September 25, 2014

The Eternal Season - 9/25/14 - Sedge's 2014 Hawkeye Football Game Notes, Week 5: Iowa @ Purdue

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2014 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 3-1, 0-0 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
USA Today:

August 30th v. Northern Iowa, 12:01 pm, WIN 31-23
September 6th v. Ball State, WIN 17-13
September 13th v. Iowa State, Loss 20-17
September 20th @ Pittsburg, WIN 24-20
September 27th @ •Purdue, 12:00 pm, BTN
October 11th v. Indiana, 12:00 pm, TBD
October 18th @ Maryland, 12:00 pm, TBD
November 1st v. •Northwestern, TBD
November 8th, @ •Minnesota, TBD
November 15th @ •Illinois, TBD
November 22nd v. •Wisconsin, TBD
November 28th v. •Nebraska (Black Friday), TBD

•Big Ten West Division Game

*Times Eastern

Scouting next opponent:
Maryland @ Indiana, 1:30 pm, BTN

Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
September 27th, 2014.  Iowa @ Purdue Boilermakers, 2-2. 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Previous Meetings: 84, Purdue leads 46-35-3
Last Meeting: 2013, Hawkeyes 38, Boilermakers 14

Current Line: Iowa -9

Turnover Margin: -1,  B1G #9, FBS #72

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2014
Total   377.0  Pass  229.0  Rush 131.5  Scoring 22.3
B1G    #11            #8                #11                  #13
FBS    #97            #72              #93                  #95
Total   349.0  Pass  253.5  Rush 95.5    Scoring 19.0
B1G    #7              #9                  #5                   #4
FBS    #40            #84                #17                 #26 
The New Big Ten:
West                             East
Iowa                              Michigan
Nebraska                      Michigan State
Minnesota                     Ohio State
Wisconsin                     Penn State
Illinois                           Indiana
Northwestern               Maryland
Purdue                         Rutgers

Big Ten West Standings:
Nebraska 4-0, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Iowa  3-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Illinois  3-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Minnesota  3-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Wisconsin  2-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Purdue  2-2, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Northwestern  1-2, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West


Week 4 Recap: Pitt

As we leave the booth and move into Heinz Field, we see a tight shot of the Pitt fans, and then the Hawkeye fans, probably strategic as to not show all the empty seats.  A 3-0 team in a major conference with a major conference visitor, and they still can’t sell it out.  Oh to be a college team in a pro town.

We then get a highlight package of Conner’s exploits so far, and why not, it’s a record season in the making for the sophomore.  Hawk fans are waiting to see if we can slow him down.

Then we head to the field, the players are ready, and per usual, Iowa is on the receiving end.  The Pitt kick lands about 7 yards deep in the end zone and rolls out of the back, a touchback, Iowa ball at the 25 to begin the game.

And soon learn that the former Pitt player who is the color man coached Jake in high school.  

Iowa opens with the three tight end heavy set, Jordan alone behind Jake, KMM alone on the near side.  It goes to Canzeri, he tries the left side, runs into some traffic and then tries to hop over the pile, but it consumes him so he goes down after a gain of 3.  2nd and 7.

But then Jordan is kind of hopping as he gets up, and then he turns an heads off to the sideline.  Not what Hawk fans want to see to start the game.

Iowa to the I formation with a wideout on the low side, right on the nearside hash.  The ball goes to Mark, he plows straight ahead and gets 5, so that brings up 3rd and a long 2.

Mark departs as Jake goes to the gun with Damon to his right, and three wideouts in the triangle formation on the far side.  Jake looks over the field and then steps up to the line to change the play, Jake steps back, then snaps it, looks, then quickly fires it far side, KMM, caught, he finds the sticks and dives out of bounds, and that is an Iowa 1st down at the 36.

Iowa back to the heavy set, Jordan is back in at tailback, and a wideout alone on the near side.  Pitt is leaving a lot of space between the receiver and corner on the near side, but it’s a handoff to Jordan, he tries the near side but gets wrapped up, it only gains 1, 2nd and 9.

Jake is back under center, he has Mark behind him, and two wideouts lined up pistol like on the near side numbers.  Jake snaps it, drops back, starts to hand it to Mark but then pulls it down, play action, and he stands up, surveys, then he steps forward and heaves the ball deep down the center of the field, then as the ball comes down we see Powell is right under it, caught!!!  No wait, a Pitt player has the ball, and he has turned and is running up the near sideline, all the way across the 50 and finally shoved out of bounds at the Iowa 45.  But then as Jake jogs off the field we see there is a flag on the play.

The interception stands, and Pitt is flagged for a block in the back on the return.  It’s their ball at their 27 after the penalty.  

And then we see the replay from the far end zone, and as the ball comes down to Powell, it’s right where it needs to be, inside Powell, or just to his left, and he has the two Pitt defenders to his right - but kind of has to lunge forward to grab it, he gets his hands on it, but then he starts to go down and he loses the ball and the Pitt player snags it before it hits the turf.  That one, not on Jake.  

Pitt opens in the I formation with two wideouts on the high side, one of them goes into motion toward the line, it goes to Conner, he heads off tackle left, and he finds a hole at the line and darts through, he gets the corner turned and picks up 21 yards before the Hawks can knock him out of bounds at the Pitt 48.  1st down Panthers.

Not the start the Hawkeye fans were hoping to see from the defense.

Pitt to a very tight formation, no wideouts out wide, and Conner alone behind Voytik, Conner gets it, heads straight ahead, gets popped, but falls forward for 3 yards, a 2nd and 7 from the Iowa 49.

Pitt now has a wideout on the low side, Conner at tailback, and a wideout in the backfield just inside the hash on the far side.  It goes to Conner, he heads straight ahead, Alston makes the tackle after 3 yards, 3rd and 4.

Pitt flips the formation from the play above, Voytik snaps it, drops back, has pressure so he just lets it go down the middle, and the pass falls to the turf, no good, 4th down, and the Pitt punt team took the field.

The Pitt punt bounces at about the 15, and then out of bounds at the Iowa 11.  Timeout, no score, clock at 10:30 of the 1st.

After the break we see pictures of Kirk from 1980, he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant on that Pitt team that finished 11-1 and #2 in the country.

Now back to the field, Iowa is in the offset I formation, a wideout on each side.  Pitt has their linebackers about 4 yards behind the D line, and the corners are again giving the Iowa wideouts about 10 yards of cushion on the outside.  Jordan gets the ball and tries the far side, that gets 3, 2nd and 7 from the Iowa 14.

Iowa now to the solo tailback, a wideout on each side.  Still the cushion on the outside from Pitt.  Jake sees that, so he snaps it, looks left, and immediately fires it far side, the screen, caught, Smith, he makes the first man miss and picks up 14 before he his forced out of bounds, an Iowa 1st down at the 28!

Iowa again to the three tight end, solo tailback (Jordan), solo wideout low side.  Jake steps back from under center to change the play.  It goes to Jordan, he tries the far side, it looks like had he bounced it all the way outside he had room, but he doesn’t, gets hit, and picks up 3.  2nd and 7.

Iowa to the same formation, Jake snaps it, drops back and fakes the handoff to Jordan, Jake pulls it down and rolls to the near side, he lets it go for the near sideline where VandeBerg dives, he snags it, a 1st down Iowa!  No wait, the side judge comes in waving his arms, no good.

We only see one replay, and though the ball may have moved, you never actually see it hit the ground.  But it’s not reviewed, so it’s 3rd and 7.

Iowa is lining up with Jake in the gun and the triangle receivers on the near side, but as he gets back there the play clock drops under 5 seconds, so Jake turns and calls timeout.  3rd and 7 Iowa from the 31, clock at 8:40 of the 1st.

Iowa is in the same look after the break, Damon is to Jake’s left.  Jake snaps it, drops about 3 steps back, is looking near side, but then he comes back far side and fires it for Duzey, but the ball one hops him, no good, 4th down.  The Iowa punt team takes the field.

Kidd’s punt bounces at the Pitt 32, but backwards, and the Hawks have to catch it at the 36.  Timeout, clock at 8:22.  

After the break, we see a classic paddle wheel ship cruising along, Heinz Field the successor to the famous Three Rivers Stadium of yesteryear.

Pitt to the gun with Conner to the QB’s left, he fakes the handoff and looks to the near side, where he had three wideouts, it’s a screen, caught, Boyd, but Iowa traps him and wraps him up for no gain.  2nd and 10.

Pitt to the gun with the backup tailback to his left, two wideouts on the high side, one on the low. He snaps it, looks far side, but then has pressure in his face and he just gets if off, caught, Boyd, he turns around and dives forward, that gets 10 yards, a Pitt 1st down at the 46.

Pitt resumes with the I formation, but the fullback shifts out to a tight end position.  Conner gets the ball, he goes straight into the line to pick up 7 yards, 2nd and 3 at the Iowa 47.

Pitt to Conner again, he tries the far side and bounces off a tackle at the line, and he gets into the clear and turns the corner, 22 yards, and finally pushed out of bounds by Lowdermilk at the Iowa 25.

Pitt to the I formation, with two wideouts in the pistol look on the near side.  Voytik snaps the ball, fakes the handoff, and starts to roll near side, but Bower flashes in the backfield and seems to have him dead to rights, but the QB escapes and picks up 3.  2nd and 7.

Pitt now to the gun with Conner to his left, Voytik snaps it, and immediately pulls it down and starts for the far corner, he gets it turned and then gets drilled at the yellow line, but it’s enough, a Pitt 1st down at the Iowa 15.

From the I formation, it goes to Conner, he tries off tackle, right, but Iowa stuffs it for just 1 yard.  Spearman with the stop, 2nd and 9.

Conner departs and James takes his place at tailback, he gets the ball and heads straight into the line, and nobody touches him until he is at the goal line, and he just rolls over the Iowa defender and into the end zone, touchdown Pitt, and that is the first rushing touchdown that Iowa has allowed, Pitt leads 7-0 at 4:15 of the 1st.

After the break, Pitt boots the kickoff out of the end zone again, Iowa ball at the 25.  

Iowa to the heavy set, Mark at tailback in the I formation, one wideout on the near side hash.  It goes to Mark and he heads for the near side, but then he cuts it upfield to pick up about 6 yards, 2nd and 4.  A good start!

Iowa to the same set, but flipped on the field, Mark gets it again, he bounces off a blocker and heads straight ahead, that’s 4 yards and an Iowa 1st down at the 35!

Iowa, same formation.  Jake snaps it, turns towards Mark, no, he pulls it down, and drops straight back, then he steps up and fires it deep down the far side, as the camera pans we see VandeBerg has the defender right on him, but as the ball comes down he leaps, snags it, and then pulls it into his body as he goes to the ground, complete!!!  Matt flips the ball to the side judge who marks him down at the 21, a 44 yard pass!  1st down Iowa, right outside the red zone!

Iowa again to the heavy set, solo tailback, solo wideout, near side.  Jake snaps it, drops back, has pressure from the near side but he gets it off down the far sideline, trying the outside shoulder throw to Duzey, but he can’t make the catch inside the 5, 2nd and 10 Iowa.

Iowa back to the heavy I formation, it goes to Mark, he tries the right side, gets hit and dives forward, 5 yards, 3rd and 5.

Jake is back under center, Bullock behind him, two wideouts on the high side, one on the low.  Now the Pitt corners are up within one yard of the LOS.  It goes to Bullock, he tries the far side to pick up 2, and Iowa faced 4th and 3 from the Pitt 14.

And Iowa leaves the offense on the field!

Iowa, in the I formation with the solo wideout on the near hash.  Jake snaps it, fakes the handoff, looks, and then floats it to the goal line, where we see HKC is wide open, he is so wide open don’t drop it!!! it comes down and he makes the catch, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!!  And the kick is good, and the game is tied at 7 with :58 seconds left in the 1st!!!

Koehn bounces the kickoff at the 1, and into the end zone where there is no return.  Pitt ball at the 25,  :58 seconds left in the 1st.

Pitt to a heavy line with Conner at tailback, and two wideouts stacked up on the far side.  It goes to Conner, he goes off tackle, right, and picks up 7 plus yards.  2nd and 3.

Conner again, he starts right, but then bounces it back inside, where the Hawks drop him after 2 yards, and that brings up a 3rd and 1 as the 1st quarter comes to a close, game at 7 all.  

So far, so good.  The Iowa offense has opened things up a bit, let’s see what we can do in the 2nd!

Out of the break, Pitt comes out in the heavy I formation, it goes to Conner and he has no problem getting past the yellow line, he gets it out to the 45 for a Pitt 1st down.

Pitt to the solo tailback with two wideouts on the low side.  Voytik fakes the handoff and pulls it down, rolls to the near side, he dumps it to Conner underneath the coverage, that picks up 9 yards, 2nd and  1 from the Iowa 46.

Pitt back to the set with no wideouts spread out from the main line.  It goes to James and he gets 2, but only needed 1, 1st down Pitt at the Iowa 44.

Pitt now with the solo tailback, and two wideouts up high.  It goes to Conner, he goes straight ahead to pick up 4.  2nd and 6.

Conner again, up the middle again, 3 yards, that brings up a 3rd and a long 2.

Conner departs as Pitt lines up in the I formation,   it goes to the tailback who tries to plow ahead, but Iowa stuffs him for only 1, and then as he goes down, Lowdermilk is seen with the ball and running the other way!  But then the whistles blow, and the play is ruled dead.  It’s 4th and 1, and then the play is reviewed.  But we could see in the first replay that he was down.

The play is upheld, and after the break, it’s 4th and 1 for Pitt, at the Iowa 35.

Conner is back in there in the I formation, he gets it an just charges straight ahead, that gets him about 4 but he needed only 1.  1st down Pitt at the Iowa 31.

Pitt now takes out Conner and has a solo tailback in there, with two wideouts on the high side, one the the low - but then one of the high side guys goes into motion, and it’s the jet sweep, Boyd, he gets the ball and tries the near side, that picks up 6, 2nd and 4 from the Iowa 24.  

Panthers now with James at tailback, and two wideouts on the top side.  It goes to James and he tries off tackle left, but runs into a wall of humanity to only get about 2, but then a flag comes in.

It’s a personal foul on Pitt, Boyd, for a low block, and Pitt now faces a 2nd and 17, with the ball back at the Iowa 37!

Pitt to the gun, Conner to his left, two wideouts on the low side, one up high.  He snaps it, looks middle, then fires it near hash, Boyd comes back to it and makes the catch, 8 yards, that brings up 3rd and 8.

Pitt to the gun again with one wideout on the low side, and the one on the top side is again right up behind the line.  Iowa shows the raider package, and at the snap, they blitz from the near side, but the pressure gets there just as the pass gets fired down the middle, caught, Boyd on the crossing route, and he is finally pushed out of bounds after 18 yards, and a Pitt 1st down at the Iowa 11.

The Hawks are making the average throwing QB look good.

Pitt now to the offset I formation, one wideout up top.  Iowa has every defender within 5 yards of the LOS.  It goes to Conner, he heads straight ahead, Iowa seems to have him wrapped up, but he keeps plugging ahead, and is finally downed at the 3 yard line.  2nd and 2.

Pitt to the I, but with no wideouts in the game.  It goes to Conner and the Hawks know it, they explode across the line and stuff Conner for a 2 yard loss! 

3rd and a long 3, and the same formation, Conner again, straight ahead, but Iowa stuffs the hole and he can only get about 6 feet.  4th and 1 from the Iowa 2.

Same formation, same play, but Iowa again clogs the hole, but Conner gets the 3 feet he needed, to give Pitt a 1st and goal from the Iowa 1.

Pitt has to call timeout as the play clock dips to 2 seconds.  1st and goal from the Iowa 1, clock at 6:21 of the 2nd quarter.

After the break, Pitt is again in the super heavy formation, it goes to Conner, he goes straight ahead, and that’s a Pittsburg touchdown, and Iowa trails 14-7 after an 18 play, 75 yard drive, that took 9:42 off the clock.

Iowa needs to respond, if for no other reason than to let the defense rest for a bit.

And with that carry, Conner has 100 yards on the day.  
Ok,after the break, the Pitt kickoff comes down about 2 yards into the end zone, but Powell lets it bounce off his chest and back onto the field of play, so he has to scramble to pick it up, and can never reach the second gear to get away, and Pitt drops him at the Iowa 9.

Hidden yardage.

And once again, plenty of good seats to be had at Heinz Field.  Why am I suddenly craving hot dogs.

Iowa to the power I, one wideout up top.  Mark gets it and heads off tackle, left, he turns the corner to pick up 9 yards, 2nd and 1 at the 18!

Same formation, Mark gets it, looks near side, but then plows straight ahead, 5 more, an Iowa 1st down at the 23!

Iowa to the solo tailback,, Damon, two wideouts high, one low.  Jake snaps it, fakes the handoff, is looking downfield, but then takes the far side dump off to Bullock, caught (everyone drink), 5 yards, 2nd and 5 from the 28.

Iowa back to the I formation, it goes to Mark, he heads right side, but gets strung up, 2 yards, 3rd and 3.

Iowa to the gun, Damon to Jake’s left, two wideouts on the low side, one on the high.  The low side guys shift into the stacked position, Jake snaps it, immediately rolls to the near side, but then he stops and tries to look middle, and he gets hit just as he lets it go, and it falls harmlessly to the turf, 4th down.

And as he leaves the field, does Jake appear to be slightly favoring one leg? 

Regardless, not the drive Iowa fans wanted, and Iowa has to give the ball back to Pitt with 3:43 left on the clock.

Kidd comes in and boots his best kick yet, 51 yards, and it forces Boyd to run out of bounds after he makes the fair catch.  Pitt ball at the 19, clock at 3:34.

Ok, Pitt comes to the line in the offset I, with two wideouts on the low side.  It’s a fake to Conner, he hits Boyd in the near side flat, caught, he turns the corner and gets 11 yards.  1st down Pitt at the 30.

Pitt is lining up their next play when the wideouts on the far side jump. Flags, false start.  Now 1st and 15 from the 25.

Pitt to the gun, he snaps it and keeps it, he tries the far side, but Iowa stuffs it, and Bower drops him for no gain, but a flag flies, and the booth things Bower got the facemask.

Nope, holding Pittsburg, now a 1st and 25 from the 15!

Voytik keeps the ball again, goes far side, and picks up 3 yards, but gets clobbered for his troubles.  2nd and 22,

Pitt, snapping the ball, he has time in the pocket, and he just floats it near side for Boyd, caught at the 32, and he takes off and gets it out to the 42, 24 yards, and a Pitt 1st down at the 43.

Once again, Iowa making this passing attack way better than it is.

From the gun full time now, he snaps it, looks middle, comes back with the far side dump off, caught, Draper with the stop, 7 yards, 2nd and 3 from the 49.

Iowa blitzes on this play, but the pass gets off to the far side, it’s low, but he goes down to get it, good, 10 yards, and a Pitt 1st down at the Iowa 41.

Throwing once again, it looks like a wounded duck coming toward the near sideline, caught, 4 yards.  Pitt calls timeout with :37 seconds left in the 2nd.

After the break, Pitt again to the gun, he fires it middle, caught, but Gair drills him, 6 yards, and 1st down at the Iowa 31.

Pitt to the line quickly, and Iowa has seen enough of the passing, so they present the raider package, and they twist all 4 guys, and Pitt loses track of Ott and he drills Voytik from behind, a 7 yard sack!!!

Pitt is forced to burn their last timeout, with 17 seconds left.  2nd and 17 from the Iowa 38!

Pitt right back to the gun with 4 wide.  He snaps it, looks, then tries the near side dump off, but it’s dumped into the ground, no good.  3rd and 17.

Iowa again to the raider, they get pressure right away and have a shot at him, but he steps out of the tackle and rolls to the far side, and then lets it go, it’s caught and out of bounds at the Iowa 15, a Pitt 1st down, but there are only 6 seconds left on the clock.

It’s a 33 yard kick - the snap is slow, but he gets it up, and the kick is good.  Iowa trails 17-7 with 2 seconds left on the clock.

Pitt squibs the kick, and Iowa falls on it to kill the clock on the 1st half.  

Iowa fans, not feeling good.  We have not been able to stop the running game, and we are making the Pitt passing game look way better than it is.  Your scribe takes the mic in our NYC game watch bar, to announce that the t-shirts are once again on sale, and let’s all hope the Iowa coaches can make those ‘halftime adjustments.’

Those yardage totals - 262 for Pitt - and 128 for Iowa.  We only had 5 snaps in the 2nd quarter.

Soon, a plate of nachos with grilled chicken arrived, and for a few minutes, we did not have to think about the football game.  

But then we return to Heinz Field, (strange, we did not put ketchup on our nachos), and the Hawkeyes are kicking off.  As is always the case when you are trailing at the half and the other team starts with the ball - the Hawkeyes must get a stop.

Koehn gives them no return, Pitt ball at their 25.

Pitt opens in the offset I formation, with a wideout on each side. The far side wideout goes into motion, as if for a jet sweep, but he scoots by and the ball goes to Conner, he heads straight forward up the far hash, is untouched as he gets through the LOS, and then he breaks out of an arm tackle and then drags a couple guys another 5 or 7 yards, finally going down at the Pitt 49.  24 yards.  And for Iowa fans, a sinking feeling from the start.

Pitt now has Conner as the single back, with two wideouts stacked up on the low side.  Once again, he gets it, this time gunning for the near corner, he gets a block and turns it, and picks up 8 more yards, and Pitt is at the Iowa 43, 2nd and 2.

Same formation, but from the near hash, the wideouts are now on the left, or high (or strong) side of the field.  But it’s James in the backfield, he gets the ball and tries the left side, but Iowa strings it out and drops him for no gain.  3rd and 2.

Things slow down for a minute as Spearman is a bit banged up, and soon we take a timeout. 

After the break, a shot of the Pitt campus, and even that is dead.  

OK Pitt is back on the field in the I formation, with Conner back there, just one wideout on the low side.  King has the coverage on him, right across the line.  Voytik drops back, and then floats a pass into the near flat, caught, 4 yards, and Pitt has a 1st down at the Iowa 39.

Once again to the I formation, with two guys stacked up top side. The back wideout goes into motion, but then stops right behind the tight end outside the left tackle.  It goes to Conner, he tries the near side, the Hawks string it out but he still gets 3, 2nd and 7 from the Iowa 36.

Conner departs and James returns as tailback.  He gets the ball and tries going straight ahead, but Alston knifes in there and drops him for no gain! 3rd and 7.

Pitt to the gun with Conner to the QB’s left, two wideouts left of the line and one to the right.  Iowa shows the raider package, the QB snaps the ball, drops back, and then quickly fires it down the far hash, but the only person who has a shot at it is Lomax, who gets a hand on it but can’t bring it in, 4th down!

From there, Pitt decides to punt the ball, and it lands at the Iowa 5, and Pitt downs it at the 6.  A long way to go, let’s see what Iowa has done with the halftime to kick the offense into gear.

And wait a minute - #16 is running onto the field!  C.J, aka Sunshine, has entered the game!

Sunshine huddles the guys up and gives his orders, and Iowa presents the power I formation, only one wideout on the high side.  It goes to Mark, he heads straight ahead to pick up 4, 2nd and 6.

Same formation, this time Mark tries to go right, but he hits a wall and only picks up about 2, so it’s 3rd and 4.

C.J. to the gun with Damon to his left - he has two wideouts on the low side, and one high, but then KMM goes into motion, starting to cut behind the line, then he turns and comes back set just outside it.  C.J. snaps the ball and drops back, and Pitt is bringing the blitz from the far side, but Sunshine calmly steps up and fires a rope to KMM, caught, and out of bounds, 7 yards, and an Iowa 1st down!  

Iowa back to the I formation, a wideout on each side.  Sunshine snaps it, drops back about 6 yards, then plants his right foot and then he fires it deep down the middle of the field, as the camera pans we see Powell has a step, and as the ball comes down, he stretches out his right hand, snags it, and pulls it into his body at the 30, across the 25, and finally down at the Pitt 18!!  63 yards, and a definite SportsCenter Top 10 play for Powell!!! And Iowa is in the red zone, ready to strike!!!

The I formation now, with Jordan at tailback, he gets the ball, and he gets around the far corner to pick up 7, 2nd and 3 from the Pitt 11!

Canzeri is now in there as the solo tailback, he gets it again and again tries the far side, but Pitt stuffs it, and he gets only 1.  3rd and 2 form the 10 yard line.

The Hawks go to the heavy tight end set, with Mark alone at the tailback spot.  Sunshine changes the play at the line.  It goes to Mark, he starts right up the middle, a Pitt defender dives at him and misses, and Mark explodes through the line, across the 5, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  The freshman Ellis comes in and the extra point is good, and Iowa trails it 17-14 with 8:17 left in the 3rd quarter.  A new ball game!!!

Defense, let’s get a stop!!!

Koehn, no return, the kick actually lands about 7 yards behind the back of the end zone.

Pitt starts with the offset I, and a wideout on each side.  It’s not a handoff, the QB pulls it down and starts rolling to the near side, and then he fires it down the near sideline, but Boyd shakes off Mabin to make the catch and out of bounds, 39 yards, and Pitt is at the Iowa 36.

Shellshocked are the fans, hard to say about the Iowa defense.  Pitt then hands the ball to Conner, but Perry wraps him up and drops him after just a yard.  2nd and 9.

Conner gets it again, the stretch play to the far side, but Iowa strings it out, and drops him after just another yard, 3rd and 8!

Pitt to the gun with Conner to his left, two wideouts on the near side, one on the far.  Iowa to the raider package.  The QB snaps the ball and Iowa blitzes, Voytik gets flushed and starts rolling to the near side, as he gets close to the sideline he has a Hawkeye in his face, so he lets the ball fly toward the end zone, but it is too deep and his receiver catches it - out of bounds.  4th down, and the Iowa defense has held!

No, wait.  The officials have called a personal foul on Iowa.  Where?

And we see the replay - the player in the QB’s face was King, who leaped as the QB threw the ball, and his hand comes down near the QB’s helmet - but the replay shows, by the time his arm came down, the QB had moved on by.  A terrible call.  And it gives Pitt 4 new downs, with a 1st down at the Iowa 19.

But, flags fly as Pitt is lining up, that’s a false start, 1st and 15 from the 24.  

Pitt then hands the ball to Conner, he tries the near side, but Iowa strings it, and Lowdermilk flies in and drills the tailback for a 1 yard gain! That is his 3rd carry in a row where the Iowa defense has only let him get 3 feet.  2nd and 14.

Pitt now fires it to the end zone for Boyd, he and King both go for up for it, and the pass flies out the back of the end zone.  3rd and 14.

From the gun, Pitt has only one wideout spread out to the near side, everyone else is close to the line.  He snaps it, drops back, then he fires it for the far side, his receiver is open but he has to dive for the ball, he makes the catch but he is about 2.5 yards short of the 1st down.  Pitt doesn't even consider it, the kicker comes in and almost misses the 29 yard kick, but it’s good, and Pitt leads 20-14 with 4:54 left in the 3rd.

Parker catches the kickoff at the 5 yard line, he gets it out to about the 28 before he goes down, and Iowa starts with the ball.  C.J. returns.

Iowa to the power I formation.  It goes to Mark, he tries the middle, but it only gets 1.  2nd and 9.

From the I again, Sunshine looks and sees the corner giving Powell a lot of space on the far side, so he snaps it, turns, and fires, caught, and Powell turns on the afterburner to race to the far corner, he gets there before he gets pushed out, 14 yards, and an Iowa 1st down at the 41!

Iowa to the single back, single wideout on the low side.  Sunshine fakes the handoff, pulls it down, and rolls to the far side, he points to Duzey and then flips it to him, caught, 6 yards, and 2nd and 4 from the 47.

Iowa back to the power I formation.  Sunshine, looking at the sideline, then barking out the play.  Canzeri gets the ball and tries the near corner, gets a block and turns it, 8 yards, and an Iowa 1st down at the Pitt 45!

A Pitt player is down, so we take another break with 2:57 left in the 3rd.

Iowa to the I formation, but now a wideout on each side. Sunshine fakes the handoff and again rolls to the far side, he is looking deep but takes the under, caught, Hamilton, diving to snag it, but as he gets up a flag flies, and Hamilton is clapping his hands and pointing toward the Pitt bench, cause he was held on the play, and that is a 10 yard penalty, with an automatic 1st down, and Iowa was at the Pitt  35!

Power I formation, Mark gets it and tries the middle, but gets just 1.  2nd and 9.

Power I again, Sunshine fakes the handoff, stands, surveys, then he fires it deep down the far sideline, where we see the defender is probably committing pass interference on VandeBerg, but no flags fly, and the pass flies to the ground.  3rd and 9, and Iowa is late to get the play in, so as Sunshine is making his call at the line, Iowa has to call timeout.  Somewhere, KOK is laughing. Clock at 1:16 of the 3rd.

After the break, C.J is under center, with Bullock at tailback, two wideouts on the far side, and one on the near.  He snaps it, hands it to Damon, he tries the near side, but gets pushed out of bounds after just 1 yard.  

Iowa fans, once again question the play calling for Greg Davis.  Bullock has not shown any ability to pick up 10 yards running, so why do you call that play?

The booth can’t believe it either, as things seem a bit chippy between Bullock and the Pitt players on the sideline.  C.J leaves the field, and the Iowa punt team comes on.

No wait, it’s the kicking team.  From the 34, this is a 52 yard field goal, we only go back to the field as Iowa is snapping the ball, and the snap is good, the hold, good, and Koehn puts his leg into it, it’s up, it’s long enough, and it’s good!  Right down the middle, and Iowa has climbed to within 3, it’s 20-17 with :48 seconds left in the 3rd!!!

Pumped up as he is, he gives Pitt - no return.  1st down at the 25.  

Pitt huddles up and then emerges in the offset I.  Pitt again fakes the jet sweep, and Conner gets the ball, tries to go up the middle, but LTP gets his hands on him and pulls him down after 3 yards. 2nd and 7.

Conner gets the ball again, and he tries for the far corner, but out of nowhere King flies in and takes out his legs for no gain, and then a flag comes in.

It’s holding on Pitt, and that makes it 2nd and 17, with no time left on the clock, and we go to the break.
Come on Iowa defense - you have been substituting defensive lineman more this week, let’s see if it pays of in the 4th!

Somehow, the down is now 3rd and 17, and soon we learn why.  Because the penalty happened as the clock expired, Pitt had to run an untimed down.  Voytik tried to run with it and Iowa stopped it for no gain, so we get the 3rd and 17 to open the 4th.  A play we shall never see.

Pitt is in the gun, Conner to his left, one wideout spread out near side, everyone else bunched up near the line.  Iowa again to the raider look.  Pitt snaps it, Iowa blitzes, and the QB has to hurry, and his pass is behind his target and Draper is there to make sure, 4th down, 17 yards to go, and Pitt has to punt from their 18 yard line!

McCarron, who had not played until this week, is back there, and he makes the catch at the Iowa 40, makes the gunner miss, and jives and shakes his way out to the 48, a 1st down Iowa almost at midfield!

Iowa comes out in the I formation, a wideout on each side.  The booth is discussing the possibility of a shot down the field from this position.  

And sure enough, Sunshine keeps it, looks, and then fires it deep down the far sideline, as it comes down we see Smith has a step, and then he is down, as the corner has tackled him with the ball in the air, and THAT is pass interference, an Iowa 1st down at the Pitt 37!

Iowa to the I formation with Jordan at tailback, he gets the ball and is trying for the far side, he leaps over one guy but the second guy nails him, and it loses 2 yards.  2nd and 12.

Iowa to the solo tailback, heavy tight end set.  Sunshine drops back, then takes the under to Duzey, caught, 5 yards, a 3rd and 7.

C.J. to the gun with Damon to his right, two wideouts high, and one low.  C.J steps forward to make his call, then back to the gun, finally he snaps it, and Pitt blitzes, Iowa seems to have it, but then a late guy comes up the middle untouched, and C.J. can’t step into the throw, it’s off his back foot but it is a frozen rope to the near hash, where Hamilton reaches up in traffic and makes the catch!  10 yards, an Iowa 1st down at the Pitt 24!

Iowa back to the power I formation.  It goes to Mark, he tries the near side, but only gets 1.  2nd and 9.

Same formation, C.J. snaps it, fakes the handoff, pressure comes right up the gut but he flips it to Kenny, caught, 5 yards, he loses the ball but only after laying on the ground.  3rd and 4.

Sunshine to the gun with Damon to his right, he gets the snap off with 3 seconds on the play clock, he steps back, then takes the quick strike to Hillyer, caught, it looks like he is on the yellow line, he goes back a yard, but then pulls a defender forward and finally falls down with the ball across the 15 yard line - and they mark it at the 15.  

It’s reviewed, and the play stands as called, wrongly.  Iowa to the power I.  

But it’s a QB sneak, and C.J. plows forward for 2 when he needed just 1, an Iowa 1st down at the Pitt 13!

Iowa to the solo tailback but three tight end look.  It goes to Mark, and he heads straight ahead to grab 5 yards, a 2nd and 5 from the Pitt 8!

Mark, one more time, straight ahead, he makes a shifty cut to get to the 5 but gets popped, still, 3 yards, now a 3rd and 2 from the 5.

Iowa to the power I formation.  It goes to Mark, he again heads straight ahead, he gets hit but keep moving, and he dives forward and holds the ball across the yellow line, an Iowa 1st down - but the officials again screw up the mark, so it’s 4th and 1.

Iowa has to call timeout, and Kirk does not look happy on the sideline.  Can’t blame him.

After the break, Iowa comes to the line in the super heavy I - no wideouts in the game.  It goes to Mark, straight ahead again, this time he dives across the yellow line, an Iowa 1st and goal from the Pitt 1!!!

But Iowa takes too long to get the play in, and we have to burn our final timeout with the clock at 7:42 of the 4th.

Iowa, again super heavy, again Mark, again ahead, but he gets nothing.  2nd and goal from the 1.

Once more, with feeling, C.J, snaps it, hands it to Mark, he follows the left side of the Hawkeye line, makes one cut and then spins into the end zone, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  The kick is good, and the Hawkeyes lead it 24-20 with 6:56 left in the game!!!  A 13 play, 52 yard drive, that took 7:47 off of the game clock.  

Now defense, finish them!!!

Koehn, no return.

Pitt to the solo tailback, Conner.  He gets it and tries the middle, he gets two but I am not sure where.  2nd and 8.

Pitt now drops back, he has time, and he floats if for the far side, but Mabin reaches up and deflects the pass, and Lowdermilk dives to pick it off!!!  No, the officials say it hit the turf before he hauled it in.  We never do see a clear replay, it probably should have been reviewed.  Now 3rd and 8.

Pitt to the gun, as Iowa brings the safety blitz, the QB floats it for the near sideline, where his receiver makes the catch as he is falling out of bounds, it looks no good, but the officials call it a catch, and we see in the replay he gets one foot in bounds before he falls down out of bounds.  It’s 22 yards, and a Pitt 1st down at their 49.

Pitt is snapping the ball on the next play, but the whistles blow, and it is reviewed, and it’s upheld.  Good thing it’s not the NFL, the ball does seem to move as he lands out of bounds.

Pitt now tries Boyd on a jet sweep, and Iowa completely blows it up, King drills him for a 2 yard loss!

2nd and 12 from the 47, Pitt now to the gun, and Iowa is giving the wideouts a lot of room on the far side.  The QB snaps it, then floats it that way, caught, Boyd, he steps out at the Iowa 41 with another Pitt 1st down.

Iowa fans are getting nervous as the clock is now at 4:43 of the 4th.

Pitt to the I formation, Conner gets it and gets 5 going straight ahead. 2nd and 5.

Conner one more time, about 3 yards, 3rd and about 2.

Conner again, he slips out of a tackle to pick up 3, and a Pitt 1st down at the Iowa 29.

The clock stops with 3:02 of the 4th.  Iowa fans, getting very antsy.

The clock starts again when the ball is set, and Pitt comes to the line in the I formation, but they go to the well one too many times, and Iowa knows Conner is coming, and they stuff him in the backfield for a 1 yard loss!

Conner departs as Pitt goes to the gun, the clock is at 2:05, then it dips under 2:00 as Iowa again presents the raider package.  Iowa blitzes the safety again, and that seems to make the QB nervous, he floats it deep down the far sideline, but no good.  3rd and 10.

The clock has stopped with 1:50 left in the 4th.  Pitt huddles up.  They emerge in the gun, again with the wideouts bunched up just outside the line on the far side.  Iowa again blitzes the safety, so Voytik flips it far side for Boyd, he seems open, but Mabin flies in to knock it away!  4th and 10!

The clock has stopped at 1:44.  Pitt, again to the gun, the same look, Iowa again to the raider.  The ball is snapped, Iowa again blitzes, and the QB is under pressure so he has to throw it off his back foot, he his targeting Boyd again, and once again, Mabin is there to break it up as they go to the ground, and it’s Iowa ball with 1:37 left on the clock!!!

There is a timeout with the change of possession, as Iowa just needs to get one 1st down to ice this game. More or less.

Iowa to the power I formation from their 29.  It goes to Mark, he takes it and heads for the far side, across the far hash he cuts it upfield, across the 30, into space, across the 35, the 40, the 45, and finally caught and downed at the 48!!!  Pitt uses their first timeout with 1:30 left on the clock.

Mark, once more, tries the left side, but gets hit, no gain.  Pitt calls timeout with 1:25 left.  

Once again to Mark, the middle this time, about 2 yards, 3rd and 8.  Pitt uses their last timeout with 1:20 left.

From the I formation, C.J keeps it, and he rolls to the near side, really just trying to kill time, but he finally heads upfield to pick up about 3 yards, but he stays in bounds, and the clock continues to run.  

Iowa lets the play clock run out as the game clock ticks down, we take the delay of game with 30 seconds left.  On comes the Iowa punt team.

Pitt brings the pressure but Kidd gets the kick away, Boyd is back there and we hear about his one punt return TD, but the Iowa gunners get there so he must make a fair catch at the 20, with 25 seconds left in the game.

From the gun, Iowa only rushes 3, so the QB takes the under throw down the far sideline, caught, Boyd, 16 yards, 1st down Pitt at the 36.

The clock stops with 19 seconds left.

Iowa only rushes 4 this time, but they get pressure, so the QB must throw it off his back foot, it floats down the near hash where Boyd again makes the catch, but the Hawks get him down in bounds, with 11 seconds left.  The clock stops to reset the chains, but then it starts up again, and Pitt spikes the ball with 9 seconds left, 1st and 10, from the Iowa 49.

From the gun with 4 wideouts in the game, Voytik snaps it, pumps to the far side, and then lets it go down the far hash, but he overshoots his target but not the Iowa defense, and Gair picks it off and that does it!  Final, Iowa 24, Pitt 20!!!!!

And across the land, the Beer Song rings out, as Iowa emerges from the non-con season with a 3-1 mark, and signs that things are beginning to gel on the offensive side of the ball.  And this may indeed be one of those Iowa teams that accelerates through October, and leaves no mercy in November.  

But as good as it was to get the road win, the Hawks still have things they have to work on if we are going to be successful in the weeks ahead.

Namely, tightening up the pass defense - Pitt only had 250 total yards, but considering where they were before this week, that was 2.5 times their season average.  Now that we seem to be committed to cycling in the defensive linemen, that should improve our greater backfield pressure, and by having our expanded depth on the back end (expanded due to injuries and bogus suspensions), things should be looking up there too.  The linebackers need to be aware of those tailbacks out of the backfield, and keep up their good work with the run defense.

I said Iowa would hold Pitt to 40% of their rushing total, it wasn’t quite that dominating, we held them to 53% of it, but things did look much better in the 2nd half.  Keep those guys fresh up front, and keep working in the likes of Bower and the other young linebackers to keep those guys going too.  Keep building the defensive depth, as we will need it as the season goes on.

The Hawks rushed for 133 yards, still not where we want to be, but signs of it did emerge, again in the 2nd half.  If the Hawks are going to continue with the more aggressive passing game, that will only help the tailbacks find more room to work.

Be it C.J or Jake, it was good to see the Iowa coaching staff begin to open things up.  I think it is looking more like C.J. starting this week, and we shall see what he can do with his opportunity.  But what we saw from Jake last week was also a good sign.  

So the Hawks got the win, they can feel good about that, but the coaches can harp on a lot of fine tuning that must be done.  There are really no secrets once you get into conference season.  And here we are.

Week 5 Preview: Purdue

And so it begins - with Our Rival.

For those new to the Notes, Purdue of course is not, but the Big Ten tried to make it that way a few years back.

When Nebraska joined the conference, the B1G wanted to have competitive balance between the Legends and Leaders divisions.  So you had Michigan in the Legends with Iowa, while Ohio State was in the Leaders.

But the Big Ten promised the teams that they would keep the longstanding, passionate rivalries intact, by making sure one of your cross-division games (you play everyone in your division, and just two in the other one, rotating them through the seasons) would be locked into that rival.

So they went through the teams, made sure Michigan and Ohio State would play every year, Wisconsin and the Rodents, and so on.

And when they were done, they had two teams left.  Iowa, and Purdue.

So they said, ‘that is your protected cross over game’, and just like that, the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers became hated, despised, rivals.

Of course, when the Best Rivalry in Division 1, Iowa/Wisconsin, had to take 2 years off from the gridiron, it showed the folly for what it was.

But now, in the much better Big Ten West and East, there is no guaranteed cross division game.  You play everyone in your division, and rotate two (starting in 2016, three) teams from the other side.  This year, the Hawks get Maryland and Indiana.

And of course, now Purdue is in the Big Ten West with all the actual western B1G schools, so Iowa will play them every year, a division game.  Our Rival.

Purdue is off to a 2-2 start.  They opened with a 43-34 win over Western Michigan, but in week two, their home tour of directional Michigan schools had Central Michigan come into West Lafayette, and shocked Purdue 38-17.  CMU didn’t do really anything spectacular offensively, but they were +2 on  the turnover battle.  

Off that loss, Purdue faced off against Notre Dame, but from the Colts home in Indianapolis, and the Irish stuffed the Boilermaker rushing attack for just 56 net yards, and the Irish pulled away to a 30-14 win.

Last week, Purdue continued with the directional tour, hosting Southern Illinois, and they used two SIU first quarter turnovers to jump to a 17-0, and then eventual 28-3 lead at halftime.  From there, they cruised to a 35-13 win, to even their record at 2-2.

As the record would seem to indicate, Purdue is pretty middle of the road when it comes to offense and defense.  We shall start with their offense.  

It starts with sophomore QB Etling, #5.  To date, he has completed 78 of 136 passes, (57.4%) for 739 yards, with 6 tds, but also 4 interceptions, and he has been sacked 7 times.  Of note, he had two interceptions in each of the Boilermaker losses.  

He is more of a pocket passing QB, his only running success came in the second game, when he had 10 carries for 53 yards.  Of course Purdue lost that one.  

The backup QB, Appleby, played a bit in the second game, where he was 7 for 17 for 78 yards.  But unless Etling goes down, don’t expect to see him in the game.

Purdue’s top rusher, Mostert, #8, and a senior, has 67 carries for 293, with 1 td.  But he got 146 of those in the first game, and since then his totals have been 53, 47, and 47.  So look for Iowa to key on him and take him away.

The second tailback, Hunt, #1 and also a senior, has 31 carries for 179 yards, with 1 td.  

Both these guys are about 5’10 and 185 pounds, so quite a difference from last week.  They better hope they don’t run into Misters Davis and LTP too often.

But - both guys can also catch the ball out of the backfield.  Linebackers, be aware.

When it comes to downfield targets, the top catcher is Anthrop, #33, a junior, with 12 catches for 204 yards,  (17.0 per) with 2 tds.  

The next best receiver is a tight end, Sinz, #84, and a senior.  For him, 16 catches for 123 yards, with 1 touchdown.  

That puts the Boilermaker passing attack at #96 nationally, and rushing attack at #89th.  Of course Iowa’s offensive stats are not much better, but our defense is. If we can shut down the rushing game, the Iowa defensive line will be able to tee off on the Purdue QB,

The Purdue defense gives up 149 rushing yards, and 230 passing yards per game.  But those numbers are going to start moving up.  This week, in fact, as Purdue allows teams to covert 3rd downs at a 47% clip.  Look for the balanced running, controlled passing, with more then a couple deep shots, to keep the Iowa offense on the field for more than 35 minutes in this game.

However, the special teams could be interesting this week.  

Purdue is averaging 24.6 return yards on kickoffs, good for #3 in the B1G, and #28 nationally.  

Koehn, keep doing what you have been doing, booting those kicks deep into the zone, with no return.

But - Purdue gives up 26.6 yards per kickoff return, which is dead last in the Big Ten, and #120 out of 125 overall.  Hello Powell, let’s make the catch cleanly, and see what you can do.

Purdue is also averaging 16.7 yards on punt returns, which is good for #2 Big Ten, and #19 overall.  That is 10 more yards than Iowa’s average, so the punt coverage team must stay in their lanes, and gang tackle.  Iowa should control the offensive and defensive lines, we can’t let Purdue have life via the punt return.

I expect the new found downfield passing success to have the Iowa rushing game in full beast mode from the start.  This week, they will finally top the 200 yard mark.

And that will help the Iowa QB use play action to target those medium and deep routes.  Yes, there will still be some dump offs, and that’s ok if the play downfield is not there.  But Iowa has shown it, and if C.J. is in fact starting, look for the Iowa offense to be more aggressive from the first drive.

I am calling for Mark to have two short rushing tds, Jordan one from outside 30 yards, and for C.J to throw two scores, one longer than 50 yards.  

That would be 35 points right there, and the Iowa defense is going to hold true to their average.  Final, Iowa 38, Purdue 17.


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