October 5, 2017

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2017 Hawkeye Football Game Notes, Week 6: Illinois @ Iowa

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2017 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 3-2, 0-2 Big Ten, 0-0 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP: 0 votes
Coaches: 0 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, Loss 17-10
October 7th, v. •Illinois, 12:01 pm, BTN
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
October 14th - Northwestern @ Maryland, 3:30 pm, ESPN2

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
October 7th, 2017: Iowa v Illinois Fighting Illini, 2-2, 0-1 Big Ten, 0-1 B1G West
Previous Meetings: 72, Illinois leads 38-32-2
Last Meeting: 2016, Hawkeyes Hawkeyes 28, Illini 0

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa -18

Turnover Margin: -2,  B1G #10 FBS #87

Interceptions: 5, B1G #5, FBS #35

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2017 Through Week 3
Total   339.8  Pass 211.6  Rush 128.2  Scoring 25.6
B1G    #12           #10               #12                 #11
FBS    #102       #80              #94                 #86
Total   376.8  Pass 242.0 Rush 134.8     Scoring 19.2
B1G    #9                #10            #10                #7
FBS    #65               #85            #57                #30
Nebraska     3-2, 2-0 B1G, 1-0 B1G West
Wisconsin   4-0, 1-0 B1G, 1-0 B1G West
Minnesota   3-1, 0-1 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Purdue     2-2, 0-1 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
Illinois     2-2, 0-1 B1G, 0-1 B1G West
Northwestern   2-2, 0-1 B1G, 0-1 B1G West
Iowa                 3-2, 0-2 B1G, 0-0 B1G West
WEEK 5  Michigan State

Well this one simply came down to turnovers - Nate’s fumble/interception from inside the MSU 10 yard line, Smith’s fumble after a 3 yard catch was inside Recinos’ field goal range. One td there, one field goal, Iowa wins 20-17.  This one, not on the Iowa defense.
Wadley never did have his explosive break out, once again the entire 1st half getting almost nothing.  Not sure what is going on with the Iowa O line - they are not doing a good job stopping the opposition from run blitzes, and so Wadley has to do so more work while still behind the LOS.  For this game, he only had 30 yards on 17 carries, with a long of 9, and yes, the 1 td Iowa scored.  

Nate, 16 for 31, for 192 yards, and no tds,  and the one lost turnover.  

Oh, and Rastetter, 1 for 1, for 15 yards, to Epenesa the Younger, for a fake punt 1st down that kept Iowa moving the ball, a rare bright spot on a day that the coaching seemed to let Iowa fans down.  

Well, the play calling, anyway.  Why not more passes to open up the run game?  Make the defenses pay for selling out on Wadley.  Yes, we did have a jail break pick up a 1st first down (welcome back, KOK!), but otherwise, we needed Nate to make the Spartans pay for having so many guys close to the line.  We were not able to to do that consistently.  

So while the dreams of winning the West are pretty much dead, at least now the Hawks get to focus on the West for a bit, and we can certainly make progress on the offensive front, now that September has moved on to October, and another week, perhaps this one, Nate can hit those long throws he keeps trying.  That, will open up the Iowa running game.  

And then that happens, then yes, those play-action passes, they will be even more open - and it will take some of the pressure on Nate, he can just drop those in there.  One of there games, the Iowa offense will put it all together - this would be a nice week to find it, and pound the crap out of Illinois.  

WEEK 6 Illinois

As the years move on, it seems the the younger Iowa graduates don’t have the same dislike, disgust, or hatred of Illinois as we older timers do.  Perhaps it was that 6 year gap in games during the Legends and Leader days, or maybe the younger ones are so used to so many Chicago area kids in school in Iowa City that some of them are friends or lovers.

Regardless, for those of us who came of age before the digital world took over, this is the team we hate.  Respect the Badgers, the Rodents, go for the Big Ten in all non-con games - but F Illinois, if they could go 0-12 every year, that would be awesome.

And they hired Lovie Smith!  They thought he was the Second Coming, while Bears fans just snickered.   How many Super Bowls did he win in Chicago?  Oh yeah.

And oh yeah - their mascot got banned!  Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

The Illini entered 2017 following up the glorious 3-9 2016 season.  Damn you, Murray State!

They started this season hosting Ball State.  This was a back and forth game, with Illinois needing a TD and two point conversion with 2:06 left to take a 24-21 lead.  

Ball State then moved the ball to the point where they tried a 54 yard field goal as the clock expired, but the Illini were able to block it, to preserve the 24-21 win.  Their fan base, not entirely thrilled.

Western Kentucky went to C/U in week two, and this was a bit easier for the Illini, 20-7.

Then Illinois travelled to visit South Florida, ranked #23 at the time.  USF had a 24-9 halftime lead and cruised to a 47-23 win.  Of note in this game, the Illini benched their QB  Crouch for, wait for it - Jeff George Jr!

The Illini then got to open the B1G at home, with the Huskers visiting.  Crouch was back at QB, but it mattered little, as the Huskers wore down Illinois, 28-6.  That left the Illini at 2-2.

But there is no QB drama this week, as Lovie has named George Jr his starter for this Saturday.  

To date, the sophomore QB, #3, is 12-22, for 211 yards, with 1 td, and 2 interceptions.  All that from the South Florida game, the only one he has appeared in this year.  No rushing yards in that one, if he is his father’s son, likely not the most mobile QB out there.  

Their top tailback is a freshman Epstein, #26.  He is 6’0 195.  He has 50 tugs for 263 yards, and 3 rushing tds.  He also has 4 catches for 59 yards, with a long of 21, and 1 receiving td.

I think Iowa should be able to take away this rushing attack (think our offense is bad, this is the worst one in the Big Ten) and then feast on George Jr passes.  

The top wideout is junior Dudek, #18.  He has 16 catches for 195 yards and 1 td.

As a freshman in 2014, Dudek broke the Illinois all time record (for freshman) with 69 catches.  But then he blew out his ACL in 2015 fall camp, and he did not return from that until this year.  A 22 year old junior.  

On the other side is Turner, a senior, #11.  He is 6’3, 200, with 14 catches for 122 yards, and no tds.

Their top receiving tight end is Dorsey, #19, a freshman.  He has 5 catches for 86 yards.  

Some notable Illini stats - 3rd down percentage allowed, defense - 53.2%, dead last in B1G, #125 (of 128) overall.  Hello long Iowa drives.

They have blocked one field goal, but they have also had both a field goal and a punt, blocked.

They average 8.0 penalties a game - dead last, #110.

Total offense, 267.3 - dead last, #126.  Hence the QB change.  Total defense, 427.5, dead last, #98 overall.

Scoring offense, 18.3 - dead last, and #114

They are flat on turnovers, so better than Iowa in that stat.  At least until Saturday.

And last, rushing offense - 106.0, dead last, #112.  And rushing defense, 179.5, dead last, #91.  Hello long Iowa drives!

It should tell you something when Iowa has lost back to back games and Vegas has us -18 (the lowest I saw on the site I check, some were closer to -21)

What should be exactly what Iowa needs after two soul crushing losses that we should have won.  

Hawks finally get the running game going again, to the tune of 225 total, and that allows Iowa to control 38 plus minutes of the clock, and just grind down the Illini.  The Iowa defense holds the Illini rushing attack to just 45 net, and picks off 3 George Jr passes, while sacking him 5 times.

After two weeks of frustration, the Hawks take it out on Illinois.  Hawkeyes 41, Illini 13.



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