November 15, 2008

TES - 2008 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 12

Iowa’s Record:  6-4, 3-3 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: 5 votes
USA Today: 6 votes
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 
HARRIS: 5 votes

2008 Iowa Football Schedule
August 30th Iowa v. Maine WIN 46-3
September 6th Iowa v. Florida International WIN 42-0
September 13th Iowa v. Iowa State WIN 17-5
September 20th Iowa @ Pittsburgh Loss 21-20
September 27th Iowa v. Northwestern Loss 22-17
October 4th Iowa @ Michigan State Loss 16-13
October 11th Iowa @ Indiana WIN 45-9
October 18th Iowa v. Wisconsin WIN 38-16
October 25th Bye Week
November 1st Iowa @ Illinois Loss 27-24
November 8th Iowa v. Penn State WIN 24-23
November 15th Iowa v. Purdue 12:05 PM, BTN
November 22nd Iowa @ Minnesota 7:05 PM, BTN
November 15th, 2008: Iowa Hawkeyes v. Purdue Boilermakers 3-7, 1-5 Big Ten
Prior Games: 80, Purdue leads 45-32-3
Last Game: 2007, Purdue 31 Iowa 6

Current Line: Iowa -15.5

Current Turnover Margin: +3

Depth Chart for this week:

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.

 Last Week: Penn State
The weight – is over.

The weight, that is, of our depressing streak of 9 straight losses in games decided by 3 points or less.  And the three season long wait that we have endured, hoping the Hawks could get a signature win that would propel us back toward our place at the top of the Big Ten and the Top 10 in the polls.

If this win will indeed do that is to be seen, but I like our chances.  That the Hawks could play a considerably less than perfect game yet come out with the victory could mean that we have finally turned that corner.
Let’s start with the defense.  We needed to start quickly, and voila, they did.  And no, there is no way Penn State recovered that ball on the 1-yard line.  Clark had his hand on it, yes, but he slid into the end zone without recovering it, and then he lost it in the pile.  Not the only call of the day that left us scratching our heads.  But little matter, Greene touched the ball twice and the Hawks were up 7-0.  First rule of upsets, don’t fall behind early.

Then, well, the bend don’t break defense really showed its form.  State began the first of 3 methodical, dink and dunk drives (with some shifty running of their own) that had them in the Iowa red zone with relative ease.  An end zone pass interference penalty, and the Lions had two yards and 4 plays to tie it up.  Something snapped in the Hawkeye huddle – 1st down, loss.  2nd down, loss.  3rd down, loss.  Field goal. 

The Iowa offense could get nothing going and so the defense spent 24 minutes of the half on the field.  The 2nd long drive, a td, and the third, stuffed again, field goal.  And so it ended with us trailing just 13-7 and maybe State was beginning to wonder what was happening to them.  As the halftime began I kept muttering to myself, ‘halftime adjustments, Norm.’

And Norm heard me.  2nd half, the only points the Lions could muster would be gifts from Stanzi (much more on that later), and the Iowa defense would go on to hold State to sub 100 yards in the final 30.

Then, with the game on the line, Clark got greedy, the wind took it, and Sash was waiting.   The return got us 20 yards or so, and then Final Drive – 2008 edition, was on.  We had just asked that the defense give us a shot to win it.  And they did.

The way the Hawkeye offense snoozed their way through the 1st half you had to figure they would come out stronger.  Nope, on the 4th play of the 3rd, Stanzi throws into a quadruple team and State had the ball at our 29.  They got to the 11 before the defense stiffened and field goal number 3 pushed the lead to 16-7.  

See, I knew if someone kicked three field goals they would lose, I just figured it would be us.

Anyway, that seemed to provide a bit of a Hawkeye spark, and Shonn again found his footing while DJK came alive.   Iowa would convert, yes, three 3rd downs, with the last one being the 3rd and 13 strike to a wide-open DJK that trimmed the lead to 16-14.  The defense forces a 3 and out and sweet momentum was solidly on our sideline.

Greene gains 12 yards on the first two snaps and it looks like things are beginning to roll our way, but Stanzi can’t handle the ensuing hike, and the Lions are now at our 28.  4 plays, all runs, Hawk defense can’t win this battle, State leads, 23-14.  We trail by 9, and have given up 10 points off turnovers.

The 4th began rather quietly with a stalled Iowa drive, but Donahue’s foot knocked the punt dead at the State 11.  Defense would win this one, and the punt, into the wind, came 4 plays later.  Iowa ball, Lion 44.

The key play in this drive was the 18-yard completion, on a 3rd and 8, to Myers.  Stanzi went back to him for 7 more, and now Shonn could not be stopped.  Two plays, 17 yards, Hawks trail, 23-21.

Then we all had heart attacks.  Iowa D forces a 3 and out, but Sandeman dings the punter’s foot (or more like, the punter kicked him), and it’s a 15 yard roughing the kicker penalty, 1st down.  Here we go again, another excruciating loss.  State rather easily moves it to the Iowa 23 when the D line says ‘enough’.  Two straight backfield tackles produce the 3rd down holding call, and then Clark makes the mistake that costs the Lions their shot at a national title. 

Course it was not that easy.  Stanzi, sacked on 1st down, misses his target on 2nd, and the Hawks face a 3rd and 15.  The 9-0 team then makes another mistake and goes through our receiver to give us the 1st, and hold on, it just might be.  Stanzi hits Myers again, for 10 yards and 6 inches, on a 3rd and 10 to keep the drive alive (what is the Iowa offense doing converting all these 3rd downs???).  A little Shonn and two 10 yarders to DJK and the Hawks are inside the 20.  Moments later, hysteria.

Mossbrucker, not happy Murray gets to attempt the kick, but Ferentz goes with the one-year older kicker, and let’s not forget the chip shot Moss missed at Illinois, those 3 points looming rather large in the end.  He is a freshman, and his chance will come to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the games ahead.

Standout stat of the week, defense: Clark, in the clear driver’s seat for All Big Ten QB and possibly offensive MVP, just 9-23 for a measly 86 yards and the disastrous (for them) pick.  A mere 6 yards on the ground. 

On the other side of the ball, surprise!, Greene.  It sure did not seem like he was racking up that many yards watching the game, but there goes the century mark again, 117 on 28 carries.  For him, a subpar 4.2 per touch.  Shonn is now just 32 yards behind UConn’s Brown for 2nd nationally. 

The Hawks have now sowed up the bowl eligible 6th win, but there is more to do.  Two more wins, and we have a great shot at going right back where we belong.  Somewhere warm, and on New Year’s Day.

This Week: Purdue
Leading candidate for biggest Big Ten flop of 08, Purdue.

Coach Tiller, Godfather of Big Ten Spread Offense is calling it quits after this season.  QB Painter (still there) is a 5th year senior, as is tailback Sheets, and the Boilermakers had some pretty high hopes coming in.  The spread put up 40+ points against the likes of Northern Colorado and Michigan, but the Lions, Buckeyes, Gophers, and Spartans have all contained it to single digits in their wins over Purdue.

Sheets is a legit threat, topping the season to date 1000-yard mark in last week’s loss to Michigan State, and he can also make the catch out of the backfield.  Once again, taking him out of the game will be the key.  You would think Painter would be the bigger threat, but he only has 6 tds and 11 interceptions.  The Hawks sit just one pick behind UNC and BC for the NCAA lead, and I think we will be in front come 3:30 Saturday.

The Boilermakers also have the distinction of being one short of dead last in Div. 1 in punting average.  Look for the Hawks to have some short drives and look for Andy to take one to the house.

Are the Hawks at risk of coming out flat in the week after our biggest win in a generation?  I doubt it.  I trust the coaching staff keeps saying the words ‘Western Michigan’ every 27 seconds at practice (the Illini didn’t learn from us and fell to the Broncos Saturday).  It’s Senior Day, and the Hawks have a whole lot to play for.

Point thy gaze at the Big Ten standings, below:

Spartans 6-1, 9-2
Lions 5-1, 9-1
Buckeyes 5-1, 8-2
Gophers 3-3, 7-3
Wildcats 3-3, 7-3
Hawks 3-3, 6-4
Illini 3-3, 5-5
Wolverines 2-4, 3-7
Badgers 2-5, 5-5
Hoosiers 1-5, 3-7
Boilermakers 1-5, 3-7

This week, the Geeks head to the Big House.  The Rodents play at Camp Randall.  Odds both could lose?  Good.  Next week we pay Kinnick North a visit and Northwestern gets the Illini, who could be playing for a bowl berth (they play at the Horseshoe this week, not likely to win).

Two Hawk wins and one loss by Minnesota, Northwestern, and Illinois and we sit all alone in 4th.  The way this season has gone, I don’t think anyone saw that coming.  4th would almost certainly get us into the Outback against one of those SEC teams who takes us for granted until it’s too late.

Kinnick bids farewell Saturday to Brodell (maybe, he could get the injury extra year), Bruggeman, Olsen, and Myers on the offensive side.  Defense, three and soon four-year letter winners Kroul and King, and Fletcher.  And that’s it, for starters.  There are others, of course, but you can begin to see that the Hawks might be on the verge of another run like we have been waiting for.

So look for the defense to pitch one more home 2 hitter, Greene to top 150, and Stanzi continue to grow after his amazing finish last week.  Provided the Hawks come out ready to play, it should be over rather early.

In other news, congrats to the Iowa Field Hockey team, now the 3 time defending Big Ten Tournament Champions.  Come on girls; bring home that NCAA title you have been so close to for the past 20 years!

And it’s NOVEMBER, which means the hoops openers have arrived!  Lick’s boys Friday night (Charleston Southern, yawn), and the Iowa women begin defense of their shared regular season and (not shared) Big Ten Tourney titles when they open Sunday against Texas State (yawns again).

Gable recently warned the Brands brothers about complacency.  They open the 21st, against Coe College.  Ask the Kohawks after the match if Iowa might be thinking about other things.  That is, if the Hawks don’t rip out all their throats.

After a couple weeks in the wilderness we are back at noon, back on the Big Ten Network, and the Geeks and Wolverines can join us this week for The Beer Song. 

Enjoy the rest of your week, and we’ll see ya bright and early Saturday!  Unless you are one of those peeps that rolls in around the 2nd quarter.  Take it easy Friday night!

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. 
  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. Should the Hawks lose, you don’t have to drown your sorrows by yourself.  Pain is a drink best shared with friends.
  8. The best chicken wings in the City.  Extra napkins – required.
  9. 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.
  10. Have cable?  No Big Ten Network for you, yet. The bar has DirecTV.



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