Nov. 2, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Random thoughts for beautiful Election Day in the Heartland…
So, where to start because we have so much to review from last Saturday sun-filled, fun-filled afternoon at Kinnick one last time before grabbing firm grip of “Indiana Week.” My starting point has to be Ricky Stanzi’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Adam Robinson. It was a thing of beauty. First, Ricky moves up in the pocket to avoid some heat then, on the move, heaves a perfect strike, spiral up, spiral down. Then, Mr. Sure and Steady — A-Rob — pulls in his first career touchdown reception in stride and over-the-shoulder. Game over. Heck of deal.
No. 2? Well, the picks, of course. Not only was each a function of outstanding play by Iowa’s defensive backs, but each sure seemed like by-products of (a) pressure up front and (b) solid linebacker play. And, yes, Sash to Hyde was just as pretty as Stanzi to Robinson. (Have you seen the picture of Micah stretching for the pylon inside the game’s Photo Gallery No. 1 inside hawkeyesports.com? Impressive work by both the guy behind the camera and the guy with the pigskin. Click HERE to check it out.) Heck of a deal…to the power of two.
A tip of the fedora to Kirk for going backwards before going forwards during Saturday’s post-game visit with the media when he saluted the fans who continue to rock Kinnick for their work at the Wisconsin game and again on Blackout Saturday. “That stadium last week was outstanding, and today, I think they might have been even better. I mean, they were ready to go, too. That’s something we appreciate. We don’t take it for granted,” ,” said Ferentz, who will be looking for career win No. 100 as a head coach Saturday against Indiana and Hoosier head coach Bill Lynch, who will also be seeking win No. 100.
Season ticket sales for the home games of Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes are up across all three categories, so I invite you to join those who have jumped on Fran’s bandwagon now and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be fun and it’s always more so when you start at the very beginning versus jumping on later. And, if season tickets can’t fit into this year’s family budget, you should note that mini-season ticket packages are available and, beginning yesterday, so, too, were single-game tickets for all 17 home games of the 2010-11 Hawkeyes. Go ahead…get “MAD” and get into the Arena and be a difference-maker! Click HERE to get yours.
I need to correct myself. I wrote last week that the Iowa football team’s graduation rate in this year’s NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate report — 79 — was 10 points better than the national average. Actually, the correct number is 12 points. Again, a tip of the fedora to a program that is not only winning big on the playing field, but has student-athletes getting it done in a big way in the classroom.
You gotta like the future for one James Morris. That was a big-time stop on the Hawkeyes’ first three-and-out that he followed up with an afternoon filled with some pretty salty middle linebacker play in his first start as Hawk. “The team responded to him. They really like what he does in practice. He works hard and he’s respected,” Kirk said of true freshman from nearby Solon. By the way, he’s No. 1 on the two-deeps for Saturday.
I need to correct myself. I wrote last week that the Iowa football team’s graduation rate in this year’s NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate report — 79 –was 10 points better than the national average. Actually, the correct number is 12 points. Again, a tip of the fedora to a program that is not only winning big on the playing field, but has student-athletes getting it done in a big way in the classroom.
And, speaking of success, how about a tip of the fedora for perfection? Larissa Libby’s squad hit a perfect 100 in its GSR for the fifth straight year and Lisa Bluder’s made it two years in a row. Heck of a deal. Check out the details HERE.
One gunslinger down, two more to go. Iowa’s defense did what it needed to and more Saturday with State’s Kirk Cousins, a talented signal-caller who had guided MSU to eight straight victories. Now, the Hawkeyes’ attention turns to Indiana’s Ben Chappel. The Hoosier senior likes to heave it as evidenced by his league-leading 322 attempts. He also has success doing it: Chappel’s 305 yards passing per game is almost 50 yards better than the Big Ten’s No. 2 guy….next week’s headache, Northwestern’s Dan Persa.
Well, maybe I should say four more to go. When the Hawkeyes get done with Chappel and Persa, they then entertain Ohio State’s Terrell Pryor at Kinnick. Pryor currently leads the Big Ten with 20 passes for touchdowns. Then its up north for the season finale at Minnesota against Gopher senior Adam Weber, who ranks fifth best in the league in passing yards. Yes. It is, in fact, the year of the quarterback in the Big Ten.
Lastly, in case you missed it, game time Saturday in Bloomington is 11 a.m. Iowa time with the Big Ten Network providing the coverage. Ditto for the following week in Evanston on game time, the television source will either be ESPN or ESPN2.
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department’s associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears in the digital world as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.