November 11, 2006

TES - 2006 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 11

Iowa’s Record:  6-4, 2-4 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: Out
USA Today: Out
ESPN Power 16: Out
ESPNU Allstate: Out
BCS: Out

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 WIN 24-7
September 30th – Iowa v. Ohio State Loss 38-17
October 7th – Iowa v. Purdue (Homecoming) WIN 47-17
October 14th – Iowa @ Indiana Loss 31-28
October 21st – Iowa @ Michigan Loss 20-6
October 28th – Iowa v. Northern Illinois WIN 24-14
November 4th – Iowa v. Northwestern Loss 21-7
November 11th – Iowa v. Wisconsin (Senior Day) 12:03 PM, ESPN
November 18th – Iowa @ Minnesota 12:10 PM, ESPN+

November 11th, 2006: Iowa Hawkeyes v. #15 Wisconsin Badgers, 9-1, 6-1 Big Ten
Prior Games: 81, Iowa leads 40-39-2
Last Game: 2005, Hawks 20, Badgers 10

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!  If you a couple of us in there earlier it’s so we can hang up the flags before the bar fills up.

Last Week: Northwestern
All right, if you watched that debacle I guess you don’t really need me to recap it for you.  To remind you that the worst offense in the Big Ten rolled up 445 yards to our 266.  Converted 3rd downs at 61%, about 30 points higher than they average this season. Rushed for 225 yards, on our defense, on our home field.  That same defense never really got close enough to the Northwestern QB to spit on him, let alone tackle him.  Would not matter much if Mertan Hanks and Bob Sanders were our safeties; with that much time any QB looks good.  You probably wanted to forget about the 14-point swing due to the two Tate turnovers – the interception at the goal line, and fumble at our 6 that resulted in the second Wildcat touchdown.  The offense was lethargic, the defense two steps too slow, and the special teams – well, there were no missed field goals.  This was a team loss.  Out played, out worked, and maybe just maybe even out coached for stretches.
 *Was this the worst home loss of the Ferentz era? If you wish to discuss, log into our Yahoo group and let your thoughts be known*

And so our 9-3 season, Outback Bowl, 5th straight New Year’s Day game goes down with a whimper, to of all teams, Northwestern. The worst part is, after watching that game, there is sufficient reason to think the Hawks could lose this week and next and wind up 6-6.  I know, the Golden Rodents were right there with Northwestern at ‘0’ Big Ten wins – until last Saturday, when they put up 541 yards and 63 points on Indiana, who you recall beat us.  So the prospects for an ugly end to the 2006 season are there.  Let’s hope that whatever funk the Hawks have been in lately can be wiped out for Senior Day.

This Week: Wisconsin
The Badgers roll into town with their Hawkeye head coach and a gaudy record.  Truth be told, they really have not beat anybody who is actually good – but at least they beat teams like Indiana and Northwestern. Their lone loss was at Michigan to open the Big Ten season, and this game closes their Big Ten campaign – they can do no worse than 3rd, win or lose Saturday.  It looks like they will get the Capital One bowl and face our old friends, the Gators.

The Badgers are coached by Bret Bielema, Iowa 4 time letter winner, and one of the team captains in his senior season, 1992.  The Hayden Fry coaching tree has reached down into another generation.  Bret is well known for having a TigerHawk tattoo, and we will see if that is a bad omen for the Badgers come Saturday.  We can use all the help we can get.

Tate and the Iowa offense are going to have to find their game against a very good defense.  The Badgers are 3rd nationally in passing defense, 5th in total defense, and 6th in scoring defense, allowing 11.9 points per game.  Once again we will need to establish a running game to keep the pressure off Tate and keep us out of 3rd and longs.  That would have helped last week, but we got out-rushed by 110 yards, so we will see what Young and Sims can do to make that stat in our favor this Saturday.  The Badgers have a very big, good, experienced defensive line (like we thought we had), so the Iowa o-line is going to have to be sharp.  It’s Tate’s last home game.  He is feeling the pressure for the dismal results of late so let’s hope he does not try to force things and make mistakes.  In one of the rare bright spots of 2006, Douglas leads the nation in catches for a true freshman, and is 2nd in total yards. Drew, get the ball to him, and the tight ends, and good things will probably happen.

The Badger offense is lead by QB John Stocco, who is 3 wins away from claiming the most wins in Wisconsin history.  He has played, and won, enough games that he will be a problem if the Hawk d-line does not find a way to him, early, and often.  When he is not looking downfield he will hand off to P.J. Hill.  The freshman has 1370 yards and eight 100-yard games (we have 2), which is good enough for the 12th best season by a freshman in the NCAA record books.  The Wildcat running game flat out embarrassed the Hawk defense last week, so they will now have a chance to atone for that performance with a dominant effort against Hill. If somehow they can remember what they did against Wolfe, that would be great.

Still holding out here for the special teams to do something (actually, in Big Ten games, they have only allowed 12 punt return yards, so they are not all bad) like block a kick.  Return one for a touchdown.  Anything that scores points or gets us easy points.  We have lost 4 games.  In three of those, we might have ended up on top if the special teams of old had shown up.  There are two more chances this year to find them.

Everyone should be good to go for the offense and the defense will again be without Shada and Iwebema (most likely).

We shall see if the Kinnick magic can pull the Hawks out of this tailspin and get them ready for the trip to our home away from home next week.  I’m sure, that if this team can collectively forget what has gone on recently and execute like we have seen for spurts, they can win this game and deny the Badgers the 10 win season – on our watch (they play Buffalo next week, so they will get it there, if not here).  These Wisconsin seniors have never beaten the Hawks, and they were especially disheartened when the Iowa ruined the Barry Alvarez ‘going away party’ last year.  They will be ready to play.  Let’s hope the Hawkeyes are too.

ESPN is projecting that we will end up in the Champs Sports Bowl against Boston College.  Of course, we need to win the next two games.  If we go there, at least we are back in Florida.  And back in the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – where the Capital One Bowl is also held, and we all have good feelings about that place.  The Champs Sports Bowl is Friday, December 29th, at 8:00 pm.  That sure beats the 11:05 am kickoff of the Outback bowl!

As this game is on ESPN you may be temped to stay home and watch it, but don’t let the Northwestern geeks beat us twice by having an empty Blondies and making them think we have given up on the season.  Two more wins and then a bowl win get us to nine.  It’s not 11 or 12, but nine is just one short of ten, and we are always happy with 10.  The season is not lost, yet!

You are getting this email a day later this week, which means you are now just one day away from game day.  Enjoy your Thursday night/Friday, and we shall see you bout noontime on Saturday.

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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