September 20, 2012


Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 2-1, 0-0 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings:
USA Today:

September 1st @ Northern Illinois WIN 18-17
September 8th v. Iowa State Loss 9-6
September 15th v. Northern Iowa WIN 27-16
September 22nd v. Central Michigan 12:00 pm, BTN
September 29th v. Minnesota 12:00 pm, 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: Syracuse @ Minnesota, 8:00 pm, BTN
September 22nd, 2012.  Iowa v. Central Michigan Chippewas, 1-1, 0-0 MVC
Previous Meetings: 2, Iowa leads 2-0
Last Meeting:1998, Central Michigan 0, Iowa 38

Current Line: Iowa -17

Turnover Margin: +4

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
Total   333.7 Pass  197.7  Rush 136.0  Scoring 17.0
B1G    #11               #12             #10                  #11
FBS    #103              #100           #86                 #110  
Total   294.0  Pass  180.0 Rush 114.0  Scoring 14.0 
B1G    #4                #5               #7                    #2
FBS    #23              #27             #36                  #18  

Week 3 Recap: Northern Iowa

Hello again, Hawkeye fans.  Hard to believe, but at about 3:15 this Saturday, the football season is one third over.  But as the Iowa game came to an end this past Saturday, we sat 50 days out from the return of Iowa Basketball.  And someday soon, we may have both Iowa Football and Basketball competing for B1G titles in the same school year.  Your scribe remembers when the Hawkeyes have done this in the past.  It makes for a one heck of a school year - be you in school, or an alumni.

It was another beautiful day in Kinnick as the Big Ten Network lead with video from, you guessed it, 2009.  This would not be as close as 09 - and we shall see if the Hawks take off from this game for a magical run as they did three seasons ago.

Another week, another old Hawkeye in the booth.  Danan Hughes, former Hawkeye wideout and baseball star, and contemporary of your scribe in Iowa City.  Me, a freshmen the fall of 1989, Danan’s redshirt freshmen season.  For his career, 146 catches, 2,216 yards, and 21 tds.  Hawkeye fans wonder if he spoke to the team about holding onto the ball.

Onto the game, UNI wins that toss, and takes the ball.  Back to back weeks with the Hawks starting on defense. Not sure the last time that happened.  Sure, it’s probably in my Notes, somewhere.  

The Hawks are back in the usual black tops and ‘gold’ pants, and Meyer boots it 7 yards deep into the end zone, but the Panthers bring it out.  And pay the price, as the return is swallowed up at the 17 yard line.

UNI lines up in the I formation with a single receiver up top.  It goes to the tailback who takes it straight up the middle for 8 yards.  Lowery and Hyde with the stop.

The Panthers huddle, and emerge with Kollmorgen (Koll, hereafter) in the gun, a tailback along side, and 3 wideouts.  It’s a swing pass to the back, and he is wide open, the catch is made at the 24 and he gets to the sideline, and all the way to the Iowa 46 before Hyde knocks him out of bounds.

Another play, another look from UNI.  The gun, tailbacks on both sides of Koll, and twin wideouts low side.  The far side back goes into motion, swooping back, and almost moving forward at the snap (a penalty), but the play goes on.  No real pressure as Koll is able to survey, and then throw a strike down the far hash, it’s caught and downed at the Iowa 24.

Now, the single tailback with one receiver up top and two below.  Another handoff, and this one seems stopped after a few, but it keeps going until the Iowa 16.  2nd and 4.

Same formation as the as swing pass above, Koll rolls to the near side at the snap, and dumps it to his underneath route, it’s caught right on the near sideline, and out of bounds, at the Hawkeye 9, a 1st and goal for UNI.

Single tailback now, but the snap never happens as the left tackled lunges forward into the Iowa D line, that’s a false start, 1st and goal from the 14.

Back to the triple backfield set, Koll starts to roll to the far side, but then hands it to the far side tailback, who is cutting back against the play flow, he gets it all the way down to the Iowa 3 before going down.  Hitchens with the stop, but the Hawks had a shot to get him down at about the 10. 2nd and goal.

Haven’t seen this look yet - Koll, in the gun, on the near side, a tailback lined up behind the fullback, I formation style, but basically behind the right tackle.  And now we see why, it’s not the QB in the backfield, but a tailback - it’s the wildcat, and he gets about 1.5 yards, 3rd and goal Panthers.

The Iowa fans pound the wall in between the stands and field and crank up the noise.  It’s the same wildcat look, but now the I formation is on the far side.  The back takes it straight ahead, where the Hawkeye defense seems to have him stood up at the 1 - but he keeps pushing, and then falls into the end zone, touchdown Panthers.  The PAT, up and good, and the Hawks trail 7-0.  8 plays, 83 yards - that’s better than 10 yards per play, if you are scoring at home.  Or scoring at the bar.  Either way, Hawks fans are wondering if the offense can respond, and the defense can shore things up before the Panthers get the ball again.

The kickoff lands just inside the goal line, where Garmon makes the catch and downs it.  Flags fly, and the Panther’s are called for a personal foul - post possession.  Iowa ball, 40 yard line.  Thank you!

James, under center.  Bullock behind, twin wideouts.  James changes the play at the line.  Bullock gets it and heads far side, steps inside one tackle, but not the second, as he gets 3 yards.  2nd and 7.

Same formation, Damon heads to the same side, blows through one tackle, and then gets hit, but falls forward, right on the yellow line, 1st down Hawks, right at midfield.

Once again, Bullock alone behind James, but now 3 wideouts are in.  James drops back, and quickly dumps it over the middle to CJF, it’s caught, 6 yards, 2nd and 4.

All right, the Hawkeye I formation makes an appearance.  But James again changes the play at the line.  It goes to Bullock, who steps through the line and once again falls forward to land right on the yellow stripe.  That’s another Hawkeye 1st down, at the Panther 40.

I formation with wideouts left and right.  James hands it off once more, and this effort gets about 4 to the near side.

Back to the single tailback look, Damon gets it one more time, and heads to the near side - as he gets to the corner he gets drilled by a Panther, but Bullock pops back up as the safety stays down.  Timeout.  3rd and 4.

Hawks go with the heavy look - I formation, just a solo wideout up top.  James, to the line, makes his read, and changes the play.  He hands it to Bullock, and he follows his fullback to the near side, off tackle, but then, he cuts it another step outside, and gets the corner with no one there!  30, 25, 20, 15, 10, finally dropped at the 7 yard line!  27 yards, 1st and goal Hawkeyes!


Hawks, heavy again, only Davis split out up top.  Damon gets it, starts right, but cuts it back to the middle, and gets to the 5, before being shoved back.  2nd and goal.

Same look as the Hawks take the line.  It appears that James is getting two plays sent in to the huddle, and he then decides which one to run when at the line.  A pro style read/option, if you will.  Bullock gets it again, starts left, but then cuts back to the inside, gets a step, but then is caught, and down at the 1.  3rd and goal.

BTN is showing the Kinnick faithful, as the camera comes back to the field, James has just snapped the ball, and instead of it going to Bullock, he quickly gives it to the fullback, Weisman - and he surges forward and into the pile - James leaps into the air, as do the other Hawkeyes, and it’s an Iowa touchdown!  Yes, an Iowa TOUCHDOWN!  From 1 yard out.  The PAT, up, and good.  7 all, a touchdown!!!

Meyer boots this kick 8 yards deep again - caught, and downed.  Panther ball at the 25.

Koll under center, with a single tailback, and two wideouts up high, one low.  It’s a play action pass, and Koll flips it semi-deep down the far sideline - open, and caught, out the 47.

Once again, the graphic is on the screen as the Panthers snap the ball - it’s a handoff that goes straight ahead, 4 yards, 2nd and 6.

Now UNI comes out in the gun, and 5 wide.  It’s a dump off underneath, far side, but that is caught, and it gets just inside the 40, for another Panther 1st down.  Hitchens with the stop.

Now back to the 3 man backfield, Koll rolls to the near side at the snap, and he tries to toss it down the near sideline, but Lowery has stepped in front of the wideout and has a great chance to pick it off - until the wideout goes through Lowery to knock it away.  The Hawks, and the Kinnick stands, are wondering where the flag for offensive pass interference is.  It never comes.  2nd and 10.

Another new look for UNI.  Gun, tailback alongside, one wideout up top, 3 below, but it’s a read/option handoff, and the Hawks take it down after just 2 yards.  3rd and 8.

A passing down - and Phil inserts the nickel package.  But it’s a quick pass to the far side, where it’s caught in space, but James Morris is there to take him down 3 yards short of the yellow line.  4th down, the Iowa defense has held.  But the Panthers line up for the 49 yard field goal.

And it’s right down the middle.  10-7 Panthers. Clock, 2:13 of the 1st.

UNI’s kick lands at the 5, where Garmon makes the catch, and heads straight up the middle - he gets the 30, and then cuts it outside, where he gets to the sideline and takes it all the way to the 45!  But flags fly.  

Two fouls. Offsides, kicking team, holding, Hawkeyes.  Penalties offset, kick again.

This kick lands at about the 2 - and then bounces out of bounds!  Thank you, Panthers!  Flags fly, that’s Iowa ball, at the 40.  

No, Iowa ball at the 35.  Here is why.  

The rule is, you get the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kickoff. Until this year, the kickoff was on the 30, so you add 30 yards, that’s the other 40.  But now, the kickoff is on the 35 - so the ball goes to the other 35 on the penalty.  

Hawks to the line in the I formation.  Weisman heads through the line and supplies a block, but then cuts it outside into the flat and James floats it his way - it’s caught, he gets the corner, and 12 yards, 1st down Hawkeyes at the 47!

Again to the single tailback, twin wideout look.  Bullock gets it and heads right up the middle, 4 yards.  

Single tailback, 3 wide set.  James straight back, and them dumps it to Damon on a wheel route out of the backfield, it’s caught, 5 yards, 3rd and 1.

Hawks go heavy once again, it goes to Damon, who only gets 2, but he only needed 1.  1st down Hawkeyes.

And that brings the 1st quarter to an end.  One quarter, one touchdown.  Progress made.

1st quarter yardage - Panthers 131, Hawks 83.  

Hawks back to the line, in the single tailback, split wideout set.  CJF goes into motion from the weak side.  It goes to Bullock who starts for the near corner, but then he sees a gap and steps it back inside, then hurdles a defender before going down.  5 yards.

Same base, but now two wideouts up top.  James changes the play once again.  He hands it to Damon, who heads off tackle left, blows through the line, and gets it down to the 26, 1st down Hawkeyes!  11 more yards!

Once more, but now the twin wideouts are on the near side.  James runs the play action fake to Damon, and then turns and fires it to the near sideline, where Davis dives and makes the catch!  13 more yards, 1st down Hawks at the 13!

Flipping the wideouts once again, James hands it to Damon, he heads right, and picks up about 3.  But a flag comes in, and the Hawks are called for a chop block (Cotton), and that’s a 15 yard penalty, ball now back at the 28.  That’s a 1st and 25.  

James to Damon once more, he heads straight ahead, for about 3.  2nd and long.  But then we see that Bullock is down on the turf, and apparently, knocked out.  Two members of the Iowa training staff hustle out to check on him, but then immediately signal for help, and three more rush out there to surround the fallen tailback.  As BTN goes to break, we see Damon shift his legs a tiny bit - a good sign.

As we return to the field, the training crew is just helping Damon sit up.  Kirk is now out there, and soon after, Damon gets to his feet and starts slowly (with help) heading to the sideline.  And then we see the replays - as Bullock is going down, a Panther defender is flying into the play, and Damon’s head slams into the defender’s knee and then the turf.  Here we go again.  Garmon, your turn.

He takes the field next to James, who is now in the gun.  KMM is on the near side, near the line, but at the snap, he cuts it back inside, its the jailbreak screen!  And, he makes the catch, and heads upfield with his sled of blockers, and gets it all the way down to the 10!  3rd down, and a much more manageable 7 yards.  

James, the gun, and 5 wide.  James is putting on the hard count and it brings a Panther across the line - Ferentz snaps it, flags fly, but James hits Davis on a quick out route, it’s caught, and down inside the 2, a 1st and goal Hawkeyes!  Offsides it is, and declined.  3+ more feet, come on Hawkeyes!

Iowa lines up in the ultra heavy set, fullback Brad Rogers is in there, the I formation with Weisman behind him, and tight ends on both sides of the line.  Derby goes into motion, and the snap has James handing it to Weisman, who takes two steps and then plows his head forward, TOUCHDOWN IOWA, the sophomore Air Force transfer has two carries for 2 yards, and two touchdowns.  I’ll take it!  Meyer’s kick is good, and the Hawks lead 14-10.  A lead they would never give up.

But, there is another flag, and James Ferentz is hit with a personal foul - and that gets assessed on the kickoff.  Ouch.

Meyer is forced to boot the kick from the 20, and it lands at the 17, and the Panther return man breaks a tackle at the 25 and takes it all the way out to the 47.  

UNI starts with the 3 man backfield, and two wideouts top, one bottom.  They hand it to one tailback who heads for the near side, only to flip it to a wideout running a reverse - it looks like he wants to throw it, but the Hawks apply heavy pressure as he tracks across the field.  They have a shot at him behind the line, but he cuts it back to pick up about 4.  

Panthers now sport the single high tailback and 3 wideout look  It’s a quick screen to the slot receiver on the far side, he makes the catch and is able to get it a yard beyond the yellow stripe.

The Panthers then hand it off and the tailback tries the middle, only to get blasted by Hitchens, and then we see a big pile up, and the ball has come out, and the Hawkeyes have it!  Turnover, Iowa ball at the 36!

But, we have never been good at getting a quick play off after a questionable call, and sure enough, as James goes through his reads the whistle blows, the prior play is under review.  

The ruling is, however, a fumble.  But we soon see that in fact, the tailback is down on his back before the ball comes out.  It may have been loose, but the play is overturned, and the Panthers have the ball back.

The Panther offense returns with 3 wideouts near side, one top, and a tailback beside Koll who sits in the gun.  He fires a strike over the middle that’s caught, 15 yards, 1st down Panthers at the Iowa 24.

UNI now showing the I formation, it goes to the tailback, who heads straight ahead for about 4.

Koll has tailbacks on either side of him, and at the snap, the near side back starts heading for the near sideline - and Koll pump fakes it that way, but then comes back and heaves it over the middle, where it’s caught, and downed, at the Iowa 7.  1st and goal.  The Iowa fans raise the decibel level another notch.

Panthers, single tailback.  Koll steps back and then fires it over the middle to the back of the end zone - the receiver leaps to make the catch, and does, but as he does, Hitchens turns around and gets his body into the receiver, and that forces the Panther out of bounds, no good.

UNI once again lines up in the wildcat, and the back goes straight ahead, when he survives the first hit, but not the second (Morris), to go down after about 2.  Timeout Panthers, 3rd and goal from the 5 after the break.

The break is over, and the Panthers line up in the 5 wide.  Koll quickly throws it to the front of the end zone, but Tanner Miller dives in to knock it away, 4th down, the Hawkeye defense has held.

It’s only a 22 yard field goal attempt and it’s good.  14-13, clock at 7:24 of the 2nd.

The Panther kick pushes Garmon back to the goal line, he makes the catch and starts up the far side - but at the 15, he cuts back across the field and finds daylight!  He finally is cornered and dropped at the 40, 1st down Hawks!

The Hawks are in the I formation, but we barely notice as we see a graphic that Iowa has dropped the most passes in the B1G since 2009.  When the camera returns to the field, James is floating a beautiful pass to Garmon on the wheel route, and the ball drops in there, he has it, no, yes, and no, as the bobble allows a Panther defender to get in there and knock it away.  

That pass, the first from James to hit the turf.  2nd and 10.

As James approaches the line, the whistle blows, and the Panthers have called their 2nd timeout.  Clock 7:07 of the 2nd.

The Hawks emerge with Garmon deep, Davis on the near side and KMM in the slot on the far (and Cotton out wide).  The play is a fake to Garmon and the defense seems to shift that way - and James turns, stands up, and finds KMM wide open across the middle! And the pass hits him in stride at the 43 and he gets it down to the 32 yard line, 1st down Iowa!

Back to the line, this time James hands it to Garmon, he tries off tackle left and gets 5 for the effort.  

James is now in the gun with Garmon alongside, and it once again looks read/option ish as Greg gets the ball, and plows through the line for 9 yards, and another Hawkeye 1st down!  Iowa ball at the 20!

The Hawks now run the no huddle and get to the line quickly.  But at the line, James takes a moment to stand and change the play.  It goes again to Garmon, who heads to the near side, waiting on his blockers, and he cuts it upfield for 5.  But flags fly, and we see his blockers were being a bit too aggressive - holding, Iowa, ball at the 30.  

James, the gun, Garmon on the near side next to him, two wideouts low, one high.  James again to the tailback, and he stumbles as he gets started and just gets back to the LOS.

But as the Hawks return to the huddle, we see Garmon start to come off the field holding his right arm away from his body - and it looks like the part below the elbow is not facing the direction it should be.  He finally drops down at the numbers, and the Iowa training staff races to the field.

Greg gets up rather quickly, but the trainers are holding his arm in place as they walk off the field.  If I wasn’t typing this, I don’t think I would believe it.  

The clock stops again, at 5:08 of the 2nd.  

We return to the medical staff huddled around Garmon on the bench.  Iowa bloggers at the game note that Canzeri is not only in uniform (for the first time), but also in the offensive huddle that is on the sideline during the time out.  But, we never see him come in, and in fact, I’m glad we didn’t need to push it.

OK, 3 wide, James under center, with Weisman back there in the tailback spot.  He gets the ball and goes off tackle left, and once he gets the corner turned, he finds a lonely Panther cornerback, and the  6’0, 225 pound fullback plows into the hapless defender as they both fall to the turf.  

A Panther is down, though not the one making the tackle.  
3rd and 15 for the Hawks from the 25.  James is in the gun with 3 wideouts and Weisman alongside.  James snaps it and heads straight back into his drop - Weisman has gone out around the far side at the snap, and James dumps it to him in the flat - the catch is made at the 21, he turns to find a Panther ready to plow into him, but the fullback brushes him off and keeps going!  Now at the 13, two Panthers try to stand him up, but they can’t get him down!  He spins, keeps his legs moving, and finally spins again and goes down at the 5 yard line!  1st and goal Hawkeyes, 21 yards!

Hawks in the I formation with a single wideout down low.  At the snap, James turns to his right, where Rogers bumps into him, and the ball never gets to the tailback Weisman.  A mad scramble ensues at the LOS, but the Hawks get it back with the loss of a yard.

I formation again, but James goes right into his drop, and quickly looks toward the end zone.  He floats it to the far back corner where CJF makes a diving attempt, but can’t come up with it.  3rd and goal.

James is in the gun again, and changing the play, again.  He tosses it far side for Davis - a back shoulder pass - but Keenan can’t turn around in time to get it, no good.

Meyer back in there, a 24 yard attempt from the far hash, and it’s up and good.  Next week a finalist for the Lou Groza award.  Hawks lead 17-13, clock 2:46 of the 2nd.

Meyer boots to the 5, and the Hawkeye coverage team gets their man at the 21.

The Panthers hand it off and the tailback trips and goes down short of the 25.

Another handoff, this goes for 7, but a yard short, 3rd and 1.  Kinnick erupts.

The QB is not in there, it’s another wildcat look, and he tries to roll to the far side in an option play, but Gaglione has nothing of it, and flies in there to drop the Panther tailback for a two yard loss.  4th down!

Hawks call timeout at 1:26.  Yes, get the ball back!

Now, a return.  Come on Hyde!

But it’s an excellent punt, and Hyde must race back to get it, but it bounces at about the 7, and is clearly headed into the end zone, but Hyde grabs it at the 2 and turns upfield!  

And only gets to the 10.  Mistake.  Remember the hidden yards?  That’s 10, right there.

Clock, 1:11.  Another Panther is down.  I comment to those around me that this game is starting to look like a Hawkeyes/Badgers blood feud.

Hawks, single tailback (fullback) with 3 wideouts.  The fullback gets it, heads off tackle right, and blows through the line for 12, and a 1st down Iowa!

James, now the gun, looks deep but has nothing, so comes back to dump it to Weisman on the near side, he makes the catch, but then gets hit, and loses the ball, only to fall on it.  Disaster averted.

James, back, he throws a comeback pattern to KMM, but it gets caught behind the line and gains nothing.

And the clock winds down and that does it for the 1st half.  Onto the BW3 halftime report, and your scribe is craving chicken wings.  And beer.  Alas, it’s Monday night.

Half time stats of note.  Yardage, 214 us, 186 Panthers.  3rd down conversions, long a bane of Iowa’s existence, Hawks 5/6, Cats 1/4  And 13 1st downs for Iowa.  Not a bad half at all.  

And we will see if the halftime adjustments made by the coaches have any effect this week.

Hawks get the ball first, and the kick takes Davis out through the back of the end zone.  But, a flag flies, and the Panthers are offsides on the kick.  Iowa ball at the 30.

The Hawks huddle up, and come out with the single back and twin wideouts.  It goes to Weisman who goes right up the middle, 3 yards.

Same formation, James fakes the handoff and rolls to the near side - and quickly hits is underneath route, CJF, who makes the catch, 14 yards, Iowa 1st down at the 47!

Hawks, I formation, twin wideouts up top.  James, the semi fake handoff, turns, finds his man, and fires it for KMM - it’s a deep slant, it’s caught at the 35 and he is in the clear!  30, 25, 20, 10, 5, he dives for the pylon and hits it!  But, steps out at the 2. 51 yards, Iowa 1st and goal from the 2!!!

James, 6 feet from his first td pass of the year.

The Power I - it goes to Weisman who takes it just off center left, and he plows into the end zone essentially untouched, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  The drive, 4 plays, 70 yards, 1:50 off the clock.  Meyer is up, and good.  24-13 Hawks!  The Iowa offense is coming together!!!

Now, a stop.

But the return gets out to the 35. Needed two stops.

The Panthers run it three times but come up 3 yards short.  Punt, into the end zone for a touchback.

But the Hawks toss in a 3 and out themselves.  Punting, contagious.  Panther ball at the 37 after the punt. The first Hawkeye punt of the game.

UNI throws two incomplete passes to bring up 3rd and 10.  The Hawks are now in the dime defensively.  Koll gets the snap, pump fakes it left, and then tosses it over the middle - but there are no Panthers there, only Donatell diving to pick the ball off the turf and pick it off!  Hawkeye ball at the 42!!!

The replay shows no doubt, it’s a catch, but the Hawks do get to the line quickly, and get the snap off (in the I formation) and the hand off goes to the fullback who goes straight ahead for 3.

Weisman again, 4 more yards, 3rd and 3.

One more time, he tries the near side, but only gets to the LOS.  Hawks, 3 and out after the turnover. In weeks ahead, must cash those in.

The Iowa punt bounces at the 25, but back toward the Iowa side of the field - and the freshman punter runs forward to down the ball at the 40.  Net, 11 yards.

This Panther drives quickly gets to the Iowa 15, but a holding call there forces them back to the 25, and they can only then get to the 8, forcing a 4th and 3.  Their kicker comes in and the 25 yard field goal is good.  Hawks lead, 24-16.  And here, at 2:27 of the 3rd, your scribe has predicted the final score of 24-16.  But, it would not last.

The Panther kickoff lands at the 4, with Davis making the catch, and he takes it out to the 25.  

Hawks in the single tailback, and it’s a play action pass to the near sideline, but no good.

Back to the fullback who goes off tackle left, and blasts the pile forward for 6 yards.  

James, alone back there in the gun, quickly fires for CJF, who makes a tough catch with the defender on his back, but a catch it is, 7 yards, and a Hawkeye 1st down.

James, back to the fullback, who goes off tackle left and finds daylight for 14 yards and another Iowa 1st down, now at the Panther 46!

Once again, to the same place, and a Panther defender dives to take out his legs, and he flips in the air and comes down on his back.  But, he’s a fullback, so he pops back up and takes his place in the huddle.  5 yards.

Weisman again, straight ahead, but it only goes for 1.  3rd and 4 as the 3rd quarter comes to an end.  

James stands alone in the gun with 5 Hawks spread wide.  Ferentz snaps the ball and James quickly fires it to the far side, to Davis, who has run about 5 yards and turned to the outside.  The Panthers have him bracketed on either side, but the pass is dead center and Davis makes the catch, and then holds on from the combined hit!  And stays on his feet and cuts upfield! But another Panther arrives, and Davis is brought down at the 26, a Hawkeye 1st down!

Weisman now sits in the backfield as James heads under center.  James drops straight back and goes for the home run, targeting Davis on the far side.  But he gets shoved by the corner as the ball comes down, yet no flags fly, as the pass was a bit far and out of bounds.  2nd and 10.

Same formation, but this time the ball goes to the fullback, who heads off tackle right. No one touches him until he has gone about 7 yards, but now the defense arrives, one guy, now two, but Weisman keeps his legs moving, 15 yard line, 10, and finally dropped at the 9! 16 more yards, and a Hawkeye 1st and goal from the 9!

Hawks present the Power I with a solitary wideout on the near side.  It goes to Weisman who takes it up the middle for 2.  

James is back in the gun with his fullback beside him.  James drops back and quickly targets Davis on the far side, and Keenan leaps and gets his hands on it, but the corner gets his there too, and knocks the pass away before Davis can land with the ball.  3rd and goal.

James goes with the 5 wide again, he drops back and gets it off just before he gets hit.  Davis makes the catch at the 4 and tries for the far pylon, but he is forced out just outside the 1. 4th and goal, and the Iowa players and fans know what they want, but on comes Meyer.   It’s a 19 yard attempt from the right hash - not that simple for a right footed kicker, but it’s up, and good.  27-16 Iowa, and the Hawkeyes are now two scores up.  As the booth concurs, that is where you want to be.

Meyer nearly puts his kickoff through the uprights, so the Panthers start at the 25.  This drive would gain one 1st down, but then die.  Hawks get the ball back at their 19 after the punt.

This Hawkeye drive would combine the passing of James and the running of his fullback to get it all the way down to the Panther 1 yard line.  There, Weisman would have two chances at his 4th touchdown, but he would be stopped both times.  But the drive consumes 12 plays and 7:18 of the game clock, so while not successful, a good sign to see the offense kill a clock with the lead.  

UNI would get the ball back with 2:51 left on the clock.  Their drive would get as far as the Hawkeye 43, but an errant pass on 4th down ends their possession, and with one kneel down by James, the game.

James, 18 for 28 on the day, and a well executed game plan by the senior QB.  He was helped by his wideouts on this day, generally snagging the passes that hit them where they should have.  228 yards, but still no tds for the QB.  I trust he will get some this week.

They may keep falling, but somehow, the Hawks keep finding someone to carry the ball.  Before going down, Bullock, 13 for 77.  Almost 6 yards per touch.  Garmon, 3 for 13, and let’s not forget his two excellent kickoff returns.  Not a stretch to think our tailback could be taking one of those kicks all the way one of these weeks.  

But of course, the revelation of the week, Mark Weisman, #45.  24 carries, 114 yards, and the three rushing tds.  All this only because the fullback saw two tailbacks go down, changed positions, and just ran with his opportunity.  Next man in.

And it looks like he is going to get more chances, and why not.  Kirk has been his usual self, saying little and meaning nothing, in regards to Bullock and Garmon’s injuries.  But he also has not ruled either of them out for the week.  But Hawk fans can hope that the fullback is able to shoulder the load this week, and let our tailbacks come back at 100% and pound the Rodents into the ground next Saturday.

You can’t run for 201 yards, and your QB can’t have a clean shirt at the end (as James did) without a solid effort from your O line.  As expected, this group is coming into form, and well on it’s way to being an Iowa offensive line.  

The Iowa defense, another solid effort, albeit with another slow start.  In three games, they have not allowed a single point int the 4th quarter, and in all three games, have looked much better after halftime.   That’s coaches making adjustments based on what they see on the field.  And players seeing tendencies in offenses and learning to attack them on the fly.  I think this defense is going to get better and better.

Defense playing well, offense finding it’s stride, special teams generally positive (the young punter, a bit up and down, but we can see his serious potential).  We are still a young team building experience and depth.  We have had our non-conference hiccup, and seem to be rounding into form as the Big Ten season approaches.  One more tuneup before the Rodents bring Floyd into Iowa City where he hopes to stay for a nice long stretch.  But before then, one more game, can’t be looking too far ahead.

Week 4 - Central Michigan

Our tour of the MAC western division continues with a visit from the Central Michigan Chippewas, who are coming off their bye week with a 1-1 record on the season.  

Though this is no Northern Illinois team, Central Michigan has gone 3-9 the last two seasons.

The Hawks have met CMU twice, both times in Kinnick, and both convincing wins.  1994, 52-21, and 1998 38-0.  But then, we were prevented from playing them because the University of Iowa prevents the athletic department from scheduling non-conference games against schools with Native American  mascots.  

But Central Michigan was able to get agreement from the Chippewa tribe, and that satisfied both the NCAA, and the Iowa heads, so the series resumes in 2012.  Also in Kinnick.

CMU opened the season on the first night of NCAA football, Thursday August 30th, with a 38-27 win over Southeast Missouri State.  The Redhawks, an Ohio Valley Conference team.

Then in week 2, CMU upped the competition meter a bit, and invited the Spartans into Mount Pleasant.  The result, as  they probably expected, a 41-7 loss to the (then rated) #11 Spartans.

The same Sparty that just fell 20-3 to Notre Dame.  All the talking heads are proclaiming the Big Ten to be in a down cycle this season.  Perhaps ripe for the picking for a team that no one was talking about in August.

Anyway, the Chippewas have a senior quarterback, #8 Radcliff, who has over 7,000 passing yards in his career, with 43 td passes.  But also, 38 interceptions.  Iowa back 7-  on notice.

Against a Big Ten defense, the CMU QB was just 17 for 38 (44.7%) with two picks.  

CMU’s lead tailback, Tipton, #34, has 28 carries for 242 yards - that’s 8.6 a touch - and 3 tds.  But against Sparty, that was just 11 for 62: still a healthy 5+ yard average.  This is a 6’1, 222 pound tailback.

CMU is not a one tailback kind of team, they can put in Garland, #44, who has 20 carries for 114 yards, and one td. This guy is 6’0 and 220 pounds.  

Big CMU tailbacks, meet our big, and improving, Iowa D line.  Or improving Iowa linebackers.  

Obviously, the CMU defense can give up some points.  James must be thinking that his touchdown-less streak could quickly come to an end this week.  And it will.

And the CMU defense has allowed 188 and 172 yards of rushing in the first two games.  Expect Iowa to come out from the start trying to establish the line of scrimmage.  Word this week that Canzeri   has been cleared to play by the medical staff, amazingly just 5+ months after his ACL surgery.  It’s good to be young.  But assume that Weisman will start in the tailback spot, and if he is picking up yardage and plowing people over from the start, we will ride him as long as he can go.  And that will open up the play action pass, so expect the Iowa offense to be even sharper this week.

One of these days, we are going to start fast, and put someone to bed by halftime. This would be a good week to do it.  It closes the book on the non-conference season, and sets our sights on the real reason we play these directionally challenged schools every September.  To tweak and fine tune things for the games ahead.  
But, we are Iowa, and still coached by Ferentz.  So let’s go with being semi conservative and keeping the Chippewas in it through the 3rd.  

Save the blowout for next week.  Hawks 31, Chippewas 10.



VP, NY Metro Iowa Alumni Club
Iowa class of 1995

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