Iowa football not letting up ahead of Kent State matchup

The Hawkeyes will prepare for their Mid-American Conference opponent the same as they did against ranked Indiana and Iowa State teams.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa wide receiver Charlie Jones catches a ball for a touchdown during a football game between No. 10 Iowa and No. 9 Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 27-17.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

Iowa senior wide receiver Charlie Jones thinks the Mid-American Conference deserves more credit.

Jones played for the University of Buffalo, a MAC school, for the first two years of his college career before transferring to Iowa in 2019. It may not be a Power Five conference, but the MAC is a league capable of competing with Big Ten teams, Jones said.

“I think the MAC kind of gets kind of a bad rap sometimes,” Jones said. “But there’s players in that league, in that conference that are just as good as people in the Big Ten, or the SEC. So for us, like I said, we’re just going to prepare like we always do and we’re not gonna go easy.”

The No. 5 Iowa football team plays MAC opponent Kent State this Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, and the Hawkeyes aren’t going to let up after a 2-0 start against then-No. 17 Indiana and then-No. 9 Iowa State.

“It’s definitely been a focus for us,” Jones said. “You know, we will treat every game the same, we’re going to go out and prepare the same every day and work hard, you know, there’s no such thing as an easy game. I think last week that was proven — a couple ranked teams got beat. And so, what we don’t want is to be the next team to do that. So we’re gonna keep our focus and just prepare how we always do.”

In Week 1 of the 2021 college football season, seven FCS teams defeated FBS teams. Last week, FCS school Jacksonville State defeated Florida State on a last-second hail mary. One MAC team (Northern Illinois) has already defeated a Power Five team. So Iowa is taking a Group of Five team seriously this week.

While Iowa’s defense has recorded six interceptions to start the 2021 season, the Hawkeyes are taking on a Golden Flashes team that tops all of Division I football with eight interceptions in two games.

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Kent State cornerback Motre Miller snagged a trio of interceptions in the Golden Flashes’ matchup against the Virginia Military Institute on  Sept. 11, earning MAC East Division Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors.

“Their corners, they’re opportunistic, they’re where they should be, the football is in the air, they’re going after it,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Tipped balls, those types of things, they’re good, aggressive players.”

Kent State is coming into Kinnick Stadium with a record of 1-1. The Golden Flashes opened the season with a 41-10 loss to No. 7 Texas A&M. The Golden Flashes put on a show in Week 2, however, taking down VMI, 60-10.

“I’d say our mood is, you know, we’re gonna keep working,” senior cornerback Riley Moss said. “It’s very easy to get soft, especially after two really good wins, and we have a MAC team coming in. And to be honest with you, we’re not going to take it lightly and we’re not going to get soft. So, you know, we’re gonna come into this week with the same mentality we have the past two weeks, and just take it week by week.”

The Hawkeyes will take on the Golden Flashes Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Kinnick Stadium. The game will air on BTN.

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