September 15, 2007

TES - 2007 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 3

Iowa’s Record:  2-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: 1 vote (#25 has 243)
USA Today: 19 votes (#25 has 199)
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 

2007 Iowa Football Schedule
September 1st Iowa @ Northern Illinois WIN 16-3
September 8th Iowa v. Syracuse WIN 35-0
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 – see below.

September 15th, 2007: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Iowa State Cyclones 0-2, 0-0 Big 12
Prior Games: 54, Iowa leads 36-18
Last Game: 2006 - Iowa 27, Iowa State 17

Current Turnover Margin: +1

Depth Chart for this week:

Use above in conjunction with –

Iowa City PD Arrest Blotter:

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: Syracuse
What can one say about a team that would be relegated to 1AA – or lower – if we did such a thing in American sports?  But they must be saluted for playing hard and not phoning it in, and you did have to feel sorry for the coaches and players on that sideline when this game got out of hand.  A little.  It’s hard to find anything in this game to make me think they are going to have any success in the resurrected Big East, but at least they get to play Buffalo (in their dome) so one win should be within reach.
 The Iowa offense showed this week that if you sell out to stop the run, we’ll just toss little passes over your linebackers and score easy touchdowns.  Witness the 52 yard td pass to Moeaki where he just had to elude the safeties and waltz into the end zone.  That, the first of 4 td passes for Jake and 3 td catches for Tony on the day.  It seems between him and Brodell, Christensen has found his go to guys and they will reap the rewards with 8-10 catch, 75 to 100 yard games more often than not over the next two years.  And now that defensive scouts have seen the Iowa passing game look much crisper than it did in week 1 they will have to focus on that, and thus, open things up again for the running game.  This week we only managed 120 yards on the ground, but look for that to go up Saturday.  Young did find the end zone on Jake’s second td pass, a 36 yard screen where Albert sliced through the Orange defense as if they were just kind of standing there. 

All in all a very positive day, but hard to really tell where we are at when playing an overmatched team like Syracuse.  But – we lost the turnover battle for this game, with one fumble and two picks (the second by Stanzi, the 3rd qb to play), while just swiping that one pass thanks to Humpal.  Turnovers will probably be the only way ISU can stay in the game so the Hawks must end up on the positive side of that stat this week.

The defense has now gone two games and given up no tds, one field goal, or 1.5 points per game, to lead the nation.  Saturday the Orange could only manage 103 total yards, 5 first downs (first one – after 6 minutes had elapsed in the 3rd), and for the first time I can ever remember, a single yard of positive offense for the first half, after which point the game was out of reach.  If the starting defense had played all game (most of 4th they did not), that game could have been historical, in terms of the Cuse offense’s ineptitude. 

Thank you Kenny Iwebema, for blocking not 1, but 2 field goals, and for at least the first two weeks, making me look like I might know what I am talking about (as I predicted we would block a kick in the first two games).  For this feat he is the Big Ten special team player of the week.  Now – the next logical step would be to block a punt this weekend and kill the Cyclone crowd emotion with a special teams touchdown.  We could not learn much with our one kickoff return Saturday, but Brodell took a punt back 49 yards and Colin Sandeman returned one for 35 yards.  If the return team can flip the field like that with some consistency our special teams of old may have arisen from the grave.

After two weeks and two wins we still don’t really know how the Hawks are going to fare in the weeks ahead.  The good news is that the road game this week is probably not going to be one of the tougher games this season.

This Week: Iowa State
I know, I know, ISU always gets ‘up’ for this game.  It seems to me, that was a problem in the past.  When they put all their focus on winning the Iowa game it kind of seemed like maybe they lost their focus on winning the Big 12 games they had to win.  And for marketing, recruiting, and general positive buzz purposes, it would have done Iowa State more good to make the Dr. Pepper Big 12 title game in those years that beating Iowa did.  That’s a nationally televised network game, and how often does ISU show up on those? Not often.  Sure, the likes of UT or OU would have killed them, but still – you are playing in a game that if you can somehow win, takes you to the BCS.  In back to back seasons (04 and 05, I think) the Clones lost the last regular season game in the last minute, and that loss kept them out of the title game.  A little more focus on beating Missouri or a weak Nebraska team and ISU would have been playing in the bright lights.  
They could not get it done.  Was it because of the Iowa game?  The coach who grew up in Iowa City, played at Iowa, and coached for Hayden Fry has moved on, so maybe the Cyclones can play with a little more emotion and execution in every game - and now find a way to get the wins needed to play in good post season bowls.

But not this year.  There was a lot of excitement in Ames when they brought in coach Chizik, my Clone little brother was sure great things were to follow. Some of the Texas grads I know were actually happy he moved on to Ames, so we’ll see what he can do when he has a couple years of his recruits.  And if the Longhorn defense is better now that he is gone.

You know the Clones fell in week one to MAC team Kent State.  That’s a school you know of because of a very good CSNY song, not because of their football program.  And then to top that, ISU gladly turned the ball over 4 times and lost to Northern Iowa, also in Ames, 24-13.  The Panthers have a good basketball team, as we Hawks know.  And they often make the 1AA football playoffs.  But they were not favored to win that game, yet did relatively easily.  Kent State was not supposed to win, either.  Two teams have come into Jack Trice and left with pretty easy wins.  Know this – Iowa is better than Kent State and Northern Iowa.

The Clones figured to at least have a pretty good offense.  QB Bret Meyer holds most of the Iowa State passing records.  Senior receiver Todd Blythe has played well in the past and the consensus was those two would get together often and with much success.  He only had 2 catches last week.  If Meyer has time he can do damage, but the Cyclone offense could never get on track (and hang onto the ball) against the Panthers, and the Hawkeye defense will most certainly be in the backfield more. 

On the other side of the ball the Clones gave up about a 150 rushing yards to UNI.   Young and Sims will be trying to improve on the ‘down’ game from last week, and if Jake and the receivers are playing well, it will mean those linebackers and safeties have to step back at the snap, and those holes will be opened wide by the Iowa O-line, which you also know is bigger and meaner than anything Iowa State has seen to date. 

Ferentz will not let the Hawks look ahead to the Wisconsin game.  He only needs to say ‘2002’ and the players will understand that they most only think about Saturday.  After two bad losses, you have to wonder if the ISU kids are looking ahead at the schedule and wondering where the wins might come.  If the Hawks hold onto the ball, execute smartly on both sides (few penalties), and play as well on special teams as last week, it’s very hard to envision a scenario where the ISU offense could outscore ours.  And if we get a defensive or special teams touchdown, forget it.  It’s over.

Just minor changes to the 2 deep at this point.  Stross is out for a couple weeks so James Cleveland starts at wideout opposite Brodell.  Oh, and there is a new back up long snapper, replacing the dolt who got kicked off the team this week after getting busted for DWI.  Hence the ICPD Arrest Blotter link lives on another week.

There was more sad news out of Iowa City this week.  Former Hawkeye track star Charles ‘Deacon’ Jones (no relation to the Deacon Jones in the NFL Hall of Fame), passed away at the age of 73, in Hillside, IL.  In 1955 he became the first sophomore, and first African American, to win the NCAA Cross Country title.  In the 1957 track season he was unbeaten in every one and two mile race he ran, bringing home his second NCAA title by wining the two-mile race at Nationals.  He also claimed 7 Big Ten titles for the Hawkeyes. 

In 1956 and 1960, Jones laid down his Black and Gold uniform to wear the Stars and Stripes, representing the United States in the Melbourne and Rome Olympics, running the 3000 meter steeplechase both times.  The Hawkeye record for that event still belongs to him.

In 1989 Charles Jones was elected into the first class of the Iowa Varsity Club Hall Of Fame.  Along side Nile Kinnick, Don Nelson, Alex Karras, Calvin Jones, and other Hawkeye greats.

I ran cross country and track in high school and all of us who participated in this mostly individual sport have a bond with each other.  Thank you for bringing your speed and greatness to the University of Iowa Charles Jones.  Rest in peace.

Yikes.  No sooner do I ramble on about not tackling with your head when a football player goes down to a severe neck injury while making a tackle.  If you are the praying kind please include Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett in your thoughts as he battles to not only recover, but live. 

And now onto the $90 admission at the bar.  Yes Rachel, it’s a joke!  You see, if you are buying a visitor individual ticket to the Iowa State/Iowa game (it’s sold out), you would be paying 90 bucks for one ticket.  I believe two years ago it was $50 or $60.  How much game does a $90 ticket get you?  That costs you more than it would to see Ohio State/Michigan.  USC/Notre Dame.  Florida/Georgia.  Auburn/LSU.  No NCAA regular season game costs more to attend in 2007 than the Iowa State/Iowa game in Cyclone Stadium - Jack Trice Field.

Apparently, ISU has major stadium envy now that Kinnick is done and they are trying to raise money to put a bigger press box on theirs.  Too bad for them they can’t just write a check like our athletic department did.  In 2009 will this game cost triple digits?

I am sorry if you were unable to make it into Blondies before kickoff on Saturday night.  It was especially frustrating the bar was that full because it is not the NYC home of either Penn State or Notre Dame.  So to avoid the possibility of us not getting the entire bar side of Blondies this week (and we will need it) you are directed to show up at noon. That is an order, but at least you can treat the extra 90 minutes like tailgating, so you really can’t complain!  Matt and I will be there even earlier to get the place all decked out with Hawkeye gear so anyone who glances in the windows will know who is going to be filling the place up!  And yes, we have to let those 10 or so Cyclone fans join us.

Remember check in time is 12:00 noon, kickoff is 1:35.  Make sure your voice is ready, as we should have the cd player going this week!  See you 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.



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