November 18, 2006

TES - 2006 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 12

Iowa’s Record:  6-5, 2-5 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 Loss 24-21
November 18th – Iowa @ Minnesota 12:10 PM, ESPN+

November 18th, 2006: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 5-6, 2-5 Big Ten
Prior Games: 99, Minnesota leads 58-39-2
Last Game: 2005, Hawks 52, Gophers 28

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: Wisconsin
Ok, well, all the problems the Hawks have had during the 2006 season were neatly encapsulated in this game, so that in the future anyone can just watch this one to understand what happened to the Hawkeyes in 2006.

Let’s see…Wisconsin’s QB Donovan is forced to make his first start, on the road, in a ‘hostile’ Kinnick Stadium, but it was not the Badger quarterback who looked like he was playing his first college game.  Due once again to no real defensive pressure at any point of the game, he completed 17 of 24 (70.8%) passes for 228 yards and 2 tds. And when the Hawks got within a few feet of him he just took off down the field, racking up 61 rushing yards, often securing 1st downs while doing so.  His excellent command of the game netted the Badgers 38:48 of ball possession to the Hawks meager 21:12.
 Tate, meanwhile, had one of his worst games.  True, there were what, 4 or 5 dropped passes, but still he was only 10 of 31 (32.3%), for 170 yards and 3 tds.  Many of the misses where just bad passes. Over, under, behind the receivers, you have to wonder if that abdominal injury has been ongoing and more serious than we have been told all season.  It certainly was not the thumb injury to his left hand that was doing it.  I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Tate’s Kinnick career could come to an end in that way, but we were all there to see it.  The murmur of ‘put in Jake’ could be heard, from time to time, throughout the bar.  How far removed that is from the heroics of two years ago.

Still, the Hawks had their chances to win the game.  Again, the drops.  Chandler on a 3rd down that Tate put on both hands while the Hawks trailed by 3 in the 4th, and then, the game deciding drop by Douglas on the 4th and 7 with just over two minutes left.  We just needed a field goal but didn’t have the playmakers to make something happen and get us in position to do it. That is the story of the 2006 season.  No one, on either side of the ball, stepped up make the plays needed to win the games.  The much heralded 2005 class will be on the field in full force next year, and we will see if all that hype will translate into game winning execution.

Last, there was that decision to punt, on the 4th and 1, from the Badger 44 late in the 3rd quarter.  We trailed 17-14 at that point and a score would have grabbed the momentum and maybe even the win.  The coaches were playing the field position game and probably figured there was no way the Badgers could grind out a 96 yard, 7 minute drive to put us down 10.  Heh.  That’s the fault of the defense, but they should not have been put in that position.  We have a veteran offensive line, a three year starter at QB, two very experienced running backs, who run behind a full back who is quickly becoming one of the best blocking backs in the country.  Two tight ends who (usually) could be counted on to make the tough catch in tight quarters.  And with all that, and just 3 feet to go to get us a first down, just 20 some yards short of the red zone, we punt.  That’s called playing not to lose.  We were mired in a slump and playing our last home game on Senior Day. Ferentz should have given the kids a chance to make the play and keep the drive alive.

This Week: Minnesota
Two weeks ago the Gophers were left for dead, but they exploded for a win over the Hoosiers, then downed the Spartans this past Saturday, and sit one win short of being bowl eligible.  Meaning win Saturday they play on, lose they are done.  So they are going to be jacked up, to be sure.  That, and then there is the 5 game losing streak to the Hawks.  Perhaps the memory of delirious Iowa fans tearing down the Gopher goal post in 2002.  They probably also remember that the Hawks have scored on their first 5 possessions against them in both 2005 and 2004. And then there is the manner of Hawk fans filling up more than HALF of the Metro Dome the past few seasons.  In fact, they changed the ticket policy, for this game only, in an effort to prevent the Black and Gold from overrunning the place.  We shall see if that worked.  So, while the Hawks have been in a downward plunge, the Golden Rodents have been playing well of late and are probably thinking they have the Hawks dead to rights.

The Gophers of old ran the ball better than just about anyone in college football.  They have switched modes considerably this year and are now going with a more wide open passing attack. Shada will be back this week and that will help, but once again, we are going to need the defensive line to get pressure on QB Cupito, who this past weekend became Minnesota’s all time passing leader.    Still, they have not abandoned the run by any means, and I am sure they will look to get a healthy does of that in so it opens up the play action passes.  The line and linebackers will need to slow down (stop) the running game so all they have to worry about is Cupito.  He is an experienced QB and some QBs with not much of it have made us look pretty bad at times this year, so come on defense, you have about 6 weeks to rest before the bowl, let’s see what you can do.

It seems unlikely that Tate could do any worse this Saturday, so look for him to bounce back nicely.  I trust the receivers will be wearing StickUm on their hands this week.  Young and Sims should look extra quick on the indoor turf and once again they should be extra motivated to out-rush the Gophers.  We know the offense is not as bad as it has looked the past couple weeks. Maybe now that any kind of pressure is off they can finally play to their potential.  Seeing those Rodents across the line has done it the past few years – we are averaging 41.6 points per game in our 5 game winning streak.

As you know, this game is the battle for the pig.  Floyd has liked being in IC the past few years and I am sure he does not want to have to head north to Minneapolis just as winter starts to roll in.  Be sure to eat only chicken or beef on Friday, as we must appease the Pork Gods.

Tried as we did, no one was able to prevent the 11-0 Buckeyes against the 11-0 Wolverines match up.  And so this month’s ‘Game of the Century’ (this one may actually be worth it) begins at 3:30 Saturday.  To the winner, the BCS title game.  The loser, the BCS (but maybe not the Rose Bowl, if a rematch would be created by them going there).  The way things went this past weekend, it’s still not out of the realm of possibility that the loser could stay at #2 in the BCS and we would have an all Big Ten title game.  Take that, SEC!  For that to happen we are going to need a good, close game, and some help (other teams losing in the coming weeks).  I suspect a group of us will stick around the bar to watch the game, so if you wish to stay yourself, don’t give up your bar seats to any Buckeye fans that are on the wrong side of town.

Meanwhile, the Iowa hoops team opened the 2006-07 season with a win over The Citadel on Monday night.  They are now en route to the Virgin Islands to take place in the Paradise Jam, where we will open against Toledo, at 3:30 tomorrow. The bracket is below – should the Hawks move on, we will see how good we are, or are not, in the next round(s).

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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