November 20, 2010

TES - 2010 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 11


Iowa’s Record:  7-3, 4-2 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: #21 (251 votes)
USA Today: #20 (298 votes)
BCS: #20

2010 Iowa Football Schedule (times Eastern)

9/04/10 Eastern Illinois WIN 37-7
9/11/10 Iowa State WIN 35-7
9/18/10 @ Arizona Loss 34-27
9/25/10 Ball State WIN 45-0
10/02/10 Penn State WIN 24-3
10/09/10 Bye Week
10/16/10 @ Michigan WIN 38-28
10/23/10 Wisconsin Loss 31-30
10/30/10 Michigan State WIN 37-6
11/06/10 @ Indiana WIN 18-13
11/13/10 @ Northwestern Loss 21-17
11/20/10 Ohio State 3:36 PM, ABC (nationwide)
11/27/10 @ Minnesota TBD

November 20th, 2010: Iowa Hawkeyes v. #8/#7/#9 Ohio State Buckeyes,  9-1, 5-1 Big Ten
Prior Games: 62, Ohio State leads 45-14-3
Last Game: 2009: Iowa 24, Ohio State 27 OT

Hawkeye Stat Pack:

Turnover Margin: +12
Big Ten #2, NCAA #5

Current Line: Iowa +3

Scoring Defense 15.0, Pass Def 220.2, Rush Def 86.8, Interceptions 15, Total Defense 307.0
Ranks
Big Ten                 #2                       #8                          #1                          #2                                 #2
NCAA                   #7                      #70                         #4                          #12 tie                          #16

Scoring Offense 30.8, Pass Offense 252.7, Rush Offense 153.2, Total Offense 405.9
Ranks
Big Ten                #6                            #4                                 #7                                #6
NCAA                  #43                          #35                               #60                              #46
 Depth Chart for this week:
http://www.hawkeyesports.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/iowa/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/depth-chart
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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!

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Last Week: Northwestern

Season’s Greetings to my Hawkeye friends, near and far.  The season of our discontent, that is.  It’s not over yet, but it’s pretty safe to say that the 2010 campaign has been one of the biggest letdowns of the Ferentz era.  Sure, we could still end up winning 10 games, and lots of teams would love to be able to do that.  But with the potential that we had, even that milestone might feel somewhat hollow.

Here’s a thought! In 2011, let’s have Hayden come be the honorary but quasi-actual coach for Northwestern week!  Maybe he could get the players to buy into the fact this game means something. 

Sorry, that’s not really fair to Kirk, considering he did put some Hayden-worthy beatdowns on the Cats in the early years of his reign.

And it wasn’t really the coaching or play calling this week, it was all on the field, in the execution.  Yeah, the wind was tough, the rain didn’t help, but the plays were still there to be made, and we couldn’t.  Worse yet, all three losses have come with the opposition driving for the winning score late in the 4th – a time when Iowa traditionally wins the battle and thus the game.  Football is a team game; you can’t put that all on the defense when the offense has done so little to move the ball for much of the contest, as was the case Saturday.

It certainly started out with potential.  Hawks start at the 20, and Ricky comes out firing to DJK on the near hash, caught, 9 yards.  Adam goes off tackle right – tackle broken at the line, 5, 10, 14 yards!  But wait, the flag flies, and Zusevics is called for holding. The replay clearly shows him with his hands inside the defender, and moving his feet.  By comparison to some of the plays in this game, that was nowhere close to a hold.  Road team, you lost more of these battles than you win, so we were faced with a 2nd and 6 after the penalty.  The Wildcats guess run and Adam runs right into them, he is able to spin out of the loss and get back to the line of scrimmage.  On 3rd down, Stanzi is under heavy pressure as he lofts it for DJK, but the ball falls to the turf with no players in sight.  The punt from our 24, Ryan boots it (into the wind) to the Northwestern 38, where the ball is downed.  That would be the theme for the day (downed), as there was not 1 single return yard from either a kickoff or punt, by either team, all day long.

Dink and dunk, here we go.  Persa with a pass to the far sideline, 9 yards.  The tailback Trumpy gets a carry; Klug wraps him up after just a yard.  Read/option fake, it turns into a pass left for 16 yards.  Persa then dumps one off into the flat, but the Hawks swarm it, and it only goes for 2. 

On this 2nd and 8, Persa drops right into the deep pocket, as Clayborn sidesteps the tackle and has a clear shot at the Northwestern quarterback.  That is, until said tackle grabs Adrian and brings his full-speed pursuit to a near stop.  That allows Persa to escape and scramble for 8 yards.  Clearly holding, Adrian is asking for it, the Iowa sideline is asking for it, but we never get it.  So it’s going to be one of those days.  Deal with it; don’t let the zebras decide the game boys.

Cats option left, 4 yards.  A quick pass underneath, 9 yards.  But then the flag flies, and a false start has been found, that’s a 2nd and 7.  Trumpy gets a carry, but both Klug and Clayborn meet him at the line, no gain.  3rd and 7 from our 19, come on defense, get the stop and force the shaky Wildcat field goal team out there.

No, Persa can’t find anyone open, and as the pocket collapses, he is able to get to the sideline for 11 yards and a 1st down.  Another handoff, 1 yard.  Persa throws one into the end zone and the flag flies again – this time the true freshman linebacker James Morris is nabbed for pass interference.  The replay shows that he was in great position, all he needed to do was turn around, he would then have in fact intercepted the ball.  But, he’s a true freshman, who will probably be starting for the next three seasons.  You learn on the field.  From there, a Persa keeper goes over the goal line, and the Hawks trail 7-0.  The Wildcats were probably thinking ‘that was really easy, we are going to score lots of touchdowns today’.  It would be a long time before they did.

We start at the 20 again, and Ricky hits Adam in the flat – 11 yards, 1st down, no, flags again.  DJK, blocking in the back, it looked like Adam had the corner turned without that block, but the mistake had been made.  Adam, stuffed for minus 2, then Ricky hits McNutt for 5 yards on the far side.  3rd and 16, Stanzi has no downfield options, so he dumps it to DJK on the far side, and he is able to get 14 of the 16 needed.  Ryan in, the punt from our 28 lands at the Wildcat 31, with no return. 

The Cats go 3 and out and we get the ball back after their punt sails into the end zone.

Stanzi to McNutt on the near sideline, 9 yards.  Adam off tackle left, plowing through linebackers, 16 yards, 1st down!  Same basic play but this time it runs into a blitz and Adam is dropped for a 4 yard loss.  Ricky comes back to Marvin quickly, that gains 10, we have a 3rd and 3, let’s just get this picked up and move on from there.

Instead, Stanzi tries hitting DJK on a semi-deep pattern to the near sideline – the ball is a bit underthrown, and as DJK tries to come back for it, the defender plows into him without ever turning his head around.  It was close, but the replay clearly shows him arriving at DJK before the ball.  No flags, 4th down, our punt bounces at the 2 and we have guys there, but they can’t snag it, touchback.

Northwestern gets one 1st down on this drive, but it then dies when Klug drills Persa for an 8 yard sack on the first play of the 2nd quarter.  Their punt come from the 36, Chaney is back there, fair catch.

The Hawks were on their way to 5 straight punts to start this game, this drive almost continued when Adam caught a screen pass from Stanzi – he just needed to get the corner turned and he had blockers in front, but a shoestring tackle prevented it.  This punt, from our 28 goes awry, only 12 yards before it sails out of bounds.  Northwestern ball at the Iowa 40, the defense has got to suck it up now.

The Wildcats do get one first down, but then Persa throws the ball away under heavy pressure, and gets called for intentional grounding, 9 yards and loss of down.  Two plays later the field goal unit takes the field, and the 40 yard kick goal sails (very) wide right.  Disaster averted, offense, please wake up and do something.

Well, the rain starts falling at about this point.  Two Adam runs get about one yard, and on 3rd down, Stanzi goes deep to DJK down the middle – he is open, but with the wind now at our backs, the pass sails a bit long.  Hawkeye punt from our 23, and the ball bounces a bit before our guys down it at the Wildcat 4.  73 yards, apparently Donahue was atoning for his previous 12 yard effort. 

Northwestern quickly gets 22 yards on three plays, but this drive dies with a pitch to Trumpy, who gets clobbered by Sash in the backfield for a 3 yard loss.  We get the ball back at our 31 with 3:22 left in the half.

Stanzi to McNutt, near side, 4 yards.  Adam now, off tackle right, he breaks a tackle at the line, 5 yards, he cuts it outside, 10, 15, 20, 24 before finally being wrestled down!  There we go!  A quick dump off to Reisner nets 5, then two Robinson runs go for 1 and nothing, so we face a 4th and 4 from the NW 35.  The Hawks call timeout, and then Northwestern calls timeout, once they see what formation we come out in.  The clock at 46 seconds left.

Stanzi drops back and has time, and he finds Reisner for 20 yards to the Wildcat 15.  Great, but in his effort for more yardage, he fails to get out of bounds to kill the clock.   Ricky then spikes the ball and the Hawkeyes reset.  Stanzi rolls right and has DJK open inside the 5, but the pass is a bit behind him, no good.  3rd down now, as Ricky goes back, McNutt is on the left, and he cuts it inside on the slant, he is open, but as Stanzi had gone to set himself, he slipped on the wet turf, and the pass is well behind his intended target.  Opportunity missed; Meyer comes in and dutifully drills the 32 yard field goal in the heaviest rain yet.  7-3, and the half comes to an end as Northwestern downs the ball after another touchback.

The Wildcats had run one more play and gained one more yard than we did, but the most telling halftime stat was our 0 for 7 on 3rd downs.  As we have discussed many times before, the key to slowing down these kinds of offenses is to sustain our own drives.  Score touchdowns, keep those offenses off the field, and let our defense rest and regroup.  Though we were only down 4 at the break, the 1st half futility was worrisome, and ultimately, fatal. 

The 2nd half begins with another touchback, and Northwestern gets one 1st down before an illegal touching call (receiver had stepped out of bounds) kills the drive and we get the ball at our 25, after Chaney catches the punt and gets hit immediately for no return.

OK boys, how bout those halftime adjustments?  Adam starts outside, but then cuts it back inside, 7 yards.  Now he does go outside, the stretch play, and the Hawks get the corner sealed – 13 yards, 1st down, and flags fly at the end of the play.  That’s a facemask call on Northwestern, tack on 15 more.  Adam to the right, 5 yards.  Adam up the middle, spins out of a tackle, 7 yards, 1st down Iowa at the Cat 26! 

A quick pass to Reisner on the near side nets 5 yards, then Ricky rolls left and finds McNutt underneath the coverage for 16 more, and a 1st and goal from the 6 yard line.  I think the Wildcats were expecting a run, and as Ricky rolls out to the right, he finds McNutt with a step in the back of the end zone, and he lays it in the corner where Marvin cradles it for the Hawkeye touchdown and 10-7 lead.  There we go!  Defense, now you have the lead, go out there and dominate! 

The Cats once again gain one 1st down, but then bog down and the drive dies with a Persa shovel pass to Trumpy that he can’t handle.  Chaney catches the punt at the 20 and once again is hit immediately.  Iowa ball right there.

Adam heads left with the carry and chews up 9 yards.  With this more or less free play, Stanzi tries DJK down the far sideline, but the pass is broken up.  3rd and 1 now, Stanzi drops back, and has all the time he needs as DJK has not gone down the sideline this time, he has broken back into the field on the post route, and Ricky fires it to him and hits him in stride at the 40!  It’s a footrace as DJK heads to the far pylon, 30, 20, 10, 5 touchdown Iowa!!!  70 yards!  17-7, and the Wildcats may be beginning to wonder if this week is going to be like recent others, with their 2nd half failures.

The Wildcats get a shot at returning this kick, but their return man fumbles the kickoff at the 1 and it rolls into the end zone, that’s a touchback. 

This drive quickly gets Northwestern out to their 46 , but from there, they are called for holding (ah, finally), and their 3rd down pass is wide open, but dropped.  Hawkeye ball again as the bouncing punt is downed at our 15.

Adam finally gets a break as Coker takes the field, and he gets 5 yards going right, and then 7 yards going left.  KOK dials up the play action as Stanzi looks deep, but then he comes back underneath to hit Herman on the far side, that’s good for 13 yards, here we go again!  On this next snap, Stanzi is under heavy pressure and he throws it away – over on the NW sideline Fitzgerald is screaming for a grounding call, but Ricky was (barely) outside the pocket, so the officials do not oblige him.  Coker now goes up the middle, and he has room, but in his haste to get there he trips and only goes for a yard.  3rd down, Ricky drops back and has protection, but as he goes to throw it, the ball just slips out of his hand, and Stanzi is able to dive on it to prevent the turnover.  Ryan boots to the ball to the NW 30 where it sails out of bounds.

Persa rolls into an option-right, but he keeps it for 3 yards.  This play brings an end to the 3rd quarter, which has been dominated by the Hawkeyes, now we just have to play smart and finish it.

Persa feels the pressure quickly and tries to move up, but Clayborn catches him and drops him for a 3 yard loss.  This is 3rd and 10; a stop here would be huge.  The defense is able to get some light pressure on Persa, but he has the time for Ebert to get downfield on a linebacker, and he fires a pass over the middle that is caught for 18 yards, and a 1st down.

Another Persa scramble gets him 9 yards, then a dropped pass brings up a 3rd and 1.  It’s a sneak, and the Hawks can’t stop it, plus they throw in an offsides call on Ballard, the Cats begin anew at the Hawkeye 38.    Persa tries a deep pass down the far sideline, but it’s over thrown with the tailing wind, and no good.  2nd down now, he comes back to the short stuff, and tries a quick toss over the middle, where the receiver gets his hands on it, but the ball flies right through them into the arms of Hunter!  Interception!!!  Finally, a turnover, now we must make them pay, and a touchdown here should put the game away.

Well, it didn’t quite work out.  Adam is back in, he gets 2 yards up the middle.  Ricky drops back and fires one semi-deep down the near sideline, and Reisner makes a highlight reel catch by leaping high over the defender, and pulling the ball into his chest as he gets one foot down and falls out of bounds.  18 yards!  1st down Hawkeyes,  keep it going!

Adam up the middle for 4 yards, a good start.  As the Hawks prepare for the 2nd down snap the flag flies, and Herman is called for a false start.  It’s now 2nd and 11, and that changes the game plan significantly.  Stanzi goes into the deep drop, and he doesn’t see that he has Marvin and Davis wide open underneath – he fires it deep down the middle for DJK, where the Cats have him double covered, and the pass is actually a bit long into the wind, and DJK can only watch as it lands at the 5 and is picked by the NW safety.  He carries it out to the 29 before being knocked out of bounds, and the flags fly again, but it’s on the Cats for a personal foul, so their drive starts at the 15. The clock was at 10:56 of the 4th.

It was now that our 1st half 3rd down futility began to have consequences.  It was obvious that the defensive line was wearing down, so we needed the plays to come from our back seven.  With a two score lead, we had reason to think that maybe they could come up with a couple.

The drive starts with a Persa dump off to Trumpy underneath – it’s a 10 yard pass, but he breaks a tackle and takes the ball for 10 more.  A dink pass right gets 4 yards, then another to the near sideline gets 8, 1st down Northwestern.

The Iowa defensive staff (Norm was there, but still not all the way back to play calling duties) realizes they need to up the pressure, to they have Morris blitz right up the middle, and this catches Persa off guard the freshman and drops him for a 10 yard loss.  2nd and 20, is this the play that gets us the stop?

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