November 18, 2011

The Eternal Season - Week 12 Hawkeye Game Notes

Only one more day til kickoff!


Iowa’s Record: 6-4, 3-3 Big Ten, 2-2 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings
AP:
USA Today:
BCS:

2011 Iowa Football Schedule (times eastern)

9/03/11 Tennessee Tech WIN 34-7
9/10/11 @ Iowa State Loss 44-41 3OT
9/17/11 Pittsburgh WIN 31-27
9/24/11 Louisiana-Monroe WIN 45-17
10/01/11 Bye Week
10/08/11 @ Penn State Loss 13-3
10/15/11 Northwestern WIN 41-31
10/22/11 Indiana WIN 45-24
10/29/11 @ Minnesota Loss 22-21
11/05/11 Michigan WIN 24-16
11/12/11 Michigan State Loss 37-21
11/19/11 @ Purdue 12:00 pm, BTN
11/25/11 @ Nebraska 12:00 pm, ABC

Scouting Next Opponent:
November 19th: Nebraska @ Michigan, 12:00 pm, ESPN
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November 19th, 2011: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Purdue Boilermakers, 5-5, 3-3 Big Ten
Prior Games: 81, Purdue leads 45-32-3
Last Game: 2008.  Purdue 17, Iowa 22
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Hawkeye Stat Pack:

Turnover Margin: +2
Big Ten #5, NCAA #46

Interception Battle:
Linebackers: 1
Secondary: 6

Current Line: Iowa -3

2011 Key Stats
Scoring Defense 23.8, Pass Def 239.3 Rush Def 159.1, Picks 7, Total Def 398.4
Ranks
Big Ten                 #8                      #12                    #7               #8 tie                      #9
NCAA                   #48                    #82                   #65             #84 tie                    #72

Scoring Offense 30.6, Pass Offense 238.1, Rush Offense 149.1, Total Off 387.2
Ranks
Big Ten                #5                             #4                                #10                        #5
NCAA                  #45                          #56                               #71                       #63

Depth Chart for this week:



Last Week – Michigan State

Well, to those that were calling the Rodent loss the worst in recent times, I submit this one.  Worst margin of defeat since the 25 point loss at Purdue in the 2007 season – which I remind you, ended with no bowl game.

Lucky for you and me, real busy at work prepping for Holiday madness, so you won’t have to read the bloody details.  Seeing it live was bad enough.

Just one of those games where about all that could go wrong did, and it came from the offense, defense, special teams, and coaching. 

For the game, Iowa was -3 in the turnover battle – and that pretty much sums up the loss right there.  First the pick of James where Davis batted the ball to the defender, State scored, and we were down 14-0.  Then Jordan’s fumble on the kickoff after State scored with 1:57 left in the 2nd, allowing the Spartans to score again with 1:21 left to put us down 31-7 at halftime.  And finally, Derby, the Elder’s fumble inside the Spartan 10 with about 5 minutes left took 7 points off the board for the Hawkeyes.  Don’t make those mistakes, and we probably win the game by 10.

Toss in Meyer’s miss from just over 50 yards (not that those are gimmies, by any stretch) and there are 3 more points that could have loomed very large without the other mistakes. 

Because of the sputtering ground game (Coker, 21 carries for 57 yards – 2.7 per haul, and the 1 td), James had to toss the ball 47 times – only completing 22 of them, a bad percentage, and for only 5.6 yards per completion.  Two tds, one to CJF from 3 yards out for his first Iowa touchdown, and then Marvin, who caught 8 passes for 130 yards, moving him past DJK on the Iowa yardage list with 2,635 yards.  Marvin needs 21 catches of the final two (or 3) games to also take the catch record from DJK.  Provided the Hawks go bowling, look for that to happen.

The Iowa defense was unable to take away the struggling Spartan rush attack, allowing Bell 20 carries for 112 yards, and Baker 13 for 51.  That surely part of the reason the ball was so often flying by the Iowa defensive secondary, to the tune of 260 yards and 3 tds. 

Then, the coaching.  With Marcus struggling, how bout putting in one of our change of pace backs?  Marcus is tough and hard to bring down, but he is not mistaken for lightening in a bottle.  Canzeri, McCall are much closer.

So now we’ll see if the Hawks can put this embarrassment behind them, and find the focus that going on the road can sometimes bring to teams.  Though remote, we could still tie for 1st in the Legends division – although with the loss to State, the head to heads would not be in our favor.  Still, a lot to play for, both in the terms of pride – and bowl selection.

And with that, we’ll move on to the task at hand, and that’s getting James the 1st road win of his Iowa career.  Against our rival – Purdue.


THIS WEEK: Purdue

That’s right, you probably thought that the teams (in the other division) that are our main rivals would be say, Wisconsin, with the all time series at 42-42-2 – that being, the closest rivalry in all of college football.  Or perhaps Illinois, 242 miles from the Iowa campus.  And the two schools that, uh, hate each other the most, outside of perhaps Ohio State and Michigan.

And you would be wrong.  It’s the Purdue Boilermakers, 325 miles away, that is our protected rival for the time being.  How did this happen, you ask?

Basically, they put together all the other natural rivals, (Rodents are in our division) and had two schools left –Iowa, and Purdue.  And so, it was.  If you are scoring from home, that’s Iowa City – smack in the middle of the Central time zone – and West Lafayette, in the Eastern time zone.

Now, the Big Ten has said that these arrangements are subject to change in a couple years time – and of course, if the conference goes to 14 or 16 teams, then the whole thing gets blown up and done over. 

But for now, while we go two years without playing the Badgers, and a mind boggling 6 without playing the Illini, we will get Purdue each and every fall.

A team we have not seen since the win in Iowa City in 2008.  And not visited since the debacle in 2007. 

The Boilermakers were not expected to contend for anything this year, and they have had a very up and down kind of season to date, as their record would indicate.  It started with a 27-24 win over Middle Tennessee – name the mascot – but in week 2 Purdue lost to Rice, 24-22.  Then a 59-0 pasting of Southeast Missouri State – followed by a 38-10 home loss to the Irish. 

Then Purdue smacked the Rodents around 45-17, before falling to Penn State 23-18, in a very close game.  They then sent the free-falling Illini to a 21-14 loss, before going on the road to Michigan and Wisconsin – the Big House, falling 36-14, and Camp Randall, 62-17.  Then last week, Purdue knocked off the Buckeyes in West Lafayette, 26-23 in OT, evening their Big Ten record at 3 up, 3 down.

So, this is one of those games where the Hawks must be focused and limit the game-changing mistakes. 

The Boilermaker offense racks up 366 yards per game – 9th in the conference, and 82nd overall.  To get there, they have used two QBs – junior Caleb TerBush, who has tossed 10 tds and 6 picks, and senior, former Miami QB Robert Marve, who has appeared in 7 games and thrown 3 tds with 3 interceptions.  TerBush is the more mobile type of QB, running for as much as 68 yards – against Rice.  But in the last two games, 6 carries – for 3 yards.

So the running is done by a pair of tailbacks, primarily.  Junior Bolden, 120 carries for 549 yards and 4 tds, and junior Shavers, 82 carries for 357, and 6 tds (one receiving). 

So the Hawk defense will again look to maintain the delicate balance of stopping the run, while keeping the passes in front of them, to limit big, crowd encouraging plays. 

The Iowa offense will obviously look to get Coker going out of the gate – Purdue allows over 188 yards on the ground, checking in at 91st nationally.  If for any reason he starts slowly, Kirk and KOK must look to insert one of the other tailbacks.  The Boilermakers have clearly given up some points, so they should be susceptible to the Iowa play action pass, and the ability of Marvin and the Iowa tight ends to run wide open through the secondary.  That will, of course, require that the Iowa running game is humming along.

Here is an interesting stat, and one that should have the Iowa special teams coaches working overtime this week. Purdue averages 27.35 yards per kickoff return – 1st in the B1G, and 2nd nationally.  Yes, they have had lots of practice – the Hawkeye coverage team must stay in their lanes and bring guys down with the 1st hit.

This game features the top two teams in the conference in net punting.  So it figures, after two weeks of bad punt teams, this should be the week that the Iowa special teams make a game changing play.  They are plenty of tickets available for this game, so there should be a good contingent of Hawkeye fans in the stadium.  Iowa big plays that can get those fans fired up will have a major demoralizing effect on Purdue.

Can the Hawks rebound after last week to take care of business this week?  There is still a good bowl game to play for, so the team should not be in a position of having lost heart and mailing it in.  I’m sure everyone on the team, coaches, trainers, is aware that James is still looking for his 1st road win.  And after last week, I think the Iowa defense is going to have a very bad taste in their mouth, and they are going to look to take it out on somebody.  Up next – Purdue.

Expect td passes to Marvin, a tight end, a running td for Marcus, and one for James on another QB sneak.  The Iowa defense might have spells where Purdue moves the ball, but this week, some of those passes will land in the hands of our defenders.  And that will give Iowa short fields, and the coaching staff will look to go in for the kill.  Order restored, the Hawks can then focus on the new, and actual rival – Nebraska.

Hawks 31, Purdue 21.


GO HAWKS!!!

Sedge

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