November 22, 2012

2012 IOWA FOOTBALL - NEBRASKA @ IOWA


Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
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Iowa’s Record: 4-7, 2-5 Big Ten, 2-2 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP:
USA Today:
BCS:
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2012 IOWA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE*

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 WIN 19-16 2OT
October 20th v. Penn State Loss 38-14
October 27th @ Northwestern Loss 28-17
November 3rd @ Indiana Loss 24-21
November 10th v. Purdue Loss 27-24
November 17th @ Michigan Loss 42-17
November 23rd (Friday) v. Nebraska 12:00 pm, ABC

Times Eastern

Scouting Next Opponent: See ya next year.
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November 23rd, 2012.  Iowa v. #14 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 9-2, 6-1 Big Ten
Previous Meetings: 42, Nebraska leads 27-12-3
Last Meeting: 2011, Iowa 7, Nebraska 20

Current Line: Iowa +15

Turnover Margin: +12 B1G #1 FBS #13

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
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Offense
Total   320.5 Pass  196.1  Rush 124.4  Scoring 20.5
B1G    #11               #7             #12                  #10
FBS    #110             #97           #100                #105
Defense  
Total   392.4  Pass  233.7 Rush 158.6  Scoring 23.8
B1G    #9               #10               #7                    #8
FBS    #60             #58               #61                  #40  
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Week 12 Recap: Michigan

Well friends, the football floor of the bandwagon is pretty empty now, but that’s ok, as the Iowa Hoops section might soon overflow and will be needing the space.

The Hawks hung in there for one quarter Saturday, coming right back to match Michigan at 7 all with James’ td pass to freshman tight end Henry Krieger Cole, heretofore HKC.  

But early in the 2nd, Michigan was facing a 3rd and 17 from the Iowa 37 yard line.  

And the play was the Iowa 2012 season in miniature.

Gardner had time, but then as he rolled to the near side, the Hawks cut him off, and he had to turn back to the far side of the field - all the while the line was chasing him, while downfield, the secondary could not stay with their receivers for what seemed like 13 seconds, and then Gardner fired the ball downfield and found a wide open Roundtree in the corner of the end zone. It was caught, the Hawks trailed 14-7.

But to their credit, the Hawkeye offense moved down the field, and thanks to a Michigan roughing the passer penalty, were in position to tie the game.  But on a 3rd and 6 from the Michigan 13, James had room to run, but took off too late, and only gained 4 yards.  Meyer came in and made it 14-10.

The next drive featured another over the top pass, caught, 51 yards, and just like that the Wolverines were at the Iowa 10.  They would soon convert a 4th and goal with a Gardner keeper, and the Hawks were down 21-10.

A response - no.  Iowa, 3 and out. Michigan ball back at their 13 yard line after a 60 yard punt.

But this drive featured completed passes of 15, 31, and 17 yards, and then finally, an 18 yard touchdown pass, and just like that, the Hawks were down 28-10, and the game was over.

When it was actually over, the Iowa defense would give up 513 yards and allow Michigan to convert 9 of 12 3rd downs, and 2 of 2 on 4th downs.  Nothing much the Iowa offense can do when they aren’t getting the ball.  And so, a bowl game is out of the picture, and all that is left is to finish up with one final game, and then the preparations for 2013 begin.  Some solace, a game that could ruin our opponents  season.  

Week 13 Preview: Nebraska

And once again, a game that appears to be without hope, at least on paper.  Nebraska is playing for the Big Ten title game, and therefore, a likely BCS bowl slot.  If they were to lose, and Michigan were to beat Ohio State, the Huskers would be on the outside looking in.  So we are going to get their best effort.

The Huskers have fallen twice, 36-30 at UCLA in week 2, and then 63-38 to Ohio State on October 6th.  But they had near escapes against Northwestern, and then they beat Michigan State 28-24 when scoring a td with 6 seconds left - but only after the Spartans were called for an iffy pass interference that allowed the Huskers a 1st down that resulted in the winning td.  

That bracketed the 23-9 home win over Michigan that has Nebraska in the drivers seat.  

Two weeks ago, the Huskers had to rally from 20-6 down to beat Penn State 32-23. And then last week, they eased out to a 38-0 lead over the Rodents before giving up 2 meaningless tds in the 4th for a 38-14 final.

In compiling this record, junior QB Martinez has now become the all time Nebraska passing leader with 6140 yards.  With it, 44 tds, and 23 picks. Not a great margin there, but he also is another one of those lethal threats on the ground.  In fact, 792 yards on 140 carries.  He has been as high as 205 rushing yards against Michigan State.   

When he hands the ball off, it’s usually to sophomore Abdullah, who has 1021 yards on 200 carries, and 8 rushing tds, with 2 more td catches.

This adds up to 37.5 points per game.  A very high wall for the Hawkeye offense to climb.

It would appear like we could run on the Huskers, as they give up about 171 yards per game - that’s worse than us.  But they have the most trouble against running QBs - against the other pro style teams, Wisconsin and Michigan State, they have done much better  So the Iowa rushing attack will probably struggle to get to 100.  And after last week, the Huskers are still #2 in the nation in most passing defensive stats, so even if we can run - well, you get the picture.  

That the Hawks could lose a game 42-17 when we were +1 on the turnover battle and almost even in the TOP, as was the case last week, it would seem like we will have to be +4 to have any shot in this one.  And on the assumption that Nebraska will be able to run the ball, Martinez will probably not be lofting up terrible passes that we can pick off.  But here is the one bright spot that we can find in the stats.

And that is - Nebraska has lost 18 fumbles to date.  Iowa, 3 of them.  That 18 is dead last in the league, and has Nebraska at 103rd nationally in turnover margin.  So there can be no more of the recent weak arm/missed tackles this week. They must put every pound into the Huskers ball carriers.  Then there could be a slight hope.

Clearly, the Hawks have got to start fast (score first), and then somehow, get up at least 3 scores on the Huskers.  It has happened.  Then we have to keep them at least two scores down.  I know, it doesn’t seem at all likely.

Most likely, the Hawks will be able to keep us somewhat hopeful in the early going, but then, the Iowa defense will tire from chasing Martinez around, and that will lead to the same kind of lapses we saw last week.  

And that will have the season ending at 4-8, 2-6 in the Big Ten.  A record, for those scoring at home, that is the worst Iowa showing since 2000.  

Even the Iowa Hoops team has come back to Earth, falling last night to the Shockers in the final of the Cancun Challenge.  But the young Iowa basketball team is making strides, and they most certainly won’t be bottoming out any time soon.

And that is good, as having our football team end the season like this would have Hawkeye fans in the funk for about 8 plus months.  Thankfully, we have basketball to keep our spirits up.   NYC Hawkeyes, the Iowa Hoops game watches will return for the Iowa State game.

Until then, one last football game watch, a game which I hope is something better than 44-20 Nebraska, but I just can’t seem to see any scenarios how it can be much closer.  Once again - hoping I am wrong.

And I hope that tonight finds you safely to your family and friends.  By this time tomorrow, the season will be mercifully over, and we can then begin to put it behind us.  Hope your Thanksgiving is going very well!


GO HAWKS!!!
SEDGE

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