October 11, 2012


Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 3-2, 1-0 Big Ten, 1-0 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 WIN 31-13
October 13th @ Michigan State 12:00 pm, ESPN
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: Penn State bye week
October 13th, 2012.  Iowa @ Michigan State Spartans, 4-2, 1-1 Big Ten 0-0 B1G Legends
Previous Meetings: 43, Iowa leads 22-19-2
Last Meeting: 2011, Iowa 21, Spartans 37

Current Line: Iowa +10

Turnover Margin: +7 B1G #1 FBS #13

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
Total   361.0 Pass  200.0  Rush 161.0  Scoring 22.6
B1G    #10               #8             #8                  #10
FBS    #101              #93           #66               #96  
Total   315.0  Pass  204.0 Rush 111.0  Scoring 17.4 
B1G    #3                #5               #3                    #3
FBS    #21              #35             #21                  #24  
Week 5 Recap: Minnesota

Well Hawkeye friends, that was a lot better, wasn’t it?  Floyd is back where he belongs, and the Hawks were able to go from the win into the bye week.  When we emerge, we will have injured players back,  an extra week of Spartan scouting, and a plan to move to 2-0 in the BIg Ten.  More about that, later.

The Deuce leads off telling us that the Rodents are on the rise and the Hawks are not.  The first shot - wait for it - no, it’s not a cornfield! It’s some Iowa trees in pretty fall colors.  

It’s game #200 for Ferentz, as the Rodent kicker lines up to boot the ball to the Hawks.  It comes down at the midpoint of the end zone, where Cotton makes the catch and takes a knee.  

Everywhere, Hawkeye fans are hoping for the quick start.

Iowa starts with James under center, Mark alone in the tailback slot, and a wideout on each side.  James turns to his right and hands it to his fullback, who tries the right side of the line, but gets bottled up and downed after just 1.

James is back under center, but now with two receivers up top, one below.  At the snap, he fakes the ball to Weisman, takes about three more steps back, plants, and fires the ball down the middle of the field, where we see CJF is all alone!  It comes down at the 44 and the catch is made!  And now he is running in space, across the 50, 40, 35, and finally caught and downed at the Rodent 30!  45 yards!

Hawks now to the I formation.  Mark is behind Brad, and it goes to Weisman, who follows his blocker through the line for about 3.  We learn that sophomore lineman Andrew Donnal, #78, is making his first start.  He, of the 6’7, 302 pound guard variety.
We only come back to the field to see Mark getting the ball and heading straight ahead, but the Rodents are waiting and it goes for about a yard loss.  

3rd and 7, James is alone in the gun, two high, and two low.  James drops back and tries hitting Davis  about 5 yards downfield, but the Rodent defender is there to knock it away.

Meyer comes on to try the 44 yard kick, and it’s up, and good.  10/11 now on the season, and the Hawks lead 3-0 at 12:35 of the 1st.  A lead, they would never give up.

What’s this, but more shots of fall trees in Iowa City!  Don’t they know this is a Big Ten game?  

And the graphic shows a temp of 69, with NW winds of 5 mph, and sunny.  Bout as near a perfect fall day as you can have.

And the Iowa poms team does not have to be in sweats.  Hawk fans, happy.

Anyway, Iowa fans around the country hoping the kick coverage team remembers what Troy Stoudermire has done to us, and others, in the past.  

Meyer boots the ball to the 5, where the Rodent return men each think the other is going to get it, so it hits the turf and bounces about straight up in the air!  Troy steps back to get it, and turns upfield, but then we see the Iowa gunners race into the picture, and soon enough a swarm of black and gold, and they bring him down just inside the 10!

The Rodents open in the same two split, solo tailback look as the Hawks did, and the ball goes to the tailback who tries the left side, to pick up about 3 yards.

Rodents now to the I formation, with an H back on the near side, and a wideout down low.  It’s another handoff and the right side is tried, but that does worse, and only gains a yard.  Gaglione makes the play.  3rd and 6.

The Kinnick faithful let the visiting QB know he’s on the road. The Rodents are in the gun with a tailback alongside, and a receiver on each side of the formation. Shortell drops straight back, looks middle, then comes back to the right and fires down the near hash.  It’s into very tight coverage, but the catch is made, and he gets about 5 more yards before the Hawks can get him down.  17 yards, and a 1st down at the Rodent 32.

Back to the opening formation, Shortell fakes the handoff and calmly holds the ball down by his waist.  Then he turns around and heaves it deep down the near side, where we see the Rodent wideout is turned to catch it, and Miller is flying into the play, looking straight up to track the ball as it comes down.  It arrives and we see the Rodent get his hands on it, but as the players hit the turf, Miller has it in his hands, and he is down in bounds!  The zebra is right there and he immediately rules the pass incomplete, but the Hawks are jumping up and down, and the back judge comes in to discuss the play with the original official.  

We finally see a replay, and sure enough, Miller has taken the ball away and landed on his butt, but inbounds!  And then the whistles blow, and the play is indeed under review!

It takes the zebras a  long while, but then the referee emerges, and yes, it is an interception!  

Iowa ball, at their 20, clock 10:25.

The Hawks huddle up, and we learn that one of the scoreboard clocks is not functioning.  The one the Hawks are headed toward.  87 millions bucks doesn’t get you what it used to.

Hawks back to the twin wide, single back formation.  It goes to Mark who heads off tackle left, he steps around one tackler, and then rolls over another, to gain about 4.

Iowa back to the I formation.  James drops back and floats it far side, he has his man, KMM, and he gets it down to the 33 for a Hawkeye 1st down!

Same look, but now James appears to be changing the play at the line.  It goes to Mark who starts left, following Brad into the line, where we see there are no Rodents, and Weisman sails into the clear!  He flies across the yellow line and a Rodent finally arrives to get him by the ankle and bring him down.  15 yards!  Iowa ball at the 49!

Again to the I, and again, James is changing the play at the line.  Mark gets it and tries the middle, but gets bogged down and gains only 2.

We return to see James snapping the ball and floating it far side, for Cotton, but it’s long and no good.  3rd and 8.

James is in the gun with Mark alongside.  One wideout below, two high, but the outer receiver there goes into motion back toward the center.  James gets the snap and floats it down the far sideline, but this shot for KMM is also too long, and no good.  4th down, on comes the Iowa punt team.

The kick is high, and as it comes down, we see the return man is letting it land - it bounces at the 19 yard line, bounces again, as the Rodents clear out, and the Hawks surround the ball, waiting to see which way it will roll.  But then we see a Rodent and Hawkeye come into view, jousting, and as the Rodent steps back, he runs into the ball!  And now the Hawkeyes pick it up, stop for a moment, and then run it in for an Iowa touchdown!!!!

But then the officials huddle up, and we learn that the ruling is that the Rodents DID NOT touch the ball!  

Kinnick expresses it’s displeasure. 

But then the whistles blow, and it’s going to a review.

We get the obligatory expert in the studio who tells us you can’t push a player into the ball.  Watching the replay frame by frame, yes, they were blocking each other, but it sure looks like the Rodent has his footing and takes a step back when he touches the ball.  No matter, the review gives it to Minnesota, and Kinnick again rains down the boos.

But the Rodents toss in a three and out.  Hyde breaks up the 3rd down pass.  Kinnick is again happy.

Hyde stays on the field to take the Rodent punt, and he makes the fair catch at the Iowa 37.

We return from the break to see shots of Iowa fans tailgating, and the camera focuses in on - bacon.

Finally back to the field, we just see James handing it to Mark, who tries the middle, and gets about 4.

Now back to the base formation.  James drops back and tries CJF on the far side, but the pass is a bit too high and through the tight end’s hands.

James back to the gun, Mark beside him.  Its a very quick pass, a wideout screen, to the far side, where Cotton makes the catch, but soon gets engulfed, and it loses about 3 yards.

The Rodents snag this punt at their 21, a fair catch.  Clock 5:31 of the 1st.

More trees!

Now the Rodents are completing a pass to the near side, it’s caught, 6 yards.

Rodents now to the gun, it’s a read/option handoff, and the tailback takes it to the far side, gets the corner turned, and gets 9 before the Hawks can get him down. 

Rodents now to the I, it’s a fake and Shortell turns and fires it deep down the middle, but this pass is too long, and no good.

2nd and 10, Rodents in the gun.  Its a quick, sideways pass to the tailback, he catches it and turns upfield, and Morris gets it down after about 5 yards.

3rd and 5, Kinnick ups the noise, and the Rodents run the read/option again, but this time the QB takes it, and he only gets about 1.  4th down, on comes the Minnesota punt team.

The Rodent punt lands at the 15, and Hyde grabs it after the 1st bounce, but can’t get away - he gets about 4, and the Hawks have the ball at their 16.  

Hawks to the base formation.  James fakes it to Mark, takes two more steps, and turns.  He has it cocked and looking deep, but then comes back down underneath, near side, where Mark makes the catch, and is downed, 4 yards.

Hawks to the same look, but then the whistles blow, and Duzey is called for a false start.

Once again, James under center, he snaps it, turns to his left, and hands it to Mark.  He heads off tackle, left, and once again, as he hits the line, there are no Rodents there at all!!!  He blasts through one weak arm tackle, and then cuts it further outside, he then finds a Rodent about 5 feet short of the yellow stripe, but the defender tries to go low, Mark shoves him out of the way and keeps going!  Across the 30, he now has a Rodent coming at him from the inside, Mark cuts it back inside and helps the Rodent fly by with another stiff arm!  But finally help arrives, and they get Mark from behind and get him down at the 42.  27 yards!

Iowa now to the I formation.  James changes the play at the line, turning to yell the orders to his two fullbacks behind him.

James snaps the ball, and turns - he lets Brad clear and hands the ball to Mark, and Weisman follows his lead once again left, as they cross the LOS Brad has taken out the first challenge, and Mark flies by!  He is once again in space!  Now crossing the 50, and there goes the yellow line, as Mark cuts it back in toward the center of the field!  45, a Rodent dives at Mark from behind, and misses!  Mark cuts it further inside and makes another Rodent fly right by!  Across the 40, the 35, the 30, Mark is again trying to shift back to the outside to get away from the pursuit.  He has KMM trying to get to the one guy that seems a threat, but he can’t make the block, and they finally get hands on Mark at the 19 - but he gets 5 more to go down at the Rodent 14!  44 more yards, 1st down Iowa!!!

Garmon is now in as Mark sucks some air on the sideline.  Hawks back to the I formation.  Greg gets it and plows straight ahead, that goes for about 3.

Mark is right back out there as the Hawks line up in the I.  James changes the play.  It goes to Mark, left side again, and he gets about 3 yards to bring up the 3rd and 4 from the Minnesota 8.  And that brings the 1st quarter to a close.  

Kinnick is excited as the break begins.  They would be much more excited soon.  

The Hawkeyes have 2 minutes to think about the next play.  As we return, we get a shot of the top part of the old section of the UIHC.  And there again is that white water tower.  Sigh.

Iowa comes out in the heavy I with only KMM split wide on the low side.  James, changes the play.  He turns, hands it to Mark, and he heads to the left side, gets to the corner, and as he makes the turn,  brushes aside another arm tackle and waltzes into the end zone, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!  Meyer comes in, the PAT is good, and the Hawks lead 10-0.  Mark has 11 carries for 111 yards!

Clock at 14:55 of the 2nd.  Timeout.

Meyer boots this kick about 2 yards deep, and the Rodents bring it out, and it gets out to about the 25, but flags fly, and the Rodents are called for a block in the back.  Rodent ball, at their 4 yard line.

The Iowa fans crank up the noise as the Rodents present the I formation.  It goes to the tailback, and he gets about 5.  

Rodents to the gun with tailbacks on each side of Shortell.  It’s a read/option, and the QB hands it off, but he should have kept it - as soon as the tailback gets the ball, he runs into a wall of Hawkeyes on his side of the line, and thye drop him for a 2 yard loss.  3rd and 7.  The noise level rises.

Shortell is in the gun, he drops back into the end zone, and fires it over the middle - it hits his receiver, but he is bracketed by Hawkeyes, and the pass falls to the turf.  4th down, on comes the Minnesota punt team.

Hyde makes the catch at the 43 -  he avoids the first hit, but then, as he tries to cut back across the field, he kind of forgets the ball - and it falls to the ground, but Hyde is able to fall on it, disaster averted, Iowa ball at the Rodent 47.

The Hawks emerge with Mark alone behind James, one wideout high, two low.  James snaps the ball, steps back, and turns to his left to hand Mark the ball - he snags it, and starts straight ahead into the line.

But then - Mark throws out his left foot to break his momentum, turns, and HE WHAT???  FLIPS THE BALL BACK TO JAMES!!!  James makes the catch at the Iowa 45, loads, and fires it deep down the middle of the field!  That kids, is a flea flicker!  And now the camera pans back and we see Cotton is ALL ALONE!  In fact, he’s so alone, he’s probably going to drop it!  But NO!!!  He makes the catch at the 13, turns, and strolls into the end zone, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  47 yards, how you like that Rodents!?! 17-0 Hawkeyes, clock at 13:03 of the 2nd!

Meyer now, doing his part, allows no return.  Rodent ball at the 25.

The Rodents emerge in the near-pistol, it’s a handoff and he heads straight ahead, and gains about 7.

Rodents now, try a quick snap and give it to the fullback, the Hawkeye defense blows it up for a 1 yard loss.  3rd and 4.

Rodents now roll Shortell toward the near side, he floats a pass down the near sideline, where his wideout flies in and makes the catch as he sails out of bounds.  Or does he?  It’s ruled no good.  Once again, the whistles blow, and we go to another replay.  The booth thinks the catch is good.

We go to break.

Upon the return, we have the ruling, and sorry Rodents, it’s no good.  

Hyde catches this punt at the 21.  He steps past the gunner who can’t make the tackle, and now Hyde is cutting the ball outside into space!  25, 30, 35, he could go! But he stumbles at the 40, and his loss of momentum allows the punter to bring him down at the 48 - with what appears to be a horse collar tackle, but no flags fly.  27 yards!

Hawks now, back into the I.  Mark gets it, and tries the middle, where he runs over one tackle en route to 5 yards.

Another handoff to James gets about 2 yards, and the Hawks face and 3rd and 3.

Hawks are back in the I.  James fakes the handoff and starts rolling to the far side - he seems to slip making his cut, but regains his balance and stands to flip it straight ahead, it’s caught, Duzey, now he’s crossing the 30, and downed at the 26!  20 yards!

Back in the base formation, James drops back, and quickly fires it to Davis on the far side - he makes the catch, and then stands up straight to let the defender fly on by!  He’s across the 20, steps inside another tackle, across the 15, 10, and finally caught and dropped at the 5!  20 more yards, 1st and goal Hawkeyes!

Hawkeyes, in the I.  James snaps it, hands it to Mark, he heads left, pushes one tackler aside, then gets wrapped up at about the 2, but as the Rodent throws him down, he tosses Weisman into the end zone!  Touchdown Iowa!  

No wait, another review.  It’s very close, probably a touchdown, but they say nope, Iowa ball 18 inches away from the goal.

Hawks line up in the I, and as the booth guesses it’s going to Mark, James snaps it quickly, and then plows straight ahead, it’s been a while, but there it is, the QB sneak, TOUCHDOWN IOWA, clock at 8:50 of the 2nd.  Meyer makes it 24-0.

Meyer, another touchback.

The Rodents gain one 1st down on a Shortell run, but then make it a 4 and out and the punt is downed at the Hawkeye 5.  

Clock at 6:31 of the 2nd.  How bout a 95 yard drive to close out this 2nd quarter?!

Hawks back to the I formation.  James fakes the handoff and rolls a bit to the near side, fires it for the near sideline, but it’s no good.  

Back to the base set.  James hands it to Mark, he tries the middle, but gets just 1.

3rd and 9, and the Rodents are thinking they are going to get the ball in excellent field position.  But, it’s not 4th down - yet.

Iowa has James in the gun with Mark on his left.  James takes the snap and puts the ball into Weisman’s belly - he gets it, and straight up the middle - where once again, the Iowa O line has left a huge gap!  He’s across the 10, now across the yellow line, he runs through one diving tackle, crosses the 20, the 25, but he loses his balance and the Rodents can catch up, but he still takes the tackler for about a 6 yard ride, and goes down at the 38 yard line!  32 yards!

Mark, getting a rest.  Garmon is in.  James fakes the handoff, and under pressure, tries to float it to Garmon on the near side, but it’s no good.

The rest of the drive would be all passes, but as the Hawks got to the Rodent 40, a holding call stalled the drive, and they were able to kill the rest of the 2nd quarter clock.  The first half ends, 24-0 Hawkeyes, and your scribe, and Iowa fans everywhere, want more.  Much more.

But chatting with buddies during the break, we came to the conclusion that we are Iowa, still lead by Ferentz, and there was a good chance we would step off the gas a bit in the second, provided the defense was still playing at the high level.  

Half way through, Weisman a comfy 16 carries, 155 yards, and the td.  That’s 9.7 yards a carry. 

Iowa, 328 total yards - Minnesota, 75.  And 8.6 yards per play for Iowa.  

We return to - more shots of trees.  The last time you saw an Iowa game with no corn field shots? 

Meyer still doing his part, the kick about 8 yards deep, and no return.

The Rodents open with Shortell in the gun and a tailback offset behind him.  The QB quickly floats a pass to the near sideline, and the catch is made, but out of bounds no good.  2nd and 10.

Same look but now with the tailback alongside Shortell, it’s a quick dump to the tailback, and he gets 8 yards, to bring up a 3rd and 2.  Hitchens with the stop.

Rodents now to the I, with the low side wideout in motion back toward the middle.  Shortell fakes the handoff and rolls to the far side, he fires it to the far sideline where his wideout makes the catch just before going out of bounds.  18 yards, and the Rodents were just across the 50. 

Back to the gun, Shortell tries the same dump off pass as two plays before, the catch is made, and he tries getting to the sideline, but the Hawks cut it off after just 2 yards.

Rodents in the near pistol again, Shortell hands it off, and the back flies right into the line, but as he does, we see the players dive for the ground, the ball is out!  And the Hawks have it!  Steve Bigach with the hit that jars the ball lose.

The Hawks begin in the I.  James fakes the handoff and rolls toward the near side, and then he tries for Davis, but the pass sails well out of bounds about 5 yards in front of Davis.  2nd down.

Iowa back to the base formation, it’s another fake, and James steps up to avoid the pressure and floats a pass down the far sideline, and it looks like KMM can make the catch, but the defender flies in at the last second to knock it away.  3rd and 10.

James now to the gun, he lifts his leg and the snap arrives.  The Rodents blitz from both sides, but James gets it away over the middle, only to have this one fall no good, and the Hawks go 3 and out to open the second half.

Kornbrath drops this punt just outside the 10, where the catch is made, and he avoids the gunners to pick up 9 yards, to the 21.  Timeout, clock at 12:23.

Rodents to the I to start the drive, but it’s a fake, and Shortell rolls to the far side and passes it that way, and once again the catch is made just inside the line, and Castillo forces him out, 17 yards.

Rodents now to the offset gun, and the tight end in motion brings 3 receivers to the near side.  Shortell pump fakes to the near side and then takes off for the far side.  He decides to go for it, but Trinca-Pasat cuts it off and holds it to 1+.

Offset gun again, but this is a read/option handoff, and the back tries the middle to gain about 5.  3rd and a long 3.

The Kinnick bell tolls as the crowd whips up the frenzy, Rodents to the same formation.  Shortell keeps the ball and steps toward the far side, but then he dumps it for his tight end.  The Hawks have a shot to stop it, but the low tackle allows him to fall across the yellow stripe, 1st down Rodents.

It looked it in real time, and the replay confirms it - it may have been a 1st down, but the spot is a good yard beyond where the ball came down.  

Shortell to the gun again, he pump fakes the ball to the near side, then pulls it down and takes off.  Or tries to, as the Iowa line is there and he goes nowhere.  

The Rodents have two wideouts low, an H back on the near side, Shortell in the gun, and the far side wideout goes into motion and stops beside the QB.  It’s a fake to him, Shortell rolls a bit to the far side and then fires it deep down the middle, where Hyde and Miller have the play covered and it falls incomplete.  

3rd and 10 - Shortell snaps the ball and drops back, and then he fires it far side, underneath, the catch is made, and 9 yards are picked up. 4th and 1.

The Iowa band cranks up the Imperial March, and the fans respond with the noise.  The Rodents are in the power I.  Shortell snaps the ball and fakes the handoff to the tailback, as the fullback leaks out into the flat.  Shortell begins to roll to this side and then he flips the ball to the fullback, who makes the catch just across the yellow line, then gets upfield for 27 yards before the Hawks can force him out.  Rodent 1st down at the Iowa 15.

Back to the gun, Shortell runs the read/option and keeps it, and heads straight ahead to gain 6, 2nd and 4 from the 9.

Rodents to the offset pistol, Shortell fakes the handoff, keeps it, rolls a bit to the far side, and then throws the ball into the back of the end zone, where his guy is wide open, and it’s caught.  Touchdown Rodents, Hawks lead 24-7, clock at 7:12 of the 3rd.

So, our dreams of the shutout die there.  Can the Hawks respond to keep the deficit at 24?

More trees.  If you didn’t know, you might think Iowa was one big forest.  

Garmon drops the kickoff inside the goal line, so the Hawks start out at the 25.

Hawks have James under center, Mark behind, and two wideouts on the near side.  It goes to Mark, he tries the near side, but gets his feet clogged with some downed players, so it only goes for 2.

Same formation, but now the wideouts are up top.  Mark again takes the ball, and heads to the far side, off tackle, and why not?! This side is blowing up the Rodent defense, and Mark again gets to the line with nobody around.  5 yards, 10 (but the yellow stripe is missing), a Rodent flies in from the inside and Mark sticks out his arm - he just shoves that Rodent to the ground and keeps on going!  But that last move allowed other Rodents to catch up, and the finally get him down at the 44, 17 yards, and an Iowa 1st down!
tase formation, James drops back and dumps it to Davis on the near side, it’s caught, and he is pushed out of bounds, 5 yards.

James has twin wideouts up top, and he changes the play at the line.  He snaps it, drops back, and then fires it far side for Davis, but he has to go down to scoop it up - he gets it, but only gets 3, so it brings up 3rd and about 2.

Hawks to the power I, as James barks out the orders.  It goes to Mark and he tries to get to the far corner, but the Hawks can’t get him the space this time, and the Rodents get him for no gain. 4th and 2 from the Rodent 47.   Wienke comes in an drops the punt at the 11, where it’s caught, and the Hawks force him out after a return of 5.  Rodent ball, 3:58 of the 3rd.  Timeout.

Rodents to the power I to start.  Shortell keeps it and looks deep, but then dumps it far side, caught, Hitchens forces him out after just 1.

Minnesota to the gun, offset pistol, one wideout low, and three in a bunch at the high side.  But it’s a handoff, and the tailback tries the near side, but the Hawks stuff it for just 3.  3rd and 6.  

Rodents in the gun again, Shortell drops back, and then fires it deep down the middle, where we see a flag come in as the ball comes down, no good.  Castillo, the receiver slowed down to come back to the ball, and Castillo kind of grabs him going by.

Rodents now at the 35, Shortell is under center, he half heartedly fakes the handoff and turns to look downfield - but he forgets to look in front of him as Morris has flied into the backfield and drills the QB for a 10 yard sack!

2nd and 20, from the gun Shortell flips it to his back on the far side, he heads up field before taking a shot from Donatell, 6 yards.  3rd and 14.

The Rodents have Shortell in the gun and four receivers in the formation.  The QB gets the snap and drops back - but he soon faces immense pressure from right up his gut, and he has to hurry the throw     deep down the far sideline - but not far enough, as the receiver has not noticed the ball is falling short, but Castillo has, and he adjusts and leaps to snag it as it falls, and then falls backwards with the ball in his arms!  Picked off!!!  Iowa ball at the 38!  Clock at 1:03 of the 3rd.

James hands the ball to Mark, he heads to the far side but gets stood up after 2.  

James, fakes the handoff to Mark and rolls to the near side.  He floats it for KMM on the near sideline, and he makes the catch, but out of bounds.  3rd and 8.  No wait, here is the referee calling a personal foul, roughing the passer, on the Rodents!  15 yards, Iowa ball at the Rodent 44.

Iowa calls timeout.  Clock at :12 seconds of the 3rd.

The Hawks are lining up, but Donnal moves, and flags fly, a false start. Here are 5 yards back. Kirk makes his note.

James drops back and quickly fires it near side - whether it was a quick slant to KMM, or a pass outside to Davis, is hard to tell.  It’s somewhere in the middle, and no good.

2nd and 15.  James hands it to Mark who tries the far side, but he gets wrapped up and dropped after 2.  And that brings the 3rd quarter to a close.  15 more minutes, and Floyd can come home.  

After the break, 3rd and 13.  James is in the gun with Mark offset to the near side.  James drops back, and feels a bit of heat so he steps up, and drops off to Weisman, caught, 8 yards, and that brings up a 4th and 6.  Wienke comes back on to do his thing.

The punt comes down at the 12, he avoids Morris, but other Hawks quickly arrive and they get him down at the 16 - Hyde with the stop.

Rodents in the gun with the offset pistol.  Shortell hands it off, and he tries the near side, but the Hawks swarm it, and get him down after just 2.

We see Floyd on the Rodent sideline, and as the cameras come back to the field, players are moving and flags are flying.  False start, 2nd and 13.

Rodents, gun with the tailback beside Shortell.  The QB drops back and looks downfield - he is inside the 5 yard line when big Carl Davis flies around the corner, and the QB must take off to avoid the sack.  But redshirt freshman Riley McMinn #94 is there to get the QB down for no gain.  3rd and 13.

Rodents, the gun.  Shortell snaps the ball but as soon as he drops back, the Iowa linebackers are in the backfield, and Hitchens drops him for a 5 yard sack!  

The Rodent punter is 7 yards deep in the end zone when he catches the snap, and Hyde catches the punt just inside the 50, and gets the ball down to the 43.  Iowa ball, clock 11:24 of the 4th.

After the break, Iowa is in the base formation, and James floats the ball down the middle aiming for CJF - as it comes down, we see the defender clearly plow into the tight end early, but the back judge rushes in and says the ball was uncatchable - too deep.  

James, drops back, looks, and then fires it near side, where Davis makes the catch right at the line, one foot down, and 12 yards, and Iowa 1st down at the Rodent 31!

Iowa, back to the base, James drops back but then dumps it far side to Brad, he makes the catch but can’t escape, it goes for no gain.

Hawks now show the power I.  James changes the play at the line.  He hands it to Mark who heads up the middle and explodes through the line with nary a brush from a defender!  30, 25, across the yellow line, but then a Rodent gets just a bit of Mark’s foot, and that causes him to stumble, and finally go down at the 6!  But, a flag is on the field back at the LOS.

It’s holding, Donnal, and eh, maybe.  Hawks face a 2nd and 21.

James drops back and quickly fires it for Davis, far side - a bit too high, and through the hands, no good.

3rd and 21, James is in the gun, and he faces quick pressure, but he gets the ball away, aiming for Davis on the far side.  The pass falls to the turf as Davis keeps running - it would seem a bad ball by James, but his wideout should have been looking for the hot read and been prepared for the quick pass.  On comes Wienke once again.

Wait, the Hawks call timeout as the play clock nears zero.   The booth wonders if Iowa was going to try something sneaky.

Nope, it’s a punt, and the Rodents fair catch it at the 12.  No, flags, the Hawks are called for an illegal formation - 5 players in the backfield.  5 yards, replay 4th down.

This punt lands at the 11, caught, and he gets by the first wave but not the second, downed at the 25.

Hidden yardage, -13.

Shortell is in the gun with the tailback behind, the ball is handed off, and he tries the right side, to gain  2.

Now 4 wide, Shortell gets the snap and rolls to the far side, he tries to take off but Trinca-Pasat catches him for just a yard +.  3rd and 6.

Same formation, Shortell with the snap, he hits a quick slant to the near side, caught, 11 yards, 1st down Rodents.

Shortell keeps the ball on the fake, rolls to the near side, and takes his underneath dump off, caught, 7 yards.  2nd and 3.

Shortell snaps the ball, and it’s a QB draw all the way, somehow he gets 12 before the Hawks can get him down.

Now at the Iowa 41, Shortell takes the snap and rolls to the near side.  He soon tucks it and starts to take off, but Morris shakes off a block to drop him for just 1.

We see a brief display of mobile Big Ten quarterbacks, and finally get back to the field just as the Rodents snap the ball - Shortell drops back, but immediately has to dump it near side, it’s caught, and downed after 4 yards.  3rd and 6, and Kinnick pumps up the volume.  

The Rodents have 4 wide.  At the snap, Shortell rolls to the far side, and then he flips it that way, and he has his man across the yellow stripe - the pass is there, the catch - not made!!!  He drops it!!!  4th and 6, and the Rodents must call timeout to discuss.  Clock at 5:31 of the 4th.

After the break, the Rodents have Shortell in the gun, his tailback on the near side, and 4 wide.  He snaps the ball, drops back, has time, surveys the field, and then fires it for the yellow stripe on the far side - but the pass needed to be outside the hash mark where the wideout was, not inside where Kirksey picks it off!  And he shakes off the hit from the receiver and is now in the open field!  Across the 50, 45, 40, the only man who has a shot is the Rodent QB!  Across the 35, the 30, it looks like Shortell might get there - as Kirksey crosses the 25 Shortell dives to make the hit - and misses!  Kirksey steps through the tackle and takes it the final 20 yards for the IOWA TOUCHDOWN!!!  A pick 6!  68 yards!!!  And there is the defensive score, I almost had the defensive special teams double that I asked for.  Iowa leads 31-7, clock at 5:15 of the 4th.

The Meyer kick lands at the 4, and the return team makes the stop at the 19.

The Rodents then put together a 12 play drive that gets into the end zone, but the two point attempt fails, and the drive kills all but the final 41 seconds.  

It’s yes, an onside kick, but Davis falls on it, and the Rodents are flagged for plowing into Hawkeyes before the ball went 10 yards.  That’s a 5 yard penalty, but it’s added to the point of the possession.  No 2nd kick.  

The Kinnick faithful begin a chant of ‘We Want Floyd’.  

James takes a knee, and the Iowa offense has a head start on the sideline players, and they get to Floyd first.  

Come Home, Floyd.

Final 31-13, and the Hawks could head into the bye week on a high note.  

James, 18-31 for 192 and the 1 td on the flea flicker.  No major mistakes, but some passes he should have had, he missed.  Going forward, going to have to hit them at a higher percentage.

Mark, would have topped 200 in back to back weeks if not for the holding call that knocked out his almost-td run.  Still, his 21 for 177 - 1td, a long of 44, not a bad day.  At all. That is 8.4 yards per tug.  

Suffice to say - we are going to need Weisman to keep on trucking.  The Iowa offensive line continues to open the holes and keep James on his feet.  It will get tougher, but we will continue to get better.

So we had to kill a Saturday with nothing to do, but it came at a great time for the Iowa Football team.  The players are rested.  Some will return to us.  And the coaches have had two weeks to game plan.  Sparty, we are coming.

Oh yes - and then, there was the Hyde situation from this past weekend.  Iowa fans still waiting to see what Kirk is going to do.  Somewhat ironic we would be playing Michigan State this Saturday.

Late word, Hyde will be on the field.  Sorry, Spartan QB.

Week 7 - Michigan State

It’s been an up and down season for Spartan fans, I think they were probably expecting to be 6-0 at this point - somewhat like Iowa fans.

MSU opened with a dangers game against Boise State, but prevailed, 17-13.  In week two, they traveled to - yes, Central Michigan, and pounded their hosts, 41-7.  That, the one common opponent of the Hawkeyes and Spartans.

Hopefully, the Hawks will play a full 60 minutes against the Spartans.

Anyway, off that 2-0 start, Sparty was riding high when Notre Dame visited East Lansing, and the Irish left with a 20-3 victory.  Sparty only had 50 net rushing yards in the loss.

A week later, an easy win over Eastern Michigan, 23-7.  Then, the Big Ten season opened. MSU was in a dog fight with OSU, but the Buckeyes prevailed 17-16, after stuffing the Spartan rushing attack for 34 net, just 1.5 yards per carry.

Last week, State travelled to Indiana, and before the first quarter was over, the Hoosiers had a 17-0 lead.  But Sparty got two tds in the second, and the first half ended with the hosts up 27-14.

But, the Spartan defense made some - halftime adjustments - and in the second half, suffocated the Hoosier offense to a mere 37 yards.  MSU went on to win 31-27.

Interesting to note - the Hoosiers put this scare into Sparty while only netting 35 rushing yards.  

State was kind of exposed to deep passes from an offense that was no threat to run the ball.

Hello, Mark Weisman.

And play action passes.

Yes, Iowa is going to try and run the ball - Sparty is going to try and stop us.  Now we shall see if Weisman for Heisman is for real.  Heisman might be a stretch - but I think Mark is going to continue to shine.  The Rodents sold out to stop him, and look what happened.

This Iowa rushing attack, which has seemed so precarious, is going to be ready to throw everything they have at Michigan State.  Garmon, ready.  Bullock, appears to be back.  Canzeri - must now be closer to 100%.  In the somewhat unlikely event the Spartans can slow up Weisman, we’ll throw the change of pace backs at them. Or we might even have two tailbacks and a fullback in the backfield - just to shake things up.  The Hawkeye wishbone.

James will have his chances.  He must be more consistent, complete a higher percentage of his throws.  But most importantly, manage the game well.  This looks like one of those games where turnovers could decide things.

Michigan State will try to run the ball.  This means, junior Le’Veon Bell. To date, 171 carries, 776 yards, and 7 tds. Iowa has got to take this away.  And make the Spartan QB beat us.

He, junior Andrew Maxwell.  Prior to this year, very little action.  And so, he looks like a QB who is a new starter.  He tossed 3 interceptions in the Boise game, but to is credit, none since.  1428 yards, and 6 tds .  With time and a healthy rushing attack, he can be dangerous.  But with pressure from the Iowa defense, he can make mistakes.  The Hawks must grab every errant pass, and we must make Sparty pay for their mistakes with touchdowns.

We don’t play the Badgers this year.  So this game represents what that game usually does - no secrets, just line up and run your plays, and see who can execute.  The Iowa O line, good and turning great.  The Iowa D line - decent, and getting better.  I like our chances.

We shall see if Michigan State players again fake injuries to slow down Iowa drives.  I trust the officials will be on the lookout for this after their antics of the past.

I just don’t see the Spartans being able to take away the Iowa rushing game, and that will allow the Iowa passing game to find their spots.  Phil Parker has had two weeks to work on the Spartan offense.  And we won’t be looking ahead to Penn State like Michigan State will be looking ahead to their next game - at the Big House.

Too bad for them, there is a game this Saturday, and it’s a division game.  Iowa will pick off Maxwell twice, and take one of them back.  And Mark won’t be sharing his touchdowns with James on QB sneaks, as he goes over 130 on his own, with two more touchdowns.  James will use this rushing attack to go over the top. 

It will be nearly mid-October.  The Iowa team is getting better.  And it’s about time we let the Big Ten know that the Legends division won’t be decided until the final week.

Hawks 28, Spartans 24.

Late news as I wrap up the Notes this week.  Today, Wednesday, comes word that former Hawkeye All-American Alex Karras has lost his battle with cancer and dementia, at the age of 77.  He helped lead the 1956 Hawkeyes to our first Rose Bowl victory, 35-19 over Oregon State, and as a senior in 1957, he was awarded the Outland Trophy - the best lineman in the nation.  The defensive tackle was then drafted in the 1st round by the Detroit Lions, where he would play until 1970.

An Indiana kid, Alex was homesick as a freshman, and if it were not for the friendship of Calvin Jones, he might have left.  Jones, of course, won the 1955 Outland trophy, but was tragically killed in a plane crash while en route to watch the Hawks win the 1957 Rose Bowl.  Somewhere out there, the old Hawkeye defensive and offensive tackles may be reminiscing about the glory days of 1950s Iowa Football.

One last thing - bout 3:30 Saturday, the 2012 Football season will be half over.  But Friday night - the Iowa basketball teams open the 2012-13 campaigns with their first practices of the season.  I drive that bandwagon, too.  Seats available now - but they are not going to last!


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