The Iowa Hawkeyes were under a ton of pressure to go into Jack Trice Stadium and knock off the Iowa State Cyclones this past Saturday. The Hawkeyes hadn’t pulled out a victory in the annual in-state rivalry since 2010 and in Hawkland, that’s not acceptable. Heading into the contest, no one really knew what to expect. Both squads had left much to be desired in their previous games and home field advantage figured to give the Cyclones a slight edge. When it was all said and done, the Hawkeyes flat out beat their in-state rival in nearly every facet of the game.
Hawk fans were happy as could be for the majority of this game. The ending, however, was just classic Kirk Ferentz football. Somehow, the Hawkeyes let the Cyclones back in the game after dominating throughout and had to recover a late onside kick to seal the deal. You have to give ISU credit for hanging in and recovering the first onside kick, but there’s no way Iowa should have let it come to that.
But the end result is all that matters and the Cy-Hawk trophy is now back in Iowa City.
This win was a big one for the Iowa program, but the real journey is just beginning. The Hawks have one final non-conference game against Western Michigan to prepare for the Big Ten. In years past, it would have been a forgone conclusion that Iowa would take care of business against WMU (despite their loss to them in 2007), but this Broncos team is winless on the year.
Iowa is still an average at best team. It’s time for Jake Rudock to start developing as a pocket passer and it’s time for the coaching staff to call up more plays for WR Kevonte Martin-Manley and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz. Fiedorowicz only caught one pass against ISU and that’s just unacceptable moving forward.
Fans will have to hope this year’s Iowa team resembles those of the past, in that they got better with each passing week. The ceiling isn’t very high for the 2013 Hawks, but a Bowl berth is still a real possibility.