December 5, 2008

TES - 2008 Hawkeye Football Game Notes 08 Wrap Up

Iowa’s Record:  8-4, 5-3 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: 104 votes (#26)
USA Today: 40 votes
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 
HARRIS: 60 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 WIN 22-17
November 22nd Iowa @ Minnesota WIN 55-0
January 1st, 2009: Iowa Hawkeyes v. South Carolina Gamecocks 7-5 4-4 SEC
Prior Games: 0
Last Game:

Current Line: Iowa -3.5

Current Turnover Margin: +6

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: Minnesota
Well now that I have had to time to think about it, this game had to rank as one of the most satisfying Hawkeye wins we have seen in a while.  Sure, not the thrilling excitement of the Penn State game, or Iowa/LSU, etc, but extremely gratifying nonetheless.

The 55-0 beat down was the 2nd worst loss the Gophers have ever endured, and in fact the single worst to a Big Ten opponent.  That closed the 27-year history of the Metrodome with an Iowa record of 8 up and 6 down.  Forever enshrining it as Kinnick North/Indoor.
And what a great scene it was when the Iowa players carried Floyd over to the sideline so the Hawk fans could reach over and give him a pet.  Not a single Gopher fan was visible, as most of the 4th quarter had been played before loud and happy Hawkeye fans only.

It’s not just that we won a game decisively, but how we went about doing it.  Nearly flawless in all regards (well, a bit more on that later), and contributions from every unit. 

Consider first the defense.  Asked to shut down the Minnesota rushing game, they stepped up and allowed a scant 7 yards net.  In other words, their total yards were .5 yards better than Shonn’s average for the day.  The ball-hawking defense picked off two passes while giving up just 127 total air yards.  One of those was the pick-6 by Spievey that thwarted any chance the Gophers had to gain a slight bit of momentum heading into the halftime locker room, and once the Hawks scored in the 3rd, you knew it was over.

Greene, 144 on 22, or 6.5 per.  Eh, an average day for him, but we certainly did not need him in the 4th.  The 1729 season total, now an Iowa record, to grow by another 150 or so in the bowl game.  Much more on Shonn on a bit.

Thank you Stanzi that is how you attack a defense that is hedging to stop the run!  Go over the top and let your wideouts make a play on the ball.  DJK did, hauled in 7 of them, at a rather nice 25+ per, and that balance was instrumental in Shonn and Jewel (10 for 50 and a td) finding the open space to move downfield.  Oh, if we had the kind of balance several weeks ago, well, we might have been playing for something in January.

Once again, no turnovers for the offense, so we win that battle 3-0. 

No missed kicks for the special teams, Donahue punted at an awesome 48.5 average, but here we must nit pick.  We kicked off often, so I can see how the coverage team might have been tired, but uh, they gave up 283 yards in kick returns to one guy.  I’d be hard pressed to find another NCAA game where one player topped 250 return yards and his team failed to score.  But you saw it happen live.  On tv.

As figured, the Illini let us down (I loved the BTN following them around all year to their 5 win total) so we had to share 4th with Northwestern.  As expected, when it came down to them, or us, the January bowls took the bumblebees.

Not long after the final games, Shonn was named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the year.  At the same time, King was named Defensive Lineman of the year.  Shonn was not able to hang on to the Div. 1 rushing lead, as Brown from UConn ended up with 1822.  But his season average, 5.4, Shonn, 6.2.  And Iowa used Shonn to win the games down the stretch, while UConn was feeding Brown the ball to top him, they forget everything else, losing to South Florida 17-13, then ending the season with a 34-10 pasting by Pitt.  Greene was the only Div. 1 player to rush for 100 in each and every game.

And Brown was not even a Doak Walker finalist, which was the first piece of national hardware that Shonn picked up.  If we had won perhaps two more games, he would have been here in NYC for the Heisman finals.

Then, this week, more hardware came rolling in.  Shonn has made the AP 1st team All American squad.  Consider the elite company that he is now in; the Hawkeyes play in the stadium named for the only other Iowa tailback to be granted that honor.

King, 2nd team AP All American.  Nothing wrong with that, and it should help his draft status quite nicely.

So a glorious end to an up and down season, and an end that we hope points to just-up seasons in the years ahead!

Up Next: 2009 Outback Bowl
After another long wait.  The Big Ten has got to start spreading out the schedule to finish post Thanksgiving. 

The Hawks have never faced South Carolina, and the Sedge has probably seen about 20 minutes of their action this season.  So much scouting must be done by all of us, and my super fabulous preview of the game itself will come out a few days before kickoff.

In the meantime, should you find yourself in town – or stuck in town – Saturday, here is your reminder for the Drake game watch.  Game time 4:00 pm, as the Hawks go for the sweep of the Iowa Div. 1 schools.

Stay tuned for more details from Matt on the drawing to be held at halftime of the Outback bowl.  Gifts are being rounded up all over the place, so you are most certainly going want to bring an extra $25 to the bar to claim your raffle ticket best value!  The money raised from this goes right to our scholarship fund, helping an NYC kid get a taste of life in the IC.

Safe travels to you all as you head out to spend time with your friends and family back home.  Sorry I am missing the Pub Crawl this year, but no worries, we shall have enough fun together on New Year’s Day!

Happy Holidays NYC Hawkeyes! 

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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