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Don Lund

It don’t come easy

Hawk Talk

“Got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues, and you know it don’t come easy.”
That’s the opening line to the song by Ringo Starr who, for some of you youngsters, was the drummer for the greatest band ever… The Beatles.
That seems to be the story with the Hawkeyes this season.
They start slow and pay their dues and then in four of the six first games, take over and finish strong with a W.
Iowa sometimes has a tendency of playing up or down to its opponents.
Against Iowa State and Penn State, the Hawks played up.

Not real pretty

Hawk Talk
Iowa falls to Spartans, 17-10

I’ve talked about how I’d rather win and not look good as opposed to losing and looking great, but when you lose and look bad, that’s another story.
The Hawkeye defense gave Iowa a chance, but the offense started slow and kept shooting itself in the foot in a 17-10 road loss to Michigan State Sept. 30 in Lansing.
The Hawk offense could only come up with 11 first downs, 0.8 yards per carry on the ground and 4-14 on third down conversions.

Kinnick magic…almost

Hawk Talk

The Iowa-Penn State game had the makings of another great comeback.
The Hawks were trailing 15-13 with 2:42 left.
Iowa drove to the Nittany Lions’ 35 and Akrum Wadley made his second great play of the night, a 35-yard sweep around left end that he high-stepped once at the 3 into the end zone.
This was not a celebration high-step, a Penn State defender was on Akrum’s heels and he had to make that move to avoid being tackled.
Akrum immediately gave the ball to the referee and didn’t get flagged.

A tale of two halves

Iowa’s 31-14 win over North Texas State Saturday can be broken down into major differences between the first and second half.
The first half can be described in one-word U-G-L-Y.
Iowa trailed, 14-10.
The Mean Green had 87 first-half yards rushing, Iowa 71.
North Texas had 212 yards in total offense, Iowa 214.
NT had the ball for 13:25, Iowa 16:35.
In the second half, the Hawks shut out the Mean Green, 21-0.
Iowa finished with 238 yards rushing, North Texas 112.
The Hawkeyes converted 11-18 on third downs for the game, NT 0-6.
Iowa also converted 4-5 on fourth down.

WOW! Iowa nips Iowa State, 44-41 in overtime

Hawkeye road wins

I’ve got to admit that I had almost given up when Iowa State scored with 4:36 left in the game and the ‘Clones took a 38-31 lead.
The Hawks had tied it up 31-all when Miguel Recinos kicked a 23-yard field goal, but on its first play after the kickoff, Iowa State completed a wide-open, 74-yard touchdown pass to take the lead.
Thank goodness Akrum Wadley wasn’t giving up.
The 46-yard touchdown pass that retied the game at 38 was one of the best catch-and-runs I have ever seen.
The Hawks had a first and 10 on the ‘Clone 46.

Linebackers, defensive backs and special teams

Hawk Talk

This is the third part of Iowa football preview. This week, I’ll start out with the Hawkeye linebackers, the core of the defense.

Linebackers

Josey Jewell (6-2, 236) is a prototypical Hawkeye player.
Jewell was lightly recruited with Upper Iowa and UNI the only two schools to recruit him and offer a scholarship.
Iowa came in late and the rest is history.

Preview of Iowa football 2017: part two

Hawk Talk

This is the second part of a preview of Iowa Hawkeye football.
Last week, I talked about the offensive line, tight ends and running backs.
This week, I’ll look at wide receivers, quarterbacks and the defensive line.

Wide Receivers

The development of Iowa’s wide receivers could be the most important part of the Hawkeyes and their success this fall… along with the development of a starting quarterback.
Senior Matt VandeBerg (6-1, 195) is the only returning receiver who caught a pass last fall.

Hawkeye offense 2017

Hawk Talk

Media day for football was last Saturday, and since I missed my first media day in 16 years last August, I was ready to go.
My niece Kym got married and it was a great wedding, but it was in Missoula, Mont., on the same weekend as football media day.
Kym and her husband Ryan are Hawkeye fans so it was a great time.
The next three weeks I’ll break down the offense, defense and special teams.

Offensive Line

The Hawkeye offense always starts up front with the offensive line and this years’ group should be one of Iowa’s strengths.

Prime Time wrap 2017

The Prime Time championship was last Sunday at the North Liberty Recreation Center.
The champion was Vinton Merchants, led by league MVP Jack Nunge, who scored 42 points with 14 rebounds, and Brady Ellingson, who had 20 points and 10 boards.

I went to every game helping with the stats and saw the new Hawks plus the veterans play and will break down my observations of the players.
I’ll start with the two new big guys.
Jack Nunge and Luka Garza both either met or exceeded expectations.

Favorite Hawkeyes, women’s basketball

Hawk Talk

I’ve talked about some of my favorite Hawkeye football players and men’s basketball players.
This week I’ll look at my favorite women’s basketball players since Lisa Bluder took over in 2000. That was also my first year covering the Hawkeyes for the North Liberty Leader.
I didn’t get to see many of Vivian Stringer’s team in the 1980s and ‘90s, but if I did I would probably go with Michelle “Ice” Edwards, Franthea Price and Toni Foster.
All were First Team Kodak All-Americans and Big Ten Players of the Year.

Dominique Uhl: the lone senior

Hawk Talk

Dom Uhl is Iowa’s only senior.
The 6-9 forward from Frankford, Germany, played in 98 games for the Hawkeyes with eight starts.
Uhl was named Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, shot a team high 45 percent from the 3-point line as a sophomore, and started seven games last season.
Iowa started four freshmen last year, finished 19-15, 9-7 in the Big Ten, and won their first game in the NIT.

Prime Time in, Game Time out

Hawk Talk

I’ve already talked about Game Time shutting down this summer after 16 years of playing in North Liberty.
It’s kind of sad for me because I was there at the beginning helping Randy Larson, who also runs the Prime Time League, get Game Time going.
Prime Time moved to North Liberty in 2001 because it was air-conditioned, but there was only one basketball court at the time and there would be three games a night for Game Time, four for Prime Time.
I kept the stats and sometimes did play by play for North Liberty Television.