Ferentz, 16th-ranked Hawkeyes host Iowa State
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Kirk Ferentz began his latest rivalry week by signing a massive contract extension that should keep him at Iowa for life .
Ferentz will try to end the week by showing the new guy, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, why the Hawkeyes keep giving him so much money.
No. 16 Iowa (1-0) will host the Cyclones (0-1) on Saturday, a week after dominating Miami (Ohio) 45-21. Though the Hawkeyes weren't perfect, especially in defending the run, the outcome was never in doubt.
Iowa State's opener was all too familiar to beleaguered Cyclones fans.
Fears that the Cyclones inexperienced offensive line would stop them from running the ball effectively were realized in a 25-20 loss to Northern Iowa of the FCS .
Star back Mike Warren rushed for just 30 yards, and Iowa State's inability to sustain drives left its defense gassed in crunch time.
The Cyclones have bounced back from shaky starts to stun the Hawkeyes before, most notably in 2014 after a loss to North Dakota State. Iowa wasn't nearly as good then as it is now though, and Iowa State's line figures to be further tested by the Hawkeyes talented front.
But Ferentz - now armed with a contract through the 2025 season at $4.5 million per year -knows that strange things can happen in a series in which the road team has won four in a row.
''If you look over the last five years, you can predict a close game,'' Ferentz said. ''Doesn't seem to matter if it's (at) home, what happened the week before, all that stuff,'' Ferentz said.
Here are some of the keys to watch for as the Hawkeyes look to win their fifth straight trophy game.
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
Iowa's offensive line was brilliant against the RedHawks, opening massive holes for Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels Jr. to run through . The bruising Daniels and the speedy Wadley combined for 204 yards and four touchdowns on just 22 carries, and they'll likely split snaps against the Cyclones as well. ''I love splitting reps with LeShun. LeShun deserves it...and it works out for both of us. He gets to tell me what I need to work on. I get to tell him what he missed, and (the two of us) are like brothers,'' Wadley said.
LANNING'S TIME: Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning made some big-time throws against the Panthers, tossing three touchdowns for the third time in his career. But Lanning, a junior, also threw a pair of costly fourth-quarter interceptions. ''He made some huge plays, got us back in the football game,'' Campbell said. ''We didn't help Joel out whatsoever. Obviously, Joel would like to have a couple of those plays back.''
JEWELL'S BACK: Iowa star linebacker Josey Jewell, who was ejected for targeting in the first quarter of the win over Miami, will return for Saturday's game. Jewell said earlier this week that his hit was unintentional, adding that he hopes he'll never have to go through another ejection. ''I wish it didn't happen. I wish I would've maybe veered off from it,'' Jewell said.
CYCLONES DEFENSE: Iowa State's defense played better than the score indicated last week, allowing just 4.3 yards per play and stopping Northern Iowa on 76 percent of its third downs. But the offense kept putting the unit in tough spots, turning it over four times. ''It was a challenge, but I think our defense played really (well). But it's still part of a process,'' safety Kamari Cotton-Moya said.
HE SAID IT
''One of the things that I've always preached in terms of the process is knowing how much growth happens between the first week and the second week in the world of college football. And we have a lot of growth to do,'' Campbell said.
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