a single-season at Iowa. In fact, it is believed that he became the first quarterback in NCAA Bowl Subdivision history to start his first two games against the same team.

The real question is: Can he be more accurate. The guy looked GREAT when he rolled outside the pocket, but when stood there he got sacked more than Drew Bledsoe!

TE Tony Moeaki sat out most of the 2007 season due to medical reasons. He will receive a redshirt! He was spotted as high as the top 10 TE during last season according to power rankings relating to this years draft.

Moeaki had been having a breakout season, prior to his injuries. In Iowa's 35-0 win over Syracuse, the receiver had eight receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns, which earned him rivals.com Big Ten Player of the Week and John Mackey Tight End of the Week accolades. All were career highs. He hauled in 14 passes for 170 yards in 2007. He was on the John Mackey Watch List, an award which goes to the top tight end in college football.

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Honored on the 2007 Sporting News Freshman all-Big Ten team were WR James Cleveland, OL Bryan Bulaga, DB Brett Greenwood, PK Daniel Murray and P Ryan Donahue. Iowa had the most players recognized on the team.



Defense

As a unit, Iowa did not allow a touchdown until late in the second quarter at Wisconsin in game four - a streak of 13 quarters. The Hawkeyes didn't allow a touchdown in four games (Northern Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa State and Illinois) in 2007.

The Hawkeye defense which ranked first in the conference in turnover margin and Red Zone defense and finished third in fewest points allowed (18.8 per game). They will return Six, and possibly seven starters return on defense. Senior Devan Moylan is petitioning for an extra year after sitting out most of the 2007 season with an injury.

First team all-Big Ten defensive tackle Mitch King is Iowa's leading returnee on defense. Over 50 lettermen (only 37 last year) will be on Iowa's spring roster.

Iowa ranked 13th in the nation in scoring defense (18.8), 20th in turnover margin (+8), 29th in rushing defense (122.0), 32nd in pass efficiency defense (115.7), 37th in punt returns (10.6).

FS Brett Greenwood intercepted an Illinois pass at the goal line to seal Iowa's 10-6 victory over the then-18th-ranked Illini on Oct. 13. The play was nominated for the NCAAs weekly Pontiac Game Changing Performance Award.

DL Anton Narinskiy will return. He was a first team academic all-district honoree.

Special Teams

Doesn't it suck when you have to brag about your punter? Not when you have this guy!

Punter Ryan Donahue punted 46 times for a 38.6 average through Iowa's first seven games. Since the Hawkeyes' contest at Purdue, the redshirt freshman raised his punting average to 41.1 on 86 kicks. The last five games he punted 40 times for a 44.0 average and downed eight inside the 20. Donahue had long kicks of 82 (Michigan State), 76 (Northwestern), 68 (Purdue) and 54 (Minnesota and Western Michigan) the last five contests.

Donahue broke two school punting records in 2007. The native of Evergreen Park, IL, established school records for punts in a single-season (86) and punt yardage (3,533). The previous records were held by Dave Holsclaw in 1978, 85 punts for 3,107 yards. I don't know about you, but I dont think we want to re-set that record for most punts in a single season again anytime soon.

The redshirt freshman was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week Oct. 29, after averaging 51.6 yards on eight punts vs. Michigan State. Four of his eight punts eclipsed 50 yards, including an 82-yarder that is the second longest in school history. Donahue also earned freshman honorable mention all-American accolades by The Sporting News.

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Key Departures

Mike Humpal, Kenny Iwebima, Bryan Mattison and Charles Godfrey were all selected for the various post season bowls and will not be returning to the squad next year.

Offense
The losses are big as running back Albert Young and Damien Sims will have used up their eligibility. These 2 both finished in the top 20 all time in rush yards for the University of Iowa. Fullback Tom Busch will also be gone.

Defense
Gone will be linebackers Mike Klinkenborg and Mike Humpal, ends Bryan Mattisons and Kenny Iwebema and backs Adam Shada and Charles Godfrey.

Schedule for 2008 Season.

Aug. 30 Maine (Kirk used to coach there.)
Sept. 6 Florida International
Sept. 15 Iowa State
Sept 20 at Pittsburgh
Sept. 27 Northwestern
Oct. 4 at Michigan State
Oct. 11 at Indiana
Oct. 18 Wisconsin
Oct. 25 BYE
Nov. 1 at Illinois
Nov. 8 Penn State
Nov. 15 Purdue
Nov. 22 at Minnesota

Iowa has won 32 of its last 39 games (.821) in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season.

Again this year with no Ohio State and no Michigan on their schedule, Iowa has a chance to do extremely well this season. However, I thought the same thing last year when we went 6-6. They will open the season in Soldier Field against Northern Illinois once again this season. Homecoming has been scheduled for Indiana and as usual our big rivalry game, against Iowa State, is the 3rd game of the season. They have a shot at redemption after last years field goal festival in Jack Trice.

Iowa opened its 2007 conference schedule on the road (at Wisconsin) for the eighth time in nine years under Coach Ferentz. Iowa's lone conference home opener, under Coach Ferentz, came in 2001 when it defeated Penn State. The Hawkeyes open the 2008 Big Ten schedule at home for the first time since 2001, vs. Northwestern.

Verbal Commitments

Iowa has the 39th ranked recruiting class according to Scout.com. Heres your recruits.

Recruit (# Stars) - Position - From - Ht/Wt

James Ferentz (3) - C - Iowa City High, IA - (6-2/250)
James is the son of current Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz.
John Wienke (3) - QB - Tuscola HS, IL - (6-5/210)
Led his team to the state title and turned down offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Michigan and Purdue!
David Blackwell (3) - WLB - Cardinal Gibbons HS, Fort Lauderdale, FL - (6-1.5/208)
A multiple threat from his quarterback position in high school, Blackwell has the size and power to be a linebacker or running back on the college level.
Jonathan Gimm(3) - TE - Westfield HS, Houston, TX - (6-2/232)
As a junior Gimm was used primarily as a blocking tight end.
Brad Herman (3) - MLB - Metamora HS, IL - (6-4/220)
DeMarco Paine( 3) - CB - Hazelwood East HS, St. Louis, MO (5-10/166)
James Vandenberg (3) - QB- (Keokuk HS) Keokuk, IA (6-2/180)
High School Heisman Winner for the State of Iowa. Vandenburg finished his high school career by leading his team to a 3-A title and by setting a handful of passing records along the way. Among the records Vandenberg set are: most yards passing in a season (3,729), most TD passes in a season (49), most yards in a career (7,677) and most TD passes in a career (93). The senior also heads the list of 2,000-yard-plus passers in back-to-back seasons, racking up 2,654 yards in 2006. He Turned down an offer from Nebraska to play at Iowa.
Riley Reiff (3) - DE - Parkston HS, SD (6-6/230)
Standout wrestler who finished 34-0 and won his second Class B title at 215 pounds as a sophomore. Does this remind anyone else of Matt Roth?
Jack Swanson (3) - CB Naples HS, FL (5-10/175)
Jeff Brinson (3) - RB - Northeast HS, Saint Petersburg, FL 6-0/205
Talented running back who ran for over 1,000 yards in eight games as a sophomore and then finished his junior season with 1,197 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's also one of the fastest backs around. He turned down offers from Michigan State, Florida and Kansas.
Khalif Staten (3) - WR - Abraham Lincoln HS, Brooklyn, NY (6-2/218)
Staten set a New York state record as a junior with 18 receptions in one game.
Nathan Guillory (3) - RB - Coffeyville, KS (5-9/180)
A JuCo Transfer who will be a Sophomore when he starts practice at Iowa.
Trent Mossbrucker (2) - K -Mooresville HS, IN (5-10.5/192)
He earned 1st place at Purdue's Elite Quarterback Camp for speed passing accuracy. He is looking to be a kicker at the college level. His longest field goal kicked is 49 yards as a junior, Trent is 19 of 27 (field goals), 56 of 62 (extra points), and has kicked off 105 times with an average of just over 55 yards with 44 touchbacks. He's also punted 55 times for an average of 32.8 yards. As a quarterback he's passed for over 2,600 yards and 22 passing, 16 rushing touchdowns. I'm thinking he could be a fake FG threat?
Joe Gaglione (2)- MLB - Lake Catholic HS, Mentor, OH (6-3.5/213)
David Cato (2) - S -Mansfield Summit HS; Arlington, TX (5-10/190)
J.D. Griggs (2) - DE -Piscataway Township HS, NJ (6-4/220)
Jason Semmes (2) - DE - St. Mary Preparatory School; Orchard Lake, MI (6-3/220)
Marcus Malbrough (2) - DE West Brook Sr HS; Beaumont, TX (6-5/230)
Jewel Hampton (2) - RB Warren Central HS; Indianapolis, IN (5-11/200)

Injury Report

Ferentz said that offensive lineman Dace Richardson had knee surgery in the fall and emphasized that it was not a "standard" ACL repair. He said it is difficult to predict how long the recovery will take or when he will be back to full speed. Tight end Tony Moeaki's hand/wrist will be 100 percent in June and fullback Jordan McLaughlin had surgery for a sports hernia last week. Wide receiver Andy Brodell "should be fine."

Transfers

Dominique Douglas, Cedric Everson and Abe Satterfield have decided to transfer from the University of Iowa and will continue their collegiate football careers elsewhere. None of the three will be on Iowa's roster when classes resume in January.

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