The Iowa Hawkeyes kick off the 2022 college football season against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits this Saturday. We are here to prime you for the season opener by filling you in on what to expect from the Jacks.
South Dakota State is Tight End U Jr.
The Hawkeyes tout a tight end pedigree which continues to produce elite talent. The Jacks have a couple tight ends they feel pretty good about as well. Tucker Kraft and Zach Heins are on the radar for NFL scouts, according to Matt Zimmer of the Argus Leader. Kraft hauled in 65 catches for 773 yards and 6 TDs, while Heins added 6 TDs on just 24 catches.
Marcus Traxler of the Mitchell Daily Republic outlined how dangerous this duo will be in the FCS, but they will also be a good test for Iowa’s linebackers and secondary.
Gronowski is a dual-threat QB
SDSU will have its most dynamic offensive scheme in recent history with sophomore Mark Gronowski under center. Gronowski missed last fall due to a knee injury, yielding the position to Chris Oladokun. For his part, Oladokun played really well, passing for 25 touchdowns and just 6 picks. Gronowski has a much higher ceiling.
Before his injury, Gronowski showed out in a rare spring season during the height of the pandemic. He was the conference’s offensive player of the year and was named FCS Freshman of the Year by Phil Steele. Gronowski has a lot to work with as well. His offensive line is again a solid foundation, he returns half of a two-headed running attack in Isaiah Davis, and receiver Jaxon Janke comes off an 1,176-yard season. Do not forget,
National Championship hopeful
The Jackrabbits have come oh so close to claiming the FCS National Championship in the last few years. They were the runner up for that abbreviated spring season. Then they made the semifinals a year ago before falling flat against Montana State. The title has eluded this program throughout its history but this team has the best chance to knock off North Dakota State and claim its first. It may not be enough to upset Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, but this will be a much tougher opener than the Hawkeyes typically play.
Read the prediction for the game between South Dakota State and the Iowa Hawkeyes in Part 1 of the Hawkeyes’ season preview here. Be sure to follow My Page for more Iowa football news and analysis and follow me on Twitter @jfisheriainfo