September 22, 2007

TES - 2007 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 4


Iowa’s Record:  2-1, 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP:
USA Today:
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 
HARRIS:
BCS:


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 Loss 15-13
September 22nd Iowa @ Wisconsin 8:05 PM, ABC
September 29th Iowa v. Indiana (Homecoming) 12:05 PM, 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 TBD
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September 22nd 2007: Iowa Hawkeyes @ #7/#9 Wisconsin Badgers 3-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Prior Games: 82, Series Tied 40-40-2
Last Game: 2006 – Wisconsin 24, Iowa 21

Current Turnover Margin: +2

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: Iowa State
So much for the Hawks focusing entirely on the game at hand!  At least some of the Hawkeyes.  The defense probably figured that if the Clones could just manage 5 field goals we would win by, oh, 16 or so.  Right on the line, 17 points.  Then again, the defense could have helped a bit by sacking Meyer at least once.  Or pressuring him into mistakes, or bad throws.  Instead he had all the time he needed (well, not much time was needed, but you know what I mean) to toss those little 7 yard passes to keep the drives alive and into field goal range.   There the Hawk defense stood up and has yet to allow a touchdown in 2007 – the only team in Division 1 that can say so. 
The offense appeared to have been sleep crawling their way to less than 60 total first half yards.  You could forgive Jake for being rattled somewhat in what was his first true road game, and he was.  A good running game would have eased those fears but that was not to be.  115 total yards on the ground, at 3.4 per carry.  60 for Young and 45 for Sims.  Those totals and the pressure on Christensen you can lay at the feet of the O-line who did not progress any from week 2 it seems.  They are young, and will get better.

The Hawks managed to convert 3rd downs at the dismal rate of 3 for 13.  Two of those failures came inside the ISU 10 yard line, the first when our field goal was blocked, the second on the go ahead field goal when Cleveland dropped the pass that would have given us first and goal at about the 7.   A touchdown there and ISU would have had to score one themselves with just 3:00 to go. 

The special teams still have a long way to go.  The ‘punting’ in the first half allowed the Clones to start drives outside their 35 yard line (all but one first half drive), needing only about 35 yards to get into field goal range.  Not only did we not come close to blocking any of those field goals but we allowed our first go ahead attempt to be swatted away.  It was hard to tell if the kick was too low at the start, but regardless, the line needed to keep the Clones out of there.  Yes, the last second kick return by DJK got our blood pressure up, but it would have come back to a hold or block in the back, anyway.  Signor also needs to get about 10 more yards into his kickoffs as we are allowing too many return yards.

The key play of the entire game of course was the 38 yard pass at the expense of Klinkenborg.  On that 2nd and 13 snap, the Hawks stayed in their base 4-3 defense – no nickel, no dime.  Mike is a great run stuffing linebacker and can cover, briefly, receivers as they cross the field in his zone.  No linebacker, at any level, has any business running 40 yards downfield covering fleet footed wide receivers.  That one is on you Norm.

Well the first road game is out of the way and you can be sure the Hawks are getting extra reps in practice this week.  The conventional wisdom is that if the Iowa looked that bad in Ames things can only get worse in Madison.  Even though there will be about 25,000 more people screaming at the Hawks this weekend I somehow feel like they will play much better.


This Week: Wisconsin
What do you know?  Open the Big Ten on the road - year #6 in row.  8 out of 9.  Who do we have to sleep with/bribe/whack to get a home game?  Least the drive to Madison is quick (from Iowa City, that is) and good times are to be had there, pre game and post.

Did you note the all time series figures above?  Based on that is this the best rivalry in football?

Are the Badgers really the 7th best team in the country?  In week one they beat Washington State 42-21.   Good win, in Madison.  In week two the Badgers traveled to UNLV.  The Runnin’ Rebs have won 6 games over the last 3 seasons but gave Wisconsin all they wanted.  The Badgers scored with about 2 minutes left to win 20-13.  This past week The Citadel came to town and was right there with Wisconsin at halftime, 21 all, before the Badgers pulled away to win 45-31.  That gave the Badgers win #12 in a row – currently the best streak in the country.

The Hawks will put their 62 yards per game allowed (rushing) against super sophomore P.J. Hill.  Last year he racked up nearly 1600 yards and he has 400 so far through the first 3 games this year.  Obviously, if the Hawks cannot slow him down, it will give senior QB Donovan all kinds of play action options and our no-touchdown streak will come to a swift end.  You might recall, he got his first start in Iowa City last year when the Hawks fell to the Badgers for the first time in 4 years, 24-21.  Like the Gophers, giving the Badger seniors their one and only win against the Hawkeyes.  Donovan has not thrown an interception yet so the d-backs, who generally played pretty well last week, need to change that stat as early as possible.

The fact Citadel scored 31 points on the Badger defense does give the Hawkeye offense some optimism.  The first half of the ISU game should be ‘flushed’ by about now, so the offense can hopefully provide four quarters of playmaking instead of two. The Hawks will need to do much better on the ground than the 109 per game the Badger defense is giving up so far. In fact I think we will have to top 180-200 yards on the ground, as Iowa will need to win the ball possession battle to keep Hill off the field as much as possible, and have the solid running attack to allow Jake the time he needs.  The successful running game would also indicate the line is indeed giving the QB the time and space required to get the ball downfield.

All the other things we must do are straight up football fundamentals.  We cannot turn the ball over (we did not against ISU), we must force turnovers (multiple), we must punt much better, and convert over 50% of our 3rd downs.  If the Hawks can keep the game close through 3 quarters the 12 game winning streak will start to wear on the Badger minds and who knows what could happen?  Are the Hawks as bad as they looked in Ames?  I don’t think so.  We are not as good as we want to be yet, but I think we will be better enough this week to give the Badgers a real run for their money.

Due to the 3:30 games it probably won’t do you much good to get to the bar very early this Saturday night.  Shoot to arrive around 7:30 if you can, and we’ll hope the bar empties out as those games end around 7:00.  Of course, if you want to get there at noon and stake out your space, go right ahead!

Remember the low we felt when the Hawks got bushwhacked at ASU in 2004?  Iowa then went on to go 7-1 and claim another Big Ten title.  With each game the young Hawkeyes will get a little better, and now that our meltdown in Ames is done with for 24 more months, (and the first road game jitters are history), we may just be able to surprise a few people in 2007. 


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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