December 30, 2018

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2018 Hawkeye Football Game Notes, The 2019 Outback Bowl, Mississippi State @ Iowa

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2018 Edition

Iowa’s Record: 8-4, 5-4 Big Ten, 3-3 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 4 votes
Coaches: 19 votes
College Football Playoff:
*Times Eastern

September 1st, Northern Illinois, WIN 33-7
September 8th, Iowa State, WIN 13-3
September 15th, Northern Iowa, WIN 38-14
September 22nd, •Wisconsin, Loss 28-17
October 6th, @ •Minnesota, WIN 48-31
October 13th, @ Indiana, WIN 42-16
October 20th, Maryland, WIN 23-0
October 27th, @ Penn State, Loss 30-24
November 3rd, @ •Purdue, Loss 38-36
November 10th, •Northwestern, Loss 14-10
November 17th, @ •Illinois, WIN 63-0
November 23rd (Friday), •Nebraska, WIN 31-28

•Big Ten West Division Game

 January1st, 2019 
2019 Outback Bowl
Mississippi State @ Iowa, 12:00 pm, ESPN2

Scouting next opponent

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
 January 1st  (Tuesday) v. #18 Mississippi State Bulldogs, 8-4, 4-4 SEC West
Previous Meetings: 0
Last Meeting: First

Kinnick Color of the Week: an Iowa game in the sun of Florida.  Hawkeye colors, dress for the forecast.

Current Line: Iowa +7

Stanley Passing TD Count (record 27) 23

Turnover Margin: +8,  B1G #2 FBS #17

Interceptions: 18, B1G #1, FBS #3

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2018 season total
Total   389.7 Pass 227.7  Rush 162.0  Scoring 31.5
B1G    #9            #6                #9                 #5
FBS    #76     #67              #77               #46
Total   289.6  Pass 186.8 Rush 102.8     Scoring 17.4
B1G    #2             #4              #2                  #1
FBS    #7             #24            #7                  #11
WEEK 13: Huskers

Well, if  you are scoring at home, that is 4 straight over the Huskers. That, the high water mark for Iowa wins in this series.  But Nebraska did not fire their coach after this loss to the Hawks….

Maybe if the Hawks make it 8 straight in 4 years!  But things will be more interesting in the years ahead with the young QB, seems a star in the making.  

So the Huskers were off to do whatever teams do when they are NOT bowl eligible, as the Hawks began preparation for the trip to San Diego and the Holiday Bowl.


Err, hold that thought!  Right up to that title game Saturday that seemed the destination, but then that Outback Bowl made their pick, and for the 6th time, the Hawks will play on New Year’s Day in Tampa Florida.

Against our old nemesis - check that, a never before played Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Quick synopsis, great defense, possibly better than Iowa, but a very shaky offense, definitely worse than Iowa.  Of course we will dive into that more after the season recap.

They opened the season 18th and hosted Stephen F Austin, and this was cake, 63-6.  Of note in that game, the starting QB was suspended, but obviously it did not hurt the Bulldog offense much.  That QB was back for game 2.

Game 2 was on the road, at 1-0 Kansas State.  This was 3-3 after one quarter, but then the Bulldogs pulled away to a 31-10 win.

Then in week 3 and ranked 16th, they hosted Louisiana, but no, to LSU, the U of L Ragin’ Cajuns.
This was 35-3 at the half en route to a 56-10 pasting.  The Bulldogs were 3-0 out of the non conference.

Now ranked 14th, the Bulldogs went on the road to open the SEC, with a visit to Lexington.
But this visit was anything but gentile, as the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to a net 56 yards rushing, while knocking the Bulldogs from the ranks of the unbeaten 28-7.

A week later, the Gators came to Starkville, and was a rather snoozing 13-6 win over the now 23rd ranked Bulldogs, who were now 0-2 in the SEC.

And then the 8th ranked Tigers (of Auburn) came calling, and the Dogs were facing an 0-3 start to the conference.
But their defense came up huge, and the Dogs were able to maul the Tigers 23-9.  State was now 1-2 in the SEC.

Then back on the road, this time to Death Valley, so face the 5th ranked LSU Tigers.  Yes, that Tigers.
This time, it was the LSU defense that picked off 4 passes, as they spanked the Bulldogs 19-3.

Now unranked, the Bulldogs hosted #16 Texas A&M.  But the Bulldogs used a ground and pound combined with some good air assault and they beat A&M 28-13.

And then the SEC had that week where they all play patsies, and for the Bulldogs it was Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (not great at unique college market names down south are they) who came and lost 45-3.

But then, back to the SEC reality, and #1 Alabama.  On the road, no less.  But ranked 16th.
And Bama was not messing around, a rather clinical 24-0 pasting of the Bulldogs.

Now ranked 25th and facing to old rivals over the last two weeks, first up, hosting Arkansas.  
And this was rather easy, 52-6.  Arkansas fell to 2-9, 0-7 SEC.

And then to wrap things up, The Egg Bowl, Ole Miss v State.  But Ole Miss was not much of a match for the Bulldogs who won it 35-3, to claim the Egg Trophy (played for since 1927, when football looked more like currently rugby balls, or Egg shaped).

So that left the Bulldogs 8-4, and 4-4 in the SEC West. Ranked 18th.  Iowa posts the same record and is nowhere close to being ranked (well, votes). Motivation for the Hawkeyes, perhaps?

The Bulldogs are lead by senior QB Fitzgerald, #7.  He is 6’5 and 230, so about Nate’s size.  For the season, 131 for 249 (52.6%, not great) for 1,615 yards, 15 TDs, 7 interceptions (2 to 1, look out!) and he was sacked 24 times.  Hello Iowa D line!

But, he is also their leading rusher, with 1,018 yards, 12 rushing TDs, and a long run of 76.  So, the Hawkeye D line and linebackers are going to have to stay very disciplined on their pressure, to keep the QB in the pocked, and get him to the ground the moment he ventures outside of it.

The main running back is Hill, #8, a sophomore.  He has 105 tugs for 694 and 4 TDs. He also has 19 catches for 164, with a long of 53, and 3 more receiving TDs.  Iowa should be able to take him away, and then focus on the QB.

Their top wideout is Guidry, #8, a junior.  He is 6’4 190, so a tall lanky wideout.  He has 18 catches for 389 and 3 TDs.

But the game plan is clear, handcuff the Bulldog running game, and then snipe passes from the dual threat QB who is more a threat with his feet than his arm.

What do that stats tell us about this better than average defense that the Bulldogs have?

First, they are also +8 in turnover margin, same as the Hawks.

Total defense, 368.4, 1st SEC, 3rd FBS
Rushing defense, 104.3, #2, and #10
Passing defense, 164.2, #1 and #6.
3rd down defense, 27.7%, #1 and #5

So definitely a good defense.  Meanwhile, when the Bulldogs have the ball:

3rd down %, 42.9% #5 and #46.
4th down % 33.3%, #14, and #123.

Total offense, 402.3, #8 and #66.
Rushing offense 226.4, #2 and #19
Passing offense 175.6 #13 and #111.

So if the Hawks can slow down or shut down the Bulldog rush game, it will be time to zero in on the erratic QB and snag some of those wayward passes.

In other news, they average 5.94 yards per punt return, #102 nationally, and allow 8.0 yards per return, which is 60th nationally.  In a game with two great defenses, a special teams play could loom very large in the outcome.  Would be nice to see the Hawks take a punt back in this one to put a charge into the team.

You have probably heard that Fant will be skipping the game and has already declared for the 2019 NFL draft.  Good fo him, he is likely to be a 1st round pick.

Hockenson was named the top tight end in the nation (1st time since Dallas Clark), and he will be playing on Tuesday, with his future about the draft still to be determined.  So look for Nate to target him about 10 times at least, and we will need to see the wideouts take another stop forward on the outside, with this extra month of practice, look for them to do so.

 In a game that features two great defenses, things can turn on special teams, and the better, more diverse offense.  That is our Hawkeyes.  Hawks 31, Bulldogs 17.

Go Hawks!!!


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