“Every year we play, you gotta go out and re-earn it. You don’t just keep to keep it if you win once.” — Iowa junior linebacker Nick Niemann
The Cy-Hawk Trophy and bragging rights are on the line again this week in the 67th meeting between Iowa and Iowa State.
“It’s going to be a really tense, competitive football game, always a challenge,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Each team will look a little different than last year, but Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley says preparing for the Cyclones defense remains a unique challenge.”
“They do some different things with their defense,” Stanley said. “Playing in the Big 12, they see a lot of quarterbacks that can run. They do a lot of different things to stop that.”
“Now we have a better grasp on that, just from them being a year in the system, but definitely, they fly to the football,” Iowa junior running back Toren Young said. “They’re physical. They do a good job of getting in some different looks and things like that.”
On the other side of the ball, there’s no David Montgomery or Hakeem Butler to prepare for, but Nick Niemann says there’s still plenty of weapons for quarterback Brock Purdy.
“They have guys that have similar attributes, I think,” Niemann said. “Their running backs, they have a couple of them that are athletic. They have receivers who are long that can run good routes.”
They also have an experienced offensive line. The five players who top the Cyclones depth chart have a combined 112 starts.
“There’s no downside to continuity, no downside to experience, especially with the group that plays so cohesively like an offensive line,” Ferentz said. “That’s always a good thing. And to me that’s one of the advantages they have as a football team this season.”
Kickoff between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones is set for just after 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.