Fiedorowicz Becoming a Household Name

Nov. 21, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Winning a football road game in the Big Ten Conference is about as easy as spelling the name Fiedorowicz.

Thanks in part to a solid performance by University of Iowa sophomore tight end C.J. Fiedororwicz, the Hawkeyes snapped a five-game losing streak away from Kinnick Stadium with a 31-21 decision at Purdue on Nov. 19.

Fiedorowicz, who UI head coach Kirk Ferentz says has impressed the coaching staff since the bye period Sept. 25-Oct. 7, made three catches for 31 yards against the Boilermakers. His 5-yard touchdown reception with 10 seconds left in the first quarter gave Iowa a 14-7 lead. It also capped an impressive first 15 minutes where the Hawkeyes — going into a stiff wind — gained 168 total yards and 105 through the air on 8-of-10 passing.

“I can’t do that without (quarterback) James (Vandenberg),” Fiedorowicz said. “He threw great balls. As a unit we jelled well. Everybody shared the ball and it was great.”

Iowa’s trademark offensive balance was evident again as the Hawkeyes picked up 273 yards through the air and 135 more on the ground. Running bull Marcus Coker hauled the ball 30 times for 139 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Marvin McNutt, Jr., caught nine passes for 151 yards and two scores.

For Fiedorowicz, the day produced career-highs in receptions in a game and receiving yardage in a game. His longest reception is still 24 yards at Iowa State on Sept. 10.

“It’s been a good 4-6 weeks for him,” Ferentz said of Fiedorowicz. “The bye week is where he started that ascent a little bit and started to look like a guy who could play well in the Big Ten. It’s a process for every player; it happens at different times for different guys. That’s a credit to his work ethic that he had some nice grabs (Saturday).”

All three of the catches by Fiedorowicz at Purdue came on third down, and all three resulted in a first down. He caught two passes for 18 yards on Iowa’s second series of the day — a 15-play, 81-yard drive that ended with his touchdown reception.

“It looked like no one was really over me, but right when he snapped the ball the backer kind of shot over me,” Fiedorowicz said of his scoring play. “I got about a yard in the end zone and James threw a great ball right in there and I just did my job.”

There isn’t much room near the goal line with 22 bodies crammed in a much smaller area than usual. Finding Fiedorowicz in those conditions is made easier by the fact he stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 265 pounds.

Another pass attempt to Fiedorowicz resulted in a fourth first down and set up seven more points for the Hawkeyes. Faced with first-and-goal from the 9, Vandenberg lofted a ball toward the pylon and his large, isolated receiving target. Fiedorowicz couldn’t make the grab, but Boilermaker cornerback Josh Johnson — who is eight inches shorter than Fiedorowicz — was whistled for pass interference. Two plays later, Coker barreled in from 2 yards and Iowa led for good, 21-14.

Fiedorowicz has nine receptions this season for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

“Getting reps in practice every day prepares you for every game,” Fiedorowicz said. “If you work hard in practice and bring it to the game, you just become comfortable.”

Fiedorowicz started for the first time Nov. 5 and Iowa responded with a 24-16 victory over No. 13 Michigan. He will make his fourth consecutive start Friday against Nebraska in the first-ever Heroes Game. Kickoff from Memorial Stadium in Lincoln is scheduled for 11 a.m. (CT). The game will be televised by ABC.