October 15, 2015

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2015 Hawkeye Football Game Notes - Week 7: Iowa @ Northwestern, 10/15/15

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2015 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 6-0, 2-0 Big Ten, 2-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 17th up 5
USA Today: 17th up 6
College Football Playoff:

September 5th, v. Illinois State WIN 31-14
September 12th, @ Iowa State, WIN 31-17
September 19th, v. Pittsburgh, WIN 27-24
September 26th, v. North Texas, WIN 62-16
October 3rd, @ •Wisconsin, WIN 10-6
October 10th, v. •Illinois, Win 29-20
October 17th, @ •Northwestern, 12:00 pm, ABC/ESPN2* ABC in NYC
October 31st, v. Maryland, TBD
November 7th, @ Indiana,TBD
November 14th, v. •Minnesota, 8:00 pm, BTN
November 21st, v. •Purdue, TBD
November 27th, @ •Nebraska, TBD

•Big Ten West Division Game

*Times Eastern

Scouting next opponent: Terps bye week, Oct 24, Penn State @ Maryland, 3:30 pm, TBD

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
October 17th, 2015  Iowa @ #20 Northwestern 5-1, 1-1 Big Ten, 1-0 B1G West
Previous Meetings: 76, Iowa leads 49-24-3
Last Meeting: 2014, Wildcats 7 Hawkeyes 48

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa -2, OU 41

Turnover Margin: +5,  B1G #4, FBS #20

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2015 
Total   409.3  Pass 208.2  Rush 201.2  Scoring 31.7
B1G    #5              #9                #4                    #2
FBS    #62            #85              #35                  #49
Total   310.3  Pass 232.3  Rush 78.0    Scoring 16.2
B1G    #7              #9                 #2                   #5
FBS    #23            #76               #5                  #18
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:
Iowa                   6-0, 2-0 B1G, 2-0 B1G West
Northwestern   5-1, 1-1 B1G, 1-0 B1G West
Illinois           4-2, 1-1 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Minnesota   4-2, 1-1 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Wisconsin   4-2, 1-1 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Purdue           1-5, 0-2 B1G, 0-1 B1G West
Nebraska           2-4, 0-2 B1G, 0-2 B1G West
Week 6: Illinois

(no play by play this week, as your scribe is very busy.  but as we hate Illinois with a passion, we really didn’t want to type ‘Illinois’, ‘Illini’, or ‘Fighting Illini’ a few dozen times.  the play by play returns for the Mildcat game) 

So instead we will lead with the performance of Jordan Canzeri.  

When I wrote last week that ‘Jordan and Co’ would rush for 240 yards, I thought that was about 22 carries for Jordan, with another 10 to 15 thrown in by the other two or three tailbacks (Jr did not dress apparently), and that would get us to the 200+.

Nope, all Jordan did was carry the ball for an all time Iowa record 43 times, for 256 yards, with 1 rushing touchdown.  That, on the 75 yard carry one play after Illinois had climbed within 3 points.  Oh, and he also threw in another touchdown on that 17 yard screen pass, a score that put Iowa ahead 13-7 (13 as Koehn missed another extra point).  

That total is the 3rd highest rushing day in Iowa history.  

And in the 4th quarter, again with Illinois just 3 points back, Iowa went on a 12 play drive that took 6:53 off the clock - and the first 11 of those plays were handoffs to Jordan.  He got us from the Iowa 25 to the Illinois 16.  

That 3rd down play was the one where C.J. had Smith the Younger alone in the back of the end zone, but his pass was just behind him.  So Koehn made the score 26-20 from 34 yards out, and then on the very first play Illinois ran after that, Hesse forced Vaughn to fumble, and Jewel fell on it, and Koehn’s 3rd field goal put the game out of reach.

For his monster effort, Jordan Canzeri is your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

C.J. 15 for 31 for 200 yards, and two touchdowns - the screen to Jordan, and the pass to Kittle, who has now scored touchdowns in the last 3 games.  If Duzey does ever make it back this year, the Hawks will have weapons all over the field for C.J.

That does now include Smith the Younger.  All he did was haul in his first 4 collegiate passes, for 118 yards, with a long of 49 (that broken play where C.J. was sprinting for the far sideline, and he just heaved the ball as far as he could, and Smith was there to snag it).  It’s too bad he did not get that first touchdown reception, (and he did drop a 1st down catch in the red zone), but for his work Saturday, he become the first true freshman receiver to go over the 100 yard mark in the entire Kirk era.

Assuming Smith the Elder comes back after the bye week, we could have deep threats on the outside with the Smiths, VandeBerg working the slot for a 1st down with every catch, and the Iowa tight ends running down the seams or running free on crossing routes.  C.J. may be ready for his first monster game in November.  500 plus with like 5 tds.

And then there is the Iowa defense.  Illinois, 26 rushes, 46 net yards.

Yes, we now have given up a rushing touchdown, the last Division 1 school to do so.  But it was from 1 yard out.

True, the D did give up 317 passing yards, but there were also at least two bogus pass interference calls on Iowa, and of course when Illinois tried that halfback pass, Mabin picked it off.  

We took away the running game, making Lunt beat us, and in the end, he could not.  

A recipe the Hawks will surely look to deploy again very soon.

In special teams, Kidd averaged over 46 yards on his punts, another excellent day, he may be the most improved player on the Hawks this year.  Koehn was true on all 3 field goals - he just pushed the first extra point to the right.  

So it was not the rout that I think a lot of Iowa fans had counted on, but hey, we have played 6 games, and we have won all of them.  That is the goal, done only once before with Kirk as the coach.

But we did lose another key player.

On punt coverage, Ott took a weird step, and now he is lost for the season with an ACL tear in his knee.  

Others on the Iowa D line will have to step up, but that is a big loss for an Iowa defense that was playing at levels not seen in quite a while.  

So Iowa got past the trap game, and they can now head to the friendly confines of Chicago, where somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% of the fans Saturday will be in the black and gold.  

Week 7: Northwestern

So the Cats are off to a 5-1 start on the year. Let’s take a look at how they got there.

They opened by hosting then 21st ranked Stanford.  The Cardinal were just 8-5 in 2014, not near the standard they had been at of late.

And this was a game that looked like a west coast team that had travelled two time zones.  

Stanford could only muster 240 total yards, and they lost two turnovers, as the Cats won a snooze fest, 16-6.  The only td in the game, a 42 yard QB run by the Wildcat QB making his first start.

In week 2, the Mildcats entertained Eastern Illinois.  This was never in doubt, as the Cats racked up 498 yards, to just 138 for EIU, and the visitors fell 41-0.

For week 3, Northwestern took part in the mini ACC/BigTen Challenge, as they traveled to Duke (this while Illinois was 8 miles away at North Carolina).

This was a tight game throughout, that was a 12-10 Northwestern lead at the 14 minute mark of the 4th.  

But then the Cats got a 55 yard td run, and a few minutes later, they covered a fumble on a Blue Devils punt return, and the visitors escaped with a 19-10 win.

Those 16 points given up through the first 3 games, the best the Mildcats had done since 1948.

The Cats were now ranked 17th, as they entertained the Cardinals of Ball State.  

This one was not quite as easy, as the Cats were down 10-7 at the half, mainly due to 3 Northwestern turnovers.  But they outscored the Cardinals 17-9 in the second to win it 24-19. 

Now ranked 16th, the Mildcats hosted the Golden Rodents to open the Big Ten slate.

By this point the Rodents were verging on train wreck, and they lost two turnovers, and only gained 173 yards, as the Cats pulled away to the 27-0 win.

Then last week, the 13th ranked Cats visited the Big House.  

And the Cats seemed a bit unnerved by it, as they let Michigan bring the opening kickoff back 95 yards, and the Mildcats were down 7-0 after just 13 seconds.

The Cats then went 3 and out, and it took Michigan 7 plays to go 59 yards and put them down 14-0.

With 2:35 left in the 1st, Jake ran one in from just 2 yards out, and the rout was on.  

The Wolverine defense only gave up 168 total yards, as Michigan cruised to the 38-0 pasting of the Cats.  That game also featured a 37 yard pick-6 by the Michigan defense.  

So that leaves the Cats at 5-1, and now ranked 20th in the AP poll, as another very good defense and ball control offense visit Kinnick East.

The Mildcats are lead by redshirt freshman QB Thorson, #18.

He, a dual threat quarterback, as the Cats have liked to feature over the past several years.

But not such a threat when he puts the ball up.  To date, 77 out of 140, for 817 yards.  That is just 10.6 yards per completed pass - not exactly downfield.  But per attempt he is at 5.8 yards.   He has 4 passing touchdowns, but also 4 interceptions.  The 140 yards per game he averages is dead last in the Big Ten, and #117 out of 128 overall

He has 4 rushing touchdowns on the year, and his high for carries is 8 for 68 against Stanford.  

But against Michigan, only 3 carries for -4 yards, as the Michigan defense totally took away the Wildcat running game.

The top tailback for the Cats is sophomore Jackson, #21.  To date, 151 carries for 661 yards, with just 1 touchdown.  Against Michigan he could only manage 12 carries for 25 net yards.  He does have 10 catches out of the backfield for 65 yards.

So the game plan will be simple for the Iowa defense.  Stop the run, and make the below average passing attack beat us.  Not likely.

When Iowa has the ball, we will again try to get the running game going.  It does seem that Jordan will not have all the carries this week, he will be spelled some.  The Cats had been good against the run, but then Michigan racked up 201 on the ground in their win.  So the Cats can be had there.

That Cat defense is only allowing about 139 passing yards per game, which is top 10 ranked, but Jake was 17 for 23 for 179 against them.  C.J. is more of a threat to complete long passes downfield from both play action, and on broken plays where he has to scramble.  If Iowa gets the ground game going, C.J. will do better than double the Wildcat average in passing defense.

There is also news this week that the Cats top corner is out.  So look for C.J. to attack the backup.  

Their kicker is 10 for 14 on field goals, and the punter nets 37.7 per kick, so the punting is a push.  Maybe though, this is the week for King to take one back.  

If the Mildcats had given Michigan a game, I would feel a bit more apprehensive about this one.  But they did not, and now they return home, to a stadium that will look in many sections like an Iowa home game.  

And we have every reason to think the Hawkeye defense can severely cut the Wildcat rushing offense (even with Ott out), and their QB has shown us nothing close to being able to carry a team through the air.

Sorry Cats.  Your loss to Michigan now turns into a losing streak.  Hawkeyes 30, Mildcats 16.




  1. Dave, in the section where you were writing about Northwestern playing Duke, you wrote "But then the Cats got a 55 yard td run, and a few minutes later, they covered a fumble on a Tar Heels punt return, and the visitors escaped with a 19-10 win."

    Who was playing whom where?

    Other than that, great job!