At 2-0 and with the Cy-Hawk Trophy back on its pedestal at the Iowa football complex, the work continues for the Hawkeyes.
Wrapping up the third practice of the week right about now, Iowa is working to build on its defensive dominance as the search for an offensive identity continues.
That, along with the work of future Hawkeyes at the prep level, are all part of today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10.
Your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes is delivered each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Among the areas Iowa continues to work on is finding a rhythm to its offense, something that has been absent during the first two wins of the season.
“We’ve been sporadic,’’ coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We’re hit or miss right now. We don’t have a rhythm and we haven’t shown the ability to sustain drives. We’ll keep pushing.’’
At a time of the season when defenses are typically ahead of the offense, that hasn’t been a total surprise.
“That’s usually the hardest thing to establish,’’ Ferentz said.
2. With Kristian Welch out, Djimon Colbert had a pretty good idea early last week that he might make his first start at linebacker for the Iowa football team in Saturday’s game against Iowa State.
Welch was available to play, but coach Kirk Ferentz opted to sit him after he missed all practices during the week and Colbert held his own.
The redshirt freshman from Shawnee Mission, Kansas, finished with five tackles in the most extensive action of his young college career.
“Kristian was pretty much a day-to-day thing, so I spent most of the week repping with the ones,’’ Colbert said. “I didn’t know for sure that I’d be going (until Saturday). I just went in and tried to get the job done.’’
3. Iowa has now started five players through two games at its three linebacker positions, with Nick Niemann the common denominator at the outside position.
Amani Jones and Jack Hockaday have opened at middle linebacker and Kristian Welch and Djimon Colbert have started at the will position.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said the eyeball test was good with what he saw from Hockaday and Colbert against Iowa State in their first career starts.
“Jack came back (after seeing time as a reserve against Northern Illinois) and played a good game from where I was looking, and Djimon jumped in there and did a nice job,’’ Ferentz said. “That was really good to see. I think we’ll continue to learn more about them as we go.’’
4. While A.J. Epenesa was sharing Big Ten defensive player of the week honors, this week’s offensive winner was a no brainer.
Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor earned that honor after rushing for a career-high 253 yards on 33 carries and matching a career high with three rushing touchdowns in the Badgers’ win over New Mexico.
Taylor was the first Badgers’ back to run for more than 250 yards in a game since Melvin Gordon did so against Auburn in the 2015 Outback Bowl.
Epenesa shared the defensive award with Minnesota junior Antoine Winfield, who sniffed out a trick play on a first-and-goal from the four and intercepted a pass in the end zone with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left in the Gophers’ win over Fresno State.
Minnesota’s Emmit Carpenter was named the special teams player of the week after hitting field goals from 50 and 53 yards on his only attempts.
Running back Stevie Scott of Indiana and quarterback Tate Martell of Ohio State shared freshman of the week honors.
Scott rushed for 204 yards on 31 carries in a win over Virginia while Martell went 10-for-10 passing, breaking a 57-year-old school record for accuracy, and rushed for 95 yards in a 52-3 win over Rutgers.
5. There are only minimal changes on the Iowa depth chart for Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game against Northern Iowa, reflecting injuries that kept two players off the field last week against Iowa State.
At running back, Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent are listed 1-2 and Ivory Kelly-Martin, the season-opening starter at the position, is not listed after missing the ISU game with an ankle injury.
At the will linebacker position, Djimon Colbert is listed as the starter and opening-game starter Kristian Welch is the back up after missing last week’s game because of injury.
6. The defense that Iowa has been dishing out is nothing new for Iowa offensive linemen.
“We see it every day,’’ center Keegan Render said. “We know what those guys are capable of. We know exactly what it’s like. We’ve had meetings where we’ve had to talk about them.’’
7. Nate Stanley moved into 16th on the Iowa career passing charts with his 166-yard performance against Iowa State.
The junior passed Randy Duncan and Scott Mullen, who finished with 2,615 and 2,625 yards respectively during their Hawkeye careers.
Stanley has now thrown for 2,773 yards in his career.
Paul Burmeister sits in 15th on the all-time list at 2,943 yards.
8. Saturday’s night game against Northern Iowa will be the 16th night game played at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa is 11-5 in those games, winning the most recent game last season under the lights against Minnesota by a 17-10 score.
Five of the six games played at night at Kinnick since 2015 have been decided by less than a touchdown, with a 42-3 win over Iowa State in 2016 the exception to that.
Iowa has beaten Pittsburgh (27-24 in 2015), Minnesota (40-35 in 2015), Michigan (14-13 in 2016) and Minnesota (17-10 in 2017) and lost to Penn State (21-19 in 2017) during that span.
9. In case you missed it yesterday, the starting time for the Iowa-Wisconsin game on Sept. 22 has been set.
The Hawkeyes will kickoff their Big Ten schedule with a 7:30 p.m. game against the Badgers, the first-ever night game between the teams in Iowa City.
The sold-out game between the top two preseason picks in the Big Ten West will be televised nationally by FOX.
10. Iowa quarterback commitment Alex Padilla highlighted the work of future Hawkeyes at the high school level last week.
The senior at Cherry Creek High School in suburban Denver completed 26-of-34 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns to help his team improve to 3-0 on the season.
Running back Tyler Goodson of North Gwinnett High School in Georgia also had a big weekend, rushing for 192 yards on 23 carries, scoring twice in a 42-13 win over Norcross.
Elsewhere, defensive end Jake Karchinski of West De Pere High School in Wisconsin finished with six tackles and 1.5 sacks, linebacker Jack Campbell recorded nine tackles for Cedar Falls in a game against Ankeny and receiver Desmond Hutson of Raytown High School in Missouri totaled four catches for 104 yards and a score in a 35-0 win over Raytown South.
Closer to home, Orion tight end Logan Lee had a touchdown among his two receptions for the Chargers in a Saturday win at Sterling Newman.