October 26, 2017

The Eternal Season - Sedge's 2017 Iowa Football Game Notes, Week 9: Golden Rodents @ Hawkeyes

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2017 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 4-3, 1-3 Big Ten, 1-1 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, WIN 45-16
October 15th, Bye Week
October 21st, @ •Northwestern, Loss 17-10 OT
October 28th, v. •Minnesota, 6:35 pm, FS1
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 28th, Penn State @ Ohio State, 3:30 pm, FOX

*Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
October 28th, 2017: Iowa v. Minnesota Golden Rodents, 4-3, 1-3 Big Ten, 1-1 B1G West
Previous Meetings: 110, Rodents lead 62-46-2
Last Meeting: 2016, Hawkeyes 14 Rodents 7

Kinnick Color of the Week:

Current Line: Iowa -8

Turnover Margin: -1,  B1G #8 FBS #74

Interceptions: 8, B1G #4, FBS #28

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2017 Through Week 8
Total   350.3  Pass 218.7  Rush 131.6  Scoring 26.1
B1G    #10           #7                #12                 #6
FBS    #103     #71              #102               #81
Total   381.3  Pass 235.4 Rush 145.9     Scoring 18.4
B1G    #10            #12            #8                 #5
FBS    #60            #86            #51               #20
Wisconsin   7-0, 4-0 B1G, 3-0 B1G West
Northwestern   4-3, 2-2 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Nebraska             3-4, 2-2 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Iowa                         4-3, 1-3 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Minnesota     4-3, 1-3 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Purdue             3-4, 1-3 B1G, 1-1 B1G West
Illinois             2-5, 0-4 B1G, 0-3 B1G West

WEEK 8: Mildcats

Another week, another gut check loss, with plenty of blame to go around. Well, not the defense, though missing The Outlaw played a role in the Mildcats scoring the OT touchdown.  Still, for both him and Snyder out for this game, 10 points in regulation, the defense did all they could do to win the game.

Wadley hit 90 yards, but that was on 26 carries - and too often, Iowa called running plays for him right into the line, and those plays almost never went for more than a yard or two.  By comparison Young just 2 carries for 4 yards, and the same for IS-M.  Wadley had 3 catches for 5 yards, but against a defense that is clearly selling out to stop the run, we needed to get him many more plays in space, and not straight into the line.

Which takes us to the O line - due to injuries we are playing Jackson (redshirt freshman and Wirfs - a true freshman).  That is probably the main reason the line is not generating the holes like we are used to for an Iowa O line.  But now that these young guys have a few games under the belt, let’s hope that the running game can get going this week.  

Recinos did hit that late field goal to tie the game, but his miss earlier could have had the Hawks winning in regulation.  In other special teams news, freshman punter Gersonde punted 5 times for 263 yards, a 52.6 yard average. We shall see this week if that is enough to replace Rastetter going forward (he had one punt for 55 yards in the game).

Nate was 19 for 33 for 223 yards, with 1 td (to Fant), and the one interception, which seemed to be a bad throw, but I think IS-M broke off the route too early, and that is why he was not where the pass was.  But then on the final play, Fant could not haul in the 4th down, wide open pass from Nate - hard to tell on tv if Nate maybe fired it too hard for a 5 yard pass, but Fant is a tight end, and he should have been able to guide that ball in for a 1st down inside the Mildcat 5 yard line.

So the Hawks have some things to work on - namely getting the running game going in a direction that looks like an Iowa running game.  That will open up the rest of the Iowa offense, including play action deep passes from Nate.  Because this week, the Hawks need to put it all together, so Floyd does not have to spend the winter in the frozen tundra of the Twin Cities.  

WEEK 9: Golden Rodents

2017 marks the first year of the PJ Fleck regime, who came to the Rodents after a successful run at Western Michigan.  To date in the Twin Cities, 4-3, and 1-3 in the Big 10.

The Rodents opened the Fleck era with a home game against Buffalo.  The Rodents held the ball for 37 minutes in the 17-7 win.  

A week later, the Rodents went west to face Oregon State, and 253 on the ground allowed them to pull away from the Beavers, 17 points coming from OSU turnovers, Rodents win 48-14.  They were 2-0 after the rare B1G win on the west coast.

Back home in week 3, the Rodents entertained Middle Tennessee State.  This, a fairly easy 24-3 win for Minnesota.  The Rodents were 3-0 in the non con season.

To open the Big Ten, the Rodents welcomed the Terps to the Twin Cities.  This was a back and forth game, but in the end, it was the Terps 262 on the ground, to the Rodents 80 net, that allowed the visitor to hand Fleck his first loss, 31-24.  Two interceptions by the Rodent QB hurt in this one.

A week later, the Rodents travelled to West Lafayette, where they had a 14-6 lead on Purdue at halftime.  Of note in this game, with just over 9:00 minutes left in the game, the game was halted due to severe weather, for a 1 hour, 28 minutes rain delay.  When it resumed, the Rodents went on a 7 minute drive to kick a field goal to lead 17-16 with just 2:26 left to play.  

But the Boilermakers would score quickly after a 44 yard kickoff return, and the two point conversion gave them a 24-17 lead.  The Rodents got the ball back with 1:17 to go, but then threw a 76 yard pick-six to make the final score Purdue 31 Rodents 17.  The Rodents were 0-2 in the conference.

Then Sparty came to visit the Twin Cities.  This game was delayed 34 minutes by lightening, but once it started, it was mostly Spartans doing the scoring, leading 23-6 after 3 quarters.   But the Rodents made it interesting in the 4th, getting all the back to 27 points, but fell in the end, 30-27.  They were 0-3 in the conference.

But then, the Illini paid a trip up north, and this one went better for the Rodents.  They ran for 333 yards in the win over Illinois, and the Illini also threw in a pick-six to have the Rodents leading 24-10 with just 4:11 left to go.  Illinois would get one score back but the would end it at 24-17, and the Rodents had the first Big Ten win of Fleck’s career.  

And now, they must face Iowa and the Battle for Floyd, under the lights of Kinnick Stadium.  Where Iowa has won 12 of the last 16, and the last 7 games played in Iowa City.  

The Rodents have not been able to settle on a QB at this point of the season.  It was supposed to be Rhoda, #15, a senior.  He is 59 for 109, for 839 yards, with 5 tds, and 4 interceptions.  He is in the hole for rushing yards on the season, though he has only been sacked twice.

The other QB is Croft, #11, a sophomore.  He is 23 for 47 for 273 yards, with 4 tds and 3 interceptions.  He is more elusive out of the pocket, he had a 64 yard td run in the win over Oregon State. Last week against Illinois, he carried the ball 11 times for 32 yards.  So when he is in the game, the Hawks must look to contain, and then punish, should he venture out of the backfield.

The top tailback is Smith, #1, now a junior.  He has 138 tugs for 545, and average of 3.9, with 2 tds.  Also 9 catches out of the backfield for 57 yards. 

Next is tailback Brooks, #23, also a junior.  He has 70 carries for 329, with 5 tds, and 5 caches for 59 yards.

I think The Outlaw will be back this week (he is on the two deep), so look for the Hawks to try and take away the Rodent running game, and focus on snagging passes from Rodent QBs.

The top receiver for the Rodents is Johnson, #6, a sophomore.  He is 6’2, 190.  He has 27 catches for  499 yards and 7 tds, so look for Jackson perhaps to focus on him.

What do the stats tell us about the Rodents?

Offensive 3rd down conversion %, 37.5.  8th B1G, 85th overall.
Defensive, 38.4%, 10th and 60th.

Their combined QB completion % is just 52.6 - 14th, and 111th.  Errant balls flying through the air for Hawkeye defenders to snag.

They only commit 3.5 penalties a game, so the Hawks can’t expect much charity for the Rodents.

They are allowing almost 23 yards per kickoff return, which is 12th and 96th. Perhaps a special teams td under the lights?

And then passing offense, 158.9 - 12th, and 115th.  If we can take away the running game…

Oh yes, time for this classic video:

So the Hawks have lost 3 games, although you could say we are 3 plays from being undefeated.  Ok maybe 4 plays, the two red zone turnovers at Michigan State.  So can the Hawks put it tougher this week, under the lights?

Surprise - I think they can.

Iowa does finally use the passing game to open up the running game, and that allows Iowa to hit a season high 220 on the ground, while the Iowa defense holds the Rodents to just 90 net.

And with that running game chewing up yards, Nate will have time to find open targets, and look for him to resume his assault up the Iowa td passing record books.  Hawks take out frustration on the Rodents and keep Floyd in Iowa City for the next season - Hawkeyes 34, Rodents 16.



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