Here is team #11 and the 2010 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Preview. All part of our 31 teams in 31 days college football season preview highlighting the best college football teams for the upcoming 2010 NCAA football season.
No. 11 Iowa Hawkeyes
2009 record: 11-2
2009 Bowl Game: 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in Orange Bowl
2009 ATS: 9-3
Returning starters: 14 (6 on offense, 8 on defense)
The 2009 Orange Bowl winners will look to finish their season with a BCS bowl game again in 2010. Senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi returns after a solid junior season. He has pulled of a couple of comeback victories, but he was a little careless with the ball in 2009.
He threw for 2,417 yards and 17 touchdowns. However, he only completed 56.3 percent of his passes and threw 15 interceptions. He will look to cut down on the costly turnovers and finish his senior season with even better numbers.
The Hawkeyes return top sophomore rushers Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher. Robinson ran for 834 yards and five touchdowns in 2009. Wegher carried the ball 162 times for 641 yards and eight touchdowns. Iowa will also get back Jewel Hampton, who was supposed to start last season, but missed the campaign due to a knee injury.
Iowa also returns top pass catchers Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt. Johnson-Koulianos caught 45 passes for 750 yards and two touchdowns.
McNutt hauled in 34 balls for 674 yards and eight touchdowns. The converted quarterback proved to be one of the most explosive receivers in the game, averaging 19.8 yards per reception and busting out a 92 yard touchdown catch and run against Indiana.
The defense returns eight starters and looks to be extremely strong. They dominated their opponents in 2009 and the added experience will only help the defensive unit get better in the 2010 campaign.
Senior defensive end Adrian Clayborn decided to return for his final year of eligibility and is looking to repeat his 2009 numbers. He had 11.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. He also broke up two passes and totaled 70 tackles.
Clayborn forced four fumbles and blocked a punt that he returned for a touchdown. He will get help from senior tackle Christian Ballard, who had 5.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss in 2009.
The Hawkeyes have to replace linebacker Pat Angerer who was the team’s top tackler last year with 145 tackles. He also had four tackles for a loss, one interception, and he broke up five passes. Senior Jeremiha Hunter, who was second in tackles in 2009 with 89, will lead the inexperienced unit.
The secondary is anchored by two ball hawks at safety. Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood combined for nine interception and they lead an experienced defensive backfield that should be able to create its share of takeaways.
Kicker Daniel Murray struggled at times, going 19-for-26 on field goals. He made a 48-yarder for his season long, but went 0-1 on kicks of 50 yards an over. He had two short misses as well, going 5-for-7 on kicks from 1-29 yards. He connected on 32 of his 33 extra point attempts.
Punter Ryan Donahue averaged 40.9 yards per attempt last season and forced 19 fair catches. He backed the opposing offense up in its on 20-yard line 27 times.
Johnson-Koulianos excelled at returning kicks last season, averaging 31.5 yards per attempt. He scored one touchdown.
Colin Sandeman returned punts, and averaged 9.0 yards per attempt in 2009.
Against the spread
The Hawkeyes went 9-3 against the college football point spreads. They had a 3-3 record ATS as the home favorite and a 1-0 record as the road favorite. They didn’t have a game as the home dog, but did great against the spread as the road underdog. Iowa went 4-0 in that situation.
They went 6-2 ATS when playing other Big Ten teams, and 3-1 against non-conference opponents. The Hawkeyes have an incredible 72-47-2 record ATS in the last ten years.
You can bet on it
Bet on the Hawkeyes in their final game of the regular season at Minnesota on November 27. Iowa shut out Minnesota in the last two meetings and has won eight of the last nine. Their last loss to Minnesota came in the 2006 season.
Favor the fade
Fade the Hawkeyes at Northwestern on November 13 for our college football predictions on Iowa. There has been an upset in each of the last five meetings between the teams and Iowa has been upset four times. With the matchup against Ohio State looming large the following week, this could be a trap game against a good Northwestern team.