Aug. 18, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Practice 19 is in the books for the University of Iowa football team, and by the look of Saturday’s open scrimmage No. 2, the Hawkeye offense has spent plenty of time with its nose in the playbook.
“I don’t think (the new offense) is a factor at this point,” first-year UI offensive coordinator Greg Davis said. “If we call everything in the huddle, they won’t make mental mistakes — even the younger guys. In terms of understanding what we’re trying to do, I think we’re on the same page.”
This practice inside Kinnick Stadium consisted of a new wrinkle: piped-in crowd noise. Loud crowd noise. And if Davis felt any angst during the scrimmage, the noise was a primary culprit.
“Of course you’re never totally happy, and you really don’t know until you watch the film, but there were too many of what we call administrative penalties,” Davis said. “(The noise) was part of the reason; it’s a good exercise and it’s one more step in trying to get ready to play.”
The opener is Saturday, Sept. 1, against Northern Illinois at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Last season the Huskies finished 11-3 and defeated Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. If Northern Illinois was the foe Aug. 18, the Huskies would have witnessed an opposing offense heavy on tight end involvement and impressive youth at the running back position.
“I don’t think (the new offense) is a factor at this point. If we call everything in the huddle, they won’t make mental mistakes — even the younger guys. In terms of understanding what we’re trying to do, I think we’re on the same page.”
UI offensive coordinator
Davis said the Hawkeyes featured tight ends because wide receivers Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley sat out Saturday’s scrimmage with minor injuries. Speaking of injuries, the UI staff is waiting for word on the status of running back Barkley Hill, who twisted his left leg during a touchdown run late in practice.
“Barkley is a young guy who came in and really impressed us,” Davis said. “He has done some good things, so hopefully he will be back with us.”
The Hawkeye starter at running back — Damon Bullock — continues to impress because of his running and pass receiving skills.
“All the tailbacks catch the ball well,” Davis said. “Damon Bullock catches it like a receiver; I guess he was a receiver at one time — he has great hands.”
Freshman Greg Garmon proved quick and elusive, but he also moved the pile on more than one occasion.
“Just when you think it’s going to be second-and-7, all of the sudden you look up and it’s second-and-5,” Davis said. “That is something we have to continue to do.”
Davis and the rest of the offensive staff will learn much from reviewing the video of Saturday’s scrimmage. One thing is certain: this video will look more polished than the one from Aug. 11.
“We had a really good week of practice,” Davis said. “We made great strides from last Saturday to this Saturday.”