Iowa Hawkeyes 2023 College Football Preview
July 24, 2023
Record – 8-5
ATS – 8-5
That was so “Iowa”.
The Hawkeyes were a complete and total HOT MESS on offense LY but they still managed to grind out an eight-win season. Things looked bleak around midseason when they loss three games in a row (Ohio St, Illinois, Michigan) but they turned the ship around and won their next three contests against solid opposition (at Purdue, Wisconsin, at Minnesota). All they had to do now was find a way to beat a stinky Nebraska squad at home and they were off to the Big Ten Championship Game! What could possibly go wrong? Well, Nebraska had other ideas as they jumped out to a 24-CACK lead and never looked back (W 24-17). Iowa had to settle for a trip to the Music City Bowl where they skunked a hapless Kentucky team (win 21-CACK).
Iowa Hawkeyes 2023 Outlook
It’s unthinkable that a team could win eight games and come THIS close to a division crown whilst playing the worst kind of offense any human being could imagine. The offense ranked dead last LY in the Big Ten in rushing offense and 2nd-last in passing offense and must give yuuuge thanks to the defense and special teams. Things will be much improved this year with the addition of Michigan transfer QB Cade McNamara (21-7 career TD to INT) who’ll have a decent, but not spectacular, set of WR/TE weaponry to utilize. The strength of the offense will be the rushing attack as they’re very deep at the position and RB Kaleb Johnson looks poised for a big season. The offensive line was a HORROR SHOW last year (38 sacks allowed, 2.9 net YPC) but they retain five starters and will be an improved group in 2023.
The defense performed incredibly well last year, particularly when you consider how the offense repeatedly puked all over itself every week (13.3 PPG, #2 FBS scoring defense). The defense will be stout this season but the Hawkeyes will be without several key components from last year’s stop unit including All-Galaxy and AA LB Jack Campbell who won the Butkus Award and was taken in the first round of the NFL draft. The LB unit looks weaker than LY but the DL has three solid starters back for duty and the secondary will be one of the best in the Big Ten. We expect the PENETRATION level to be fine even with the departure of Lukas Van Ness (6.5 sacks LY, #1 DC) as Iowa has booked 30+ sacks in each of the last four full seasons.
Iowa just might have the best kicking game in the nation with the return of AA punter Tory Taylor (45.4, 41.1) and PK Drew Stevens (16-18 FG, 24-24 XP). And how about those return doods? PR Cooper DeJean averaged 16.5 yards a pop LY and KR Kaleb Johnson was dangerous as well (25.0). Yup, we’d say the Iowa special teams look EXTRA SPICY.
Overall – They’ve got a pair of TOMATO CANS in non-conference action but must travel to Ames to play the Cyclones. Home field doesn’t mean much in that affair so they’ve got a great shot of going 3-0 before Big Ten play starts. It stings to have to battle Wisconsin on the road but the Hawkeyes avoid Ohio St AND Michigan from the East. Keep it in the back of your mind that Iowa has a very light schedule in November and that could end up being a difference-maker in the Big Ten West race. Stay tuned!
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Western Michigan (Sept 16)
This game comes right after the tough rivalry game with Iowa St and before the trip to Penn St. Western Michigan is gonna resemble HOT GARBAGE this year but laying a massive number with Iowa (likely 28+) doesn’t seem like a great idea.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 24
Over 8.5 -110
Under 8.5 -110
We don’t think this BAD BOY will make our dance card but they’ve got the schedule to book nine wins or more. The only issue is that if they lose at Penn St and Wisconsin (not a given, just saying) they can only afford one more screw-up to hit the ‘over’.
The Hawkeyes have won at least eight games in every season since 2014 (!). The lone exception came during the truncated 2020 PLANDEMIC season in which they booked a record of 6-2. That is some impressive football, yo.
Everyone stop and give a hat tip to all the FARMERS in the GREAT STATE OF IOWA!
HAWKEYE NATION has to be jacked up. They almost won the division last year with a TRASH HEAP of an offense and they’ll be much more potent this year. They’re top-notch in terms of defense, special teams, and coaching, but they’ve gotta battle mighty Wisconsin on the road. That October match-up may decide Iowa’s Big Ten fate, but then again, we learned last year that nothing is settled in this division until the end of November. Good luck, Hawkeyes!