Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Sep 3, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Random thoughts on the Sunday morning after a tough, tough, tough day at historic Kinnick Stadium…

First things, first. Thanks to the fans who muscled their way through the heat and humidity yesterday at Kinnick. Tough, tough, tough…particularly in the north and east grandstands where you took it on the chin and forehead from start to finish in term of sunshine.

Here’s our take on the goings-on in Kinnick yesterday HERE. And here’s a link to what Kirk had to say afterward: HERE.

So, what’s my take-away from Saturday? Well, first I have to start with Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who, in terms of a starter, he is 14 games older and wiser than our guy. Lynch proved he is a gamer. A year ago, he stung the Hawkeyes with his legs. Yesterday, it was more his right arm and the savvy that comes with game-day experience and success. “He’s a tough, competitive quarterback. We knew that a coming in,” Kirk said afterward. What about on the black and gold side of the ledger? I’m inclined to point to the very same position. Sure, everyone is focused on the interception, but I saw in Jake Rudock a talented young man making his first start throw it away when it needed to be thrown away, show great patience on the second quarter touchdown pass to C.J., and put on full display a little play-making ability on his scamper for a touchdown. He also found nine different receivers, didn’t get sacked, and ran for 20. Sure, paint me wearing black-and-gold glasses, but that’s what I saw…a guy — in my opinion — that will guide Iowa to many more wins than losses before he walks across the stage on graduation day a few years from now.

More take-aways? Mike Meyer is rock solid. Turnovers and penalties are and always will be mo’ killers. And, again, nine different Hawkeyes caught passes yesterday. That’s a good thing. The more the merrier. Oh, yeah. Weisman-Bullock is a nice two-headed running back monster and it was absolutely fantastic to see the “Wall of Honor” Hawkeyes, and Brad Banks, Franthea Price, and the rest of our Hall of Famers. It was also nice to shake hands again with ANF Wall of Honor Hawkeye Casey Wiegmann.

Friday night was also a tough one for former Hawkeye coach Bill Snyder inside Bill Snyder Stadium on the campus of Kansas State University. The Wildcats were stung by North Dakota State, a “Football Championship Series” college football program. You can read about it HERE if you’d like. It wasn’t an upset of Michigan-Appalachian State proportions, but it was a reminder that there isn’t a game on any team’s schedule that can be taken lightly. Ha! For a very, very brief moment there I sounded like a coach.

The start of the college football season doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put away your sticks. Finkbine is ready and waiting. You can book your tee time online HERE.

As you know, I’m not a big gambling guy, but I’d be willing to bet that most of you don’t know that the first recorded pass in a college football game occurred way back on Sept. 5, 1906 during a 22-0 victory by St. Louis University over Carroll College. Back then, incomplete passes were turnovers (gasp!) but the St. Louis team coached by Eddie Cochems had practiced a play they called the “projectile pass.” Quarterback Bradbury Johnson fired a missed on his first attempt, but nailed his second for a touchdown. I wish I could tell you that I knew this little nugget of college football history, but, alas, it comes compliments of the National Football Foundation which has been so generous to include me on an e-mail list that arrives each Thursday.

Did you guys chuckle, too, when you read “the St. Louis team coached by Eddie Cochems…” Cochems…Cochems…Coach -’ems. Yeah, yeah, I know. The morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. It does make you wonder if there’s a guy at the NFF with a wry (and sly) sense of humor.

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association has introduced a pretty exciting program for fans of the “Granddaddy” of college football’s bowl games. They are inviting fans of the game, the teams of the Big Ten and Pac12 conferences, and others to purchases personalized pavers and bricks that will be incorporated into the iconic plaza in front of Gate A of the Rose Bowl, the main entrance to this iconic facility . The UI Athletics Department will be participating. We will use our pavers to honor our teams that have advanced to Pasadena, our student-athletes who have been named “Players of the Game,” and those Hawkeyes who have been inducted into the Rose Bowl’s Hall of Fame. You can learn more about the program HERE.

Ron Raineys’ Iowa soccer team pushed its record to 3-0 Friday night with a 1-0 victory over California-Davis. You can read about it HERE. The Hawkeyes square off against Pacific today in search of their 22nd straight win against a non-conference opponent. Iowa opens its home season Friday at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes entertain Iowa State in the first event of the 2013-14 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. A big crowd in support of the good guys in black and gold would be appreciated. Those in attendance will also enjoy an open-to-the-public post-game fireworks show that is intended to celebrate Iowa’s victory in the 2012-13 series with our sister institution. So…bring the family, cheer the Hawkeyes, and enjoy the show! Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Tracey Greisbaum’s nationally ranked field hockey team cruised to a 3-1 victory over Bucknell Friday night. You can read about that win HERE. The Hawkeyes return to action today against Lafayette. They then return to Grant Field next Saturday and Sunday for games with Wake Forest and North Carolina, respectively, in the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Wake is ranked 18th in the most recent NCAA Top 25; the Tar Heels are a near unanimous No. 1. You can view the poll HERE .

Rick Heller, our new head baseball coach who you can read about HERE, popped his head in my office the other day and asked that I share that his Hawkeye squad will be scrimmaging against Kirkwood at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, and Iowa Central at 4 on Friday, Oct. 4. Both dates are Fridays of football weekends on campus, so, if your plans bring you to campus early that weekend, consider adding to your schedule a visit to Duane Banks Field.

Have you entered to win the ANF Great Grocery Give-Away? You can do so HERE. You never know…you could win $5,000 of groceries compliments of our great friends at the Iowa Farm Bureau and Hy-Vee. Yep. $5,000 of free groceries. And, as always, make sure a visit to the Krause Family Plaza pre-game of the Iowa-Northwestern football game on Oct. 26 is part of your pre-game schedule as will celebrate the third annual ANF Game Day at Kinnick.

The start of the college football season doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put away your sticks. Finkbine is ready and waiting. You can book your tee time online HERE.

If you were at the game yesterday you saw that we experienced some technical difficulties with the scoreboard portion of the new equipment. Simply put, one little box — a “controller” — is responsible for sending that important game data from a room in the Paul W. Brechler Press Box to the HawkVision control room in the basement of the south grandstand where the control room makes it look pretty and merges it with other content and sends it out to the display units. That new little box worked fine at Kid’s Day a few weeks back, worked fine during testing on Friday, but didn’t work when it was show time. We replaced the new little box with another little box – which happened to be an old little box – and it worked perfectly.

And, lastly, my colleague Darren Miller wrote a short piece about UI linebacker Christian Kirksey’s spoiled 21st birthday late yesterday. You can read it HERE. In it, he wrote this: “A question now will be if a three-point loss to the Huskies in 2013 can in some way be more beneficial than a one-point win against them in 2012.” Ask anyone who is as invested as Christian Kirksey and they would tell you that losses are tough, brutally tough, particularly because you have so few opportunities. And that’s why I’m inclined to think that yesterday’s loss just may well be the important final piece of the foundation for a very, very successful 2013. As they say, it’s sometimes darkest just before the dawn.

Have a great week.