Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Iowa quarterback signee Peyton Mansell has some thoughts on the Hawkeyes' offense.

Why Peyton Mansell calls Brian Ferentz a genius, Mansell breaks down passing game changes and more

The best way to start your day is right here at as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Monday, May 8.

Peyton Mansell breaks down Brian Ferentz

Iowa 2017 quarterback signee Peyton Mansell met Brian Ferentz once, back when Ferentz was the Iowa offensive line coach. They shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, and that was it.

Mansell figured he’d never speak to Ferentz again before arriving on campus. Then Ferentz became Iowa’s new offensive coordinator.

“I guess I should have talked to him a bunch,” Mansell said.

He got that chance while visiting the Hawkeyes the week of the spring game. Saying Mansell came away impressed is an understatement.

“He is a genius,” Mansell said of Ferentz. “Just from the 15 minutes, getting to sit down with him, you can tell.”

What made him say that?

“The amount of knowledge he has,” Mansell said.

Ferentz’s scheme and desire to put playmakers in position to make plays made an impact on Mansell, as well. So did Ferentz’s ties with, and experience coaching under, New England coach Bill Belichick.

Ferentz’s passion also stood out. Add it all up and Mansell is excited about playing for his new offensive coordinator.

“It’s nice to have a coach that you can say, ‘I want to play for this guy,’ ” Mansell said. “He is behind me 100 percent rather than playing for a coach that is so-so.”

Mansell breaks down the new offense

When Mansell came to Iowa City in April, he took in practice and the spring game. He already has the playbook. And he is intrigued by some changes in the passing game.

“[Ferentz] is airing it out from the little bit I saw in practice,” Mansell said. “We are throwing the ball down the field a lot.”

Increased intermediate and deep shots through the air was a common guess for how Ferentz’s offense would differ from that of his predecessor, Greg Davis. It looks like that is the case.

Mansell breaks down Ken O’Keefe

Mansell isn’t just dealing with a new offensive coordinator. He will play for a different quarterbacks coach than the one who recruited him. Out is Davis and in is Ken O’Keefe.

Mansell has chatted with O’Keefe for about 30 minutes since the coach joined the staff this winter.

“He seems like a pretty relaxed guy, but he is straight to you,” Mansell said. “That is the biggest thing for me. I want someone who tells me straight and doesn’t sugarcoat anything for me.”

Iowa softball limps limp into Big Ten Tournament

The Hawkeyes softball team wrapped up the regular season by dropping two of three to Northwestern at home last weekend. The Wildcats won 5-2 on Friday and Sunday, while the Hawkeyes were victorious 7-6 on Saturday, thanks to Brooke Rozier’s RBI single in the 11th inning.

Iowa (19-31, 9-14 Big Ten) qualified for the 12-team conference tournament. For tournament seeding and schedule, click here.

Iowa within striking distance of Big Ten baseball championship

The dream of a conference baseball title is still alive for the Hawkeyes after taking two of three at Michigan State in a weekend series.

Iowa won 3-2 on Friday and 9-4 on Sunday. Michigan State won 2-1 on Saturday, the difference an unearned run on a Dan Durkin sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Catcher Tyler Cropley led the Hawkeyes in the series, going 4 for 10 with 5 RBI in East Lansing.

Iowa (29-17, 11-7) is fifth in the Big Ten, but five teams are within two games of conference-leading Nebraska in the loss column.

Team Big Ten Record Winning Pct.
Nebraska 12-5-1 .694
Maryland 14-7 .667
Minnesota 12-6 .667
Michigan 11-7 .611
Iowa 11-7 .611
Indiana 10-7-1 .583

The Hawkeyes are only two games back in the loss column with two series left in the regular season. Though Iowa will likely need to win out to have a shot at the regular-season crown, the good news is those series are against Ohio State and Illinois, each below .500 in league play.

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