November 17, 2007

TES - 2007 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 12

Iowa’s Record:  6-5, 4-4 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
USA Today:
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 Loss 15-13
September 22nd Iowa @ Wisconsin Loss 17-13
September 29th Iowa v. Indiana Loss 38-20
October 6th Iowa @ Penn State Loss 27-7
October 13th Iowa v. Illinois WIN 10-6
October 20th Iowa @ Purdue Loss 31-6
October 27th Iowa v. Michigan State WIN 34-27 2OT
November 3rd Iowa @ Northwestern WIN 28-17
November 10th Iowa v. Minnesota WIN 21-16
November 17th Iowa v. Western Michigan 3:35 PM, Big Ten Network

November 17th, 2007: Iowa Hawkeyes v. Western Michigan Broncos, 3-7, 2-4 MAC
Prior Games: 1, Western Michigan leads 1-0
Last Game: 2000, Iowa 21, Western Michigan 27

Current Turnover Margin: +11

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: Minnesota
Well the Hawks sure are doing a good job of keeping us from getting too bored during the games!  For the 3rd week in a row they play well for 30 minutes and disappear (the offense) for the other half.  Flipped the script this time of course, and started strong and faded after halftime.  Still, you can find some upside in the fact we did get two first quarter tds, and then came right back after they got theirs to put them down by 14 again, and figure that one of these weeks we can do that on both sides of halftime.  Maybe even in 2007.
 Then what in the world were we doing booting a squib kick with 50 seconds left?  Can’t pin that on KO’K, either.  Couple quick passes later the 54 yard field goal (with plenty of distance) sails through and you could say that was the momentum changer that made the 2nd half what it was.

The Hawks could not even manage 70 total yards, Jake reverted back to the Bad Jake on many passes, and we mostly forgot how to run the ball too.  We end up 250 yards short of the average the Gophers give up, even losing the total yard battle 315 to 296.  Did not see that coming, obviously!  For a brief moment there in the 2nd quarter, we were halfway to my 42-14 guess at 21-7.  Alas.

The defense was pretty good for most of it – keeping the Gophers to just one td in the 2nd as their offense woke up.  Fletcher swipes his second pick in two weeks.  Humpal, Klink and Edds were flying around and making stops right and left.  Thanks to Matt’s Dad we were in row 7, on the 50, right behind the Hawkeye bench, and boy where those LBs a hitting when they got the chance.  We lose the two Mikes after this year but AJ looks to be another all Big Ten linebacker in the making.

We must make mention of Albert Young becoming just the 3rd Hawkeye tailback to amass 3,000 yards rushing.  A fine career that makes, even if his junior and senior seasons did not live up to his sophomore one.  And especially in light of what has gone on off the field this year, he has been a model of what a Hawkeye player should be. 

So a win Saturday and this team can place itself along side the Big Ten title teams of 2002 and 2004 by winning every game in November.  That is progress, and with at least 17 starters (likely) back, there is hope that we won’t go through anything like a 4 game losing streak next year.

Due to our close proximity to the field, Matt was all jacked up to rush the field with the players as they sprinted across the gridiron to reclaim Floyd.  I found no such reason to risk getting trampled as we had just barely beaten one of the worst teams in Division 01.  Matt did get a finger on the Pig, he says, and do ask to see his cell phone picture of him (Floyd) on Saturday. 

This Week: Western Michigan
The season began with a more or less home game against a MAC team and ends back in the real Kinnick with another MAC team.  This the first time since the mid 60s that we have not played a Big Ten team on Senior Day, to end the season.  (At Hawaii in 1984 and at Iowa State in 2001 ended those seasons on the road).  The cranky old man in me would prefer to see the season end against the likes of the Badgers or Gophers, but what matters this week is just getting a win.

Which is likely, but if the recent past is any indication, probably not as easily as we would like.  Sure, the Broncos are 3-7 but they do have a decent offense so they might be able to do a bit of damage if the Iowa offense struggles and keeps the D on the field for too long.  The Broncos also had a bye last week so they will be rested.  Their main threat is wide out Simmons who averages about 8 catches and 90 yards per game.  But, no Shada again, so look for Fletcher and Bernstein to contain him for the most part.

Several key players will be looking to go out with a bang in their final turn in Kinnick, including of course Young and Sims, Klink and Humpal, Busch, Gattas, Godfrey, Iwebema, Mattison, Moylan, and Shada.  Also long snapper Olszta.  The 2005 to 2007 seasons have not lived up to the standards set the prior three campaigns but the Hawks have never given up and at least some of these seniors will get shots at some NFL camps next fall.

The Hawks are still 5 turnovers short of the school record for fewest in a season (1963).  Also, in a sign of how rough things were for stretches this year, Donahue just needs 5 punts (likely) and he’ll match the most punts in a season record, going back to 1978.

The bowl scenarios are still in flux but my money is on Tempe in the Insight Bowl with a win this week.  10 Big Ten teams are bowl eligible and there are 7 Big Ten tie ins.  At 7-5, with our excellent traveling fan base, and many Phoenix-living Hawkeyes already, we look very attractive to that bowl, so expect an announcement within days after the Hawks wrap up the win.

Sadly, what started out as a joke (the ICPD Police Blotter) has had a useful purpose all season and it’s no different this week.  The ICPD, the Iowa DCI, and others are investigating a possible sexual assault, going back about a month, and involving 3 as yet unnamed (by the police) football players.  ‘Duke lacrosse’ keeps popping up on the Iowa message boards but if there is any evidence this crime did in fact take place then the axe must be swift and true.  I trust Ferentz learned from the Pierce fiasco.

All those weeks you guys wanted to play ‘Tippy Cups’ when I said we should play ‘Beer Pong’ and now you see why.  You need the practice.  There is money and pride to be had in the first annual Big Ten Beer Pong Challenge on Saturday December 1st.  The link to register is here:

Yes, you are paying us (Iowa) when you register as the Wildcats did not have a Paypal account handy.  The proceeds go to Children of the City, who do a lot of good work for kids in need in Brooklyn.  Check out their site here:

Even if you are not the beer pong type you will still want to show up for an afternoon of fun and to cheer your Hawkeye entrants on to victory!

The Iowa basketball team improved to 2-0 last night and while the points are not exactly coming in bunches so far, this team is certainly going to be very good defensively in time.  I’m not sure when the first official watch will be, but the 3 Iowa games (UNI, ISU, Drake) are all back to back in early December, and there will be watches for all of those. Way too many hoops games are on Big Ten Network this year so for most of us it’s going to be bar or getting the games over the web (Big Ten network video stream, or Hawkeye audio through the U or Yahoo sports, I will include details on how to get those feeds in the first hoops email).  I listened to the game last night via Yahoo and the stream was smooth as glass for the entire broadcast, using QuickTime.

As Matt noted in his email we are up against Buckeyes/Wolverines at 12:00 Saturday.  Yup, both schools have multiple official game watch bars that are not Blondies West, but there will probably be a lot of them in our way when we get there.  If you feel like watching the Ohio State/Michigan game for its cultural significance maybe heading to the bar just before noon is in your playbook.  Go with friends and take up as much space as you can. 

So let’s recap.  Bowl on the line.  Network you don’t get at home.  3:30 kickoff.  Cool bordering on cold outside.  We’ll see you all at the bar 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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