North Texas Daily

Behind Enemy Lines: an inside look at Iowa

Behind Enemy Lines: an inside look at Iowa

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell walks the sideline during a game against Southern Methodist University. The Mean Green lost the game 54-32. Colin Mitchell

Behind Enemy Lines: an inside look at Iowa
September 14
15:08 2017

Editor’s note: Before Saturday’s game between North Texas and Iowa, the North Texas Daily went behind enemy lines with Courtney Baumann, pregame editor of The Daily Iowan, to get an inside scoop on the Hawkeyes.

1) Who is Iowa’s most important player and why?

Iowa’s most important player by and large is Akrum Wadley. He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and he can return the ball. He had the game tying touchdown with about a minute left at Iowa State University, where he took a short pass, broke free from five different defenders, and turned it into a 46-yard touchdown to send the game into overtime.

Wadley is a playmaker, and a player Iowa desperately needs.

2) What is Iowa’s biggest weakness?

Iowa’s game Sept. 9 made it fairly obvious that its biggest weakness is the passing defense. It looked fantastic for the Hawkeyes’ first game against Wyoming, when the defense held Josh Allen and his Cowboys to just three points, but along came the Cyclones and Jacob Park, who completely picked apart the Iowa secondary.

Iowa’s defensive line and linebackers are veteran guys, but right now it seems as though the team’s biggest weakness is communication between the defensive group as a whole.

3) Could this be a trap game for Iowa after the OT win over Iowa State with No. 5 Penn State looming next week?

North Texas very well could be a trap game for Iowa. It may seem like a “down” week, especially after the result last time the two teams faced off, but Kirk Ferentz made it clear in his weekly press conference that he and his team are not taking the game lightly.

Ferentz compared North Texas to Iowa State, where the opposing team is coming in with a second-year coaching staff and a high-tempo offense “that operates very efficiently and very effectively.” The Hawkeyes know that the Mean Green are not the same team they faced two years ago, and they plan to play that way.

4) What are the keys to the game for Iowa?

Iowa’s biggest key will be keeping the Mean Green’s passing game at bay. Last week against Iowa State, Iowa gave up more than 300 yards through the air, which is a cause for concern. Considering that North Texas’ offense seems to be pass-first and has shown the ability to pile on yards throughout the first two games of the season, this will be the most important thing for the Hawkeyes.

Also, it will be vital for quarterback Nate Stanley to build off of his performance at Iowa State. Though he put on an impressive showing, Stanley made crucial errors more than a few times by overthrowing open targets downfield and having lapses in judgment when throwing into coverage.

5) Game prediction

Expect Iowa’s defense to come back with a vengeance this game after a not-so-great showing last weekend. The Hawkeyes showed that they can stop high-powered offenses during Week 1, and I would not be surprised to see them do so.

That being said, I still think it will be an offensive fight. I’m taking Iowa, 31-21.

Featured Image: North Texas head coach Seth Littrell walks the sideline during a game against Southern Methodist University. The Mean Green lost the game 54-32. Colin Mitchell

About Author

Brady Keane

Brady Keane

Brady Keane is the Sports Editor of the North Texas Daily. He previously served as Deputy Sports Editor (Jan. 2017-May 2017) and as a Staff Writer (Aug. 2015-May 2016).

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