December 3, 2015

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2015 Hawkeye Football Game Notes - Big Ten Championship Game: Michigan State @ Iowa 12/3/15

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2015 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 12-0, 8-0 Big Ten, 6-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 4th  down 1
USA Today: 3rd  same (1st place vote!)
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, WIN 40-10
October 31st, v. Maryland, WIN 31-15
November 7th, @ Indiana, WIN 35-27
November 14th, v. •Minnesota, WIN 40-35
November 21st, v. •Purdue, WIN 40-20
November 27th, @ •Nebraska, WIN 28-20

December 5th, Big Ten Title Game, Michigan State @ Iowa, 8:17 pm, FOX

•Big Ten West Division Game

*Times Eastern

Scouting next opponent: TBD

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
December 5th, 2015  Iowa v. #5 Michigan State Spartans, 11-1, 7-1 Big Ten, 6-0 B1G East
Previous Meetings: 45, Iowa leads 23-20-2 (first neutral site meeting)
Last Meeting: 2013 - Spartans 26 Hawkeyes 14

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa +4.5

Turnover Margin: +14,  B1G #1, FBS #4

Interceptions: 17, B1G #1, FBS #8

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2015 Regular Season Final
Total   404.3  Pass 200.6  Rush 203.7  Scoring 33.7
B1G    #4              #11                #3                    #3
FBS    #63            #92               #32                  #41
Total   331.7  Pass 221.7  Rush 110.0    Scoring 18.7
B1G    #6              #8                 #2                   #5
FBS    #21            #63               #6                   #15
Big Ten West Standings: Final
Iowa *                12-0, 8-0 B1G, 6-0 B1G West
Northwestern   10-2, 6-2 B1G, 5-1 B1G West
Wisconsin   9-3, 6-2 B1G, 4-2 B1G West
Nebraska             5-7, 3-5 B1G, 1-5 B1G West
Illinois             5-7, 2-6 B1G, 2-4 B1G West
Minnesota     5-7, 2-6 B1G, 2-4 B1G West
Purdue            2-10, 1-7 B1G, 1-5 B1G West

* Clinched Big Ten West 
Week 13: Nebraska

So, is it a rivalry now, Bugeaters?

If you saw these stats:

C.J. 9 for 17 for 97 yards.

The team, 0-9 on 3rd downs.

Iowa time of possession, 23:54.

And 250 total yards for Iowa, while Nebraska had 433.

You would be right in thinking that we had lost the game.

But thank you Armstrong for your 4 passes into Hawkeye hands, one of which was the 4 yard tip then pick-6 by Hesse that gave Iowa a 14-7 lead - that Nebraska would never be able to catch.

Of course we also have Jordan.  His back to back TD runs, the first from 29 yards out, then the next from 68 yards out, both on off-tackle left runs, were the final two TDs the Hawks scored.  

It was a cold and windy day, which surely played a factor in limiting the passes that C.J. threw.  The weather was probably a factor on 2 of those 4 Armstrong interceptions, the wind holding up the ball for Iowa defenders to claim it.

In the end, the team once again joined hands and slowly walked across the field - then as they got to the Nebraska sideline, they raced forward to grab the Heroes Trophy, then held it high, our trophy case now full of all 4 regular season trophies we play for.  
But that case better make some more room, because another trophy is on the line Saturday night.

Big Ten Championship: Michigan State

Hello again Sparty.  It’s been a while.

The Hawks and Spartans will meet for the 46th time Saturday night, this series dates back to 1953, as Iowa was the first Big Ten conference game the Spartans played that year, their debut season in the Big Ten.

When Dantonio took the job at Michigan State 9 years ago, he said then that Iowa was his model for his program.  Tough defense, balanced offense, good special teams, nothing really flashy, just solid fundamental football.  

And that is pretty much the way the Spartans have played over the past few years, and up until this season, they seemed to be doing a better job of it than we were.

But now we will see if the Big Ten East is really so far above the West as the experts have said all along. Or if the likes of Sparty, Ohio State, and Michigan were lucky to miss Iowa.

Sparty is lead by now senior QB Cook, #18.  He is 194 for 337 (57.6%) with 24 passing TDs, and just 4 interceptions.  
But he had a shoulder injury the week after the loss to Nebraska, the Maryland game, just going 6 for 20, and he was unable to play in the Ohio State game a week later. 

But he was back for the closer against Penn State, and he went 19 for 26 in that one. so we can expect he will be ok to play his regular game Saturday night.  He is already won more games at Michigan State than any other QB there, but we will see if that streak can continue this week.

Cook is not a running QB, so the Hawks just need to get pressure on him, and we will see how that shoulder is feeling.  

At the start of the season, Sparty might have been a bit more pass happy, and the injury to Cook sort of forced them to regain the run/pass balance.  

Doing the most running is freshman tailback Scott, #3.  He has 118 carries for 618 yards, with 10 rushing TDs.  He has 3 catches on the year, so he is a tailback…the Hawkeye defense can focus on taking him away.  

The top receiver is Burbridge, #16, a senior.  He has 75 catches for 1158 yards, and 7 TDs. He is a very dangerous threat, so expect King to line up across from him all night long. 

MSU runs the same mostly pro-style offense that we do, run to set up pass, use fullbacks, tight ends.  It will look very similar, though Sparty may do more pre snap movement than Iowa does.  But Iowa is doing a bit more than that as well these days, as C.J. is going to the line with at least two plays it seems, allowing him to change things as he reads the defense.  

When we look at some of the key statistics, this also points to a very even matchup.

Points per game, offense: Iowa 33.7, MSU 33.4.

Total yards, offense:  Iowa 404.3, MSU 399.4.

Yards allowed, defense: Iowa 331.7, Sparty 349.2

Turnover Margin: Iowa +14, MSU +14.  Both 4th nationally in that stat.

It seems that a lot of the experts, and the Michigan State media, think that Sparty has the edge because they have been in so many big games over the past few seasons.  

But they don’t have Iowa’s near perfect offensive balance, and our defense which will be foaming at the mouth to face a normal - pro style offense, where the QB stays in the pocket.

Nor due they have C.J. - a QB who will not be dealing with the November weather this week - and who should be able to have his nearly full compliment of rushing options, both when the play breaks down, or when it may be called, like QB draws.

Look for Iowa to continue with the type of offense to get quick strikes to wideouts in space, slants, and of course play action once the run game gets going.  This might be a game where we might need the quick passing game to loosen up the D for the running game to start plugging along.

But PSU did rush for 6.0 yards per carry in Sparty’s last game, so Iowa should be able to run on them.

I think if this was an outdoor game, it might be a slugfest.  But in a dome, maybe not.

The Hawkeyes get a TD on a King pick-6 for the Iowa record, and he also racks up 90 yards on punt returns, including one that puts us in the red zone and we score 3 plays later.

The Iowa defense holds Sparty to 85 net rushing yards, and they force 3 total Spartan turnovers.

Sorry Sparty, playing in the East as you do, you have not seen anything like the complete Iowa team you are facing Saturday night.  

Hawkeyes 34, Spartans 23



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