September 8, 2007

TES - 2007 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 2


Iowa’s Record:  1-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP:
USA Today: 1 vote (#25 has 153)
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 
HARRIS:
BCS:


2007 Iowa Football Schedule
September 1st Iowa @ Northern Illinois WIN 16-3
September 8th Iowa v. Syracuse 8:05 PM, Big Ten Network
September 15th Iowa @ Iowa State 1:35 PM, Versus ($90 admission to the bar)*
September 22nd Iowa @ Wisconsin 8:05 PM, ABC
September 29th Iowa v. Indiana (Homecoming) 12:05 PM, ESPN, ESPN 2, or BTN
October 6th Iowa @ Penn State TBD
October 14th Iowa v. Illinois TBD
October 20th Iowa @ Purdue TBD
October 27th Iowa v. Michigan State (Family Weekend) TBD
November 3rd Iowa @ Northwestern TBD
November 10th Iowa v. Minnesota TBD
November 17th Iowa v. Western Michigan (the ‘zero help in BCS standings’ game) TBD

*Joke – details next week.
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September 8th, 2007: Iowa Hawkeyes v. Syracuse Orange 0-1, 0-0 Big East
Prior Games: 3, Iowa leads 2-1
Last Game: 2006 - Iowa 20, Syracuse 13, 2OT

Depth Chart for this week:
http://www.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/iowa/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/depth-chart

Use above in conjunction with –

Iowa City PD Arrest Blotter:
http://www.iowa-city.org/police/arrests.asp

Game Watch: ‘The Best Game Watch Outside Of Kinnick.’
BLONDIES SPORTS 212 West 79th, (Broadway/Amsterdam).

1 train to 79th street, then 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.  Call the bar at 212 362-4360 to reserve table space.  We will not always have Hawkeye audio on the restaurant side, however.

Last Week: Northern Illinois

All right – there was some griping in the bar that the final score was not a bit more rout-ish, but I was not too concerned with that.  The Hawks could have opened things up a bit more in the 4th quarter but it was nice to see them just grind out the clock on those last few drives.  Somewhere down the road the Hawks will get the ball back with a 3 point or less lead and 5 minutes left, and it will be up to the 0-line and tailbacks to bleed that clock down to zero.  The good news was that for the first game, things looked all right.  Sure, there are things to work on – but things are not going to get any harder this coming Saturday.
The Offense – as expected – started slowly.  But once the 0-line got out of the first quarter all signs pointed to good things yet to come.  Young and Sims - 254 yards combined.  The passing game…eh, looked like a new QB and a lot of young receivers.  The Hawks did drop 8 passes, so Jake’s 12-29 and 128 yards would have been a bit more respectable had that not happened.  After the game Ferentz said drops have not really been happening in practice, so it was probably mostly first game nerves.  But none of those passes landed in the hands of Husky players – nor did any Iowa fumbles find their way to the turf.  Zero turnovers for the game.  That alone breeds optimism for the games to come.  But the Hawks must convert more 3rd downs and punt less – only 2 of 14 for the game.  Several of those drops were on 3rd down.

The Defense.   Could it be?  Did I really see the D-line rise up and conjure images of the mean streak we had in years past?  3 sacks for 33 yards.  NIU net rushing , just  21 yards.  3 picks, one of which snuffed out a Husky goal line threat.  Watching, you had that genuine feeling through most of the game that things were well in hand on this side of the ball.  Sure, it’s NIU, but that’s the kind of team you should manhandle, and the Hawk defense did.  Things do need to be buttoned up a bit the secondary but this is of course the youngest part of the team.  But other than that pass down to the goal line (that was picked off 2 plays later), the backs kept things in front of them.  There are more opportunities to learn on weak offenses coming up this week.

Special Teams.  Ah, the good ole ‘interference with the catch’ penalty.  You might recall a few years back the Hawks did that in almost every game.  Bob Sanders was especially good at it.  Personally this is a penalty I am ok with.  If the punt returners have the fear that they are going to get plastered they will call more fair catches.  More fair catches, less yard gaining punt returns.  Welcome to Iowa Football Jordan Bernstine – just get there a split second later and drill that return man when he touches the ball, then pounce on the fumble.  The kicking – yikes.  Missed extra point.  Missed field goal of 37 yards, a kickoff out of bounds.  Apparently this battle between Signor and Murray will go on until someone emerges who we can count on.  On the other side the Hawks returned the ball well, Brodell setting up the first TD with his 56 yard punt return to the NIU 20, and
DJK had a great return on the opening kickoff that was called back by a penalty.  Overall, not really game changing for or against us, but we are going to need much sharper special teams if we are going where we want to go in 2007.

Penalties – the Hawks had 10 of them for 175 yards.  A little more discipline is in order and that will make everything easier for everyone. 

This Week: Syracuse

Lots of things going on this week in Kinnick!  As mentioned last week, the renovations will be complete with the installation of the Kinnick bronze relief.  Musco Lighting will be bringing the whole thing to glorious illumination in what is just the 3rd true night game in Kinnick Stadium history.  Saturday will be the 100th Iowa game coached by Ferentz.  And the Orange limp into town after getting rolled last Friday night, in their home bubble, by the Huskies.

The Washington Huskies.  If you tuned in you learned they have never played a game any further east than Syracuse, NY.  Syracuse is further east than Miami (where Washington has played the Orange Bowl).  Generally – football teams don’t like to travel really long, cross time zone distances.  Witness the Big Ten’s less than stellar record in west coast regular season games.  So one would have thought the Orange – who were optimistic they made some good strides in the 06 season, would put up a good fight.  Nope.

The Huskies racked up 302 rushing yards while holding the Orange to 8.  Eight yards.  Cuse managed just over 200 total yards all game. In the end, a 42-12 Husky victory.  And a long, very happy flight home for the Huskies of the Pac-10.

And now, this dysfunctional offense and porous defense get to take on 70,000 Hawkeye fans who have had all day to get ‘ready’, and a Hawkeye team chomping at the bit to play a lot better than they did in their last night game (Ohio State).  Young and Sims must be drooling at the thought of 15 to 20 touches each.  The receivers are surely running extra reps at this very moment to make sure they hang on to everything Jake puts into reach (StickUm?).  The D-line, energized by their result from Saturday, will be foaming at the mouth like rabid Pitt Bulls.  Will this be close?  No.  If the Hawks win by any less than 4 touchdowns it will be a disappointment.

As we sit now no starters are hurt and the two deep has some minor changes (mostly the work in progress ‘best mix’ for the O-line) for Saturday.  Now that the Hawks have played a game, the coaches know who needs the most work.  They are getting it now.  Lots of progress can be made from week 1 to week 2, so look for the offense to run much more smoothly this week.  I’m hoping the Hawks can get a big enough early lead to get some more of those freshmen into the game.  The more snaps we can get them before the Big Ten season starts the better off we will be. 

Not to look too far ahead but the Clones lost to MAC team Kent State last Thursday night, 23-14.  In Ames, in a game where the Golden Flashes turned the ball over 3 times inside the ISU 20, so it could have been (should have been) much worse. The Clones host 1AA (I refuse to use the new names) Northern Iowa this week.  Even before App State knocked off Michigan on Saturday the Panthers have routinely beaten up the Clones so the chances of ISU being 0-2 when we arrive are pretty good. 

And now the sad news.  Ferentz confirmed in his press conference today that Alex Kanellis will have to quit playing football due to recurring concussions and headaches.  If you pay much attention to the NFL you know that brain injuries in former players are a recent major concern, and unfortunately for the players, the NFL isn’t doing a very good job of taking care of them (in the view of those players).  There are many possible complications from concussions but one of the most serious now seems to be something that mimics, or may in fact be, a form of early onset Alzheimer’s.  Many of you know I lost my Mom, Nancy, to this back in April.  In her case, it was genetic (or so we think. Sadly there is still very little known about what starts this irreversible process) – Mom was so sweet I think she was conflicted whenever she had to whack a bug in the kitchen, so concussions had nothing to do with it.  So if concussions are one possible physical link to this terrible disease they must be avoided at all costs.  As more and more evidence emerges about the possible long term consequences of playing football, I’m pretty sure that any of Mom’s not-yet born grandsons will be playing baseball.  Or basketball - but with our DNA profile, 6 feet plus is a pipe dream. 

So let’s hope that the Hawks follow proper form tackling this week and drill the Orange with everything they got while using their heads.  That is, using their heads to not lead with the head.  It’s more fun driving your shoulder pad into someone’s rib cage, anyway. 

New York Hawks – Blondies should have everything hooked up this week so we will be back to having full sound and our mastery of the cd player.  Also, we are now storing our new tees in the Blondies storeroom, so they will always be there until we sell out.  This will be soon, so get yours this week if you have not done so yet!

Ok friends, if you are in NYC and don’t have DirecTV (most of you, I think), you must make it to the bar Saturday as TWC won’t be picking up the Big Ten network any time soon.  To our friends in Chicago and the Twin Cities you may indeed have tv from outer space – but it is always more fun to watch the game with a bar full of Hawkeye faithful.  And with the 8:00 pm kickoff (7:00 back home), you can have all the fun you want on Friday night, and still make it to your game watch with plenty of time to spare 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 past dramatic games.
  3. A bar decked out in Hawkeye banners, flags, signs, etc.  Like the Sports Column…minus the attitude. New NYC Hawk banners for 2007!
  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 – again in 2007. Our own personal bartender. 
  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.  It’s economical – the more fun you have at the bar, the less you can have on Saturday night.  Thus you save money on Saturday nights.


GO HAWKS!!!

Sedge

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