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Hawk Talk

I thought last year’s 27-24 loss to Minnesota was the most depressing loss the Hawkeyes had in a long time… until last Saturday’s 22-21 loss at Gopherland.
I’ve always said that if Minnesota and Iowa State would play as hard against the rest of their schedule as they do against the Hawks, they would have a winning season and go to bowl games… not so fast, my friends.
I thought I was watching Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” last Saturday.
In the film, Bill would wake up and have to go through the day the same as it was the day before.
Last year, Minnesota got its coach fired, beat Illinois and then knocked of the Hawkeyes.
This year they have only one win going into the game, play four quarters, don’t quit like they have done and come away with the huge upset.
Last year, in the first showing of “Gopher Day,” Minnesota executed an onside kick after they made a field goal on the opening drive and took the ball in for a touchdown. It was 10-0 before Iowa touched the ball.
This year, the Gophers had an onside kick in the fourth quarter, recovered it and took it in for the winning points.
Last year, Minnesota took the lead late, Iowa fumbled on its next drive and the game was over.
This year, the Gophers scored late, Iowa got the ball back with over two minutes left, go four-and-out and lose again.
It’s time for a little good, bad and ugly.

The Good
It’s a crying shame that Marcus Coker rushed for the third-best all time total yards in a single game and it doesn’t really matter.
The 6-0, 230-pound sophomore pounded out 252 yards on 32 carries. He not only averaged 7.9 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns but was NEVER stopped for a loss.
Tavian Banks holds the all time record. He ran for 314 against Tulsa in 1997 and the Hawks won 54-16.
Ed Podolak had 286 against Northwestern in 1968, and Iowa won, 68-34.
Sedrick Shaw pounded out 250 at Michigan State in 1995 with Iowa winning 21-7, and Phil Blatcher racked up 247 against Michigan State in 1981.
Marcus is the only top-10 runner that didn’t win.
I saw the games Tavian and Phil played… had tickets to Sedrick’s game but didn’t go, and listened to Ed roll on the radio.
If Iowa had four or five more players to give the effort Marcus did the Hawks wouldn’t lose a game.
Marvin McNutt had a good day with seven catches, 101 yards and a score. He also ran the ball once for 19 yards.
It didn’t help to have Keenan Davis on the sideline with a leg injury.
It did open the door for Jordan Cotton to make the first catch of his career.
The 6-1, 185-pound sophomore from Mount Pleasant was a top recruit out of high school and has been injured his first couple of years.
James Vandenberg had a decent day, going 16-24 for 177 yards and a touchdown. His longest completion was 27 yards.
James Morris led the way on defense with 13 tackles.

The Bad
The Hawkeye defense gave up 178 yards rushing and a 4.4 average. Minnesota kept pounding the ball up the middle and Iowa couldn’t stop them on their last drive.
Iowa knew going into the season that the defensive line could struggle, and boy, they sure have.
The Gophers came into the game with only five sacks… they had three more against the Hawks and one caused a fumble.
Another bad was Iowa’s failure to convert in the red zone. The Hawkeyes moved the ball, but could only score on three of six times inside Minnesota’s 20. Coming into the game, they converted 26 of 27 in the red zone.
Just one more…

The Ugly
Mike Meyers has to be hurting. He missed two field goals, one from 24 yards and one from 43. There was no wind and no pressure from Minnesota.
The onside kick was a back-breaker. The Hawks weren’t ready and had no chance to recover it.
The only thing I can take out of the loss is that it will be great to get the pig back next year at home.
It doesn’t get any easier. Michigan and Michigan State come to Kinnick the next two weeks.
Then road trips to Purdue and Nebraska.
At this point Iowa might be favored in maybe one game.
One more win and the Hawks are Bowl eligible… if there is any magic left in Kinnick…