Last week I talked about how tough it was for me and a lot of fans when the Hawkeyes lose a football game. It seems like the week takes forever and there are a lot of negative waves out there.
When the Hawks lose, 32-31, to a team that they are favored to beat by 15 points, the sky will surely be falling.
Central Michigan had a bye week so they had two weeks to get ready for Iowa. They sure did a good job, especially on offense.
We’ll look at the good, bad and ugly this week.
There were a lot of people from the media and fans alike that wondered if Mark Weisman was a one-hit wonder. All Mark did last week was to pound out 113 yards and three touchdowns in Iowa’s win over UNI which was his first real action ever.
How about rolling up 217 yards, three more touchdowns and an 8.0 yards per carry average for the walk-on sophomore?
Mark tied Nick Bell and Shonn Greene for the eighth-best rushing performance in Iowa history. That’s kind of interesting because Mark runs a lot like Nick and Shonn, downhill and right at you.
Mark’s first touchdown came on a fourth and 1 on Central Michigan’s 34 yard-line.
On Mark’s second touchdown, a 5-yard run around left tackle, he was hit at the 3 but ran the defender into the end zone.
Mark knocked over another defender for his third score, a 12-yard run with 4:18 left that gave Iowa a 31-23 lead.
Great offensive line blocking and great running by Mark.
How about Mike Meyers hitting 63 straight extra points. He broke Nate Kaeding’s Iowa record which was 60.
Like Kirk Ferentz said in the press conference last week, any time you can be mentioned in the same sentence with Nate you know you are doing something good.
Mike also hit a 46-yard field goal and is 9-10 for the season.
James Vandenberg threw his first touchdown pass of the season. He hooked up with Kevonte Martin-Manly on a 10-yard pass in the Hawks’ opening drive.
James finished 16-25 for 215 yards and a touchdown pass.
The Hawkeye defense held the Chippewas to only 111 yards rushing, which averaged out to 3.3 yards per carry. The Hawks averaged 7.7 yards per carry.
Central Michigan only converted 4-13 on third downs.
I thought Kevonte, Keenan Davis and Jordan Cotton made some big-time catches while they were well covered.
Micah Hyde and Anthony Hitchens led the defense with 14 tackles apiece as the Hawks had eight tackles for a loss last Saturday at Kinnick.
Finally John Wienke had another great punt that was downed on Central Michigan’s 1-yard line. John had two punts inside land inside the 20.
The bad has to start with Iowa only converting 1-8 on third downs. That probably could be put in the ugly category but there should be enough to fill the ugly part.
Central Michigan controlled the ball for over 36 minutes, Iowa only had it a little over 23 minutes.
Iowa’s pass coverage and pressure on the Chippewas quarterback wasn’t very good.
Ryan Radcliff completed 26-36 for 283 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown was a wide open 28-yard score. He was sacked twice, but one was from a blitz.
The ugly is a tossup for first.
I’m not sure which was worse… the Hawkeyes’ failure to cover an onside kick or a 15-yard penalty on the Chippewas’ final drive to set up the game-winning field goal.
If Iowa recovers the onside kick, there probably wouldn’t have been a penalty.
Central Michigan had two chances for an onside kick. The first one was recovered by C.J Fiedorowicz but the Chippewas had a penalty.
The second one, the Hawks just froze and no one went to the ball.
The penalty on the final drive would have been a third and 6 on CMU’s 46-yard line. Fifth-year senior Joe Gaglione got tangled up with an offensive lineman and was called for a personal foul.
That gave Central Michigan a first down on Iowa’s 39. A QB run put the ball on the Iowa 30 with 11 seconds left and the 47-yard field goal broke the Hawkeyes’ heart.
Nine penalties for the day will not help you win many games.
“Seven of those were majors,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz about the penalties. “They never come at a good time. It’s hard to overcome that kind of yardage in a ball game.”
Like I said last week, football is my favorite sport, but I really like the basketball and wrestling seasons.
If one of the basketball teams lose the other might win on the next night. If they both lose you can usually always count on Tom Brands and the wrestlers to come through.
There is a song by the Atlanta Rhythm Section called “I’m Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight,” and that’s what I’m going to do every night this week.
The Chicago Bears saved my weekend by beating the St. Louis Rams so the sky won’t be falling after all.
I really thought the Hawks would be at least 3-1 after the first four non-conference games.
Homecoming with Minnesota is this Saturday and the Gophers come into Kinnick 4-0.
Can Iowa rebound and get the pig back in Iowa after losing to the Gophers the last two years in a row?