Nov. 1, 2015
- Game Day Live
- 2015 UI Football Fall Camp Central
- Read the November issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/iPad app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye android app
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz anticipated, and received, a “unique challenge” from Maryland’s offense Saturday. He expects the same Nov. 7 at Indiana.
The 10th rated Hawkeyes improved to 8-0 with a 31-15 victory over a Maryland team that gained 241 yards — 104 coming from the legs of Terrapin quarterback Perry Hills. Up next is a road trip to Indiana (4-4, 0-4), a team that leads the Big Ten in total offense at 467.6 yards per game.
“I felt the first two games after our bye week would present unique challenges and (Saturday) playing a team with an interim coach and nothing to lose coming in here and taking some chances and they played hard and aggressively,” Ferentz said Sunday during an exclusive interview with hawkeyesports.com. “We anticipated that to be a tough challenge and no different than going down to Indiana. They have a quarterback (senior Nate Sudfeld) that is experienced and productive and an offensive team that scores a lot of points. They have played a lot of folks tough, they have four quality wins, and it will be a big challenge for us.”
Sudfeld leads the conference in passing average per game (292.7 yards) and pass efficiency (155.9 points). Hoosiers wide receivers Ricky Jones and Simmie Cobbs, Jr., average 18.1 and 15.6 yards per reception.
“Maybe with a little luck we’ll get Jordan Canzeri back. I don’t know if it will be this week, but we’re getting closer based on what I saw (Sunday). He is making significant progress and I can say the same about Ike Boettger. Those are two guys we’re hoping to get back in the mix of things. In the meantime, we’ll keep playing, but it would be good to fortify the lineup a bit with those guys rejoining us.”
UI football coach
Iowa counters with a scoring defense that ranks sixth in the nation, allowing 15.3 points per game. Four of the top six scoring defenses in the country are from the Big Ten: Wisconsin (first, 11.0), Michigan (second, 11.4), Ohio State (fifth, 15.1) and Iowa. Indiana dropped a 34-27 decision to Ohio State on Oct. 3 and trailed Michigan State, 28-26, heading into the fourth quarter Oct. 24 in East Lansing, Michigan.
“When you’re giving up under 17 points, that’s kind of a target area for us and you have a good chance to win,” Ferentz said. “We’re going to have a big challenge coming up this week, but our defense has done a good job. They have been stingy that way and the offense has played off that.”
Aside from wining its eighth consecutive game to begin a season for just the second time in school history (Iowa started 9-0 in 2009), one of the biggest highlights for the Hawkeyes was the return of offensive tackle Boone Myers and running back LeShun Daniels, Jr. Ferentz said that after watching running back Jordan Canzeri and offensive lineman Ike Boettcher run Sunday, more good news could come soon.
“Maybe with a little luck we’ll get Jordan Canzeri back,” Ferentz said. “I don’t know if it will be this week, but we’re getting closer based on what I saw (Sunday). He is making significant progress and I can say the same about Ike Boettger. Those are two guys we’re hoping to get back in the mix of things. In the meantime, we’ll keep playing, but it would be good to fortify the lineup a bit with those guys rejoining us.”
Ball security and takeaways are areas where Iowa continues to impress. The Hawkeyes were plus-3 against Maryland; they are tied with Michigan State on top of the Big Ten at plus-10 for the season.
“Our guys did a great job being aggressive to the football,” Ferentz said. “The defense did a nice job coming up with some takeaways. That was a big part of the game.”
Iowa and Indiana kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on Nov. 7 from Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. The game will be televised to a national audience by ESPN.