October 24, 2013

TES 2013 IOWA FOOTBALL - WEEK 9: NORTHWESTERN @ IOWA

Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2013 Edition
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Iowa’s Record: 4-3, 1-2 Big Ten, 1-1 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP:
USA Today:
BCS:
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2013 IOWA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE*

August 31st v. Northern Illinois, loss 30-27
September 7th v. Missouri State, WIN 28-14
September 14th @ Iowa State, WIN 27-21
September 21st v. Western Michigan, WIN 59-3
September 28th, @ •Minnesota, WIN 23-7
October 5th v. •Michigan State, loss 26-14
October 12th - Bye Week #1
October 19th @ Ohio State, loss 34-24
October 26th v. •Northwestern, 12:01 pm, BTN
November 2nd v. Wisconsin, 12:00 pm, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
November 9th @ Purdue, TBD
November 16th - Bye Week #2
November 23rd v. •Michigan, TBD
November 29th @ •Nebraska, 12:05 pm, ABC

•Big Ten Legends Division Game

*Times Eastern


Scouting Next Opponent: Badgers are on a bye week.

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October 26th, 2013.  Iowa v. Northwestern Wildcats, 4-3, 0-3 Big Ten, 0-1 B1G Legends
Previous Meetings: 74, Iowa leads 47-24-3
Last Meeting:  2012, Iowa 17, Northwestern 28

Current Line: Iowa -3

Turnover Margin: +1,  B1G #7, FBS #59

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack 
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Offense
Total   410.9  Pass  214.4  Rush 196.4  Scoring 28.9
B1G    #9              #7               #5                  #10
FBS    #69            #80             #41                #71
Defense  
Total   319.3  Pass  204.4  Rush 114.9   Scoring 19.3
B1G    #3            #3                 #5                   #3
FBS    #12          #26               #16                 #19 
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Week 8: Ohio State

As the week came to an end, the spread had climbed to 18 points, but the forecast had a high chance of rain, which can at times neutralize perceived superiority.  

But as the cameras found the field, it was overcast but not raining, and 46 degrees.  Chilly for fans, but about perfect for the players.

The Hawks won the toss and took the ball.  The OSU kick landed at the 3 on the near side, and Cotton took off for the far side, trying to get the corner turned, but he got cut off and dropped at the 20 - by the kicker.  Had he got by him…

The Hawks came to the line with Jake under center, Mark behind him, and KMM alone down low.  Jake snaps the ball, fakes the handoff, and then rolls toward the far side.  As he gets back upfield to about the 18 he flips it forward to Duzey, caught right at the sideline, and out of bounds, 5 yards.  
Jake has the team right to the line, the same formation.  He changes the play, moving up and down the line to get his message across.  He snaps it, and hands it to Mark, who charges toward the far side, off tackle left, and he gets about 3 yards to bring up 3rd and 2.

Hawks right back to the line, but now in the I formation, with Damon back at the tailback slot.  Jake changes the play.  It goes to Damon, he heads to the same place, and gets enough of the corner to get 3 yards and a Hawkeye 1st down!

Back again to the I, Jake hands it to Damon who starts for the near corner, but then cuts it upfield but is quickly hit, 2 yards, 2nd and 8.

Jake has the Hawks right back at the line again, I formation, one wideout on each side.  Jake changes the play.  Or maybe he doesn’t.  

Anyway, he snaps it, hands it to Damon, he heads off tackle left, gets the corner turned, across the 35, then the 40, and then pushed out of bounds, 10 yards, and a Hawkeye 1st down at the 42!

Jake slows the pace a bit, but they don’t huddle, and Iowa is back in the single tailback look with a wideout on each side.  As Jake makes his count, the nearside wideout goes into motion toward the line, perhaps an end around, no, Jake then fakes it to Mark, pulls it down, and then stands, and quickly fires it to the far side, where it’s caught by Kittle at the 50, he turns and crosses the yellow line, then the 45, the 40, and finally dropped at the 33, 24 yards, and another Hawkeye 1st down!

Same formation, Jake changes the play.  It goes to Mark, he starts for the near side but then cuts it back, across the line before being hit, 5 yards, 2nd and 5.

The ESPN crew points out that the Hawks are right at the new virtual field goal line - like the yellow 1st down line, but green, at the projected max length of the kicker.  But Iowa fans are not interested in field goals.  

Jake is back under center, Mark behind, and KMM alone on the near side.  Jake snaps it and quickly fires it to the far side flat - when he throws it his target, Duzey, isn’t looking, but he turns, makes the catch, and then turns the corner before he gets forced out, that’s about 4.5 yards, and it’s 3rd and less than 1.

Jake has the team at the line as soon as the replay ends, and he snaps the ball, and they surge forward, a QB sneak, good, 1st down Iowa at the 21!

Hawks to the base formation, Damon is at tailback.  Jake change the play.  He hands it to Damon who tries the right side, but gets only 2.  2nd and 8.

The Hawks are back in the solo wideout, solo tailback, 3 tight end look, and Jake snaps it, fakes the handoff, and now rolls toward the near side, he quickly dumps it to Duzey, caught at the 20, he turns and cuts upfield, he could go! 15, 10, 5, and finally cut off and pushed out at the 4, an Iowa 1st and goal!!!

Jake is now in the gun, he snaps the ball and quickly fires to the far side, the bubble screen, it’s caught, KMM, but as he turns he loses his balance, and the defense catches up, it only goes for a yard.  But a flag comes into view.  

And it’s offside on Ohio State!  Half the distance, the 2, and 1st and goal!

The Hawks come to the line in the Power I - heavy.  Jake snaps it, turns, fakes the handoff to Mark, then steps back, turns, and flips the ball to the back corner of the end zone, we see a Hawkeye with a bead on the ball, he dives, snags it , and falls down inside the end zone, an IOWA TOUCHDOWN, CJF!!!  Meyer comes in and makes it 7-0, and the Horseshoe grew strangely quiet.  

The drive, 12 plays, 80 yards, and 5:37 off the clock.  A perfect start.  Now defense - punch them in the nose.  Timeout.

Meyer does his part by booting the ball deep into the end zone, touchback, State ball at the 25.  

OSU is to the line, Miller in the gun with a tailback to his left, a wideout on each side, and on the far side slot, two wideouts stacked up.  One of them goes into motion, and then the ball is snapped, the handoff faked, and Miller flips the ball to the motion man, a tight end, he makes the catch, and gets to the near corner before the Hawks cut him off, 9 yards, 2nd and 1.

Same formation, but as Miller is making his call, one of the linemen jumps, and that’s a false start, now 2nd and 6.

Miller to the gun, Hyde to his right, twin wideouts high, one low, but the low guy goes into motion to fake the end around, it goes to Hyde, he goes right up the middle and the Hawks should have him but don’t, he gets 6 and that’s an OSU 1st down at the 35.

Miller to the gun with Hyde to his left, three wideouts high, one low.  The play is changed from the sideline, Miller moves up and down the line to call it out.  The ball is snapped, and he quickly fires it far side, caught, he cuts upfield and gets 6 before the Hawks can corral it.

Miller now with Hyde to his left, two wideouts low, one high.  He claps his hands, the ball is snapped, and he fires it far side, the slant, caught, 8 yards, and a Buckeye 1st down at the 49.  

Quickly to the line and snapped, it goes to Hyde, he heads far side and picks up 5 yards, 2nd and 5 from the Iowa 46.

Miller with tailbacks on both sides of him, the ball is snapped, Miller keeps it, heads right into the line, gets 4 and the Hawks drop him, 3rd and 1.

Miller is in the gun with Hyde to his left, the far side wideout goes into motion toward the near, it’s a fake, Miller keeps it, and he follows his tailback Hyde into the hole, 10 yards, and a 1st down OSU at the Iowa 32.

Miller, with three wideouts low and one high, snaps the ball, drops back, can’t find anybody, but he has a clear lane in front of him, so he pulls it down, and heads up field, and the Hawks have about 2 chances to get him down, but he spins away and is not dropped until the 15 - 16 yards total, and a Buckeye 1st down.

Miller snaps the ball, hands it off to his near side back, he heads to the far side, but Iowa cuts it off and stops it after just 3.  2nd and 7.

The booth points out that the Hawks have not given up a rushing touchdown all year.  

Miller again, to the gun with a tailback on each side.  He snaps it, keeps it, and heads left, but the Hawks string it out, and he has to dive forward to get anything, 3 yards, and that brings up a 3rd and 4.

The play clock is winding down as Miller is looking toward the sideline, the whistles blow, and it’s a timeout, Ohio State, clock at  4:09 of the 1st.  

After the break Miller is alone in the gun, three wideouts high and one low, he snaps it, drops back, and then quickly fires it down the middle, but Trinca-Pasat rose up and knocked it down!  4th down, and the Buckeye kicking team took the field.

It’s just 27 yards, and good.  Hawks lead 7-3, timeout at 4:00 of the 1st.

The OSU kickoff lands at the 5, Cotton takes it and tries the near side, and gets it out to the 23.

The Hawks come back out in the 3 tight end set.  Jake changes the play, but before he gets everyone set, the play clock winds down, and the Hawks must burn at timeout.  

The booth points out that should not happen on the first play after a timeout.  

Ok we’re back, same formation, Jake turns, hands it to Mark, he tries the near side, and gets between 2 and 3.  2nd and about 7.

Jake now to the gun, he snaps it and quickly fires it far side, CJF, a little out-route, caught, turns upfield, 10 yards, and an Iowa 1st down at the 36!

Iowa back to the 3 tight end set, Damon at tailback, and Jake appears to change the play.  It goes to /Damon, as he heads to the far side, he has to back step to get around the pile, but then he turns the corner and is racing down the sideline!  Finally hit and pushed out after 12 yards, an Iowa 1st down at the 48!

We are just coming out of that replay as Jake snaps the ball, fakes the handoff and rolls toward the near side - he flips it to the under route, CJF, caught at the 50, and then a defender dives in to take out his legs, but he falls forward for 6 yards, 2nd and 4.

Hawks again to the 3 tight end set, but Daniels is now at tailback.  Jake changes the play.  He turns, hands it to Daniels, he surges into the line just to the left of the center, and then gets piled up, but he keeps pushing it forward, and is finally dropped, but not before he gets 7 yards and a Hawkeye 1st down at the 39!

Same set, Jake snaps the ball, fakes the handoff, and now rolls to the far side - he flips it to CJF on the under route, it’s caught at the 29, a 1st down, but he is immediately drilled, and he goes down, losing his mouth guard from the force of the impact.  

And then a flag flies in.  

And it’s Ohio State’s 2nd team All-American from 2012, Roby, #1, and the replay shows him stopping, then launching himself, hitting CJF above the numbers, and that’s a 15 yard penalty, and Ohio State’s best secondary man is kicked out of the game.  The Hawks must take advantage, now with the ball, 1st and 10, at the Buckeye 13.

CJF is on the sideline, but he appears to be ok.  

Jake is now in the gun, with Daniels to his right, and the heavy tight end set.  Jake snaps it, turns toward the near side, and then tries to hit KMM on a wideout screen, but the pass falls out of his hands, not that it probably would have worked had he caught it.  2nd and 10.

Same formation, but Jake changes the play.  It goes to Mark, he tries the far side, but gets only 3, and the Hawks face a 3rd and 7 from the 10 yard line.  

Jake is in the gun with Damon to his right, Duzey in the right slot.  Jake snaps it, drops back, looks down the middle, but then the pressure arrives and he has to throw it away.  4th down, and Meyer comes in to try the 28 yard field goal.

Meyer gets it up and uses every inch of the upright, but it’s good, and the Hawks lead 10-7 with 7 seconds left in the 1st quarter.

In retrospect, this OSU stop was one of the key moments in the game.  If we had gotten a touchdown to go up 14-3, the Buckeyes would have been two scores down, not just one, and as we would soon learn, that one wouldn’t last.  

Meyer’s kickoff lands at the 1, and he gets out to the 26 before the Hawks get him down.

Miller hands it to Hyde, he tries the middle to get 4, and that brings the 1st quarter to a close.  

The Hawks are there after 1.  So far, so good.

After the break, the Buckeyes have Miller in the gun, Hyde to his right, three wideouts low and one high, and the tight end on the near side goes into motion toward the line.  It’s a handoff, Hyde, he tries the far side to get 3, and that brings up a 3rd and 3.

Miller is alone in the gun now, a H back on the far side, one wideout out there, and three near side.  He drops back, has time, and then fires it for the far side, caught on the sideline, 9 yards, 1st down Buckeyes at the 42.

Miller lines up in the pistol, but then the back shifts to his right, as he has three wideouts to the low side.  It’s a fake read option, Miller pulls it back, steps back, and then throws it deep down the far hash, where we see his receiver is wide open as he makes the catch at the 22, and both Miller and Lowery can’t cut him off, and it goes all the way to the far pylon and in, a 58 yard td pass, and just like that, the game was tied 10 all.

The Ohio State kickoff lands about a yard deep, and Cotton makes the catch and brings it out - he crosses the 15 just inside the near hash and seems to have blockers - across the 20, the 25, and finally caught at dropped at the 31.  A good return, now Iowa offense, let’s put the pressure back on.

The Hawks start in the I formation, with two wideouts up high.  Jake changes the play.  It goes to Mark, he starts left, but cuts it back, 5 yards, 2nd and 5.  A good start.

I formation again, but now a wideout on each side.  Jake barks out his instructions, it goes to Mark and he heads right, reading his blocks, they seal the corner and Mark gets across the yellow line and down at the 45!  An Iowa 1st down!

Hawks back to the I but with Damon at tailback.  It’s a fake, Jake rolls to the near side, and takes the under route, Plewa, caught at the 49, and down at the Ohio State 43, another Iowa 1st down!

Hawks now back to the 3 tight end set, Damon at tailback, KMM the solo wideout up top.  Jake backs out and changes the play.  It goes to Damon, he tries the middle, and gets 4 for his effort.  2nd and 6.

Jake is again behind the heavy line, he steps back, pump fakes, but then has to throw it away to the near side, 3rd and 6.

Jake lines up in the gun, with 5 wide.  He snaps it, steps back, then fires it near side, caught, Duzey, after about 4 yards, but he steps forward and falls down right on the yellow line, and that’s an Iowa 1st down at the OSU 32!  

Hawks, I formation, two wideouts up high.  Jake snaps it, fakes the handoff, drops back while looking downfield, but then the pressure arrives and he takes off, but gets only 2 yards, 2nd and 8.

Jake is back under center, Mark behind him, two wideouts high and one low.  He snaps it, steps back, and then fires the long pass to the far sideline, targeting KMM, but it’s out in front of him and now good.  3rd and 8.

Jake quickly to the line, he steps back, and turns and fires to the far side, the wideout screen, caught, Powell, he turns upfield and turns on the gas, and gets to the yellow line before he gets popped, 1st down Iowa at the OSU 21!

Hawks back to the tight end heavy set, with Daniels at tailback.  He gets it and goes off tackle left, that’s 5 yards, 2nd and 5.  

Daniels, one more time, goes left but gets cut off, picks up 2. 3rd and 2.

The Hawks are lining up in the I formation, but Jake runs out of time and calls a timeout.  8:36 of the 2nd.

After the break, the Hawks are back in the I, it goes to Mark, he heads left, gets hit about a yard short of the line, but muscles his way across it and down, an Iowa 1st down at the 11 yard line!

Hawks back to the heavy set, with Mark at tailback.  He gets it and heads right, 5 more yards, and the Hawks were at the OSU 6!

The heavy set, two wideouts low, Jake snaps it, fakes the handoff, rolls to the far side, and then dumps it to Duzey, wide open at the 8, but he turns his head and drops it.  3rd and 5.

Jake to the gun, with Damon to his right - three wideouts on the near side in the triangle formation.  Jake looks over the D, steps forward to shout instructions to the linemen, then he snaps it, steps back, and then floats it to the back of the end zone, near side, and KMM is wide open and he makes the catch, an IOWA TOUCHDOWN!!!  Meyer comes in and makes it 17-10.  The drive, 15 plays, 69 yards, and 6:37 off the clock.

Meyer allows no return on his kickoff.  OSU starts with the ball from their 25.

It only takes them 5 plays to get to the Iowa 29, but on that 1st down, Miller is sacked by a blitzing Morris, and that loses 7 yards.  He gets 10 back with a pass, but on 3rd and 7, he gets sacked again, this time by Davis, and after an Ohio State timeout, their 4th down pass is no good, and the Hawks have held again, and they get the ball back with 2:30 left in the 2nd.

But we only get out to our 42, and then we finally see a punt, but it only allows the Buckeyes to take a knee to bring the 1st half to an end at 17-10 Iowa.  That’s great, we are there at the half, but really could have used a 21-10 lead.

Around the country, Hawk fans are wondering if we can keep it up, and hoping that our halftime adjustments will top whatever OSU does.

The halftime stats tell the story of the first.  Rushing yards, Hawks 101, Buckeyes 79.  Total yards, Iowa 202, OSU 189.  Plays, us 43, them 24.  And time of possession, Iowa 18:05 to 11:15.  We have done most of what we had to do.  Now how about some forced turnovers.

Or at least a stop, an Ohio State punt.

Nope, it was not to be.  OSU put together a 13 play drive that covered 75 yards, and it came down to a 2nd and goal from our 1 yard line.  The ball went to Hyde who tried the middle, and it seemed like the Hawks stuffed it for no gain, but the officials called it a touchdown, and it was never reviewed, and  once again the game was tied, this time at 17.

The Hawks would start the next drive at the 25, and after 12 and 4 yard runs by Mark, and a 7 yard run by Damon, we had a 1st and 10 from the Iowa 48.  

But from here, Damon would only gain 1 yard on 1st down, forcing a 2nd and 9.  From the base set, Jake tried a quick strike to the near side, targeting Smith, but the pass was off and the Hawks faced a 3rd and 9.

Jake was in the gun, and he tries a far side pass to Powell, but the defense is there to knock it away, and the Hawks were forced to punt again.  

The kick was caught at the 16, and the return man went the wrong way trying to get to the far side and the Hawks dropped him at the 15.  Now, a stop.  Or turnover.

It was not to be on either count.  The Buckeyes would only face one 3rd down, on the 3rd play of the drive, but Miller picked up the 1st with his legs.  The Buckeyes would soon be at the Iowa 14.

This play is a quick hitch to the near side wideout, and it’s set up perfectly, and he gets to the pylon and dives in, and the Hawks were down 24-17 at 3:15 of the 3rd.

Could Iowa respond?

Cotton would bring the Hawks out to the 25, and from there, the Iowa offense took the field.

The Hawks start with Jake under center, Mark alone behind him, one wideout high, and two low.  He hands it to Mark who goes off tackle right, and appears to pick up 8, but a flag flies, and the Hawks are nabbed for holding.  Now 1st and 20, from the 15 yard line.

The Hawks have Jake under center, Mark at tailback, two wideouts on the low side and two tight ends on the far side of the line.  Jake snaps it, and drops straight back, he takes a step forward and then fires the ball down the far sideline - as the camera pans we see an Iowa wideout has a step, he reached up at the 45 and grabs it, and takes off! But no, it’s not a wideout, it’s Duzey, a tight end, and surely the Buckeyes will catch him - across the 50, the 40, no, they are not catching him!  the 30, 20, 10, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!!  An 85 yard fly pattern to a tight end, and the Hawks had matched the Buckeyes at 24!!!

About 5 times to this point, the booth has pointed out the the Buckeyes have more speed on the outside, and now we have seen an Iowa tight end run away from their secondary.  

The drive, 1 play, 85 yards, 45 seconds.

Of course - what we probably could have used was a long, 13 play drive, that took up 5 minutes, and let the defense rest.  

Could the Hawkeyes finally force a stop?

Meyer does his part with a touchback.

The Buckeyes start with an incomplete pass and then a 5 yard Hyde run.  3rd and 5.

It looks like Lowery has picked off this pass by jumping the route, but flags fly, and he is nabbed with a holding call, that’s a 1st down.  Without it, he probably could have stopped the pass and forced the punt, but the drive went on.  

A couple more plays killed the 3rd quarter, and the Hawks were right there.  Keep smacking them around in the 4th boys.

The Buckeye drive continued, and they would never face another 3rd down until they were at the Iowa 28.  And it was a 3rd and 7.

This was the play were the Hawks forced Miller out of the pocket, to the far side of the field, but he then cut it all the way back to the near side and got 3 feet past the yellow line before the Iowa defense could get him down.

And the next play is where Hyde got the ball, got to the far corner, where Iowa’s Miller tried to grab him and knocked him off his balance - but he did not wrap him up, and Hyde recovered and dove into the end zone.  Touchdown OSU, Iowa now trailed 31-24, clock at 13:24 of the 4th.

Could the Hawks respond again?

This drive started at the 19, and Jake’s first pass to Duzey was no good.  But he went right back to him and hit him for a 22 yard strike, and the Hawks were in business at the 41.

But the Hawks would stall there, and Kornbrath booted the kick for only a 27 yard net, and the Buckeyes had the ball back at their 28.

Once again, the Hawks would let Miller escape on a 3rd and 8, and the Buckeyes would get to the Hawkeye 8, but finally they found a stop, and the Buckeyes kicked a 25 yard field goal, and the Hawks were down 34-24 as the clock slipped under 6 minutes.  

The Hawks would get as far as the 43.  Here, on a 3rd and 4, Jake tried a pass to the near side, and Jake missed Powell and the pass was picked off.  The one, and only, turnover of the day.

And that would be it, the Hawks would never get the ball back, losing 34-24.  

But afterword, your scribe, and I think many other Hawkeye fans, felt good about the performance of the team, and felt that they had gained confidence by staying with the Buckeyes for about 50 minutes.    Let’s face it, almost all the experts thought OSU would cover the 18 point spread with ease.  And they didn’t.

The Hawks rushed for 130 - not quite the 170 I was hoping for, but at 4.8 per carry, a good effort.  Jake 19-34 for 245, with the 3 tds and one pick.  6 of those to Duzey for 138, which appears to be in the top 3 all time for receiving yards by an Iowa tight end.  He had 4 catches this season before this game.  

The long OSU drives of the second half turned the TOP to 35:00 - 25:00 in favor of the Buckeyes.  That, the difference.

Oh, and the two turnovers that I hoped for and 14 points resulting from them?  Yeah, that would have been nice.  

Still, I think it was a game the Hawks can build on.  The use of the 2 and 3 tight end sets was obviously very effective, and having that much beef up front can also help the tailbacks find some large holes.  I think the Hawkeyes are ready to give every team left their best effort.

Week 9: Northwestern

And what a chance to get started.

Into Kinnick come the MIldcats, a trendy pick before the season to challenge for the Legends division title, and after the noncon season, a pick that looked real good.

They opened at Cal, and took down the Bears 44-30.  A west coast win, always good for a Big Ten team.

Week two, the Orangemen visited Chicago, and the Cats thumped them, 48-27.

Western Michigan then in week 3, and the Cats beat them 38-17.  

And they wrapped up the preseason by beating mighty Maine, 35-21.  

So they cruised into the Big Ten slate, were as we learned last week, they put up a good effort but fell to Ohio State, 40-30.

So the Cats probably thought they would have an easier way with the Badgers, but they were wrong.  In Camp Randall, Wisconsin crushed Northwestern, 35-6.

And then last week, I’m sure the Cats were quite high on their chances with the Rodents in town, but with both their starting QB Colter and top tailback Mark out, they actually lost to the Rodents, 20-17, to start the Big Ten slate at 0-3.

Rushing yards allowed by the Northwestern defense in Big Ten games:
Rodents 176.
Badgers 286.
Buckeyes 248.

So the Hawks should be able to ground and pound the Cats all day long.  

How can the Iowa defense fare?

Well, the Cats haven’t been above 94 net rushing in any Big Ten game, and only going for 44 against the Badgers.  Mark, the senior tailback, has missed 4 games, so his season to date total is only 31 carries for 97 yards.  Others to note, Green has 463 yards to date, and Trumpy has 219.  

Colter, a dual threat QB, has 263 on the ground, to go with his 43 for 52 passing, for 396 yards, with 3 tds, and 3 interceptions.  Also telling - 8 sacks.

But the Cats are continuing to go with the 2 QB system, and the other is junior Siemian, who has passed for 98 of 168 for 1313 yards, and he has been sacked a rather astounding 14 times.  He,  much more of a passer than runner, clearly.

So the Hawks will need to pay attention to whichever QB is on the field.  The junior, pin back the ears and go after him.  The senior, the defense needs to use a linebacker spy this week to make sure there are no back-breaking runs on 3rd and longs.  

Other interesting stats.  The Cats are 10th in the conference at converting 3rd downs, at just 41%.  Conversely, at 3rd down defense, they are 10th in the B1G  - and 102nd, nationally, allowing teams to convert 44% of 3rd downs.  

Iowa, 2nd in the conference and 15th in Div. 1 converting 50% of 3rd downs - and 6th in the conference and 23rd overall at 3rd down defense, 32%.

That tells me the Hawks will be able to ground and pound and then play-action the ball over the Wildcat’s heads.  But Jake must be smart, the Wildcats have picked off 13 passes to date.  

We should continue to use the new wrinkle of the 3 tight end sets, which aids in both the pounding, and as we saw, many guys open on underneath routes.  The thing is, the more Jake seems to take those underneath throws when he rolls out - the more chances he will have to find the deeper routes and pick up bigger chucks of field.  

Yup, it’s the Cats, and they have done a good job of crushing our dreams too often lately.  But now they are in a free fall, and the Hawks are pissed that they have let two games get away in the 2nd half that they lead at halftime.  Iowa will use the lessons of last week, and are surely working on them in practice.  As we begin to enter the home stretch, the Hawks are ready to start bringing the pain.

Jake, finally over 300 in the air, combined with 130 from Mark and another 120 from the other tailbacks, as the Hawks chew up 37 minutes of game clock.

The defense forces 3 turnovers and converts one of them into a touchdown, and they also sack the Northwestern QBs 5 times.  

Iowa starts quickly, and doesn't  let up.  Hawkeyes 38, Mildcats 17.


GO HAWKS!!!

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