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Hawk Talk

What a difference a week makes.
Last week, you would have thought the sky was falling and dogs and cats were living together… why? Because the Hawkeyes lost to Minnesota 22-21 when they were favored by 15.
Former Iowa quaerterback Jim Hartlieb once said that losing hurts more than winning feels good… unless you beat Michigan 24-16 on a last-second, goal line stand.
The Hawkeyes first played Michigan in 1900, winning 28-5. They have played the Wolverines 57 times and have never beaten them three years in a row… until last Saturday.
My goodness, the Wolverines had a first and goal on the Hawkeye 3-yard-line with 16 SECONDS LEFT.
The final four plays listed in the stat sheet went:
– Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Hemmingway;
– Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Hemmingway;
– Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Smith, QB hurry by Nielsen, Tyler;
– Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Roundtree (Lowery, B.J.);
End of game, clock 00:00.

What a great goal line stand!
What a great win!
“They showed a lot of pride, that’s for sure,” said Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. “They worked hard and came out with a lot of energy. We didn’t play perfect football, clearly, but the guys played hard in all three phases and when things went wrong they just kept working and kept pushing. That can overcome a lot of things.”
The defense has been shot at all season and to hold the Wolverines to 16 points and 323 yards is amazing.
Michigan was averaging 34.8 points per game and 441.2 total yards per game so we start with the “D.”

Defense
B. J. Lowery made the biggest play of his career… so far, when he knocked down a pass in the end zone as time ran out.
Four straight passes with 16 seconds left and first down at the three… four straight incompletions.
How about Jordan Bernstine with a career-high 15 tackles or Tyler Nielsen with 13 stops, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a recovery… on the same play.
Broderick Binns had three tackles including one sack and one tackle for a loss but his big plays were when he knocked down Denard Robinson’s passes three times.
Christian Kirksey had a huge interception in Iowa’s end zone right before half that kept Michigan off the board.
Shaun Prater and Micah Hyde did a great job of man coverage, matching up with Michigan’s talented receivers.
How about Thomas Nardo playing after being out for a couple of weeks.
Thomas had eight tackles and helped plug up the middle in the defensive line. Michigan only averaged 3.4 yards per carry.
It’s too bad Dominique Alvis tore his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. He was improving every game and will be missed on the defensive line.
The Iowa defense didn’t give up the big play and made a huge stop to end the game.

Offense
The Iowa Hawkeyes have had only 12 backs run for over 1,000 yards… until Saturday when Marcus Coker became the 13th member of the exclusive club.
Marcus pounded out 132 yards, scored twice and averaged 4.6 yards per carry against Michigan. The big guy has 1,101 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
It’s no coincidence that ever since Brad Rogers came back into the lineup at fullback that Marcus has had four straight 100 yard games. Brad is a great lead blocker and that is so important when the Hawks line up in the I-formation.
Marvin McNutt continues to impress as the best receiver in the Big Ten, pulling down a career-high nine passes for 101 yards.
Marvin has 57 catches for the season and has scored nine touchdowns.
James Vandenberg had another solid game going 14-21 for 171 yards and a touchdown pass. James has 18 touchdowns and four interceptions for the season.
It was good to see Keenan Davis back after missing the Minnesota game.
Keenan only caught two passes, but the first went for 44 yards on Iowa’s first drive and set up Iowa’s first score. With Keenan in the lineup, it’s hard to double-team Marvin.
Brad Herman only had one catch, but it was for a touchdown and it put the Hawks up 14-6 in the second quarter.
C.J. Fiedorowicz got his first start at tight end, did a great job blocking and caught one pass for nine yards.
Another key stat was Michigan had the ball 30.06, Iowa 29.54. The Hawks had some long drives which kept Michigan off the field.

Special Teams
Mike Meyers, who missed two field goals last week, made his only attempt, a 42-yard kick against the wind, in the second quarter.
Eric Guthrie punted five times with a 40 yard average and how about Micah Hyde who returned two punts for 28 yards.
“The punt return team, they did a good job blocking,” said Micah. “I got something to return and I give all the credit to them.”
Kickoff coverage was decent. Jordan Bernstine and Jordan Canzeri had a couple of nice returns.

The Hawkeyes are sitting at 6-3, 3-2 in the Big Ten.
Next week is a home game against Michigan State that will be as tough as it gets.
The last home game for the seniors and the Hawks love to play in front of their fans… can we get one more magic moment in Kinnick?