It's here! It's here.
After a long eight months we finally have a game to discuss. Iowa Football has already provided us the time and media details.
We also received a two-deep for this week. It might be one of the most interesting in Week 1 in a long time. Why? Because there's plenty of youth splattered within the top 44 here.
Starting at the top, hello Nathan Stanley. The true freshman signal caller has clearly surpassed Drew Cook in his first fall camp and is pushing Tyler Weigers. We still have to assume a redshirt here baring some terrible injury to C.J. Beathard, but the future is bright at this position.
Running back is no surprise. Among the many true freshmen breaking the two-deep, none showing up here at tight end might be. But we know Iowa will use two and three tight end sets and a true frosh is likely to see the field to get in motion and run a wheel route, if nothing else. Maybe a true frosh running back sees mop-up reps this week, too.
Iowa's defense features only three new starters, not counting Hesse (who started over half the games last year); they only replace Nate Meier, Cole Fisher and Jordan Lomax from last year's squad. Iowa needs depth at defensive line and linebacker and Cedric Lattimore, Amani Jones, and Christian Welch appear to be that depth. It's a Nelson tag-team at defensive end (Anthony and Matt) and expect some Jack Hockaday, Josh Jackson, and Aaron Mends to mix in on some Raider and Nickel defense. Mends falling from presumed starter earlier in camp to sharing second-string snaps with Jones is a little surprising, though. Hopefully Iowa is able to find a way to get his athleticism on the field.
Kicker appears to be Keith Duncan's spot for now. The walk-on freshman from North Carolina has his name on the top line. He had a couple of kicks blocked at the Kid's Day open practice that now seems like months ago. Kicker, kick off specialist, punter and maybe short punter may all still be up for grabs.
The weather looks good for game day:
Miami of Ohio was (3-9) last season with wins over Presbyterian, Eastern Michigan and UMASS. Their top five rushers and quarterback were freshmen last year and should be improved after that experience. Iowa is 3-0 all-time against the RedHawks with wins in 2001, '02 and '03. Hawkeye fans may recall the slight scare on the road in 2002 when Iowa pulled out a 29-24 win. If not, they certainly may remember Iowa as the only team to beat the Ben Roethlisberger-led RedHawks in 2003, which led to this memorable moment from Matt Roth: