September 6, 2012

2012 Iowa Football - Week 2: Iowa State @ Iowa

Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 1-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings:
USA Today:

September 1st @ Northern Illinois WIN 18-17
September 8th v. Iowa State 3:30 pm, BTN
September 15th v. Northern Iowa 3:30 pm, BTN
September 22nd v. Central Michigan TBD
September 29th v. Minnesota 12:00 pm, BTN/ESPN/ESPN2
October 13th @ Michigan State 12:00 pm, BTN/ESPN/ESPN2
October 20th v. Penn State 8:00 pm, BTN
October 27th @ Northwestern 12:00 pm, BTN/ESPN/ESPN2
November 3rd @ Indiana TBD
November 10th v. Purdue TBD - Silver Pro Combat Unis
November 17th @ Michigan, TBD
November 23rd (Friday) v. Nebraska 12:00 pm, ABC

*Times Eastern

Scouting Next Opponent: Central State @ Northern Iowa, 7:00 pm (local tv only)
September 8th, 2012.  Iowa v. Iowa State Cyclones, 1-0, 0-0 Big 12
Previous Meetings: 59, Iowa leads 39-20
Last Meeting: 2011, at Iowa State, loss 44-41, 3OT

Current Line: Iowa -5

Turnover Margin: +1

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
Total   268.0 Pass  129.0  Rush 139.0  Scoring 18.0
B1G    #11               #12             #8                   #9
FBS    #93               #98             #70                  #79  
Total   201.0  Pass  54.0 Rush 147.0  Scoring 17.0 
B1G    #2                #1               #7                    #5
FBS    #11               #3              #59                  #36  

Week 1 Recap: Northern Illinois

It was an overcast sky as the Hawks and Huskies took the field, as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac loomed to bring rain and possibly t-storms through the heart of Big Ten football.  But the players really only had to deal what was below them, not above, as Soldier has a long history of having the worst surface in the NFL.  

The Huskies won the toss and deferred, and of course, the Hawkeyes took the ball.  In Soldier, and all over the country, Hawk fans wondered what changes we would see.  And rejoiced at the return of college football, as the kick settled down into the arms of Greg Garmen, who knelt down in the end zone, and the game was on.

And here we see change already, but it wasn’t the result of the coaching moves made by the Hawkeyes.  This kick was booted from the 35 yard line, and touchbacks now start at the 25, and not the 20.  This was done to produce more touchbacks.  There are many injuries on kickoffs - sooner or later, they may be gone from the game.  James trots onto the field, slapping the hands of the kickoff team as they departed.

The Hawkeyes start with James under center, a single tailback (Bullock), and 3 wideouts across the field.  James takes a quick drop and fires the ball near side, where he hits KMM, who slips as he tries to turn upfield (thanks, Soldier), and it gains 4 yards.

The Hawks huddle, which is worth noting, and James sends the tight end Zack Derby into motion from the strong side to the weak.  The handoff goes to Bullock, who surges through the line to the right, and falls down at the 36, a 1st down for Iowa.  

Bullock gets the ball again, and heads right up the middle, where he bounces off the first hit, but is dropped as he gains 4 yards.

James, now in the shotgun, with Bullock beside him, and three wideouts.  He fires a quick strike to Davis, near side, and he is hit immediately, and dropped, a yard short of the first down.  It appears like he turned around 3 feet before he should have.  3rd and 1.

James is back under center and the Hawks now show the Power I - fullback, only one wideout.

Bullock gets the ball and blasts through the line, surging forward for 13 yards,and the Hawkeyes were on the NIU 42.

Back into the I formation, with twin wideouts.

Bullock once more, he heads left and gets the corner turned, with the Iowa O line leading, 9 yards!  2nd and 1.

I formation, Bullock again, he gets it, stops, shifts, and plows ahead to the 27, 1st down Hawkeyes.

Still huddling, and now back to the single tailback.  Bullock tries to go left, but he ends up running into his blockers, and is dropped for no gain.

James, in the gun, fires it near side to CJF, it’s caught, 8 yards, 3rd and 2.

The Huskie linebacker that makes the tackle is shaken up - that’s not a normal tight end, no surprise.

So the Hawks have a few extra seconds to think about this 3rd down, and then have James under center with Bullock behind.  Derby goes in motion and the ball goes to Bullock - he heads left, is hit, but stays on his feet, and falls forward for 3 yards, and another Hawkeye 1st down.  Now at the 16.

James under center, Bullock alone.  He gets it and heads left, steps around one tackle, but then is forced out, for no gain.  2nd and 10.

James to Bullock, who tries the right side, but the protection breaks down and he is hit, and dropped, for a one yard loss.  3rd and 11.

James, the gun, Bullock along side.  3 wideouts - the pass comes to the near side, targeting Davis, but it’s a bit too high, and the Huskies have it well covered.  No good, 4th and 11, and out steps Meyer.  The ball is between the hashes, about a yard left of center, as we see it on tv.  It’s down, it’s up and right down the middle, 3-0 Hawkeyes.  14 plays, 58 yards, but stopped.  That would sadly become the theme of the day.

Commercial, your scribe resumes checking his phone.  It was, my birthday, and with all the texts and Facebook notifications, I think the phone was about to overheat.  

We return, and ESPNU shows us the Huskies mascot - an actual Husky. One of my favorites.  And we are reminded, this is the Allstate Game Of The Week.

Meyer’s kickoff lands at the goal line, and we are told the guy catching it had two kickoff return tds - in one game.  But, it was against Toledo.  And we bring him down at the 28 - it’s Nico Law.

Week 1, a running quarterback.  

Lynch, in the gun, calls his own name, and takes it right up the middle for 10 yards.  

Lynch, no huddle, keeps it again, and gets just 2.

No huddle, 2nd and 8, Lynch rolls to his right and fires it far side, it’s caught, the first Hawkeye misses but the gang arrives, 4 yards.  3rd and 4.

Lynch, in the gun, with 4 receivers spread out.  It’s a handoff, and the tailback tries to sweep to the far side, but the Hawkeye D strings it out and kills it for a 2 yard loss.  4th and 6.

The punt lands at the 18, and Hyde makes the fair catch.  Iowa ball, clock 6:22.

James, under center, the single tailback.  He goes into the deep drop, and looks deep, but brings it to Bullock on the near side, it’s dropped and he’s popped, 2nd and 10.

Hawks huddle, and James emerges in the gun.  He hands it to Bullock and he gets 7 yards to the left, but a flag flies.  It’s offsides, NIU, and the Hawks take it, 2nd and 5.  We can’t hear the referee make his penalty call - the PA system at Soldier wasn’t working.  

James under center, Bullock behind, he gets it and tries the middle, but it’s stuffed and goes for nothing. 3rd and 5.  

James is in the gun and he is looking to the near side, and he never sees the defensive end come around the corner, and down he goes, to lose nine.  4th down, and on trots the true freshman punter, #98 - Kornbrath.  Iowa fans hold their breath - and the line drive punt sails from the Iowa goal line all the way to the NIU 34.  The first man misses, but the rest of the Hawkeyes don’t.  The return gains just 5, after a 51 yard punt.

The cameras show a fog-filled downtown Chicago, but as the shot pulls back into the stadium, everything is fine.  And it seems to be black and gold just about everywhere.

The Huskies, from their 39.  Lynch, in the gun.  He fakes the handoff and tries a quick strike to his right, but it’s dropped.  2nd and 10.

The Huskies are now in the pistol - the tailback behind the QB, who himself is in the gun.  The back gets the ball, and the Hawks seem to have him hemmed up after just a couple yards, but they can’t get him down, and he drags the pile into a 9 yard gain.  3rd and 1.

The Huskies have Lynch in the gun, the tailback behind him, and two tight ends on either side of the QB.  It goes to the back, and the Hawks seem to have him bottled up right at the line - but he sneaks around the pile and picks up about 4, 1st down NIU.

Lynch, calls his own number, but the Hawks drop him after 3 yards.

Now a handoff, the tailback plows right up the middle, 4 yards, 3rd and 3.

Lynch, the gun, the back beside him, and 3 receivers on the far side.  The Hawkeye defenders all have 5 to 7 yard cushions on these guys.  

But Lynch keeps it himself and goes right up the middle, 10 more yards, and 1st down Huskies at the Iowa 32.

Lynch has 4 wide, and he brings one guy in motion, but the pass is a quick dump off to the tailback, and he gets the corner turned and this goes for 14 yards, 1st down Huskies, at the Iowa 18.

The Huskies seem confused as they line up, and as Lynch begins his count, there is movement on the left side, and the flags fly - false start.  But no, they got a timeout before the flag.  Clock 1:35.

After the break, the Huskies hand it off, and the tailback tries the near side...the Hawks string it out, have him dead to rights - but he cuts it back to the other side and gains 4 yards.

Lynch, in the gun, with tailbacks on both sides.  The QB fakes the handoff and keeps it, it goes for nothing as the Hawks contain and then drop him.  3rd and 6.  The Hawk fans raise the volume as the Hawks try to switch into the nickel package, but that’s not something we have done much, and we have to burn a timeout to get everyone in the right spot.  Clock at :21 seconds, 3rd and 6.

The Huskies emerge in a 5 wide set - but all Lynch does when get the snap is plow straight ahead - for 7 yards.  1st down NIU, Iowa  7 yard line.  The 1st quarter ends as the Hawkeye defense looks to make the stand.

After the break, Lynch hands off the ball, and a freshman - making his first carry - takes it 7 yards to the far side, and as he falls, gets the ball across the line.  It’s reviewed and upheld, touchdown Huskies, Hawks trail 7-3.

The NIU kicker slips as he goes to make his kickoff, and it’s a low line drive that Iowa fullback Weisman (a transfer from Air Force Academy) catches at the 26, and rumbles forward to the 37.

Hawk fans wait to see if the Iowa offense can respond.

James, under center, with the I formation behind.  Bullock gets the ball and heads left, he gets through the line and picks up 8.

Bullock again, he plows up the middle, 1st down Hawkeyes.

The announcers are discussing the state of the Soldier Field turf.  Seems even the Mayor has been objecting to it, and there is even discussion at the prospect of artificial turf.  Traditionalists will be opposed, of course, but the majority of football season is in the fall and winter - and Chicago is not exactly warm that time of year.  

We return, 1st and 10 Hawkeyes at their 48.

James, under center, he fakes the handoff (play action) and rolls to his right - where he has a wide open tight end on the underneath pattern, he drops it off, it’s caught, Derby, and he turns upfield for 9 yards.  2nd and 1.

James hands the ball to Bullock, he stutters as he gets to the left and sees no one there, and then takes off, 7 yards, 1st down Hawkeyes!

James, under center, drops back and flips it to CJF, caught, 9 yards.

We see that Greg Davis has coached 4 different Big 12 Offensive Players of the Year.  At the moment, we’d be happy with a touchdown.

2nd and 1, ball on the 27.  James under center, Bullock alone behind.  He gets the ball, spins at the line, escapes, spins again, gains about 5, 1st down Iowa. Ball at the 22

James, in the gun, Bullock beside him.  James stands and fires to the far side, a bubble screen, the catch is made, Shumpert, but the Huskies blow it up and it goes for nothing.  2nd and 10.

James, in the gun, with Bullock, 3 receivers.  It’s a handoff, and Bullock tries the middle, only to get stuffed in the pile, 1 yard, 3rd and 9.

James, in the gun, steps back and fires to the far side - aiming for Davis, but they have their route mixed up, Davis is cutting in, and the pass goes to the outside.  No good, 4th and 9, and Meyer takes the field to try the 40 yarder.

The ball is on the right hashmark, and the kick is up, long enough, high enough, but it misses wide right.  And it takes Tara about 4 seconds to text me.

Clock 10:01, ball at the 22, NIU is again in the pistol, zone read, handoff, 4 yards up the middle.

No huddle, same formation, but this time, a flip to the tailback, he goes far side, and dropped after 4 yards. 3rd and 2.

Lynch keeps it and tries the middle, but the Hawks don't budge, and they drop the Huskie QB for no gain. 4th and 2.  The punt lands at the 35,  where Hyde lets it bounce, and it’s downed.  A flag flies, and Hawks fans worry that it could give NIU another possession, but it’s an illegal shift, and the Hawks get 5 yards on the return.  Iowa ball at the 42, clock 8:27.

James in the gun, and now Greg Garmon is beside him, plus 3 wideouts.  

NIU blitzes, but James gets it out quickly, and hits KMM on the near side, 4 yards.  The Hawks now run the no huddle.

James, from the gun, hands it to Garmon, and he tries the near side, but gets nowhere.  The announcers point out that had Iowa been running an actual zone-read, James should have kept the ball, as there was no one over on the right side, where he was after handing it off.  Perhaps we might run some zone read in the future, but probably not with our pro style QB.

 The punt soon lands in the end zone, that’s a touchback.  Huskie ball at the 25.

Lynch, in the pistol, hands it off, but the Hawks stop it after 1 yard.  2nd and 9.

Lynch is back in the 4 man backfield, but it’s a pass to the near side, caught, hit, fumbled, but then recovered by the receiver.  10 yards, 1st down NIU.

Lynch, in the gun, 4 wideouts across the field.  they take the handoff and the Iowa D-Line almost gets there….but Lynch is able to dump it off for about 2.  Hitchens with the tackle.

2nd and 8, the 4 man backfield, but it’s a pass, deep down the far side, but Hyde has the coverage -  man to man coverage, that is, and press even, right down at the line.  The pass was a bit too long, and no good.  3rd and 8.  The Iowa fans raise the volume level once again.

NIU has 4 wideouts on the far side, and 1 on the near side, and the QB alone in the gun.  All the Iowa defenders are up in press coverage on the wideouts.  But it’s a QB keeper, 10 yards, 1st down Huskies.

Ball at the NIU 47, clock at 2:40.  Lynch has the 4 man backfield, but it’s a deep pass down the middle - it floats, drops, and Hyde is there again to knock it away.  The official that’s 10 feet from them does nothing, but the side judge tosses in his flag.  Pass interference, 15 yards, a Huskie 1st down.

Ball at the Iowa 37, another 4 man backfield, and it’s a pass, and they are going Hyde’s way again - this pass is semi-deep down the far sideline, and the receiver makes a diving, over the shoulder catch, 25 yards, 1st down at the Iowa 12.

Lynch hands it off, but the Iowa D line stuffs it for nothing.  

Lynch fakes the handoff on the zone read, pulls it down, and wants to throw it, but the Iowa D line forces him to pull it down and take off...he rolls to the near side, pointing out directions to his wideouts, but he then tries to take off.  But the Iowa defense has the corner sealed, and it only goes for 2 yards, and Lynch got drilled as he was stepping out of bounds.

3rd and 9, the Iowa crowd implores the D to make one more play.  Lynch rolls a bit to the far side and tries a pass into the end zone, but it’s too long, and no good.  The Iowa D has held, and in comes the NIU kicker.  

It’s a 28 yard attempt, and good.  NIU leads, 10-6, clock at 1:16.

Garmon catches the ball and brings it out to the 22.  This is the point in time where we would usually clam up, much to the dismay of Hawkeye fans.  We will now see if that has changed.

Iowa ball at the 22.  James, in the gun, with Bullock, the pass is a quick swing pass to Damon, he makes the catch, and heads up field, 7 yards.

Iowa is back at the line, and James takes the snap, he steps back, then up, and then dumps it over the middle, again to Bullock, he makes the catch, 15 yards, Iowa ball at the 44.

:39 seconds, the clock stops to reset the down markers.

James feels the pressure from behind, but he appears indecisive...he pump fakes, but then pulls it down, and the defense arrives, it only goes for 3 yards.

Timeout, Iowa.  

Ball at the Iowa 47, clock at :23 seconds.

James, from the gun, steps up, and fires it near side for Davis - he makes the catch, and turns inside - as the corner flies in to make the stop - and misses!!!  Davis is in the clear, he charges upfield, 20 yards, and is knocked out of bounds at the NIU 33!

James drops back, but the pressure is immediate - James dumps the ball off over the middle, at first, it’s just a dead ball, but then a flag comes in. The booth guys think that CJF was close enough to the ball, but not the officials, and they hit James with intentional grounding.  As the replay showed, had he had a bit more time, CJF was going to be all alone on that side of the field.  Worse yet, there is a 10 second runoff of the time for this kind of foul at the end of the half, so we are left with 3 seconds, and the ball at the 46.

 James drops back for the deep pass, but with just the 4 defensive linemen, the Huskies get near immediate pressure, and as James steps up, he is hit with another sack.  The half ends, with the Hawks trailing 10-6.

Hawk fans are wondering if we are going to have some 2nd half magic.  The halftime highlights show us Penn State losing to Ohio, after the Lions blew at 14-3 half time lead.  It could be a very long season in Happy Valley.

Not the case in the Horseshoe, as the Buckeyes started the Urban Meyer era with a 56-10 win over Miami (Ohio).  

We also see highlights of West Virginia, now of the Big 12 (along with TCU).

And Notre Dame pounding Navy, in Dublin, 50-10.  We were hoping for the opposite result.

Another week, another Northwestern shootout.  Won by the Mildcats, over Syracuse 42-41, with a td with 15 seconds left.  

And what’s this, a new University Of Iowa commercial?  The Hawkeye Way.  Well done, in my opinion.

The first half stats (thanks ESPNU) show us the Hawks are winning the yardage battle 155 to 133, but our 3 for 7 on 3rd downs has hurt, especially when they happen in the red zone.  Hawk fans hoping that things improve now that we have had 20 minutes to talk about them.

But we must start on defense, as Meyer’s kick is a low line drive that is picked up at the 4 yard line.  It’s brought it to the 28, where the Hawkeye coverage team converges and gets their man.
The booth guys refer to NIU as ‘Northern Iowa’ as the half begins.  We are on ESPNU.

Ok, Lynch is in gun with tailbacks on both sides.  He runs the zone read, and pulls the ball back, but he can’t escape as Joe Gaglione swallows him up for a 1 yard loss.

Same formation, this time it’s an option pitch, and the tailback comes to the near side, and gets drilled by Hitchens as he gets to the stripe. It goes for 4, but on the play, BJ Lowery is hurt when Carl Davis lands on him.  He soon gets up and walks off, seeming to be hurt on the left side, but walking under his own power.

3rd and 7, Lynch in the gun, 5 wide on the outside.  Here we go, another QB run.  

But no, at the snap, Lynch drops back and looks down field.  At the snap, the Huskie O line has forgotten about big Joe Gaglione, and he goes right around the corner and wraps up the NIU QB - and he loses the ball!!!  Fumble!!!  And as soon as it hits the ground Carl Davis falls on it!  A turnover!!!  Hawkeye ball at the Huskie 14!!!

The Hawks come out in the Power I formation, James under center.  Bullock gets the ball and tries the right side, it only goes for 1.

James, back under center, the I formation.  Hamilton, the tight end, is in motion from the far side to the near.  Bullock gets it, starts right, but cuts back to the middle, and gains 3.  3rd and 6.  Ball on the NIU 10 yard line.

James, in the gun, Damon by his side, 3 wideouts.  He drops back and hits KMM on an in route; he makes the catch but is downed at the 5.  4th and 1.

With the crowd urging them on, the team huddles up and goes for it.

Once again, the Power I, two tight ends, and the fullback, and it goes not to Bullock but to Weisman, the fullback, and he plows through the line to get the Iowa 1st down!  He was hit at the line but kept his legs moving and that was the difference.  1st and goal!

James, in the gun, rolls out to his right, and he has KMM open at the goal line, but the pass is a bit too high, and he can’t cradle it.  

2nd and goal, Bullock gets the ball and tries the middle.  It only gains a yard.  3rd and goal.

James drops back and tries a quick strike over the middle - it never has a chance, as it’s knocked down at the line.  4th and goal, on comes Meyer, one more time.

A 22 yard field goal, basically an extra point, and it’s good.  Iowa now trails 10-9.  Clock at 10:59 of the 3rd.

Meyer’s kick lands in the end zone, and there it is downed.  Huskie ball at the 25.

Lynch in the gun, with tailbacks on either side.  The near side back goes in motion, and Lynch keeps the ball and tries the left - for about 2 yards.

Pistol again, it goes to the tailback, and he gets nada, 3rd and 8. The Iowa fans roar their approval.

Lynch, in the shotgun, with again, 5 wideouts.  Two on the near side, and 3 in a bunch on the far side.  

It’s a QB keeper all the way, and he gets through the line, but the Hawks have a shot at him after about 10 yards.  And miss.  Somehow, the QB is able to outrun the entire Iowa defense, though Hyde makes a great effort (from the other side of the field) to get there, but he is a second too late.  It’s a 73 yard touchdown, and the Hawks trail 17-9.  The booth points out the longest run we gave up in 2011 - 37 yards.  Soldier Field, mostly quiet.  Clock at 9:43, and the booth guys say the NIU has Iowa on the ropes.

Garmon takes the ball at the goal line, and gets out to the 22.

James steps back, and fires the ball quickly to Davis on the far side, it only goes for 2.  That play hasn’t worked all day.  

2nd and 8, James is under center, he hands it to Bullock, who gets to the far corner and gains 7 - the ball flies out when he is hit, but it goes out of bounds.  Disaster averted.  3rd and 3.

Iowa is now in the gun with 5 wideouts.  James, looks downfield, but feels the pressure, and so he takes off and runs up the middle - he gets the 1st down, but takes another shot for doing so.

James is back under center, Bullock at tailback.  CJF goes in motion from the far side to the near.  James steps back and fires a strike to the far side, where Davis makes a diving catch.  4 yards.

Bullock gets the ball and tiptoes his way through the line to get 4.  3rd and 2.

The fullback gets it again and he busts it upfield for 5 by pushing the pile.  1st down Hawkeyes, at our 47.

James, under center, steps up to avoid the pressure and tries dumping it off to Bullock.  It seems like the defense is all over him, and sure enough, they were.  Pass interference, 1st down Hawkeyes.

James is under center and as he drops back, he loses his step on that terrible turf, and that seems to prevent him from releasing his pass...and as a result, he gets hit and dropped for another sack.  2nd and 17.

James, in the gun, has Bullock beside him.  He drops back and fires it near side for CJF, and it hits him in the hand but is low, and no good.  3rd and 17.

James drops back and has no chance.  The pressure is immediate, and he can’t step up, and goes down for the 5th time.  4th and 27.  On comes the punt team.

The Huskie return man waves his hand for the fair catch, but then he takes off.  The play is whistled dead, but we all thought that was a penalty.  Guess not.  Huskie ball at the 28.  A 37 yard punt.

Lynch is in the pistol, and he fakes a pitch to the tailback, and rolls to the near side.  He tries to dump it to his tight end underneath, but the pass seems to hit the guy in the helmet, and it’s no good.

Pistol again, Lynch keeps it, and takes off, netting 9.  3rd and 1.

The Iowa D line stands up the offense, but Lynch just tap dances behind the pile, and then gets around for about 3 yards, and 1st down. 

Lynch, pistol, with another tailback in the H back position.  He fakes the handoff and steps back, looking downfield.  But he can’t find anyone, and he has forgotten to keep his eyes on the D line - and from behind, Alvis drills him in the back, and takes down the QB for a 6 yard loss!

Lynch, in the gun, he has a tailback along side, and 3 wideouts on the near side of the field.

The receiver in the slot goes into motion, and as he approaches Lynch, the snap flies back, and the QB whifs!!!  The ball rolls all the way back to the Huskie 14, where Lynch falls on it, but now faces a 3rd and 40!

Pistol, with an H back, and the ball goes to the tailback, who gets 4 yards.  4th down, 36 yards to go.  On comes the punt team.

The punt is a good one, and forces Hyde back to the 33 with a fair catch.  But the Hawks have the ball, with 1:06 left in the 3rd.

James, under center, Bullock behind.  James fakes the handoff and fires it deep down the middle, for Davis, but the safety flies in to knock it away.  The replay shows, if James had laid it more in front of Davis, he probably could have caught it.

James now, in the gun, with Bullock next to him.  James pump fakes and then fires a strike near side, it’s no good.  3rd and 10.

James, the gun, he changes the play at the line, but the Huskies bring in a corner blitz.  James is able to step up away from that, but his effort to run just gets it back to the line of scrimmage.

4th and 9, the Iowa punt team steps back on the field.

It’s another fair catch at the NIU 28.  Clock at :09 seconds of the 3rd.

Lynch, the pistol, and he hands it to the tailback.  He goes right up the middle for about 4 yards, and that ends the 3rd.

All the Huskie players are holding up 4 fingers as we go to break.  An omen, to be sure.

Lynch, in the gun, he fakes the run and steps back, and fires it deep down the middle, but Castillo has the coverage and it’s no good.  3rd and 6.

Lynch takes the snap and tries a quick pass to the far side, but the pass is knocked down by the Iowa D line.  4th down.

The punt lands at the 36 and is downed.  Iowa ball, clock at 14:41.

James, under center, hands it to Bullock, he tries the middle, and gets about 2.  

James drops back, but feels the pressure and takes off for the far side.  He has the corner turned, but slides a yard behind the 1st down marker - and he could have taken another step or two.  3rd and 1.

Iowa comes out again in the power I formation.  Bullock gets the ball and gets the 1 he needs, maybe 1 more.  1st down Iowa.  Ball at the 48.

James is in the gun, but the Huskie end jumps into the neutral zone, and the Iowa line responds, flags fly.  The officials pick up the flags and replay the down. 

James in the gun, three wideouts on the outside.  He dumps it to KMM on a semi-screen, and he makes the catch and speeds upfield. 12 yards, 1st down Hawkeyes!

James, the gun, and 5 wideouts.  He hits KMM again, underneath, that goes for 8 yards.  Ball at the 30.

James, under center, hands it to Bullock, who tries the center and slices through there for 5, and a Hawkeye 1st down.

Under center again, James fakes the handoff, but as he turns around, he sees a blitz coming from both sides, and has nowhere to go but down.  The 6th sack of the day. 2nd and 20.

James back, he looks downfield, but comes back underneath to dump it off - and it’s no good.  3rd and 20.

James feels the pressure again, but he gets it off to Bullock on a crossing route, he makes the catch, but it only goes for 4.  4th and 16, and the booth guys comment on how the winds have picked up and are swirling around the stadium.  On steps Meyer, to try the 50 yard field goal.

And it’s right down the middle with plenty of distance!  Hawks now trail 17-12, with 9:33 left.

Meyer’s kick lands deep in the end zone, touchback.  Huskie ball at the 25.

Lynch pitches the ball to the tailback, and the Hawks bottle it up for nothing, but Gaglione grabs his facemask and is flagged for the 15 yard penalty.  Just what we didn’t need.

Lynch, in the gun, with twin tailbacks.  The QB rolls to to near side and shovels it to his receiver, but Morris is there do drop it for a 1 yard loss.  2nd and 11.

Same formation, the Iowa D line goes right through the O line and Lynch tries to dump it to one of his tailbacks - but it’s dropped.  3rd and 11.

The Iowa fans bring the noise.  Can the defense make the stop?

Once again, the QB draw, but the Iowa defense is ready for it, and they stuff it for no gain.  On comes the Huskie punt team.

Hyde catches it at the 17 and has room to move - but he is now victim to the ‘turf monster’ and slips.  He gets 10 yards, Iowa ball at the 27.  Clock, 8:01.

James under center, with the fullback and Bullock behind him.  Damon gets the ball, and carefully picks his line as he heads to the left - and gets through!  19 yards, and a Hawkeye 1st down!

Bullock now the other way, he again waits for his blockers before making his move, but is dropped after 3 yards.  

I formation, James hands it off, and Bullock heads right up the middle.  Not waiting this time, he just plows ahead and gains 9 - an Iowa 1st down!

James fakes the handoff and steps back - he looks downfield but finds nothing, so he tries to dump it to Weisman, but the pass is no good.

James, under center, with Derby in motion.  James tries another skip pass to the far side, but it’s under thrown and never makes it to KMM.  3rd and 10.

James drops back, and immediately faces the blitz. He is able to get it away to KMM on the far side, a screen attempt, but he is hit immediately, and it goes for no gain.  On comes the punt team, once again.  

Clock at 6:10 of the 4th.

From the 45, former QB John Wienke lifts it high into the air.  It bounces at the 6 and Castillo flies down the far side and dives to push the ball back as he slides into the end zone!  And it’s not the player it’s the ball, and he does it!  The Hawks fall on it and down it at the 1!!!  Iowa Defense, your time has come! (Think they must have felt the freshman punter is not ready for such kicks…he just booms them).

John Wienke.  A 5th year senior, a heralded quarterback when he arrived on campus, but fate had him too deep on the depth chart to make the field that way.  And so, in his final season, he tried out for the punter position, and in camp, lost the battle to a true freshman.  But when he was called on, he calmly took the field and executed his play to perfection.  With players like this on the team, Iowa Football is bound to do well.

Clock 5:36.  

For the first time today, Lynch is under center, and he has a fullback and tailback behind him.  It goes to the tailback, and he is able to get out to the 4.

Same formation, and the Iowa D line seems to jump - but the flag is on the offense, an illegal snap, for double clutching the ball.  Now back inside the 2.

Lynch hands it off again, and the Hawks strike, and seem to nail the tailback while still in the end zone - but the officials rule the ball did exit the end zone.  3rd and 10 from inside the 1.

Lynch is back in the gun with the tailback right behind him - and 3 wideouts. He rolls to his right, but the Iowa pressure is immediate, and the pass sails well out of bounds.  4th down, and punting from inside the 1. The defense has held!

The clock at 3:50.

Hyde catches the punt at the Huskie 35, and is in full speed upfield as he makes the catch.  He gets 10 yards and is downed just inside the 25.  Iowa ball.

Iowa takes the field, and seems things are messed up.  The play clock is nearly out, and the Hawks must burn a timeout coming out of a tv timeout.  Clock management….

Anyway, we are now back.  Bullock, left side.  1 yard.  Clock 3:30, and counting.

James, under center, puts Derby in motion.  The pressure is immediate but James is able to get if off to Derby and he makes the catch.  But it only gains 2.  3rd and 8.  Clock 2:30 and counting.

James, under center, with Bullock behind and wideouts on each side of the field.

Bullock gets the ball and heads immediately to the left side. He gets to the corner and there is no one there!!! He’s in the clear!!!!  20, 15, 10, 5, TOUCHDOWN Iowa!!!!!!!!  22 yards!  CJF makes the block that seals the corner and the Hawks have the lead, 18-17!!!   They line up for the 2 point conversion.  

Iowa comes out in the 5 wide look, but James doesn’t like something, so he calls timeout.  Clock, 2:15.

James, in the gun, Bullock along side.  3 wideouts.  NIU gets to James quickly as he makes his toss.  He goes down hard, and the ball sails well out of the end zone.  The game stands at 18-17.

Meyer comes in for the very critical kickoff and coverage.  The kick lands at the 4.

The return man heads up the far hash, but the Hawkeye kick team locks him up and takes him down at the 20.  Clock, 2:08.

Lynch, in the gun, has the snap bounce off his hands and onto the ground!  Fumble!!!  But, he is able to fall on it, and he loses 2 yards in the process.  He is hearing the footsteps.  

And the clock keeps running.

Now he hands it off to his tailback, he heads to the near sideline, but the Hawks swallow that up, and it only goes for 3.  3rd and 7.  And they get him down inbounds, so the clock keeps running!  But, Morris is down on the play, so the clock stops, but it appears to only be leg cramps.  

The Huskies call a timeout.  Clock, 1:30.

Soldier sounds a lot like Kinnick.

Lynch, in the gun.  A tailback beside him.  At the snap, he starts to drift right, but then he comes back to the left to try a short screen pass.

But Micah Hyde arrives just as the ball does, and he simply blows the play up.  Picking on Hyde, are we?  No good, 4th and 7.

Lynch, in the gun, snaps the ball.  The Iowa pressure is immediate and he rolls to the far side.  He let’s the throw go and it never has a chance, bouncing harmlessly to the turf well short of his intended target.  Iowa ball, at the NIU 24, the clock at 1:19.

The Hawks are in the power I, and Damon gets the ball.  He goes off tackle left for 4 yards.  The Huskies burn a timeout with 1:12 to go.

Same play, Damon takes it straight into the line, and surges forward for 5 yards.  3rd and 1.  Timeout Huskies, clock 1:03.

James is under center, and he stays there, plowing ahead on the QB sneak for two yards, and a Hawkeye 1st down.  Two victory formation plays kill the clock, and the Hawks escape with the 18-17 win!  And the Beer Song rang out across America.

Damon Bullock, 30 carries, 150 yards, for an even 5.0 per touch.  And his first touchdown.  The Iowa running game is far from dead.  And on the decisive play, it was a 3rd and 8 and they trusted the young tailback to pick it up on the ground.  He did, and so much more.

You can’t run that well without a solid effort from the O line.  Yes, there is work to be done, but this was the first game, I think they will show much improvement in the weeks ahead.  6 sacks of our quarterback - some from blitzes, some from just pressure from the front 4. They can do better.

James, a solid effort, but I’m sure he would like to have had some more yardage than 129.  Part of the design of this offense is to complete the quick, short pass, and let the skill players run with it.  But a senior QB is also going to look for his single coverage chances, or linebackers lined up on his tight ends, and take his chances when they present themselves.  And of course, they will, now that our running back has made it known that he is for real.  James did have some smart moments, completing passes to the open spots where the blitzers had been.  He will have (much) better days in the weeks ahead.  Hopefully, starting this week.

The defense - well, look at those defensive stats above!  Yes, knowing how many read/option quarterbacks we face these days, it was a bit disconcerting seeing Lynch pick up all those 3rd downs on foot.  But the defense improved from the early to the late, and when the game was in doubt, the defense made the stands and got us the ball in a position to win.  We did see some chaos in the backfield from the front 4.  And when the Huskies had to throw the ball late, the secondary simply shut them down.  A good effort, I feel the defense under Phil is going to be fine.

The Hawks held the ball for nearly 39 minutes.  They had one touchdown, and 5 field goal attempts.  Moving the ball was not the problem, cashing it in was.  The coaches will be working on red zone execution all this week, I’m sure.  But the 4 of 5 field goal effort for Meyer gets him co-Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.  Our first weekly award of 2012.  

You play to win the game, and we did.  We will see much improvement this week, and they will get better every week after.  It’s good to be 1-0.

Week 2 - Iowa State

These aren’t the same old Cyclones of yesteryear.  Heck, they made a bowl game last year!  The Pinstripe Bowl, right here in Yankee Stadium.  The Clones fell to Rutgers 27-13.  I got to sit in seats that I will never sit in for a Yankee game.  Did you know, those seats down there are leather clad?  And they have servers bringing you food and drinks!  

I am the Every Fan, up there, up top, with the common folk, passing our beer bottles and hotdogs down the row in our shared community.  And I am just fine with that.

Back to Iowa State. They are also 1-0, having topped Tulsa in the opener, 38-23.  But it wasn’t as easy as the final score looks.

The Clones opened the scoring with a 43 yard pass from Steele Jantz midway through the 1st to lead 7-0, but before the quarter was over, the Golden Hurricanes had put up two touchdowns and a safety to lead 16-7 (one of the PATs was blocked).

But ISU then put up 17 points in the 2nd, to lead 24-16 at the break, and they killed Tulsa’s final drive with a pick, and on the next play, ran it in for a td, to get the final margin.  

Jantz lead the way by going 32/45 for 281 yards and 2 tds - and one interception.  He also had a rushing td, but his net rushing was -9, so he was not the same type of threat that Lynch was.  Obviously, Jantz is a better passer.  Or, at least he was against the Tulsa defense.

You may recall how he had what would appear to be the game of his season in beating the Hawks last year.   I know the Iowa defense is going to remember.  And Phil is going to game plan to take him apart.

The Clones did have a good day on the ground, Johnson #21, had 18 carries for 120 yards and 1 td.  And White, #8, had 54 yards on 10 carries, and also a score.  The Iowa defenses of old would take this away and force the QB to put it up.  Let’s see what Phil comes up with to keep the Clone attack disorganized and ineffective.

When Tulsa had the ball, their top tailback had 10 carries for 125 yards - and a long of 77.  The backup had 11 carries for 55 yards (with a score).  So, the ISU defense can be run on.  Hello, Damon Bullock.  Your legend will grow if you can put up back to back 100 yard games to begin your career!

Once back in Kinnick, I just can’t see the Hawks moving into the red zone and then stalling all day long.  They are going to get their touchdowns.  The Clones will probably have some successful plays that might put up some points.  But this game is in our place, and that will be the difference.

Bullock keeps it going, and Garmon will shine in his limited touches.  James finally completes some over the top passes and Meyer will be left to just doing extra points.  Ok, one field goal.  Hawks 31, Clones 20.



VP, NY Metro Iowa Alumni Club
Iowa class of 1995

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