September 19, 2009

TES - 2009 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 3

Iowa’s Record:  2-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: (23 votes)
USA Today: (27 votes)
ESPN Power Rankings: 
ESPNU Allstate: 

2009 Iowa Football Schedule

September 5th Iowa v. Northern Iowa Panthers WIN 17-16
September 12th Iowa @ Iowa State Cyclones WIN 35-3
September 19th Iowa v. Arizona Wildcats 3:35 pm, ABC/ESPN2*
September 26th Iowa @ Penn State Nittany Lions 8:05 pm, ABC/ESPN
October 3rd Iowa v. Arkansas State Red Wolves TBD
October 10th Iowa v. Michigan Wolverines HOMECOMING, 8:05 pm, ABC/ESPN
October 17th Iowa @ Wisconsin Badgers 12:05 pm, BTN/ESPN/ESPN2
October 24th Iowa @ Michigan State 7:05 PM, BTN
October 31st Iowa v. Indiana Hoosiers TBD
November 7th Iowa v. Northwestern Wildcats TBD
November 14th Iowa @ Ohio State Buckeyes TBD
November 21st Iowa v. Minnesota Golden Gophers TBD

Outback Bowl 1/1/10 11:00 AM, ESPN
Capital One Bowl 1/1/10, 1:00 PM, ABC

Rose Bowl 1/1/10, 5:00 PM, ABC
Sugar Bowl 1/1/10, 8:30 PM, FOX
Fiesta Bowl 1/4/10, 8:00 PM, FOX
Orange Bowl 1/5/10, 8:00 PM, FOX
BCS Title Game 1/7/10, 8:00 PM, ABC

*ABC in Iowa and Arizona markets, ESPN2 everywhere else.
September 19th 2009: Iowa Hawkeyes v. Arizona Wildcats 2-0, 0-0, Pac 10
Prior Games: 11, Arizona leads 6-5
Last Game: 1998, Iowa 11, Arizona 35

Hawkeye Stat Pack:

Turnover Margin: +3

Current Line: Iowa -6

Scoring Defense 9.5, Pass Def 191.5, Rush Def 137.0, Interceptions 5, Total Defense 328.5
Big Ten                 #2                       #5                          #8                             #1                    #6
NCAA                  #16                     #53                         #68                           -                      #58

Scoring Offense 26.0, Pass Offense 238.5, Rush Offense 139.0, Total Offense 377.5
Big Ten                #8                             #6                                 #6                               #9
NCAA                 #67                           #44                               #67                              #64
Depth Chart for this week:

Game Watch: ‘The Best Game Watch Outside Of Kinnick.’
Opal Bar & Restaurant, 251 East 52nd St. Corner of 52nd and 2nd, 212 593-4321

Getting There:
6/E (no V on weekends) trains to 51st/Lexington Ave. Walk 2 blocks east, 1 block north to the bar.
M15 Bus – downtown on 2nd Ave, uptown on 1st Ave.
M50 Bus from the west side.
Several parking garages are in the area, but we strongly encourage you to take cabs or mass transit to our game watches!,+NY,+NY&ie=UTF8&split=0&gl=us&ei=6M-NSrfjBcm_tgf0-d3fDQ&ll=40.756205,-73.966709&spn=0.004502,0.011394&z=17

Last Week: Iowa State

We have seen the future, and the future is good.

And we also stepped back in time; to open up a Hayden-worthy can of whoopass on the Cyclones home turf.

While the 35-3 thrashing put warm feelings in our hearts, there were enough things for the Hawks to work on this week if we are going to continue the winning ways.  Fortunately, these were all things the coaches saw, and the players themselves realize that need to be improved, so I imagine the intensity is very high in practice this week.

So let’s start with the nitpicking.  First, the opening series.  Pass, pass, false start, pass, pass picked off on a bad throw.  I guess maybe KOK had no idea what he was going to get from the running game, but in hindsight that sounds kind of silly.  Course, ISU ran two plays, and then Sash had his first tip-drill pick, and the Hawks were set up at the Cyclone 34.  A rush this time that netted nada, then two more incomplete passes, and we are punting from the ISU 34.  Donahue, downed at the 4.  Advantage Hawkeyes.

Clones get as far as their 20, punt, and Hawks first insert Brandon Wegher to see what he might have. A 3-yard run, but that drive stalls at the 46, Hawks punt again.

Now things get interesting.  State moves to the Iowa 29 in 10 plays, stalls, and kicks a 46-yard field goal.  Apparently the ISU coaching staff forgets that the Hawkeyes are well versed in on-side kicking, and seconds later, we have the ball at the ISU 41.

As good teams do, we then pounced on their mistakes.  On 2nd, down, Stanzi hits Stross for 17 to the ISU 24, the Cyclone player dragging him out of bounds loses his mind and tosses Trey to the ground way over the line, personal foul, Hawks at the 12.  Now Robinson finds some daylight, takes it right to the pylon but steps out.  And what do I behold but Stanzi throwing a pass to the fullback Morse!  Touchdown Iowa, Brett’s first career receiving td, and as it turned out, not only the go ahead score, but also the game winner.

There would be 4 more touchdowns of course, all of them worthy of mention.  Stanzi had a bad first half, but in the final 4 minutes of the second his strike to DJK (after Sash’s 2nd pick) is right on the money and the Hawks lead 14-3, and the Clone fans become somewhat more sedated. 

Of the 3 remaining tds, two were the first Iowa touchdowns for freshman Keenan Davis  (the 10 yard pass from Stanzi), and Brandon Wegher (the over the pile td).  The 3rd, a pass to tight end Reisner, on a play that looked pretty much like the wide open touchdown to Morse in the 1st half.

But we did leave some points out there, namely the 2nd pick by Stanzi, where he air mailed a wide open Moeaki at the Iowa State 10, and we could have scored again at the end if we had put a little more giddy up into it (I wanted 40).  But perhaps those tds are best saved for the weeks ahead.

What exactly did the running game get us? Signs of awesomeness.  Robinson, 12 carries for 69 yards, 5.8 per.  Wegher, 15 carries, 101 yards, 6.7 per touch, he also tosses in two catches for 17 yards, one of which the incredible one-handed grab, while stimulatingly putting a move on two ISU defenders to pick up about 7 more yards.  Thus ends Iowa’s no-100 yards rushers streak at 1 game. 

Speaking of 100 yard rushing streaks, I had to rewatch the Iowa game Sunday to be sure, but there it was – Wegher looking absolutely Greene-ish, bouncing off the 1st hit, dragging tacklers with him for extra yards.  Clearly, at football of any level, you don’t rush for 54 touchdowns in a season without being a serious playmaker, but this was way more than we could have dreamed of for his 1st game.  The only question now, which week THIS year are we going to have twin 100 yard rushers?  It’s going to happen.

Brinson got in there, and racked up 7 on his one carry, and even Paki broke some tackles to pick up 9 on his singular attempt. Things are gelling on our offensive line, and we have found our tailbacks.  We are primed to see the offense take some major strides forward in the coming weeks.

Yes it’s tough to cast the critical eye on the defense when they force 6 turnovers, hold ISU to 3 points, and push the Cyclone touchdown futility streak to 14 quarters. But we did give up 190 rushing, at 5.6 a pop, so we are going to need to clean that up in a hurry.  True, they did only give up 113 yards passing, with 5 picks; hence our pass-efficiently defense is now tops in the Big Ten, and 18th in the nation.  Keep that up, keep the running game under 100, and we’ll be right there with anyone. 

You might be surprised to learn that Sash, after his 3 pick, one forced fumble, 10 tackles (2 for a loss) performance had to share the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor, but he did.  A sophomore, he now has 8 career interceptions, way ahead of the all-time Iowa record pace of 18, still shared by Nile Kinnick.

Greenwood snagged two passes, giving him six total.  A junior, he has some work to do to catch up.  Still, after an off week against UNI, the Iowa safeties returned with an vengeance, and after the game Arnaud seemed to think he was being baited by them, so perhaps they both have more multiple pick games ahead.  And let’s not forget the help they got from the Iowa linebackers on those tips – I suppose those guys are a bit pissed that they did not bring them down.  Fine, let them compete over interceptions.  We are back in the Big Ten lead and again in the running for the NCAA lead.

The D-line did not get much pressure on Arnaud, which made his ineptitude all the more perplexing.  ISU does have a big, (though compared to ours), young O line, so I guess they were a tough match up for our boys up front.   But Norm is going to have to find some ways to stunt them, bring some extra pressure, whatever, as they are going to have to be a more of a factor when the Big Ten opens up.  Of course, when our secondary is shutting teams down, they can play with more abandon, so I think we are going to see the defensive front coming together nicely very soon.

A week after his 10-catch opener, Moeaki was only able to snag one for 4 yards – at least 3 of the bad passes were headed his way.  Yet he still made a day of it, often looking like he was not a tight end, but an offensive tackle, pan caking ISU defenders, finishing his blocks well off the line for the Iowa running game.  This week, I am calling about 80 yards, and two touchdowns.  Also of note, Stanzi and Vandenberg completed passes to 12 different Hawkeyes.  Spread the wealth; make defenses worry where the ball is going.   James was 2 of 3 for 38 yards, has quite a cannon, and all he needs are some snaps, then the Iowa offense should not be missing many beats should Stanzi miss any time.

All in all though, a good road win after the week 1 issues.  5 of 6 red zones appearances, touchdowns, nary a field goal kicker in sight.  +4 on the turnover battle.  And 3rd downs? 8-13.  Sure, it was Iowa State, but those are the things they have to do win, and they did them. Which means they can do them again when the road gets tougher.

Now the Hawks (and the Sedge), return home to a glistening Kinnick, on a perfect fall late summer afternoon, to welcome in some old friends.  And once again, try to prop up the whole Big Ten.

Week 2: Arizona Wildcats



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