After dominant win, Hawkeyes still have questions

2013-09-29T15:14:00Z 2013-10-06T06:27:32Z After dominant win, Hawkeyes still have questionsSteve Batterson sbatterson@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times

MINNEAPOLIS — As dominating as Iowa was in Saturday’s 23-7 win at Minnesota, the Hawkeyes left the field at TCF Bank Stadium with more than a bronze pig.

Even after taking the Golden Gophers out of their game and limiting Minnesota to 30 rushing yards, they left with questions.

 “I’m happy with where we are at this point, but I still don’t really know where we are,’’ linebacker James Morris said.

Has Iowa turned the corner?

Or, was the effort against the Golden Gophers simply a repeat performance of the dominating way the Hawkeyes handled Minnesota 31-13 a year ago in Iowa City?

Morris figures only time will tell.

“We need to make sure every week that we’re trying to improve how we play,’’ Morris said. “It’s fully possible that we could come out next week and not play as well.’’

Morris talked during the preseason about how this year’s senior class wanted to leave a legacy, especially following the 4-8 season Iowa endured a year ago.

Morris senses progress, but he also remembers that Iowa’s current 4-1 record isn’t that far off from the 4-2 record the Hawkeyes midway through the 2012 season.

But, time has taught Morris not to rush to judgment.

“You can’t get ahead of yourself,’’ the senior said.

That is among reasons Morris tempers his enthusiasm for what transpired on the field Saturday, pointing out that it was simply the first of eight Big Ten challenges which await the Hawkeyes.

“It’s not something I think that you can measure in statistics, though people might try to,’’ Morris said. “But, I think the guys are improving. We just need to continue to do that.’’

Morris found himself in the middle of the action against the Gophers’ run-oriented attack, finishing with eight tackles, a sack and an interception.

The body of work felt good to Morris, certainly a game to remember, but it didn’t feel like a defining moment.

“I remember back in my freshman year I thought, ‘Man, we have the potential to be a juggernaut,’ but sometimes you come out and don’t execute,'' Morris said. "So to say where a team is, it’s hard to define that.''

But what about that 4-1 start?

“I was really hoping we’d be 5-0,’’ Morris said. “I’m happy with where we are, but I’m certainly not satisfied. I knew going into the season that if this was a team that was going to be successful, we were going to have to improve on a week-by-week basis. I think we’ve done that to an extent, but we have a lot of room to grow left.’’

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Football schedule

2014 Hawkeyes (7-6)

Date Opponent Time/result
8/30/2014 Northern Iowa W 31-23
9/6/2014 Ball State W 17-13
9/13/2014 Iowa State L 20-17
9/20/2014 at Pittsburgh W 24-20
9/27/2014 at Purdue W 24-10
10/11/2014 Indiana W 45-29
10/18/2014 at Maryland L 38-31
11/1/2014 Northwestern W 48-7
11/8/2014 at Minnesota L 51-14
11/15/2014 at Illinois W 30-14
11/22/2014 Wisconsin  L 26-24
11/28/2014 Nebraska L 37-34
1/2/2015 Tennessee L 45-28

Future schedules

2015 Hawkeyes (0-0)

Date Opponent Time/result
9/5/2015 Illinois State TBA
9/12/2015 at Iowa State TBA
9/19/2015 Pittsburgh TBA
9/26/2015 North Texas TBA
10/3/2015 at Wisconsin TBA
10/10/2015 Illinois TBA
10/17/2015 at Northwestern TBA
10/31/2015 Maryland TBA
11/7/2015 at Indiana TBA
11/14/2015 Minnesota TBA
11/21/2015 Purdue TBA
11/27/2015 at Nebraska TBA

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Hawkeyes bowl history

1957 Rose   Oregon State W 35-19
1959 Rose   California W 38-12
1982 Rose   Washington L 28-0
1982 Peach   Tennessee W 28-22
1983 Gator   Florida L 14-6
1984 Freedom   Texas W 55-17
1986 Rose   UCLA L 45-28
1986 Holiday   SDSU W 39-38
1987 Holiday   Wyoming W 20-19
1988 Peach   NC State L 28-23
1991 Rose   Washington L 46-34
1991 Holiday   BYU T 13-13
1993 Alamo   California L 37-3
1995 Sun   Washington W 38-18
1996 Alamo   Texas Tech W 27-0
1997 Sun   Arizona State L 17-7
2001 Alamo   Texas Tech W 19-16
2003 Orange   USC L 38-17
2004 Outback   Florida W 37-17
2005 Capital One LSU W 30-25
2006 Outback   Florida L 31-24
2006 Alamo   Texas L 26-24
2009 Outback   South Carolina W 31-10
2010 Orange   Georgia Tech W 24-14
2010 Insight   Missouri W 27-24
2011 Insight   Oklahoma L 31-14
2014 Outback   LSU L 21-14
2015 TaxSlayer   Tennessee L 45-28