September 29, 2016

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2016 Hawkeye Football Game Notes, Week 5: Mildcats @ Hawkeyes

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2016 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 3-1, 1-0 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP:  (25 points)
Coaches: 26th (127 points)
College Football Playoff:
*Times Eastern

September 3rd, v. Miami (Ohio), WIN 45-21
September 10th, v. Iowa State, WIN 42-3
September 17th, v. North Dakota State, Loss 23-21
September 24th, @ Rutgers, WIN 14-7
October 1st, v. •Northwestern, 12:00 pm, ESPNU
October 8th, @ Minnesota, 12:00 pm, ABC/ESPN2
October 15th, @ •Purdue, 12:00 pm, TBD
October 22nd, v. •Wisconsin, TBD
October 29th, Bye Week
November 5th, @ Penn State, 7:30 pm, BTN
November 12th, v. Michigan, 8:00 pm, ABC/ESPN2
November 19th, @ •Illinois, TBD
November 25th, v. •Nebraska, TBD

•Big Ten West Division Game

December 3rd, Big Ten Title Game, 8:00 pm, FOX

Scouting next opponent: Week 5
Golden Rodents @ Penn State, 3:30 pm, BTN

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
October 1st, 2016  Iowa v Northwestern Mildcats, 1-3, 0-1 Big Ten, 0-1 B1G West
Previous Meetings: Iowa leads 50-24-3
Last Meeting: 2015, Hawkeyes 40, Mildcats 10

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa -13.5

Turnover Margin: +5,  B1G #4, FBS #15

Interceptions: 2, B1G #11, FBS #86

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2016
Total   356.3  Pass 197.0  Rush 159.3  Scoring 30.5
B1G    #12           #12               #11                   #8
FBS    #101         #98               #86                  #66
Total   365.3  Pass 186.3  Rush 179.0    Scoring 13.5
B1G    #9               #5                  #12                 #3
FBS    #47             #31                #86                 #11

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

It was a cool overcast day as our tailgate began outside the stadium on Saturday.  Perfect for football of course.  It did warm up a bit by the time the game kicked off, and would stay that way throughout the afternoon.  

Rutgers won the toss and took the ball, and Coluzzi gave them no return.

This drive would get all the way down to the Iowa 8 yard line in 14 plays, but on 3rd and 6 there, Rutgers would complete a pass but get flagged for offensive pass interference. Now back at the Iowa 23 with a 3rd and 21, Laviano would be drilled by Hesse on a 13 yard sack, and that would knock Rutgers out of field goal range.  Iowa had the ball at the 8 after the punt was downed.

On Iowa’s first drive, we would get 2 1st downs, but then the drive would die at the Iowa 33.  Then Coluzzi came in and boomed a 55 yard punt that Rutgers caught at the 11 yard line, 1st and 10.

And they go 3 and out. King with a 1 yard return to the Iowa 32.  1st and 10 Hawkeyes.

But then the Hawks go 3 and out, and after the punt, Rutgers has the ball at their 14.  But Iowa is flagged for an illegal formation on the punt, so they must kick again.  This time, Rutgers makes a fair catch at the 26.  12 of those hidden yards right there.

Rutgers would get out to their 48 on a 19 yard run, but again stall.  Iowa ball at the Hawkeye 8 after King makes the fair catch.

This drive would start with Jr going for 10 yards, and Iowa had a 1st and 10 from the 18.  

First Down with a quick catch that nets 5 yards.  Not a 1st down.  2nd and 5.

Then the Hawks false start.  2nd and 10.

C.J. now hits Smith the Younger on a quick slant, 12 yards, a Hawkeye 1st down at the 30!  The first quarter comes to a close.

After the break, C.J. has to throw the ball away due to quick pressure.  2nd and 10.  

But on this play, Iowa is flagged for a sideline interference.  15 yards, now 2nd and 25.

The Hawks would get 9 of those yards back but again punt, a Rutgers fair catch at their 41.

Rutgers runs 5 plays to get to the Iowa 40, but the Iowa D stops them there.  The punt sails into the end zone, Iowa ball at the 20.

This was the 13 play drive that got all the way down to the Rutgers 10 yard line, where Iowa faced a 4th and 5.  Rutgers calls timeout after they see the way the Hawks line up.  

And yes, the Hawks do alter the formation after the break, it looks like C.J. has Smith open at the goal line, but the pass is broken up, and Iowa has turned the ball over on downs.

This is the drive where the Hawks nearly give up a score. On 2nd and 10 from their 21, Laviano throws one of those wideout screens to the far side, caught by his wideout Grant, and an Iowa defender dives in there to make the stop - and misses.  And now Grant is in the clear, across the 30, the 40, a Hawk misses a tackle there, across the 50, the 40, the 30, another Hawkeye defender swings for the ball and misses, across the 20, the 15, the 10, but then King flies in and knocks him to the ground.  1st and goal Rutgers from the Iowa 3, and the receiver Grant is hurt on the play, and he would never return.

1st and goal, Rutgers runs the wildcat, and he plows straight ahead, but the Hawks clog it up.  1 yard, 2nd and goal from the 2.

Another wildcat, but the Hawkeye defense knows what is coming this time, The Outlaw drills him for no gain. 3rd and goal from the 2.

Now Rutgers puts Laviano back in there, and he tries running the read/option to the left side, but the Hawks string it out and The Outlaw flies in and drops the Rutgers QB behind the line!  4th and goal from the 3!!!

Rutgers calls timeout with 2:10 left in the 2nd quarter.  

After the break, Rutgers would try to run the same play, but the Hawks put up a wall at the goal line, and Laviano is stopped dead at the Iowa 1.  The Hawkeye defense holds, and Iowa now has a 1st and 10 from just inside their 1 yard line, with just over 2 minutes left on the clock.

C.J., lethal.  On 1st down, he pulls it down at goes for 13.  And that is a Hawkeye 1st down!  At the 14.

Wadley, 3 yards to the 17.  

Now C.J. looks and finds his tight end on the crossing route, caught, Kittle, 20 yards, a Hawkeye 1st down at the 37!

Now C.J. calls his own number, he takes off for the far corner, turns it, and then kind of shakes his way up the sideline to pick up 12, a Hawkeye 1st down just short of midfield!

In the upper deck, we wonder out loud if C.J. is going to take a shot here.
He does take the deep drop and is looking downfield, but then he takes the dump off to Wadley, caught, 8 yards. 2nd and 1 from the Rutgers 43.

Now a quick strike to First Down near side, caught, 7 yards, 1st down at the Rutgers 36.

C.J. now tries a deep pass to Smith the Younger, but it’s over his head.  2nd and 10.  

Now the Hawks call timeout with 43 seconds left in the 2nd quarter.

After the break, C.J. has 4 wide. He snaps it, drops back, rolls a bit to the the near side, then he floats the ball down the near side, Kittle is alone, caught at about the 12, he has a Rutgers defender in front of him, but he cuts inside at the 5, and then he gets hit at the 2 but he falls across the goal line, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!! The play is reviewed and it is upheld, and Duncan comes in to make the score 7-0. 

But Rutgers actually drills Duncan as the ball flies through the uprights, and that is a roughing the kicker 15 yard penalty.  Coluzzi is now kicking off from the 50, and he boots the ball into about the 6th row of spectators behind the end zone.  

Rutgers would just kneel on the ball and the 1st half ends with the Hawkeyes leading 7-0. But Hawkeye fans are wishing the lead was 10-0, questioning why Iowa did not kick a field goal on that 4th and 5 from the 10.  Still, good to be leading at the half on the road.  

We visit the concession stand for some snacks, and have a chat with a few Rutgers fans, as this is the 1st ever meeting between the schools, not much hostility from the home folks.  In fact, a few of them wanted to talk about Iowa wrestling.

After the break, the Hawks come out roaring.  

On 1st and 10 from the 25, Jr gets the ball, takes it off tackle, right, breaks a tackle at the 30, and he is off to races!  He gets the ball all the way to the Rutgers 5 yard line, but there is a flag on the field.

And the Hawks are called for a chop block, but the replay clearly shows the player who was chopped was not engaged with another blocker.  A blown call, and Kirk goes ballistic on the sideline.  That is two weeks in a row we have had a 75 yard plus run wiped out by a very bad call.

Kirk even calls out the officials in his post game.  Likely a fine, but worth it.

Iowa would then get as far as the Rutgers 31, but another flag, and now we are hit with holding, and we can’t overcome that penalty, the drive dies at the Rutgers 41.

Nothing else of note happens in the 3rd quarter.  It ends with Iowa still leading 7-0.

But the 4th quarter starts with Rutgers moving the ball, and they get the ball all the way down to the Iowa 10.  But on 2nd and 6 from there, Nelson (Matt) sacks Laviano, and that brings up 3rd and 10 from the Iowa 14.  

But the Hawks can’t put pressure on Laviano this time, and he floats the ball to the back corner of the end zone, caught, and Rutgers has tied the game at 7 all.  

Can the Hawkeye offense respond?

With the stadium at the loudest it has been, Iowa goes 3 and out, C.J. in fact gets sacked on 2 of those plays.  We give the ball right back to Rutgers after only burning 1:27 off the clock.
Rutgers has the ball at the 18 after the punt.  After 3 plays, they are at the 30 with a 1st down.

But here, Iowa strings out a sweep play and they drill the tailback behind the line, a 2 yard loss! 2nd and 12.

Now Laviano drops back, looks, but then he feels the pressure and tries to run, but Hesse knocks him to the ground, that is 4 more lost yards, now it’s 3rd and 16 at the 24!

Iowa goes back to the berserker look on the D line. Laviano snaps the ball, quickly fires it near side, caught, but Snyder is right there, his arm is in there, and for about 5 yards they are wrestling for the ball, then it falls out and Snyder falls on it!!!!  It is ruled a fumble and Iowa now has the ball at the Rutgers 21 yard line!!!

And then, a flag.  False start.  1st and 15, from the 26.

From the I formation, C.J. snaps the ball, turns, hands it to Wadley, the line has pulled a couple guys out, and the corner is sealed by Kittle, Wadley turns it, and races down the near sideline, TOUCHDOWN IOWA!!!  26 yards untouched, and the kid born and raised in Newark has given the Hawkeyes a 14-7 lead!!!

Now into the back half of the 4th, Rutgers goes on a 10 play drive that gets them to the Iowa 17.

But on a 3rd and 2 from there, Iowa stuffs it for no gain.  4th and 2. 

This time, on the read/option, it goes to the tailback, but it should not have, the Hawks are there as soon as the ball is handed off, and they drop it for a 2 yard loss.  The defense has held, Iowa has the ball back, and there are 4 minutes and 40 seconds left in the 4th quarter.  Rutgers has no timeouts left. 

From the 19, Jr, 6 yards right up the gut.

Jr again, this time off tackle, 6 more yards, 1st down at the Iowa 31!

Now Iowa tries an end around to Scheel, but it takes too long to set up, and Rutgers drops it for no gain.

2nd and 10, Jr tries the middle to get 3.  3rd and 7.

Iowa lets the play clock run all the way down and calls timeout with 1:43 left.

This time, Jr will not be denied.  He breaks one tackle at the LOS and takes the ball 12 more yards, that is an Iowa 1st down at the 46, and from there, just two kneel downs are all we need.  Up in the 2nd deck, we start singing the Beer Song as the clock hits 0:00.

Win, and advance.  Not at all pretty, but we are 1-0 Big Ten, and that is good enough for one week of conference play.  Now time to head back home, and work on the things we need to fix before the Mildcats come calling Saturday.  

For the game, C.J. was 12 for 23, for 162 yards, with the 1 td to Kittle.  He rushed for 37 yards, but of course the sacks come out of his total which was more like 50 or so.  

Wadley, 12 for 84, and the td to give us the final margin.  Jr, 13 for 77, which would be about 150 but for the officials and their boneheaded call.

First Down had the most catches per usual, 4, but for just 17 yards this week.  Kittle 2 for 56 and the long td, Wadley 2 for 38, he is a weapon to use out of the backfield, hope to see more swing and dump off passes going his way.  

Smith the Younger 2 for 36, and Jr tossed in one catch for 9 yards.  

On the defensive side, Rutgers rushed for 196 on the Hawks.  Still too much.  In both of their long drives, they had success read/optioning straight ahead, more or less a dive play.  The linebackers are cleaning up the mess, but we need the interior of the Iowa D line to make more of those plays.  

This might be hard to believe based on what we have been seeing on the field, but the Hawks are averaging 3.5 sacks a game - that is good for #3 in the B1G and #19 overall.  So they are playing well in that regard. And we did see this past week that Phil brought back the berserker look on 3rd and longs.  I expect we will see more of that in the weeks ahead.  Hopefully they can get home to the QB a bit more.

Of course, the Iowa offense needs to sustain drives, to let the defense rest.

King only had one punt return Saturday, and he brought it back 45 yards to midfield.  I think he takes one to the house this week.  

Coluzzi, 7 punts for a 42.0 yard average, with a long of 55.  No touchbacks.  The field goal kicking is still a mystery, but at least at punter, Tara and I are content.  

So the Hawks returned to Iowa City after opening the Big Ten on the road for the 14th time in Kirk’s 18 seasons.  We are 1-0, but as the calendar turns to October, we still have work to do.

Week 5: Mildcats

And when practice resumed Monday morning, that work took on a whole new meaning.

Late in practice, First Down/Meercat/ VandeBerg was running a route where the ball was not even going his way, he took a bad step and broke a bone in his foot.

He had surgery yesterday (Tuesday) and is out indefinitely.   

So there will be no gunning for the Iowa single season record for catches.  Based on some of the reactions I saw on the Iowa message boards, it would seem like the season is lost.

But it is football, injuries happen, and the next man must come in.  

Smith, Kittle, known commodities.  Smith in particular, it’s time to take a big step forward.

Maybe Fant the true freshman tight end, Scheel has been playing more and more snaps, time for him to start catching the ball.  

And you may recall Parker, the small speedster we would often run those jet sweeps to back in 2014.  Now a junior, he was hurt in camp, and is just now getting back to game shape.  We might have him this week, we might not.  

And them maybe some freshmen need to step forward. 

Because First Down played as a true freshman, he never redshirted, so the Big Ten has already confirmed that he is eligible for the 5th year if he wants to take it.  I am sure Stanley would love to have him back in 2017.  And so would Iowa fans.

So, C.J. has to find his new go to target.  

Driving the bandwagon as I do, I think the Hawks will find a few other players to pick up the slack.  We will begin to see this Saturday afternoon.

Ah, the Mildcats.  Where their usual season model includes the second half collapse, maybe this time it’s the whole season.  

They opened against Western Michigan, with the Cats being ranked #21 to start the season.  This was a back and forth game, and WMU scored with 5:38 to play to go ahead 22-21.  

In the ensuing possession, the Mildcats got all the way to the WMU 6 yard line - and QB Thorson fumbled the ball.  WMU then got a couple 1st downs to kill the clock, and Northwestern was 0-1.

A week later, Illinois State paid a visit to the Cats.  This, a bit of a snooze fest.  At 9:10 of the 4th, the Cats scored to take a 7-6 lead.

But - Illinois State would get the ball from the Cats with 3:11 left, and they drove it 71 yards in 11 plays, the final 33 of them coming via a field goal as time expired, and the Mildcats lost 9-7, falling to 0-2, both losses at home.

In week 3, Duke came to visit Evanston.  This was better to the Cats, they won the battle of the brains 24-13.

Then last week, the Cats opened the Big Ten by hosting Nebraska.  

Of note in this one, Tommy Armstrong, the Husker QB who loves to throw the ball to Iowa players, ran for a career high 132 yards against the Mildcat defense, as the Huskers won this one 24-13.  Nebraska racked up 310 on the ground.

With the Iowa starting O line back again for the 2nd week, look for Iowa to get the ground and pound going early.

The Cats are now run by sophomore QB Thorson, #18.  To date, 74 for 139, for 956 yards, 5 tds, and 4 interceptions.  He has also been sacked 15 times. He rushed 10 times for 43 yards against the Huskers, that is his high ground output so far this year.  

The top tailback is junior Jackson, #21.  He has 83 carries for 339 yards, with 3 tds.  Also 7 catches for 67 yards.

Look for Thorson and Jackson to run some read/option plays.  The Iowa defense must stay disciplined to shut that attack down.  

The top wideout then is Carr, #80, a senior.  He has 26 catches for 392 yards and 3 tds.  Look for King to once again focus on lining up to slow this weapon down.  

To date, the only catches that have been caught on King are short, underneath throws.  No one has really challenged him deep.  We will see if the Cats try.

That all time series above, the 50-24-3?  50 wins over the Mildcats is the most wins Iowa has over an team from the Big Ten conference.  

Back in the Hayden days, Iowa routinely skinned the Mildcats.  Maybe that new statue will again work the magic.

Iowa rushes for 285 yards total, and C.J. does find enough other targets to top 275 through the air.  Iowa forces 3 Mildcat turnovers, and once again Stanley and the 2nd teamers finish out the 4th. Hawkeyes 38, Mildcats 13.



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