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Good effort not enough

Wisconsin defeats Iowa, 17-12
Iowa defensive back Desmond King torpedoes a Wisconsin receiver deep in Wisconsin territory during the Hawkeyes’ 17-12 home loss to the Badgers. (photos by Don Lund)

You start with the Hawks converting only 2-13 first downs, the Badgers had the ball for 15 more minutes, the Hawks dropped a couple of passes, missed a couple of tackles and a field goal.
Final line... the Hawkeyes get beat by a pretty good Wisconsin team.
“We missed a field goal,” said Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz. “We missed a plus-50 punt or two to get them backed up. We played hard on defense, but there are still some things we can do better there. We missed too many tackles today.”
I thought the defense played pretty good for most of the afternoon.
The Hawks gave up a couple of big plays, but normally the defense has a goal of holding the other team to 17 points or less, and they did.
The Badgers play that 3-4 defense that Iowa has only played once this year.
That was against Iowa State and the ‘Clones don’t have the talent Wisconsin does.
Chuck Long, former All-American quarterback for the Hawks and now a color commentator for the Big Ten Network, said the Badgers have the best group of linebackers he has seen so far this year. Iowa could manage only 83 yards on 27 carries (3.1 per carry) rushing.
How about three home losses this season and the last five games in this series against Wisconsin, the home team has lost.
Like I said, the Iowa defense played tough all afternoon so I’ll start with them.

Iowa defense>/h3>
Josey Jewell, Desmond King and Jaleel Johnson were the big guns on defense.
Josey led the way with 16 tackles, one forced fumble, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Josey did miss a big tackle late in the game on Corey Clement, the Wisconsin running back, who gained 34 yards on a third and 1 on the Badger 29.
That gave Wisconsin a first down on Iowa’s 37.
The Badgers would go on to kick a 36-yard field goal with only 1:24 left in the game and give them a 17-6 lead.
Desmond had 12 tackles, a huge fumble recovery in the Iowa end zone, and, of course, the 77-yard kickoff return at the end of the game.
The kickoff return came after the Wisconsin field goal which would lead to Keith Duncan kicking a 26-yard field goal, Iowa’s final score.

Iowa Offense

I really thought before the season the Hawkeye offense would be productive.
The Hawks had five offensive linemen with starting experience, their leading receiver back, a solid tight end, two proven running backs and an All-Big Ten quarterback.
Iowa has played eight games this season and has used seven different starting lineups in the offensive line.
Matt VandeBerg, who caught a team-high 65 receptions last year, the third most ever for a Hawkeye, was lost for the season after the fourth game of the year.
Tight end George Kittle has been hurt and ineffective in the last two games.
LeShun Daniels, Jr., and Akrum Wadley have been the bright spots for the offense this year.
The stingy Badger defense held LeShun to 35 yard on 10 carries (3.5 per carry) and Akrum to 44 yards on 10 carries (4.4 per carry).
Akrum did have a career-high seven catches for 72 yards and it’s good to see him get the ball in space.
C.J. Beathard is having a decent year. He was 17-33 for 153 yards with at least a couple of drops.
One drop came on a second and goal on the Wisconsin 7.
C.J. found Noah Fant in the end zone for an apparent touchdown with under a minute left in the game. That was signaled a score by the referee but it was overruled on the replay.
Last year C.J. completed 61 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. He was sacked 30 times.
This year, C.J. is completing 60 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has been sacked 18 times.
Last year, the offense averaged 31 points per game, this year it’s still 31, but scoring nine points, like they did last weekend, isn’t good enough.

Iowa Special Teams

Freshman Keith Duncan picked a bad time to miss his first field goal of the season, a 38-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. He did make two field goals and still hasn’t missed an extra point.
Miguel Recinos made his first field goal of the season, a 47-yard kick in the second quarter.
Wisconsin did miss two field goals, so that kind of evened out.
Ron Coluzzi had a 41.1-yard average on eight punts and Desmond King almost had the play of the day when he broke the late kickoff return.
Desmond’s return covered 77 yards and was so close to being a score.

Talk about a good time for an Iowa bye week.

Last year, the Hawkeyes were slated to play Rutgers on Oct. 29, which I printed in my preseason article.
I had at least three football magazines that showed it was switched to Sept. 24, but failed to see that.
I really liked the bye being this weekend because of many factors, the main one the possibility of injuries, which has come to pass.
I still think the Hawks can finish strong.
Hopefully they can heal up and get a few more wins.
The clock is ticking.
The Hawkeyes will travel to Penn State on Nov. 5 after the bye.
It’s a night game starting at 6:30 p.m.

The only thing that saved me last weekend since the Chicago Bears didn’t play, (they lost last Thursday to Green Bay) was that the Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time since 1945.
The Cubbies haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and I jumped on the Cub bandwagon when I moved back to North Liberty in 1981.
I went to a few Cub games in the ‘80s, ‘90s and the last one in 2002.
I remember watching Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe and Jody Davis win the NL East in 1984, going to a couple of games and listening to and watching Harry Caray broadcast Cub games.
The last Cubs game I went to in 2002 had six of us getting in my van around 8 a.m. in the morning. Four people started playing cards in the back on the way over and we arrived at Wrigley Field at 12:30 p.m.
Mark Prior was pitching and we left the game in the ninth inning.
We were behind the stadium when Sammy Sosa hit one out of the ball park.
We had a chance to grab the home run, but it bounced in the air after hitting the building across the street and right into a Cub fan’s hands.
By the time you read this on Thursday, the Cubs will have played in two World Series games, so for my homeboy, Brian Fleck, a lifetime Cub fan… Go Cubs Go!
I also liked Penn State beating Ohio State, 24-21, at Happy Valley.
The Buckeyes had won 20 straight road games!