September 23, 2006

TES - 2006 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 4

Iowa’s Record:  3-0. 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: #14 (831 votes)
USA Today: #14 (781 votes)
ESPN Power 16: #14
ESPNU Allstate: #14

2006 Iowa Football Schedule
September 2nd – Iowa v. Montana WIN 41-7
September 9th – Iowa @ Syracuse WIN 20-13 2OT
September 16th – Iowa v. Iowa State WIN 27-17
September 23rd - Iowa @ Illinois 12:05 PM ESPN+
September 30th – Iowa v. Ohio State, 8:05 PM, ABC
October 7th – Iowa v. Purdue (Homecoming), 12:05 PM TBD
October 14th – Iowa @ Indiana TBD
October 21st – Iowa @ Michigan  TDB
October 28th – Iowa v. Northern Illinois TBD
November 4th – Iowa v. Northwestern (Family Weekend) TBD
November 11th – Iowa v. Wisconsin (Senior Day) TBD
November 18th – Iowa @ Minnesota TBD

September 23rd, 2006: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Illinois Fighting Illini 1-2, 0-0 Big Ten
Prior Games: 66, Illinois leads 37-27-2
Last Game: 2005. Iowa 37, Illinois 7

Game Watch: ‘The Best Game Watch Outside Of Kinnick.’
BLONDIES SPORTS 212 West 79th, (Broadway/Amsterdam).
1 train to 79th street, half a block east.  Several parking garages are nearby.
NOTE: If sitting on bar stools/standing for 3 hours is not ideal for you, we will be reserving a couple tables on the restaurant side of Blondies.  We will not always have Hawkeye audio on the restaurant side.

PLEASE NOTE – Blondies opens at 11:30 – do not expect to be let into the bar before then!

As of Wednesday morning, there are still 20,000 seats available.  Little faith, Illini fans?

Last Week: Iowa State
Truth be told, I am glad the game was competitive and the Hawks had to do a gut check to pull out the win.  That will do them better in the long run than had they blown the Clones out, especially considering the cake walk coming up this week. Still, it was a bit disappointing to see the Hawks come out kind of flat, as they did, and let the Clones run up and down the field with particular ease for most of the first half. Even worse, my Clone brother (Jon, he is the Assistant Equipment Manager for Army
Sports up at West Point, so football is his life) was able to watch the first half of the game and kept texting me every time the Clones made a big play.  I assured him that the Iowa coaches would make halftime adjustments and things would be different.
 It was looking like it would take halftime but then all of a sudden Chandler made a true highlight reel catch (to atone for his ‘personal foul’ that took the Hawks out of a scoring chance earlier) and one play later the Hawks were in the end zone and it was 14-10.  A textbook case of an entire game turning on just one play. Andy Brodell scored his first Hawkeye touchdown on that wide receiver screen and that would establish a trend for the rest of the game.

After the Clones took a 17-10 lead in the 3rd quarter the Hawkeye defense finally found their groove (without really having to do anything different or blitz, which was a very good sign) and Iowa would score 17 straight points to put the game away.  The td to tie the game at 17 was scored by Tony Moeaki (his first) and the td to go up 24-17 was scored by fullback Tom Busch, also his first Hawkeye score.  You knew the day was meant to be ours when Schlicher banged the final field goal through off of the left upright.

The defensive effort was highlighted by the play of Mike Klinkenborg.  His father passed away the day after the Syracuse game and Mike did not return to practice until Thursday.   Mike recorded 8 tackles and was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation Defensive Player of the Week.  With that win, Mike is now a finalist for the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Year award. That’s near Heisman-ish for defensive players.  A junior; the post Greenway/Hodges linebacking corps seems to be in very good hands.

And so we enter Big Ten play at 3-0, for the first time since 2003.  Everything is in place for a run at the Big Ten title and much, much bigger things than that. It begins with a short trip southeast of Iowa City.  To play a team that seems mired in an eternal rebuilding struggle – and I love it.

This Week: Illinois
The Fighting Illini have had the fight taken right out of them. After opening with a win against Eastern Illinois, they fell 33-0 at Rutgers and last week lost to yes, the Orangemen 31-21 in Champaign-Urbana.  If that game seems kind of close, it wasn’t. The Cuse were up 31-7 when Illinois replaced the starting QB with freshman Juice Williams in the 3rd quarter.  He completed two long bombs in the 4th to make the score seem respectable. A quick check of the depth chart shows the starter, Brasic, is going to begin the game Saturday.  No matter who plays, the Orangemen racked up 5 sacks on the Illini, so I think the Hawks will be feasting on whoever tries to throw the ball.

The Hawks should have no trouble moving the ball against the Illini.  We rushed for 301 yards against them last year and Young, Sims, and the Bulldozer (Greene) have not yet had a breakout game this year so look for the Iowa running game to get established early and chew up yard after yard.  That means that Tate will have time to find people downfield and it could get ugly quickly.  Syracuse put up 320 yards of offense on the Illini so I think Iowa pushing 500 seems totally reasonable.

Get this – going back the last 24 Big Ten games (3 seasons), the Illini have won exactly one (1) game.  After Ron Zook got canned at Florida (in no small part due to the beat down the Hawks put on the Gators in the 2004 Outback Bowl) Illinois brought him in last year to right the ship.  You would think the major state school in a state that has Chicago in it could get the recruits to turn a program around, but many of the top kids come to Iowa City or wind up in Columbus or Ann Arbor.  Heh, I wonder if the visit to Champaign-Urbana is what does it.  You have to figure they will get at least ‘competitive’ one of these days, just don’t expect it to happen this week.  Teams with lesser coaches might become distracted by the looming showdown with the Buckeyes but Ferentz has enough things he needs to fix so I am sure everyone is getting the message in practice this week.  If we are going to beat the Buckeyes we need to blow the Illini out of the stadium.

A Look Ahead:
For much of the 1st quarter on Saturday the Buckeyes were actually trailing Cincinnati, but then they woke up to win 37-7.  They play Penn State in the Horseshoe this weekend so barring divine intervention they will come to Kinnick still ranked #1.  It appears almost certain that the 4-0 Buckeyes @ 4-0 Hawkeyes match up will bring us ESPN College Game Day on the 30th.  Much more about that game next week, of course.

I trust many of you were as happy as I was to see the Wolverines expose the Fighting Irish.  Guess they might give us a game in the Big House on October 21st. If we beat Ohio State this game is probably the only game between us and 12-0.

Why You Should Watch The Iowa Games At Blondies Sports

  1. A room full of Iowans, and Quasi-Iowans.
  2. Iowa games in glorious audio – we control the bar side stereo.  That means you hear the game.  And the fight song.  ON IOWA.  The Beer Song.  Maybe a little Hawkeye radio audio from the Capital One Bowl.
  3. A bar decked out in Hawkeye banners, flags, signs, etc.  Like the Sports Column…minus the attitude.
  4. It is a bar – meaning that once the game kicks off, you don’t have to drink Coke.  That is, unless you want to.  
  5. Speaking of audio…actual Hawkeye Marching Band alumni have been known to break out the brass and start jamming.
  6. Prizes.  From time to time, there will be raffles of cool Hawkeye gear.
  7. James the Bartender is back.  He was with us from 2001-2003, so he is as much a part of NYC Hawkeye football as Matt, I, and all the regulars.  Take care of him and he takes care of you!
  8. Should the Hawks lose, you don’t have to drown your sorrows by yourself.  Pain is a drink best shared with friends.
  9. Maybe the best chicken wings in the City.
 10. New for 2006!  New FLAT SCREEN TVS at Blondies!


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