Howe: Hawkeyes opens with a bang
Iowa ruined what was to be a season opener against another ranked foe in Indiana on Saturday here at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes scored two touchdowns in the first two and a half minutes of the game and never looked back.
The Hawkeyes and their fans weren’t complaining even though the beating was a drag on viewers across the country expecting drama. After two years without football in front of a crowd due to the pandemic, the Hawkeyes ran with the opportunity and rocked the house.
The volume in the historic spot after Riley Moss’ first of two Pick-Sixes put Iowa in the 14-0 lead with 12:45 left the first quarter ringing your ears. Running back Tyler Goodson started the party with a 56-yard sprint.
Iowa built a 28-3 halftime advantage and has never regretted a 34-6 victory. Some fans reached the exits early and caught up with their friends at the back doors after missing them last season.
“I’m surprised,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “I thought it would be a close game until the end.”
Iowa will surely drop from 18 in the standings this week. They’ll likely be an underdog next Saturday in the Iowa State Top 10, but the dismantling of No.17 from Indiana has to put the people of Cyclone on the prowl a bit.
We thought the Hawkeyes would be great, but you never know for sure what you’ve got until the ball starts for real. Now we see that they are real.
The Hoosiers came to town with arguably the best quarterback and wide receiver in the Big Ten. Iowa silenced Michael Penix Jr. and Ty Fryfogle.
IU must have thought he could take on Hawkeye’s inexperienced defensive line. He tried. Nothing to do.
One of the biggest lags when Iowa built their early lead was the intensity level. You’d expect him to feed off the Kinnick energy, but he flew both sides of the balloon and a veteran Hoosier outfit looked like a deer in the headlights.
Indiana erupted last season and was looking for validation against one of the conference’s most successful programs. Instead, he’s been given his collective butt from a physical and mental standpoint, and is now returning to the drawing board.
Let the Cy-Hawk hype train blow the road this week. The “Game” in this state deserves it, especially this season when it is of national importance.
Iowa State was beaten by northern Iowa, 16-10, on Saturday as a 31-point favorite. The performance allowed outsiders to question the Cyclones’ validity as a college football qualifier contender. Coupled with Iowa’s dominating victory, that no doubt prompted people to pick the Hawkeyes to win their sixth in a row in the series next week at Jack Trice Stadium.
The Hawkeyes would love nothing more than expanding the streak to a half-dozen. But Saturday’s UI stampede means more. Conference contests still do.
Iowa is 1-0 in the Big Ten West Division with other expected title contenders – Wisconsin and Northwestern – at 0-1 with losses at home. The Hawkeyes have been chasing their Premier League championship since 2015 and their first conference crown since 2004. Saturday’s win and the nature of it shows this team has the potential to end droughts.
The student-athletes will continue to take it one week at a time as they have since the start of training for the season in January. This focus has them here. They are now moving forward with more confidence after the effort and performance on Saturday which was an important component.
“This team has run the race well so far,” said Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras. “A game is not a full season. If we are to achieve our team goals, we have to play like this every week. I am really proud of our team and how we have led the race so far. . “