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Hawk Talk

For the second week in a row, I didn’t get to see the complete Hawkeye game.
Last week, I was at my nephew’s wedding, which turned out to be a good thing.
This week there was technical difficulty on channel 22 which made the first half shaky and I missed the start of the third quarter and Iowa’s first field goal.
I called my cable company and found it on channel 126.
My question… if it works on 126, why not 22?
As far as the game goes it was great… if you were a Cyclone fan.
The last time Iowa gave up 44 points was a 44-7 blowout in the desert at Arizona State in 2004.
The Hawks lost to Arizona State 44-7 that night, then lost 30-17 the following week to Michigan. That was the game Drew Tate, a sophomore at the time, got his helmet ripped off and still threw a pass. Iowa finished with a 10-2 record, 7-1 in the Big Ten and were co-Big Ten champions.
I don’t know if Iowa can do that this year, but I still believe they will get better.
Normally, when the Hawkeye offense scores 41 points, Iowa wins, so I’ll talk offense first.

The Offense
Last year when the Hawkeyes rushed for over 120 yards they were 8-0. This year they are 1-1.
Marcus Cooker pounded out 140 yards on 35 carries and scored twice, but his fumble in the first half set up and Iowa State score.
The Hawks are going to have to develop a number two running back before they open Big Ten play against Penn State. Marcus took all the snaps last Saturday.
James Vandenberg had a decent day going 16-28 for 207 yards and two touchdown passes, but it looked like he was a little flustered in the middle of the game. He came on strong at crunch time.
I likes the way James moved around the pocket. He also scrambled a couple of times and picked up plus yards.
Keenan Davis led the receivers with five catches for 95 yards and a score. His 23-yard touchdown catch in the second overtime saw him breaking tackles and diving into the end zone.
Keenan also dropped a sure catch in the third OT which would have given the Hawks a first down. Instead, they had to settle for a field goal.
I’m not sure why Iowa didn’t go to Marvin McNutt more.
The 6-4, 215-pound senior caught four passes for 61 yards. It was good to see Kevonte Martin-Manley get his first catch, which was a touchdown reception. His touchdown catch covered 6 yards to open the scoring.
C. J. Fiedorowicz also had his first reception. He was the only Iowa tight end to catch a pass.
The offensive line held up pretty well. James was sacked only once.

The Defense
The Hawkeyes knew before the season that the defense was going to be a work in progress.
It didn’t help that Jordan Bernstine got sick on Friday and had to be flown to Iowa City to get treatment. Talk about a tough luck kid. Jordan has been nicked up his whole career, missing a full season with a leg injury. He was all over the field in the first game and the Hawks could have used his speed.
Iowa also lost Dakota Getz on the opening kickoff. Dakota was expected to give depth at linebacker.
The ‘Clones had 26 first downs, 194 yards rushing and 279 passing and you can see why Iowa lost. ISU was also 13-20 on third down conversions and that isn’t going to get it done.
Steel Jantz, the JuCo quarterback transfer, was all-world against Iowa.
He had 42 yards rushing, 25-37 passing and four touchdowns, but the story was all about him scrambling around buying time for his receivers to get open.
The bad news is Northwestern, Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska all have quarterbacks who can run. The good news is Steel might be the best passer of the group.
Once again, Christen Kirksey led the defense with 13 tackles, 11 unassisted.

Special Teams
Mike Meyers was 4-4 on field goals and 3-3 on extra points, but one of his kickoffs went out of bounds. That gave State a first down on their 40. They would eventually get a touchdown out of that. It would be nice to see Mike kick a few more touchbacks like he did last year.
Eric Guthrie had four solid punts averaging 46.9 yards per kick which was great.
The kickoff coverage slipped back a couple of notches giving up an average of 31.8 per return, including a 51- and 40-yard return.

I’ve always said that if Iowa State came out with that much fire for every game, they would have a winning season and go to a Bowl.
It’s not like the Hawks came out flat. Iowa led 10-0 and controlled the first quarter.
The Hawkeyes sometimes play a little on the conservative side when they get the lead but when you have a running back like Marcus that can average four yards a play, you roll with him.
I like Iowa’s chances better against Pittsburgh since they lost to the ‘Clones.
It will be a tough game, but Kirk Ferentz has a way of keeping the team grounded, win or lose.
Let’s hope for a little Kinnick magic.