September 27, 2012


Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 2-2, 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 Loss 32-21
September 29th v. Minnesota 12:00 pm 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: Ohio State @ Michigan State, 3:30, ABC
September 29th, 2012.  Iowa v. Minnesota Golden Gophers, 4-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Previous Meetings: 105, Rodents lead 61-42-2
Last Meeting: 2011, Iowa 21, Rodents 22

Current Line: Iowa -6

Turnover Margin: +3

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
Total   357.8 Pass  202.0  Rush 155.8  Scoring 20.5
B1G    #10               #8             #9                  #12
FBS    #92               #91           #70                 #105  
Total   319.0  Pass  205.8 Rush 113.3  Scoring 18.5 
B1G    #4                #6               #6                    #7
FBS    #25              #39             #30                  #37  
Week 4 Recap: Central Michigan

Well friends, that certainly felt like one of the worst losses of recent Iowa memory, both immediately after, and now a few days out.  The Iowa boards are full of posts saying the team is lost, mentally out of it, the coach needs to go, etc, etc.  I’m not ready to consent on any of those points, I will hold out to see how the team progresses through the rest of the season.  It’s a new slate - 0-0 in Big Ten play.  If the Hawks can’t perform at their best for 60 minutes in this one, we may have things to worry about.

It was a bad time for the Iowa defense to have their worst 2+ minutes of the season, to be sure.  But how we got there was a team effort.  Offense, defense, coaches, and officials.

Yes, this was the worst officiated Iowa football game since the 2nd bowl game against the Gators.  And little wonder - instead of having a full officials crew is as the norm, it was split up by officials from 3 different conferences.  Why this was - I have no idea.  In the end, some of them simply didn’t get big time college football.

But we knew none of this as the cameras settled into Kinnick to focus on the head coaches.  Temp in Iowa City at kickoff - 50 degrees, with winds up to 21 mph.  Besides the obvious chill, the weather would play a major factor in the end.  

CMU would win the toss, but defer, and of course, the Hawkeyes took the ball.  Seems CMU wanted the wind in the 4th quarter.  And they got it.

Davis catches the kick at the 11, on the far hash, and he heads straight up field, and is downed at the 27.

Hawks start with Weisman alone behind James, with single wideouts on each side.  James fakes the handoff, steps back, turns, and looks downfield.  And now he fires it deep down the far hash, where we see Davis fly into view, and as the ball comes down, he dives forward, sticks out his hands, and  makes the catch!   38 yards, and down at the CMU 35 yard line, a 1st down Hawkeyes!!!

Hawks now with two wideouts up top.  It goes to Weisman who heads off tackle right, the line provides a huge gap, and he takes it 10 yards before being tripped up!  Another Iowa 1st down!

Hawks now present 3 wide, James drops back quickly and then fires it near side for Davis - he makes the catch at the 20, turns upfield, and gets it down to the 12 yard line, another 1st down!

Hawks now to the I formation with a wideout up top.  It goes again to Weisman who tries the right side, and picks up 7 yards to the CMU 5.  2nd and 3.

Hawks line up and as James makes his call, Tobin shifts his weight a bit, and flags fly, that’s a false start.  This call, legit.

2nd and 8 from the 10, James huddles the team up, and comes out in the gun with the fullback by his side.  James snaps the ball, and immediately rolls to the far side, where he fires it for KMM on the underneath route, he makes the catch at the 5, turns, takes two steps, and then dives for the far pylon and get’s the ball across!  Touchdown Iowa, there it is, the first passing TD of the year!  5 plays, 72 yards, 2:28 off the chock.  7-0 Hawks!  

The PAT is Meyer’s 60th straight - tying Kaeding for most in Iowa history.  

Now defense, how bout a quick stop!

With the wind at his back, Meyer boots the kick 9 yards deep, and CMU downs it for a touchback.

CMU starts with the single tailback and wideouts on each side.  It goes to the back, who starts left, cuts it back inside, but then runs out of room - 2 yards.  Morris on the stop.

The Chipps now have a fullback offset in front of the tailback.  But Radcliff floats it down the far sideline, where Lowery makes a great play to break it up as the pass arrives!  No, wait, a flag?  His head is turned to play the ball, it’s a great defensive play. Nope, this crew calls it pass interference, 15 yards, and this would just be the start.

Now at the 42, CMU hands it off again and the back seems to have a gap through the right side, but Hyde dives and gets his legs, and the run only goes for 4.  After the play, things get a little testy on the field.  

CMU now to the gun, a tailback alongside, two wideouts below, one high.  It’s a swing pass to the back, he makes the catch at the 43, and heads upfield - where Kirksey has a chance to get him down quickly, but misses, and Hyde has to clean it up after 11 yards and a CMU 1st down, at the Iowa 43.

CMU now shows the I formation, with two wideouts up top.  It goes to the tailback, who gets about 1, before a swarm of Hawks bottles him up and sends him back about 3 yards. 

Back to the gun with 4 wide.  Radcliff drops back and fires it near side, where Nico Law is covering in the nickel package, but he is a step behind and the catch is made, 14 yards, another CMU 1st down.

Single tailback now, Radcliff tosses it to the back who tries the near side, but the Hawks string it out and stuff it for no gain.  2nd and 10.

Gun again, 4 wide.  Radcliff drops back, and looks again over the middle, fires it, and again, finds his guy open inside a pack of Hawks.  It’s caught, and finally down at the Hawkeye 8.  19 yards, 1st and goal Chipps.

Single back again with one wideout each side, Radcliff starts right but then quickly flips it back, left, to the back, a misdirection play, and he gets a seam on the near side, slips through, and the Hawks can only knock him into the end zone, touchdown CMU,   It sure looks like the hole formed as a Hawk was held, but the officials don’t notice.  7 all, clock at 8:04 of the 1st.  And on the play, Hitchens is down in the end zone.

But he soon sits, stands, and walks out under his own power.  We go to break.

The PAT actually happens post break, now it’s 7-7.  Another break.

This kick bounces at the 13, and Cotton makes the snag at the 9, then bursts up the far hash to the 20, 30, and finally dropped at the 34.

No wait, as we come back from a game break, we see there has been a flag - and the Hawks are called for a personal foul.  We finally see it - if that is a personal foul, your scribe is an All American Basketball Player.

James under center, Weisman behind, and two wideouts below, one up top.  James turns and tries to hand it to his fullback - well, hand it he does, but Weisman never gets the ball in his grip, it hits the turf, and CMU falls on it.  The first lost fumble of the year, and at a terrible place.  Chipps ball, at the Iowa 16.

CMU with wideouts split outside, and a fullback in the H back position in front of the tailback.  They go  in motion and bring a tight end and the H back to the near side, but same position.  The Hawkeye fans bring the noise.  It’s a play action pass, and Radcliff turns and dumps it short on the far side, it’s caught, and 4 yards gained.  

Now a different look, twin wideouts, but with 3 backs behind the line - wishbone-ish.  It goes to the deep back who tries the middle, but Gaglione meets him at the line and drives him back.  No gain.  3rd and 6.

Radcliff under center, twin tailbacks out behind him, and two wideouts low, one high.  The QB drops back and tries to hit one of his backs on a screen, but Carl Davis has seen it coming all the way, and as soon as the catch is made, he wraps up the helpless tailback and throws him for a 4 yard loss!  4th and 10, the Iowa defense has held!

On comes the CMU kicker for a 34 yard attempt, and it’s good.  10-7 Chipps, clock at 5:45 of the 1st.

So, when you consider that we would lose the game by 1, and we would surrender 3 points on a turnover at the worst possible time, you could say this sequence was the difference. 

The kickoff is a low bouncer, and Jonathan Gimm snags it and hustles forward for 10, that’s an Iowa 1st down at the 45!

James, under center, Weisman behind, a wideout on each side.  James fakes the handoff and turns to roll to the near side.  He fires it for his underneath route, that’s KMM, and it’s caught, 12 yards, a Hawkeye 1st down at the CMU 43!

We never see the formation, the cameras go back to the topside view just as James hands the ball to Weisman, he tries the right side but only gets 2.  Nope, flags fly again.  KMM is called for a personal foul.  The replay shows him blocking the corner back as the play is winding down.  The corner shoves KMM, who lightly responds, and the corner dives to the ground, soccer style, to get the flag.  Hawks on a 2nd and 23 back at their 49.

Hawks go to the line, but they call timeout.  Clock 4:36.

Post break, James is in the gun, with 3 wideouts up top, 2 below.  James looks right, then left, then comes back over the middle to hit CJF, it’s caught, but he’s dropped, 6 yards, 3rd and 17.

James to the gun again, two wideouts high, one low, and Weisman beside him in the backfield.  He drops back, and then fires it to the near sideline, where once again, Davis dives to snag the ball, and pick up 16!  4th and 1.

James gets his Hawks to the line quickly, and the Hawks show the power I, with a single wideout high.  It goes to Weisman, who takes off straight ahead, at the line, he ducks below an arm tackle, stumbles, but then he gains his feet at the 30 and he’s in the clear!  25, 20, 15, 10, 5, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!  34 yards, and the Hawkeyes lead 14-10!!!

Meyer now has the Iowa record for consecutive PATs made.  His next kickoff sails through the end zone, with no return.

Now the Hawkeye defense throws up a 3 and out.  That’s the way to do it boys!

The CMU punt lands at the 24, where Hyde makes the catch, but as he tries to make hits cut upfield, he slips, and it’s Hawkeye ball at their  21.

James, with Mark behind, two wideouts low, one high.  James fakes the handoff and turns.  He steps back two more paces, and then fires the ball deep down the far sideline, where it lands and Cotton makes the catch! But then he goes down before he can turn upfield.  Still, 36 yards, a Hawkeye 1st down at  the CMU 43!

Hawks now run the no huddle.  James, in the gun, Mark alongside.  But this crew can’t get the marker set so the Hawks all have to stand up and wait for the ref to blow the whistle.  Thanks zebras for blowing our no huddle.

It goes to Weisman, who tries the far side, only to get stuffed for no gain.

James now tries the jailbreak screen to KMM, and he makes the catch, but is then buried.  It actually loses 1, and that brings the 1st quarter to an end.  

Hawks face a 3rd and 11 after the break.  James is in the gun with two wideouts low, one high, and Mark alongside.  James drops back and quickly dumps it to CJF over the middle, the catch is made, but he is wrapped up and dropped after 7 yards.  4th and 4 from the CMU 37.

But James stays on the field, and the Hawks line up in the same formation.  James drops back and soon faces pressure up the middle, and he fires if for the near sideline - a long pass - and the CMU defender flies in to knock it away - any sooner, a pick 6. Foreshadowing for the disastrous 2nd quarter.

CMU ball at their 37.  They have Radcliff under center, twin wideouts, an the offset backs behind the QB.  They shift in to the I formation, but it’s a pass to the near side - underneath the coverage, and caught, 13 yards, 1st down CMU at the 50.

I formation again, twin wideouts.  But the far side wideout comes into motion, and he then steps into the backfield to take the end around, and gets the corner turned to pick up 10 yards before going down in a pile of bodies.

Now single tailback, 3 wideouts.  It’s a handoff, he goes right up the middle, breaks one tackle, and then drags the pile for about 4 more yards.  9 total.  2nd and 1.

Now back to the I.  The tailback Tipton gets it again, the Hawks stand it up at the line, but he falls forward for 2, and only needed 1.  1st down CMU at the 29.

Now back to the single tailback and twin receivers out wide.  Radcliff fakes the handoff and drops back - he has no pressure and can step up into his throw, which is deep down the near hash, and soon we see the CMU receiver all alone at the goal line, and he makes the catch, touchdown CMU, score 17-14.  Lowery has coverage on the play, and the double move burns him - he falls down trying to make his cut back inside.  Hard to find a wideout that wide open on a pass inside the 30.

Could the Hawks respond?

The kickoff lands at the goal line and Davis makes the catch.  He gets it out to the 24 along the near sideline.

Hawks to the I formation.   Weisman gets it and head to the near side - at the line, he steps inside one tackler, and has open space!  He gets to the yellow stripe as another tackler flies and misses, but finally he is caught and dropped, 24 yards, an Iowa 1st down at the 48!

Mark, deep behind James, two wideouts up top.  The fullback gets it and heads right up the middle, 5 more yards.  

I formation now, Weisman gets it and heads up field, gets hit, but is able to fall forward for a Hawkeye 1st down at the CMU 40!

I formation again, but James drops back and quickly fires it deep over the middle to Davis, once again he leaves his feet to make the catch, but cannot - seems to have it, but then loses it as he hits the ground.  

Hawks to 3 wide with Mark back behind James.  James, quickly fires to the near sideline targeting Smith, and he can’t make the snag, 3rd and 10.

James to the gun, 3 wide, Mark alongside.  He fires it to the far side to CJF, but he makes the catch at the LOS and is driven back.  No gain.  4th down, the Iowa drive dies at the 40.  

Wienke comes on to punt and it bounces at the 4, but the Hawks can’t keep it from crossing the goal line.  CMU ball at the 20, clock at 9:30 of the 2nd.

CMU starts with a slant pass that is dropped. 2nd and 10.

Another quick pass, this time over the middle, and wide open, but the receiver goes down making the catch, 9 yards.  3rd and 1.

CMU comes out in the wildcat, and it’s a keeper that heads right, gets about 3, and a Chipps 1st down.

Another handoff, he tries the far side, and gets 4 yards.  
Radcliff back, looks deep, but then comes back underneath the coverage to the far side, it’s caught, 7 yards, another 1st down.

Another handoff to Tipton, he plows straight ahead, 6 yards.

Once again, and trying the middle, but Morris is there, it only goes for 2.  3rd and 2.

CMU is in the power I, the Hawks are shifting as the snap is made.  It’s not a handoff, put a play action pass to the fullback that has leaked out of the backfield - he makes the catch, and has open room in front, but he is caught and finally dropped at the Iowa 26.  Morris makes the stop, but seems to be hurt in the tailbone as he leaves the field.

CMU to the I formation, twin wideouts.  Another handoff, and the Hawks stop it after just 2 yards.

Now to the gun with a tailback alongside, twin wideouts low, and an H back on the far side of the line.  Both wideouts have the Hawk secondary right at the line.  It’s a pass, a float to the end zone on the near side, and as the ball comes down, Castillo collides with the receiver, flags fly, and Hawks are called for another pass interference.

Ball now at the Iowa 9.  

Wildcat again, it’s a keeper, and he tries the far side, and gets 5 yards.

I formation now, it goes to the tailback, he tries the middle, and gets 1+.  3rd and goal.

Morris is back in there.  CMU to the heavy line, offset backs behind Radcliff, the lone wideout in motion from near side to the far.  It’s a straight drop back. Radcliff is eyeing the near side, but has nothing.  He turns his head back to the middle of the field, as Gaglione sheds his blocker and surges into the backfield!  He causes the QB to pull it down and try to escape, but Joe dives and gets the QB’s feet and drops him for  5 yard loss!  4th and goal!  It’s a 25 yard field goal from the far hash, up, and good.  20-14 CMU, clock 2:00 of the 2nd.

Iowa 2 minute drill?

Davis makes the kickoff catch a yard inside the end zone, but brings it out, and only gets to the 17.  

James drops back, feels pressure, escapes, and gets whacked pretty good as he gains about 5, but flags fly, holding Iowa.  The replay shows - it was nowhere near a hold at all.  Scherff gets pushed back and falls, and the CMU defender then trips over him.  

Now back at the 10, James is in the gun.  He tries setting up the screen to Mark, but it’s no good.  2nd and 16, clock 1:40.

James now fires it over the middle, and he has Cotton open, but short hops the pass, no good.  3rd and 16.  

James drops back and fires a quick strike to Davis, a slant route, he makes the catch but then gets drilled, 7 yards.  4th and 8.

Timeout CMU.

The Iowa punt is now into the wind, and the freshman punter can’t overcome Nature, and it only goes 30 yards - with some roll...and is downed at the Iowa 48.  Clock 1:19.

CMU is in the gun, tailback next to Radcliff, two up top, one below.  It’s a short pass to the near sideline, caught, and dropped after about 7 yards, but flags are down again.  Lowery, called for illegal hands to the face - a personal foul, 15 more yards.  

We never see it.

CMU ball at the 34, clock 1:05.  It’s a quick pass out into the flat, far side, and caught, 8 yards.  

Chipps no huddle, Radcliff now fires it to the far sideline, and this is caught at the 7 and out inside the 5, 1st and goal CMU.  Clock :34 seconds.

A play action pass, Radcliff fires into the end zone, but it’s high and no good.  2nd and goal.

From the gun, Radcliff hands it off, read/option look, and it goes for about 2.  3rd and goal.  Timeout CMU, clock :20 seconds.

We never leave the field during the timeout.  As CMU comes to the line, we see Morris signaling to the bench.  The whistles blow again, and now the Hawks have called timeout.

We stay at the game.  As the Chipps come back to the line from the bench, we see an Iowa defender racing onto the field.  Castillo, for the nickel package.  Now, as CMU gets into formation, we see a Hawkeye start to sprint off the field.  The whistles blow - and the Hawks have used another timeout.  

Somewhere, KOK is laughing

Finally, after 3 timeouts, CMU emerges in the gun.  At the snap, Morris comes flying up the middle and Radcliff must float it before he wants to - it comes down in the corner of the end zone and the catch is made - but the receiver has his feet come down out of bounds.

4th and goal, the CMU kicker comes on for the 20 yard attempt, and it’s good.  23-14 CMU.  Clock at :12 seconds.

The kickoff goes out of the end zone, and James kneels down to kill the half.  There is a bit of booing as the players leave the field but mostly silence.  Hawk fans wondering once again, if those halftime adjustments will be enough.

The manager offers your scribe a stiff shot of whiskey.  It helps.  

As the halftime wraps up, we see the golden dome of the Old Capitol.  When I was in school, the University re-gilded the dome, and on the day it was finished, there was such bright sunshine that it was nearly blinding to gaze upon it.  So brilliant, in fact, it embarrassed the new state capitol in Des Moines, and they had to do them same.  Little wonder they call Iowa City the Athens of the Midwest.

Anyway, back to the field.  7 penalties for 86 yards in the first half.  Even when Iowa has had down years, we have rarely seen such a display.  Then again…

Hawks have churned out 228 yards in the first half - in most weeks, that would seem to indicate a Hawkeye lead.  

Meanwhile, the Chipps have played 10 quarters this year and have not had ONE penalty called against them.  Some say you could call holding on every single football play.  Would the flag happy officials continue to make it so one sided?

Meyer boots the kick to the mid point of the end zone, the return man drops it, and must take a knee.  The second half begins from the CMU 25.

We see the Iowa defense first half v second half stats.  Would it continue?

The Chipps start under center, offset backs behind, and two wideouts low.  It starts with a handoff, and he goes up the middle for 5 plus.  

Now CMU goes empty, 5 wide.  Radcliff is making his call when we see a Hawkeye come across the line on the far side - but he had reason.  Flags fly, and it’s a false start on Central Michigan.  44 seconds into their 11th quarter of 2012.

2nd and 11.  CMU now to the gun, with a tailback alongside, and 4 wideouts in the game - but not wide at all, all the players within a couple yards of the linemen.  Radcliff drops back and tosses it far side, where once again they find a hole in the defense, caught, 17 yards, a 1st down CMU.

The gun again, but it’s a handoff, and he tries the near side, but Kirksey blows it up and it turns into a one yard loss! 

Gun again, a tailback alongside.  On the snap, the Chipps line seems to melt away, and the Hawks storm into the backfield, and get Radcliff for a 9 yard sack!  3rd and 20, and the Iowa fans rise to the occasion.

Same formation for CMU.  It’s a delayed handoff, but the wait only gets a bunch of Hawks into the backfield again, the cornered tailback tries the near side, but Hyde and Miller drop him for a 5 yard loss.  Finally, the defense has come alive!  

The CMU punt  is into the wind and weak, it comes down and hits a CMU player, so the Hawks have the ball at their 46.  Time to start the comeback!

Hawks have James under center, Mark behind, two wideouts high, one low.  It goes to Weisman, he looks right, but then cuts it back inside. At midfield, he hits full stride, and 3 yards later, shoves a hapless defender to the ground with a stiff arm!  He keeps going, and finally CMU is able to catch up and bring him down at the 22.  32 yards!!!  Weisman is already over 100 yards on the day.

Same formation for the Hawks. Weisman, off tackle left, about 4 yards.  

The Hawks have the same look but flip the wideouts.  But it goes to Weisman again, he starts up the middle, then cuts it back, slips through, and gets 13 yards! Iowa 1st and goal at the CMU 5!

Hawks now to the Power I, a single receiver near side.  It goes to Mark who follows Rogers left through the hole.  A CMU defender appears in the path, but Weisman calmly puts his hand out to shove the defender back, he is blocking for himself, and he pushes them both into the end zone, a TOUCHDOWN IOWA, and Weisman has scored again, Meyer is up and good, and the score is 23-21.  Here we come!

Clock at 9:18 of the 3rd as Meyer once again gives no return.

CMU, 4 wide with a tailback alone behind Radcliff.  It’s a quick pass to the slot receiver, and he gets about 8 before the Hawks can take him down. 

2nd and 2, same look, and it looks like a 1st down run, and flags fly, the run was successful because the CMU tight end was holding Alvis, and the zebras caught it.  2nd and 12.

Now again to the 5 wide look, at the 23.  The pressure is quick, but Radcliff dumps it off near side, caught, 10 yards, 3rd and 2.

CMU, in the gun, tailback alongside, 3 wideouts up top.  But it’s the wildcat again, and of course it’s a keeper, he tries the near side, the Hawks contain and start to bring him down, but it looks like he might fall across the yellow line, until Hitchens flies in and drills him straight back!  4th down, 1 yard to go, and the Chipps bring in the punt team.  

This punt is a little better, and Hyde makes the fair catch - barely, as a Hawkeye is blocked into him as the ball arrives.  Iowa ball at the 32, clock 6:45 of the 3rd.

Hawks are unbalanced to the weak side, with Mark alone in the back, and two receivers up top.  It goes to Weisman and he takes it off tackle, left, is into the secondary before anyone touches him, and gets it out to the 50 before going down!  18 more yards!

Hawks to the line again.  Mark gets it and tries the same side, he leaps over one tackler, but that slows him down, and they get him after just a yard.

James to the gun with Mark alongside.  CMU brings the pressure from the near side but Weisman picks it up, and James floats it far side, aiming for Duzey.  But there is a breakdown, it appears he should have stopped to make the catch, and kept on running.  3rd and 9.

James from the gun again.  He takes a step back, and then fires for Davis on the far side.  It arrives, but we see Davis going down, and the defender with a shot at the ball, which is bobbled and dropped.  The Iowa fans boo, and with benefit of frame by frame on the dvr, we see why.  It’s textbook pass interference, you can’t go through the receiver to get the ball, but the officials blow another one.  

The Iowa punt from midfield is caught at 8 and goes no further, the Hawkeye coverage team flies down and makes the stop.  CMU ball at the 8, 5:22 of the 3rd.

The CMU possession starts with a slant pass, caught, and the Hawks are there, but as they spin the wideout down, they toss him across the yellow stripe.  10 yards, 1st down Chipps.

CMU is in the eye with two wideouts low.  It’s a handoff, and Morris has nothing of it.  He drops it for a yard loss.

Now back to the gun and 4 wide.  Another quick pass to the near side, caught, and Hyde makes the tackle after 9 yards are gained.

3rd and 1+, CMU to the I formation.  The Hawks looks to have it stopped in the backfield, but the tailback stays on his feet and falls down across the yellow line.  1st down CMU.

3 in the backfield now, another handoff that tries to get to the near side, but Hitchens flies in to drop this one for another yard loss!

2nd and 11, CMU with a solitary tailback, and 3 wide.  It’s a swing pass to the near side, Hyde flies in to drop it for a loss but misses, and the back gets 8 yards to bring up the 3rd and 3.

Gun again, tailback alongside, 4 wide.  Hawks bring the blitz from the far side, but Radcliff gets off his pass to that side, only to short hop it, and no good.  The Hawks do get to the CMU QB in the exchange.  The CMU punt is another duck, bounces at the Iowa 40, and then rolls out at the Iowa 42!  Clock 1:16 of the 3rd, Iowa ball!

Hawks come out in the I with a wideout on each side.  Mark gets it and heads left, and picks up about 4 yards.  

  Now to the single tailback with 1 up top, 2 below.  James steps back and fires it near side to KMM, he makes the catch and steps out, 8 yards, a 1st down Iowa!

Hawks have Mark alone, and one wideout on each side.  James changes the play at the line.  It goes to the fullback, who tries the far side, but gets only 2.  And that brings the 3rd quarter to a close.

After the break, the Hawks have Mark alone behind James, and two high, one low.  Now into the wind, which the booth has been saying has calmed down from the start of the game.  It goes to Mark and he plows ahead, but can’t escape, 2 more yards, a 3rd and 6.

James, in the gun, Mark beside him.  James drops back and faces quick pressure from the near side, but he gets it off over the middle, targeting Davis, but too high, and no good.  4th down, Wienke comes in to try and down it deep in CMU territory.

The punt bounces at the 3 - straight up as Hyde flies past it and into the end zone, but then it starts to roll toward the goal as Hyde crawls back to stop it, and keeps it from hitting the goal line!  Other Hawks fly in an down it, CMU ball at the 1!  

CMU comes out  in the I formation with two wideouts alone, and it’s a handoff, he goes right up the middle and gets through the line clean, then keeps it going and steps around a tackle, and into space.  The Hawks finally catch him, but even then, he keeps going for about 10 more, all the way out to the 33.  

Same formation for CMU, and same play, but this time the Hawks stop it after about 3.  Although they should have had him at the LOS.

CMU now in the gun, 4 spread out wide.  It’s a pass down the near sideline, but as it comes down, Lowery undercuts the route, leaps, and gets his hands on it! But can’t make the catch, so CMU lives for another down.  

3rd and 7 from the 36, CMU has the same formation.  The Iowa pressure comes and Radcliff pulls it down to take off.  He seems to have room, but stumbles, and then goes down 4 yards short of the yellow stripe.

This punt has the wind, and Hyde makes the catch at the 20, but can go nowhere, as the coverage arrives.  Iowa ball at the 19, clock 11:51 of the 4th.

Hawks take the field with Mark alone behind James, two wideouts near side, one far.  Flags fly, and we see that KMM has shifted, that’s a false start, Iowa 1st and 15.

Iowa to the same formation.  James drops back and then fires it far side to Cotton, it’s caught at the 19, he spins back to the inside, slips that tackle, then heads toward the sideline, breaks another tackle, and finally runs into two defenders, who get him down at the 27, 13 yards!

Hawks to the power I, a lone wideout low. It goes to Mark who ducks low to get a view, then steps forward for 4 yards, a Hawkeye 1st down.

Mark, alone behind James.  He fakes the handoff and bootlegs to the far side.  He fires it deep down the far side, and there we see KMM and the corner locked up, but the Hawkeye leaps and snags the ball, and comes down with it!  36 yards, Iowa ball at the CMU 33!!!
Hawks now, Mark in the single set back, 3 wideouts.  It goes to the fullback and he gets hit at the line and dropped, no gain.

Same look, but James drops back, looking to the far side.  He throws and hits Davis on that side, but he has to go down to get the catch, 5 yards, a 3rd and 5.  

Hawks are in the I, with a wideout on each side.  Mark gets it and plows straight ahead, but gets buried in the pile, and gains nothing.  4th down.

But the Iowa offense stays on the field, and then we see Kirk pointing to the ground, as Austin Blythe goes down on the numbers, somehow injured.  Play stops at 8:38 of the 4th.

We never leave the field, and soon we see the Iowa offense running off the field, as the field goal unit runs on, but the clock has been started, and the play clock is now inside 5.  Meyer is lining up and then the whistles blow, Iowa timeout at 8:13.

Iowa fans boo, another apparent clock screw up by the Hawkeyes, but the booth seems to think it may have been calculated.  Regardless, it’s a 47 yard kick, into the wind.

The ball is right in the middle of the field, and the kick follow the line almost perfectly - it has enough, and it’s good, Iowa now leads 24-23!  Timeout!

Meyer’s kick lands at the 7, and the catch is made, and brought out to the 33.  

The booth call Meyer a sophomore, as does the BTN graphic.  Nope, a junior.

CMU is in the gun, with a tailback alongside, two wideouts up top.  It’s a quick, short pass to the near sideline, caught, and pushed out of bounds, 5 yards.  2nd and 5.

CMU, twin tailbacks behind Radcliff under center.  It’s a handoff to the far side back, he tries to come back to the near side but only finds a hoard of Hawkeyes, and they wrap him up and drop him for a 3 yard loss!  3rd and 8!

Chipps, back in the gun.  Radcliff has time, and then fires it far side, but Hyde is right there and he knocks it away! 4th down, clock 6:46 of the 4th, and the Iowa defense has held again!

The Hawkeyes may have gotten a hand on the punt, as it’s another duck, it lands at the Hawkeye 44, and then rolls toward the middle of the field.  Iowa ball at the 43, clock  6:36 of the 4th.

Hawks emerge in the I formation. It goes to Weisman who gets hit at the line, but he carries the tackler forward for about 3 yards.  

Same formation, James steps back and hands it to Mark.  He starts right, holding the ball with both hands.  He gets around the end, and then turns upfield, and finds daylight again!  He plows forward for 18 more yards, and an Iowa 1st down at the CMU 36!

Same formation, same play, but this time Mark tries the left side, and finds only 1.  

Weisman is at 192 yards as the Hawks come to the line.  James fakes the handoff and fires it deep down the far sideline, the corner never sees the ball and Davis does, but he gets turned around, and can’t make the catch inside the 5.

3rd and 9, James drops back and quickly fires it near side - where he hits Davis, he makes the catch at the 30, and then gets just enough with his lunge to get the 1st down!  Iowa ball at  25!

But, the Hawks are standing around as the play clock ticks under 10.  They have to burn another timeout.  Clock at 3:51.

After the break, Hawks present the Power I.  It goes to Mark who heads near side, he plows into a defender and rides him a few more yards.  6 yards, 2nd and 4!

Mark at 198, and counting.  Same formation, it goes back to Mark, who tries the near side and gets the corner turned, 7 more yards, a Hawkeye 1st down at the CMU 12!

Once more, with feeling, Mark gets the ball and heads near side.  He gets across the LOS and then cuts it back inside, where there is one man to beat, and Mark just shoves him out of the way and into the end zone! TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  Kinnick erupts and the Iowa players leap on top of the fullback.  Meyer comes in an makes it 31-23, with 2:18 left.  Iowa defense, finish it!

First, a kickoff stop.  Meyer’s kick lands at the 7, and it gets all the way out to the 36.  Not what we needed.

Clock, 2:11.

CMU in the gun, with a tailback alongside and 4 wide.  Iowa has two safeties deep and are giving space to the wideouts on the outside.  It’s a quick pass near side, underneath, caught, 11 yards, a 1st down.  Clock stops at 2:06, but then starts again when the ball is set.

Same formation.  Hawks crowd the LOS and the flags fly, false start on CMU!  1st and 15.

Now with 3 wideouts top and 1 low, Radcliff back, he tosses it over the middle and has his man, good, 17 yards, a 1st down.  

CMU to the no huddle, the snap is made as the Hawks seem to be mixed up, but the pressure comes, so Radcliff pulls it down and escapes - 12 more yards.  

Back to the line and 4 wide, another pass near side, short, and caught, 10 more yards and out of bounds, and CMU was at the Iowa 19.  Clock stops at 1:02 of the 4th.

4 wide again, Radcliff fires it far side, but over shoots his target, no good.  2nd and 10, clock at :58 seconds.

Same formation, Radcliff has time, but then flips it far side, a short pass, caught, and dropped by Hyde, 3rd and 4 from the Iowa 13.

Timeout CMU, clock :50 seconds.  

CMU in the gun, a tailback beside the QB.  1 wideout up top, 2 below.  Radcliff drops back, and throws it to the far side - a slant -  Hyde is there, and he tries to knock it away - but misses, and the catch is made, and the receiver can walk into the end zone.  Touchdown CMU, the score at 31-29, and CMU calls timeout.  Clock, :45 seconds.

CMU lines up for the 2 point try.  4 wide.  Radcliff has time - he surveys, and then fires it over the middle, but the pass is no good, Hyde with the coverage, Iowa leads 31-29 with :45 seconds left, and we know what’s coming.

The booth goes over the new onside kick rules for 2012.  Hawk fans hoping the players know them.

CMU sets the ball, and the kicker holds up his hand to show he is ready.  The whistle blows, as the wind has knocked the ball off the tee.  We see that CMU is using two kickers, trying to disguise which way the ball will be kicked.

Once again, the wind knocks the ball off the tee.

The officials now make CMU provide a holder for the ball.  The Hawks shift, knowing now which way it’s going to come.  The kick is made, and as it bounces, whistles are blowing - the ball bounces to the 47 as CJF falls on it!   But the whistles keep going.

CMU is called for a delay of game, but we can’t hear anything else he is saying.  CMU is moved back 5 yards.  

And, the Hawks can’t decline it.  Pre-possession plays don’t happen, so they can’t be declined.  A dumb rule, in my, and other’s opinions.  

The ball is set again, then a player kneels down to hold it.  

The whistle blows, and the CMU kicker comes from the far side to kick it to the near.  It rolls to the near side, where the Hawks only have 3 players at 10 yards deep.  And somehow, they seem to shy away from the ball, as it rolls past them, a CMU player dives forward and falls on the ball. 

The dvr clearly shows it - the holder never actually holds the ball as the kick is made - he has stood up as the kicker approaches.  And in doing so, clearly has a foot over the line - and that’s offsides.  But once again, they miss it.  

All this, and no time has gone off the game clock.  CMU ball, at their 41, with 3 wideouts up top, 1 below.

The Iowa line runs stunts and the pressure does get close, but Radcliff dumps it underneath, caught, 4 yards, Hitchens wraps him up.

Chipps hurry to the line with 4 wideouts.  The pressure arrives and Radcliff has to pull it down, but as he starts forward, he suddenly tosses the pass far side - coming very close to stepping over the LOS, but the careful viewing shows he did not.  But the pass is no good, the Kinnick noise level grows, but then the booth says there is pushing and shoving after the play, and then, flags. 

It’s after the play, and it’s on Gaglione.  A personal foul.  We never see the actual penalty, but peeps close to the action say the CMU player was rolling over on Gaglione and trying to keep him from getting up, and possibly trying to poke him in the eye.   And Joe shoved him back, and of course, the flags never catch the first shot.  

Clock, :19 seconds, CMU ball at the Iowa 39.

CMU, in the gun, a tailback back there too.  Two wideouts top, one below.  The pressure comes from both sides, but Radcliff is able to step up, and take off, and get 9 yards, to the Iowa 30.  

CMU calls their final timeout with :11 seconds left.  

2nd and 1, and CMU is back in the gun, with only 1 wideout in each side.  The Hawks blitz up the middle as Radcliff throws it to the near sideline, but the receiver never knows it’s coming, and it falls incomplete.  

CMU sends on the kicking team, as we learn his career long - in both high school and college - is 45 yards.  This kick, 47, but with a tailwind.

As the kicker lines up, Kirk calls timeout.  :08 seconds left.

The snap is high, but the holder gets it down - it’s right down the middle, and low, but it clears the cross bar by about 4 feet.  CMU leads, 32-31.

The kick lands at the 30, and the Hawks try to move it around, but it goes for nothing.  Final score, Central Michigan 32, Iowa 31.

Having seen as much football as one has at my age, and the scant number of times that has worked, I think I would rather see Iowa fair catch the kickoff and let James throw a hail mary.  We see that work every so often, and if there is a defensive penalty, you get another play.  Maybe next time, all that was left to do now was have more whiskey.

So, on a day that Mark Weisman begins to cement himself into Hawkeye lore, with 27 carries, 217 yards, and 3 more touchdowns - giving him 6 in two games - all Hawkeye fans can do is wonder how the defense could play so well for 28 minutes of the second half, and then forget it all in the last two.

And of course, how they could let CMU get 23 points in the first half.  

In the end, there were many longtime Hawkeye observers that thought this team could find things tough going at the start of the 2012 season, and they were right.  Now, we hope that the bumps we have faced have forged a stronger team.  And as the calendar shifts into October, we begin to see the young Hawkeyes put more complete games together, and be one of those Iowa teams that finds it’s stride as the Big Ten season opens.

Week 5 - Minnesota


So, the Rodents are off to a 4-0 start.  Dark horse for BIG Legends title?  Or other?  Let’s take a closer look.

Week 1: Beat UNLV 30-27 in 3 overtimes.  On the road.  The Running Rebels in 2012?  1-3.

Week 2: Beat New Hampshire 44-7. 

Week 3: Beat Western Michigan 28-23.

Week 4: Beat Syracuse 17-10.

Cuse 1-3, WM 2-2, NH 2-2 (just gave up a Division 1 record 730 passing yards in loss to Old Dominion).  UNLV 1-3.

Not exactly a murderer’s row.  Then again, it’s Big Ten football in the pre-season.    

It should be noted, we have lost back to back games against these Rodents.  Both of them, in the Twin Cities.  Both of them, games basically decided by onside kicks - successful ones by the Rodents.  2010 27-24, 2011 22-21.  They have not won in Iowa City since 1999 - and barely, 25-21.  That, against the (then) 1-9 Hawkeyes in Kirk’s first year.

I trust, the Hawkeye special teams coaches are drilling the onside kick rules into their player’s heads this week.  Namely - that once it leaves the kickers foot, you can go get it.

And things got a bit more interesting for Rodent fans back in week 3, when senior QB MarQueis Gray went down to a sprained ankle late in the 2nd quarter.  In came sophomore QB Max Shortell, and he went 10-17 for 188 with 3 tds, and 1 interception.  

Against the Orange, Shortell was 16-30 for 231 with neither a td or pick.

In three games to date (mop up in week 2), he has rushed for 15 yards on 10 carries - not the same kind of broken play rush for a 1st down threat that Gray is.

With a more pocket passing QB, last week the Rodents gave 28 carries to sophomore tailback Kirkwood, who picked up 99 yards and two tds.  That was after 23 tugs for 110 against Western Michigan.  

This combination of passing and running has the Rodent offense at 406 yards per game, good for #6 in the conference and 64 in the country.  Obviously, better than Iowa.

And that yardage adds up to a bit under 30 points a game.  Better than Iowa.

For defense, the Rodents give up 307 yards per game.  Just a bit better than the Hawks, and that’s a push.  Rush defense, 128, worse than the Hawks.  Passing, 179, a couple spots ahead of Iowa.  

A BIg Ten game - and the prospects of special teams having a factor increase.  The Rodents also use a freshmen punter, and his average is about 1.5 more feet than our freshman punter.  Also a push.  But the Hawkeyes seem to be getting ever closer to a punt block - and this would be a good week to get one.

But the kicking game, field goals, - a whole different story.  The Rodent’s senior kicker, Wettstein, is just 4 for 9 on the season - after going 1 for 3 against Syracuse.  A home game, where you would presume the kicker would know the winds.  Advantage, Hawkeyes.

There is word this week that Weisman may not have to go it alone come Saturday.  Though, if he starts the game at 8 yards a pop, he may deserve all the carries.  But Garmon seems ready, and there is increasing speculation that Canzeri could go Saturday.  It may be a headache for the coaching staff, but a strong running game only makes the passing game better.  The Iowa offense is showing improvement.  They will keep showing it if the Iowa ground game is churning out huge gains.   Sure, things are tougher in the Big Ten.  But in the Big Ten, you should also have the player’s attention for 60 minutes.

It was a surprise when the lowly Rodents beat the Hawks in 2010, and a shock when they did it again last year.  Now they are 4-0, and probably thinking that the Hawkeyes are in a funk.

But I don’t believe so.  Sure, the non conference season sucked, but there is still much to play for. And more trophies, to fill out empty trophy cases.  And pride, and optimism that we are building for better seasons ahead.  

I think the Hawkeyes a more like a cornered, wounded animal.  Let’s not forget, the Hawk is a bird of prey.  What do they like to eat?  Rodents.

The game is in Kinnick, where the Rodents always lose of late.  The Iowa offense is getting better, the Iowa defense has been good, but will be driven to be better this week.  The special teams, advantage Iowa.  Floyd is not returning to spend the winter in the frozen tundra.  He likes Iowa City.  And will like coming home Saturday afternoon.

Iowa with defensive and special teams touchdowns, and the rushing attack again tops 200.  Iowa 38, Rodents 24.


VP, NY Metro Iowa Alumni Club
Iowa class of 1995

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