Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

Nov. 11, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Random thoughts on the day two Hawkeye teams compete for a Big Ten title and the day after the Iowa football team became bowl eligible…

Kirk told Rob Brooks of the Hawkeye Radio Network during their halftime chat yesterday it was “our game” and the Hawkeyes had to “go get it.” They did and did it the way we like to do it: With a punishing running game, an opportunistic passing game, and a bend-but-don’t-break defense. Let’s take a closer look…but not before we first compliment Tracey Griesbaum’s Iowa field hockey and Ron Rainey’s Iowa women’s soccer teams. They chase Big Ten postseason tournament titles today at 11 a.m. (CT) and 1 p.m., respectively. You can watch both on the Big Ten Network.


Dolph called the win “businesslike” in his postgame summary, and Iowa’s 38-14 victory over Purdue yesterday under sunny skies in West Lafayette, Ind., was exactly that: Businesslike. Iowa needed this win and got it. The Hawkeyes wanted it for bowl eligibility, but they also know there are two more regular season opportunities ahead of them and heading into the bye week with a “W” would be much tastier than the alternative.They were a determined bunch that ran the ball effectively — 318 yards — passed it efficiently — two touchdowns were among the UI’s 12 completions, and the Iowa defense was the Iowa defense — James Morris and the gang allowed just 53 yards on the ground.

Do you like Iowa’s depth at running back? Jordan Canzeri looked good. He ran for a career-high 165 yards on 20 carries.That’s an average of 8.2 yard per rush. As we were reminded by Ed Podolak, it’s a benefit to have that kind of talent and fresh legs available at this time in the season. I also thought Damon Bullock looked good. He has looked good all season. Damon averaged 8.5 yards per carry yesterday. And, lastly, Mark Weisman ran with power. The Hawkeyes have 12 days to put together the offensive game plan for the Michigan Wolverines. If you’re on the defensive staff in Ann Arbor, who are you preparing for after you prepare for next week’s game at Northwestern? Gotta love options, especially talented ones.

Don Shumpert, take a bow. Two great catches and an equally impressive — and important — fumble recovery.

Brandon Scherff got some well-deserved attention from the Big Ten Network during its pregame show yesterday. He got more love during the game broadcast, particularly from Glen Mason, BTN’s analyst and a guy who has lots of experience walking the sidelines. Mason didn’t just talk about Brandon’s work, he raved about it and, late in the game, expanded that admiration to include line mate Conor Boffeli. “We executed but we’ve got room for improvement,” the big guy from Denison told Gary and Ed during the postgame show. Don’t you just love anyone who isn’t standing still, who knows they have to get better? Brandon is likely another one of the “big uglies” who will be playing on Sundays.

The Hawkeyes have 12 days to put together the offensive game plan for the Michigan Wolverines. If you’re on the defensive staff in Ann Arbor, who are you preparing for after you prepare for next week’s game at Northwestern? Gotta love options, especially talented ones.

Wasn’t that a nice throw by Jake Rudock to Kevonte Martin-Manley for a touchdown?

Here’s a link to our take on the game: HERE.

Here’s a little extra about the Hawkeyes’ ground game: HERE.

Here’s a link to the official statistics. It was one of Iowa’s best offensive efforts in recent history and you deserve the opportunity to dig into those numbers: HERE/

Here’s a link to some great video, not only of the football team’s win, but of the recent wins by Iowa’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, the soccer team, the field hockey team, and some captured at this week’s Iowa wrestling media day: HERE.

Speaking of Tom Brands’ Hawkeyes, here are links to our reports on media day: HERE and HERE. If you haven’t purchased your tickets to the Iowa-Penn State dual, what are you waiting for? They don’t get any bigger than that on Mediacom Mat. You can order yours HERE.

I have never had the pleasure to meet Ivan Maisel of ESPN, but I like his work. For example, see No. 3 HERE. It is the national perspective of what I’ve been suggesting for those in the Heartland concerned with the good guys in black and gold, and the going-on in the Big Ten Conference: There’s lots of football to be played. And November (and December) is the time on my calendar where I start to pay more attention to the goings on nationally because of the trickle down impact on the UI, e.g. our bowl game destination is impacted by having a second Big Ten team elevate into one of the BCS slots.

Ivan ranks up there with Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register in my book. Rick wrote this yesterday: HERE.

Here’s a link to the updated Big Ten football standings: HERE. Here’s a link to the schedule: HERE.

The current football season is the last in the Bowl Championship Series era of college football. The BCS has worked and, maybe, even worked well. We know how many fans barked about the process including many in the business of reporting the goings on in college football. When I saw this, I had to snicker: HERE. I agree with the author when he writes: “There’s never going to be a perfect system.” Next year’s system picks the best four…and sure as the sun comes up over the Atlantic and sets over the Pacific, Nos. 5, 6, and, probably, 7 and 8, are going to be saying, “Hey! What about me?”

Today is a big day for the Iowa field hockey and soccer teams. Both are attempting to run the table in their postseason Big Ten Tournament and, by so doing, punch their ticket to this year’s postseason national championship party which would be a first for the Hawkeyes’ who play soccer and old hat for the Hawkeyes who play field hockey. Tracey Griesbaum’s team advanced to the championship game with an overtime victory against nationally ranked Penn State Friday morning which came two days after an upset victory over nationally ranked Michigan. You can read about that win HERE. A few hours later, the UI soccer team defeated nationally ranked Penn State two days after it had upset nationally ranked Michigan. (No, you are not seeing double. Both teams beat Michigan then Penn State to advance to their respective championship game).You can read about their big win HERE. Today’s schedule is as follows: The UI field hockey team plays Michigan State for the tournament championship at 11 a.m. (CT) in Columbus, Ohio. The UI women’s soccer team plays top-seeded Nebraska for the tournament championship at 1 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. Both games will be televised live on BTN.

Samantha Logic of Bluder’s Bunch is worth the price of admission. Add the other Hawkeyes to the mix and you have a nice bargain. The junior guard had a career-high 28 points in Iowa’s season-opening win Friday night. She also had seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. You can read about her work and the work of the Hawkeyes HERE.

If Friday night is a hint of what’s to come for fans of Fran’s team, it’s going to be one heck of a college basketball season. Basabe looked good. Marble looked good. “British Air” looked good. White looked good. The newcomers — Uthoff and Jok — looked anything but like newcomers. You can read the details HERE

I wish our student section at men’s basketball games would be more creative when the visiting team’s starting five is introduced. The current chant barked by most after each visitor is announced is getting old and is not representative of what Fran and his staff and our student-athletes are all about. We want to be loud and we want to be proud and, in this case, we want to “Do it Right” and what is currently being done isn’t anywhere close to right.

Win. Graduate. Do it Right. No. 1: The Iowa field hockey team that plays in the championship game of today’s Big Ten Tournament is one of four UI teams to score a perfect 100 on the NCAA’s most recent “Graduation Success Rate” report. This year’s 100 marked the third straight year that the Hawkeyes were perfect in the NCAA’s “real-time academic stress test.” Want some detail on the Hawkeyes’ great success academically this past year, click HERE.

Win. Graduate. Do it Right. No. 2: Iowa’s win at Purdue means that Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes have been eligible to participate in a postseason bowl game in 12 of the last 13 seasons.

I listen to our radio broadcasts on Saturdays pretty much from start to finish. As I’ve said before, ours is one of the best in the business thanks to Dolph, Eddie, and Rob…and a bunch of other “behind the scenes” folks, and, of course, our advertisers, who help to make it happen. The Iowa Donor Network is one of them. I invite you to click HERE and learn a little more about the important work they do.

As you probably read prior to yesterday’s game in West Lafayette or heard during BTN’s coverage of Iowa’s win, one of the strengths of the 2013 Purdue football team has been its punter….and that’s why I thought I would choose this one as this week’s college football history lesson, courtesy of the National Football Foundation: One of the strangest games in NCAA football history took place on Nov. 11, 1939 between Texas Tech and Centenary in Shreveport, La. A rainstorm flooded the field, and the conditions made advancing the ball nearly impossible. The two teams combined for an NCAA record 77 punts. The Red Raiders punted 39 times, and the Gents contributed 38 to the total. Texas Tech punter Charlie Calhoun punted a remarkable 36 times for 1,318 yards, an NCAA and school record that will likely never be broken. The Red Raiders only netted minus-1 offensive yard on 12 plays. The Gents fared slightly better, amassing 30 total yards on offense. The game ended in a scoreless tie.

A reminder: A pair of doubleheaders today: Two games on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena…two more on the Big Ten Network. Enjoy!