Hawkeye Football Team Will Face a Much Needed Opponent Saturday
You maybe read that headline and said to yourself "The Hawkeyes don't play this week" or "The Hawkeyes are on a bye this week" and you'd be 100% correct. The Iowa Hawkeyes' biggest opponent this weekend...is themselves. You could maybe argue that finding a comfortable mattress might be their second biggest opponent.
After a devastating ending to the Iowa vs Minnesota game, this bye week could not come at a better time for the Hawks. That game ended on a horrendous call, followed by an offense that put up 2 total yards in the second half. Despite the "invalid fair catch" that brought the football back to Iowa's 46-yard line...there was still more than enough time for the Hawkeyes to get in field goal position, milk the clock, and end the game.
I've never seen a team need a bye more than this Iowa Hawkeye team. While the Hawkeyes might not play this week, they can still find a way to "win" the bye week.
Rest, Recovery, Fundamentals
When a game ends in the fashion the way Saturday's game ended, sometimes you need to step back and take a breath. Should Iowa have won the game? Yes. Was the loss heartbreaking and/or frustrating? Also, Yes. This is the time when the team can recover and erase last Saturday from the memory bank.
Despite having a 6-2 record, Iowa still has much of their destiny in their own hands. Wisconsin currently sits at 5-2 and Iowa will have the tiebreaker in the Big 10 West, over Wisconsin, because they beat them 15-6 on October 14th. This is a crucial time for the Hawkeyes to recharge and hit the reset button. If they can take care of business going forward, they can still play for a Big 10 championship.
Offensive lineman, Rusty Feth, spoke to KCRG about how important a bye week can be for players.
The bye week is actually one of the best and most important times to focus on yourself and focus on getting better. You don’t have the scheme to worry about, you don’t have a team to worry about, and all you have to worry about is day-one base fundamentals.
The Hawkeyes have played 8 games in a row and while the break is needed, the team can't throw away practice reps. Defensive Lineman, Deontae Craig, told KCRG about how important it is to not waste these valuable practice reps.
When you’re out there getting reps it could be easy to just throw them off act like they don’t matter. At the same time, it can be easy to throw off the ‘rest’ side and act like it doesn’t matter.
Regardless of how much rest is needed and how players will still need to focus in practice, this offense has 2 weeks to re-evaluate itself and get better. There is zero excuse for producing 2 yards of total offense in an entire half of football. There's zero excuse for 2 yards of offense at any level of competitive football but especially at the Division 1 level.
This isn't high school football, D3, or Junior College. This is big time, big money, division 1 football. The Hawkeyes are playing in one of the biggest conferences in the NCAA and 2 yards in a half cannot happen and there's really no excuse for it.
Coaches and players on that side of the ball need to take these 2 weeks and really look hard at themselves in the mirror. If the offense can't use these 2 weeks to figure something out, fans will continue to hope this team wins games 10-7. That's not a recipe for winning football games at this level.
Iowa has a chance to right the ship on November 4th, where they will take on Northwestern at Wrigley Field, in Chicago.
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Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks
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