2009 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Preview
2008 Record: (9-4, 5-3)
2008 Bowl: Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina (W 31-10)
Coach: Kirk Ferentz (70-53 at Iowa, 82-74 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Ken O’Keefe
Defensive Coordinator: Norm Parker
Other Key Returnees: DE Christian Ballard, OT Bryan Bulaga, OT Kyle Calloway, S Brett Greenwood, LB Jeremiha Hunter, CB Amari Spievey, G Julian Vandervelde
Key Losses: WR Andy Brodell, C Rob Bruggeman, CB Bradley Fletcher, RB Shonn Greene, DT Mitch King, DT Matt Kroul, TE Brandon Myers, G Seth Olsen,
Ricky Stanzi was not the most efficient quarterback in the conference, but he did do a pretty good job once Jake Christensen was out of the picture. On the year he threw for nearly 2,000 yards and connected on 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Another year of experience should have Stanzi ready to take on a bigger role.
With the return of Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Stanzi has his favorite target. Johnson-Koulianos caught a team high 44 passes for 639 yards as a sophomore. The Hawkeyes will need to find a few new targets to compliment Johnson-Koulianos, but with him leading the way, Iowa’s passing game should be fine. The defensive back seven should be very strong as well. All three linebackers return led by Pat Angerer. With A.J. Edds and Jeremiha Hunter by his side, the linebacker corps should be one of the best in the conference. The return of three of the team’s four starters in the secondary will make things even better. The team ranked 12 th in the nation in total defense and that could happen once again if Tyler Sash, Brett Greenwood and Amari Spievey can shut down a conference that should have a handful of quality receivers.
However, the defense has lost two of its most important players. Tackles Mitch King and Matt Kroul were the heart and soul of the defense and they will be sorely missed. The Hawkeyes gave up less than one hundred yards per game on the ground and that was almost entirely due to King and Kroul. How much will the defense suffer now that those two are gone? Karl Klug and Mike Daniels have potential, but there is no way those two will be able to replace the production of King and Kroul. The other big loss is running back Shonn Greene. Greene tallied an incredible 1,850 yards on the ground and now the torch will be passed to Jewel Hampton. Hampton did a decent job when given the opportunity last season, but there definitely should be a drop off in production on the ground this year and that will put a ton of pressure on Stanzi to get the passing attack moving consistently.
The Bottom Line for the Hawkeyes:
Iowa does lose a couple quality linemen in guard Seth Olsen and center Rob Bruggeman. However, tackles Bryan Bulaga and Kyle Calloway, along with guard Julian Vandervelde are a good group to build around. The unit gave up quite a few sacks last year, but they also paved the way for Greene to have a superb year. If the line can hold up again, the offense should be in decent shape.
By Joel Welser
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