The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Nov. 2.
Loving the 11th month
Halloween has passed. The calendar has flipped to November, otherwise known one of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz’s favorite times of the year.
He is always quick to remind his team what happens this month. It’s where a team’s legacy can be made. A strong finish to the season can change the perception of a slow start or cement a team in Iowa lore.
“This is it for them, and that’s the most important thing,” Ferentz said. “This 2016 team gets one crack at it.”
This season it’s big. Iowa enters the month with a 5-3 record. It wasn’t the start to the season a team coming off a 12-2 season, with most of the key players back, expected. How history views this Iowa squad will be decided in the next four contests. Landof10.com already broke down how to define a successful end of the season.
Three of those four games, including at No. 12 Penn State on Saturday, are against ranked teams. Opportunities remain for the Hawkeyes to put together a memorable winning streak, though it’s not going to be easy. Iowa likely will be an underdog in each contest.
“Coach Ferentz always says teams are defined in November,” Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse said. “A lot of rankings and stuff before November, obviously it’s going off the games and stuff, that is as it should be.
“But things are really finalized for teams in November and how you play in November determines the type of team you have. Teams can go up, teams can go down. The work you’ve been putting in the previous months is going to be put on display in November.”
So what will Iowa show the college football world this month? The defense has improved in the last three games and is looking like the backbone of the team Ferentz wants it to be.
The offense is still a work in progress. The passing game is an issue. The running game showed flashes. The offensive line looks to be in its best spot in weeks, but left tackle Boone Myers missed the last game two weeks ago with a leg injury.
Iowa made improvements in October. Can it do so again in November?
“We’ve got a lot to play for this year,” Iowa wide receiver Riley McCarron said. “Coach Ferentz always emphasizes playing well in November. We can perform in November. We can achieve a lot this year no matter what kind of season you are having. November is the most important time of the year.”
It certainly is this season. It’s time to find out how good this Iowa team is.
Slotting Wadley in
Change is coming to the Iowa offense. Running back Akrum Wadley is spending time in the slot when fellow running back James Daniels is in the backfield.
The Wake-Up Call doesn’t want to take credit for the move. At least not until if it’s deemed a success.
Seriously, something needed to change with the Iowa passing attack. This was the obvious — and easy — move because Wadley can bring some playmaking potential to the passing game. He was sitting on the sideline when Daniels went in to carry the football. The move made sense.
That all said, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the first play with Wadley out of the slot to be a run to Daniels. Using Wadley as a decoy to start things off seems like a Ferentz move.
Top 70 doesn’t have the same ring as Top 25
CBSSports had the Hawkeyes as No. 85. Sports Illustrated is more bullish on the squad, ranking Iowa No. 67.
External expectations aren’t high for the Hawkeyes. That’s not a shock when only one starter, guard Peter Jok returns.