Iowa got off to the 2018 season on the right note.

The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Illinois 33-7. Kirk Ferentz got his 144th win at Iowa, passing Hayden Fry as the winningest coach in program history.

But for Week 2, Ferentz has his entire attention on Iowa State. It’s not just Iowa’s next game on the schedule — it’s a huge rivalry game.

In particular with Iowa State — during Ferentz’s weekly news conference this week — the Hawkeyes coach talked very highly of Cyclones RB David Montgomery.

“I don’t know that we’ll see a better back this season,” Ferentz said. “I don’t know who’s out there (…) we’re going to see good players. We always do in our conference. But, he’s as good of a back as you’re gonna face anywhere in the country.”

We know, coach, it’s Iowa-Iowa State. You’re going to give all the respect in the world to the Cyclones this week. We get it: no bulletin board material.

But, Montgomery is as good of a running back as you’re going to face this year? There’s this Jonathan Taylor RB who, as a freshman, ran for 1,977 yards. He’s a Heisman Trophy contender this season for a reason.

Yes, Montgomery is a good one. But as a sophomore last season, he ran for 1,146 yards. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Taylor averaged 6.6.

Montgomery scored 13 TD in his first 2 seasons at Iowa State. Taylor scored 13 TD as a freshman.

C’mon, coach. Let’s be real. We can’t wait for Sept. 22 to roll around.