As the Iowa Hawkeyes head out on the road to Columbus, Ohio there must be many things running through the minds of the Hawkeyes’ coaches and players. The Hawks are going to play in the Horseshoe against the team with the longest active winning streak in all of college football.
Coach Urban Meyer has lead his Ohio State Buckeyes to victories over Northwestern and Wisconsin in consecutive games. The Buckeyes didn’t lose once last year and are looking to do so once again in hopes of a chance at a National Championship.
Young quarterback Jake Rudock is probably a bit antsy as he is about to take the stage in his most highly-watched game as a college quarterback. His skills will be pitted not only against the vaunted Buckeyes defense, but his opposition at quarterback is the Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller.
If Miller were to go down, the Buckeyes would have Kenny Guiton, a quarterback who some say could probably be starting after seeing his performances earlier in the season.
Running back Mark Wiesman is undoubtedly thinking about the beating he is hoping to dish out. His style of running may be something that the Buckeyes have not yet seen this season.
The entire Hawkeyes defensive squad will be thinking about how in the world they plan to contain Miller, Corey Brown and Carlos Hyde. Senior Dominic Alvis and the other Hawkeyes defensive linemen will be focused on how they intend to contain Miller, whose talent as a passer is surpassed by his elusiveness as a runner.
Miller has the ability to break a big run at any point, and the focus for the Hawkeyes must be on containing him. Senior strong safety B.J. Lowrey and other member of the Hawkeyes’ secondary will be thinking intently about the responsibility of keeping everything in front of them and always keeping an eye on Brown.
What will be going through the heads of the Hawkeyes’ coaching staff? All of these things and then some. More specifically for coach Kirk Ferentz, this may be the one of the biggest college football games he has coached in. That is right, the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten may have the biggest game of his career this weekend on the road in Ohio.
Why might this be the biggest game of his career? Because of the rise of the Ohio State Buckeyes under coach Meyer. Meyer is looking to establish the Buckeyes as the unrivaled dominant team in the Big Ten. Ferentz has coached in many big games and he has a very shining resume. He continues to put players in the NFL that go onto have a successful pro career.
Ferentz may have a decision to make in his near future. Now that his sons have gone through the program at Iowa, he is ready to move on. At one time, his name was rumored to be a potential NFL coach.
Does Ferentz want to stick around in the Big Ten and continue to square off against Meyer, who may always have more talented recruits, or is he ready to move on and lead another program before his value as a head coach begins to drop?