September 28, 2017

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2017 Hawkeye Football Game Notes, Week 5: Iowa @ Michigan State

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2017 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 3-1, 0-1 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 16 votes
Coaches: 9 votes
College Football Playoff:
*Times Eastern

September 2nd, v. Wyoming, WIN 24-3
September 9th, @ Iowa State, WIN 44-41 OT
September 16th, v. North Texas, WIN 31-14
September 23rd, v. Penn State, Loss 21-19
September 30th,  @ Michigan State, 4:12 pm, FOX
October 7th, v. •Illinois, 12:00 pm, TBD
October 15th, Bye Week
October 21st, @ •Northwestern, TBD
October 28th, v. •Minnesota, TBD
November 4th, v. Ohio State, TBD
November 11th, @ •Wisconsin, TBD
November 18th, v. •Purdue, TBD
November 24th, @ •Nebraska, 4:00 pm, FS1 Black Friday

•Big Ten West Division Game

December 2nd, Big Ten Championship Game
Lucas Oil Arena, Indianapolis  

Scouting next opponent: 
Friday September 29th, Nebraska @ Illinois, 8:00 pm, FS1

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
September 30th, 2017: Iowa @ Michigan State Spartans, 2-1, 0-0 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G East
Previous Meetings: 46, Iowa leads 23-21-2
Last Meeting: 2015 Big Ten Title Game, Hawkeyes 13 Spartans 16 

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa +3

Turnover Margin: 0,  B1G #7 FBS #59

Interceptions: 5, B1G #2, FBS #26

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2017 Through Week 3
Total   367.0  Pass 211.5  Rush 155.5  Scoring 29.5
B1G    #12           #10               #10                 #10
FBS    #93     #80              #77                 #73
Total   396.0  Pass 249.4 Rush 146.5     Scoring 19.8
B1G    #10               #10            #10                #6
FBS    #78               #84            #69                #37
Nebraska     2-2, 1-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Wisconsin   3-0, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Minnesota   3-0, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Illinois     2-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Northwestern   2-1, 0-0 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Iowa                 3-1, 0-1 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Purdue     2-2, 0-1 B1G, 0-0 B1G West

WEEK 4  Penn State

Well, that had to be about the most gut-checking loss of the last several years of Hawkeye Football (due to work schedule and massive allergy attack, no play by play this week).

Just wish Iowa had tried to open things up, offense wise, before the final possession of the first half, when on 1st down Nate found Easley on that 21 yard strike after the Penn State turnover, giving Iowa a 7-5 lead at halftime.  But for too much of the 1st and 2nd quarters, Iowa was trying to run Wadley right into the Penn State D Line, and they were devoting 8 (sometimes 9) guys to stop him.  In his first 10 carries of the game, he had 0 net yards.  When Nate was obviously calling audibles at the line, it was always a running play - granted, just his 4th start - but still, we needed to take the top off of the Penn State defense sooner, and the Hawks could have won this game with some mild comfort.

Because the Iowa defense - what a game.  Penn State had 567 yards of offense - and scored only two tds - the 2nd as time expired.  Penn State ran 99 plays - that is a game and a half for a defense, and it did show on that final drive, Iowa unable to get the pressure on MacSorely they had done earlier, and it cost us.  Due to all our 3 and outs to start the game, Iowa only ran 46 plays - which, is less that half of Penn State, if you are scoring at home.  

The textbook definition of Norm’s bend don’t break defense, from Parker the Younger.  After the questions of the Iowa defense after the Iowa State game, I submit that they have been answered.  The Hawks will not face another player like Barkley at all this season - at least, until we meet Penn State again in the B1G Title Game.

If Iowa had been able to sustain just one more drive, it could have been enough for the Iowa D to hold on for the win.  

Really only two calls that Iowa fans have just cause with the officials - that long run by Barkley (they scored their 1st td on this drive) where his knee was down on the far sideline - and the officials blew it.  Then on the field goal that Penn State blocked - two defenders jumped over the down Iowa linemen - which I do believe is illegal as it is in the NFL. But they missed that one too.  When you consider we lost by 2 points…

So, the players interviewed on Saturday night and Sunday did seem down - but also, sworn to uphold the 24 hour rule, and then get back to work.  Because if the Iowa defense can play like that again, and the Iowa offense can open things up a bit more - we can get back to 1-1 Big Ten by pounding the crap out of Sparty.  Get it done Hawks!

WEEK 5 Michigan State

You may recall the 3-9, 2016 Spartan season, that occurred under a tsunami of player arrests, injuries, academic cheating, and just general malaise, that had Dantonio on the Hot Seat going into 2017.  

To start 2017, Sparty took on Bowling Green - this, a 35-10 win.  Cupcake 1.

Week 2, Western Michigan, a 28-14 Sparty victory, but of note in that game, Western Michigan got the 8-14 points via a 100 yard kickoff return.  Hello Iowa kick return team.  Cupcake 2.  

Then last week, Sparty was trying to do the Big Ten proud by downing the Irish - but 3 Sparty turnovers (two lost fumbles, one pick) tuned into 21 Irish points, and the Golden Domers had little trouble with Sparty, 38-18.  So that leaves the Spartans at 2-1, as their B1G season gets started this week.  With a visit from a pissed off Hawkeye squad.  Here we come Sparty! 

The Spartans are lead by sophomore QB Lewerke, #14.  He is 6’3 and 212 lbs, and in the 3 games he has completed 66 of 105 passes, for 751 yards, with 6 tds, 2 interceptions, and he has been sacked 4 times.  So half as many tds, and twice as many picks at Nate.

He is a running capable QB, going for as high as 9 carries for 81 yards, but that was against WMU.  Against the Irish he had 9 carries for 56 yards - but a long of 52, so you can see he was not getting much out of those other 8 carries.  Notre Dame defense > Western Michigan defense.  

The top tailback is now junior LJ Scott, #3.  To date, 44 tugs, for 186 yards, with just 1 rushing td.  Also 5 catches for 28 yards, with a long of 15, and one receiving td. Iowa will look to take him away, and make their young QB put the ball up.  You may recall, he the one that scored the game winning, reach over the goal line in the B1G title game.  However, he has lost two fumbles inside the oppositions 3 yard line, so there is rumor on the Sparty boards he might not start this week.  

Their top receiver is Stewart, Jr, # 25.  He is 6’2 and 210.  To date, 15 catches, for 159 yards, with a long or 40, and 1 td.  

Then Davis the 3rd, a junior, at 6’4 195, who has 12 catches for 142 yards, and 2 tds.  

Their top tight end is Sokol, #81, a junior.  He has just 6 catches for 83 yards, and 1 td.  So not quite the weapon that we hope Iowa will be displaying this week (hit tight ends over the middle to move back the box and set up the run), but it shows that MSU is running the typical pro style offense - like Iowa.  

Many are worried that the loss to Penn State can rise up and bite the Hawks again this week.  I don’t see it.  The West is still in play, and Iowa showed they can play with anyone in the league last week.  I don’t think the PSU loss will carry over.

The opposite, in fact.  I think Brain has increasing confidence in his QB to make the throws needed to attack the Spartan defense from the start.  It’s a virtual given they will sell out to stop Wadley, that is, until Nate goes over the top and burns them for a long touchdown or two.  And look for the Iowa defense to have regained confidence in the near upset of Penn State, and this Spartan offense is nowhere close to that one.  

In other news this week, Kirk announced the Brandon Snyder has progressed rapidly from his injury and could in fact be in uniform this week, though he is not likely to play until post bye week.  Still, seeing the starting safety in uniform could help inspire the Hawkeye defense to play well.  And if he is in fact back for the stretch run, the Iowa secondary just took another leap forward.  

But that is a couple weeks away.  Despite the slugfest against PSU, the Hawks enter East Lansing with all our starters intact (of the last game).  Starters wanted to atone for letting the last one get away.

In videos of the Hawkeye players from the Tuesday media visit, they do indeed seem to have put the PSU loss behind them, and have focused since Monday on prepping for Sparty.

Many of the games against the Spartans over the years have tended to come down to the final possession.  I don’t think this one will be that close.

Iowa runs for 220, and that allows Nate to open up the play action to his tight ends and wideouts - while the Iowa defense takes away most of the Spartan running game, and that allows the back 7 to pick off 3 more passes.  Iowa let’s the rest of the B1G know that the loss to PSU did not end our shot at the West - and as the calendar slips away into October, the Hawkeyes are right there contending for the West title.  

Hawkeyes 34, Spartans 17.



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