Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeyes will spend the 11 days before opening kickoff working on consistency and solidifying the depth chart.
“We don’t have the consistency we need right now,” Ferentz said Tuesday after the 22nd practice of fall camp. “As we move forward, No. 1 on the list is developing consistency and right along with that, awareness; we have to continue working at different situations and putting guys in situations and seeing how they react.”
Ferentz is pleased with attitudes and effort in camp. The Hawkeyes held a scrimmage Friday evening that made two-deep personnel clearer, but much is yet to be determined.
“Whether it is offense, defense, or special teams, we still have a lot of decisions to make and guys to look at,” Ferentz said. “It has been Iowa versus Iowa through (Tuesday). That will continue Thursday and Friday and we’ll do a little scout work at the end of the week to get the process going. We won’t worry about Miami (Ohio) until next week.”
First-year student-athletes are making a positive impression and making a concrete depth chart difficult. Four true freshmen saw action in 2015 and Ferentz said that number could dramatically rise this season.
“Maybe it’s a bigger influx of first-year guys,” Ferentz said. “I could see anywhere from 6-10 guys getting their feet this year. We’ll try to start narrowing by the end of the week.”
Junior offensive lineman Ike Boettger sees strides being made in camp, but there is plenty to improve upon before hosting the Redhawks on Sept. 3.
“We’re looking at guys in different positions and trying to gel,” Boettger said. “We want to smooth everything out and cut back on mental mistakes like procedural penalties, offsides, or lining up wrong.”
For junior defensive lineman Nathan Bazata, improving consistency means honing in on technique.
“Whether it is offense, defense, or special teams, we still have a lot of decisions to make and guys to look at. It has been Iowa versus Iowa through (Tuesday). That will continue Thursday and Friday and we’ll do a little scout work at the end of the week to get the process going. We won’t worry about Miami (Ohio) until next week.” — UI head coach Kirk Ferentz
“We have to fix that because the last couple practices we were kind of sloppy,” Bazata said.
While Ferentz is pleased by what has taken place on the practice field, he is also impressed at the pace of ticket sales. Iowa has sold its 8,500 student tickets for the 2016 season. To date, home games against Iowa State and Michigan are sold out.
“It is great to see the students sell out their allotment,” he said. “I encourage them to come early and stay late. In general, we’re looking forward to the Fans First (initiative) and there is a lot of effort going into improving the atmosphere inside and outside. I want to commend everybody involved in that.”
In other personnel news, redshirt freshman wide receiver Emmanuel Ogwo is leaving football to join the Hawkeye track and field team and redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Wilson has been released.