The Walk Through - North Texas at Iowa

I'd start Tristan Wirfs, future is now

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FWIW, Max Cooper’s current haircut is way more “Sunshine” than C.J. Beathard’s every was. With his longest hair, Beathard was more Skynyrd.

Just in my opinion.

Listening to the pregame. Former Iowa linebacker Fred Barr is the honorary captain today. Fred was fireworks on quotes. He was one of the original “We hate Iowa State” quoters. There aren’t many of those guys still walking the earth. I guess Julian Vandervelde is still out there having adventures.

Oh, and Fred has eight kids.

The Hawkeyes wide receivers are out.

— Encore for Ihmir Smith-Marsette?

— Does Cooper become true frosh No. 7? Or does OL Tristan Wirfs beat him to that?

If I were a betting man, I’d go Wirfs.

— How many reps for Brandon Smith? Are Brandon Smith reps an investment? Or do you see more Devonte Young and Adrian Falconer? All three WRs are looking for their first targets of the season.

— My prediction for OL is: Sean Welsh at RT. I really think he looked natural there. Sean is a freak. Nothing fazes him. He’ll be fine there. Probably Keegan Render at RG. I think he’s been good. I’d like to see him finish blocks in space more consistently. James Daniels is center. Last week was his first game after missing the opener with a knee injury. I think he’ll be most improved this week. Left guard I think will be Boone Myers. Feels like Tim Polasek wants him there. Boone said he’s fully healed from an ankle injury suffered in camp. Left tackle will be Alaric Jackson. Seems like he’s riding a positive vibe. I liked him better on the left than the series they tried him on the right last week.

But what I’d really do is start Wirfs at right tackle.

I’m one of those “future is now” guys.

Hey, what about the defense?

— Tackle better. I think you’ll see flames shoot out of their eye sockets in that regard this week. A lot of that heat is probably coming from MLB Josey Jewell. Happy to win the Cy-Hawk, but that’s where his happiness ended last week.

Too many missed tackles for everyone.

— Let’s track the safeties against the run today. I think this defense misses Brandon Snyder’s kill shots. What defense wouldn’t. Iowa safeties like to leave a physical mark.

— How much dime? North Texas has a TE, but I think Iowa will play a lot of dime. This is the last stop before the Big Ten. You probably want players like CB Michael Ojemudia and safety Amani Hooker to have more snaps under their belts.

— How much more A.J. Epenesa? Hard to say. I think more. I think they need him to play more. I asked KF that question. He obviously has liked what the true freshman DE has done so far, but there is also a note of caution for what he does or doesn’t know about playing DE for the Hawkeyes.

Physically, I think he’s ready and I think Iowa needs him to rush the passer. Remember, how Norm Parker eventually worked Matt Roth into the lineup? They moved him from LB to DE. It worked. They played to his knack for mayhem. I think AJE is potentially in the same club.

— Specialists are on the field. We’re getting there. I see that the Huskers are trailing in the third quarter.

— I try to track a little field goal range here. Miguel Recinos just nailed 46- and 51-yard field goals. Like with ease. This was into the south end zone. There’s a little breeze. Keith Duncan, who is on track for a redshirt, did try a FG with the snap coming from the 25. From what we’ve seen of Recinos, I think the job is totally his, but there was that long-short FG thing last year. Probably disregard this as an idle thought.

— KF on the radio said Myers and junior Ross Reynolds will share LG today, kind of like last week.

— Sophomore corner Manny Rugamba got the start last week, but was pulled midway through the second quarter in favor of sophomore Michael Ojemudia. Rugamba is back in the starting lineup during warmups.

— No. 2 OL from left to right was Lucas LeGrand (who didn’t make the trip last week), Reynolds, center Spencer Williams, Levi Paulsen and Wirfs.

— Second DL was Sam Brincks, Brady Reiff, Matt Nelson and Epenesa.

OK, that’s it for pregame. Quick, turn on the Nebraska game.

I’ll try to update this at halftime and quickie postgamer.

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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