Hawkeyes put on a show at public scrimmage

Aug. 15, 2009

Kids at Kinnick photo gallery | Kids at Kinnick video review

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Ten thousand sun-soaked University of Iowa Hawkeye football fans saw the first scrimmage of the season, and according to senior center Rafael Eubanks, it even impressed head coach Kirk Ferentz.

“Coach said he thought this was probably the best first scrimmage we’ve had,” Eubanks said after a two-hour practice inside Kinnick Stadium. “It was our first live experience out here. We obviously did some good things and some bad things — we’ll see tomorrow watching tape.”

It was the first time the Hawkeyes have ventured onto the new Kinnick turf for preseason practice.

“It was a learning experience, just like they all are,” said redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg. “It’s a good time to see what we need to work on, especially the second offense going against the first defense. That’s as good as it gets, so this was a good learning tool.”

To view a 43-image photo gallery of Saturday’s Kids at Kinnick scrimmage inside Kinnick Stadium, click HERE.

Eubanks said the offensive line did a surprisingly adequate job protecting the Hawkeye quarterbacks.

“When we had a chance to make plays, we did,” Eubanks said. “I think our protection was a little better than we usually have at the first scrimmage. That was the biggest thing coming out: getting the pass protection down.”

Iowa started practice Friday, Aug. 7, and has completed 11 practices in eight days.

“We still know we have a long way to go,” Vandenberg said. “We hit lulls here and there, but we try to keep each other up. We know we have to keep pressing because we have a game in 2 ½ weeks that we have to get ready to play. As long as we stay together, we’ll be fine.”

Iowa kicks off the regular season Saturday, Sept. 5, against intrastate rival Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. inside Kinnick Stadium.

The scrimmage Saturday has at least one Hawkeye fan eager for the 2009 campaign.

“Injury-free, I think the sky’s the limit,” said Scott Struck of Waukee. “One game at a time.”

2009 Iowa Football Season Ticket Application (v3a)