Tag:Iowa
Posted on: October 2, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Iowa, Penn State about to kick off

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Hello, friends, from the press box of Kinnick Stadium, where Penn State visits Iowa on a chilly autumn night. This is the last time I will mention the press box, because nobody cares about the press box. At all.

Iowa has won the toss, and will receive. I picked a 20-9 victory for Iowa, and let's all see exactly how wrong that prediction is.


Category: NCAAF
Tags: Iowa, Penn State
 
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Saturday in the bathroom.

Breakfast

Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2


Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better.  Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.

Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.

Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later.  There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky.   If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.

Lunch

Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC


Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day.  We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness.   Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent. 

Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season. 

Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon.  There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season.  There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee.   My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.

Dinner

Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS


We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either.  Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test.  Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.

If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.

Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams.  If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford.   The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that.  Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far.  If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.

Late Night Snacks

Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season.  So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
Posted on: September 27, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 11:53 pm
 

For the Big Ten, the fight begins this weekend

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Big Ten Conference play begins this weekend*, and the race for the conference title is either already over (Ohio State) or wide open (the six other teams seemingly capable of winning the conference). We'll quickly find out whether many of the presumptive challengers to the Buckeyes' supremacy have what it takes to put together a great season. Considering the questions surrounding so many of them, the answer seems to be "maybe, but it's unlikely." In no particular order ...

Michigan (4-0): On one hand, Denard Robinson is a near-lock for Heisman candidacy this December; his stat lines are other-worldly, and there are few defenses in the conference that seem capable of containing this Michigan offense. But that defense. Ye gods, the defense. Michigan allowed 37 points to FCS stalwart UMass, and has given up more points thus far than every Big Ten team except Minnesota. Can Robinson and his teammates outscore enough conference opponents to justify the team's No. 19 ranking? They'll find out soon enough against Indiana this weekend; the Hoosiers have scored more than 40 points a game this season and have talent everywhere on offense.

Iowa (3-1): The good news: the Iowa Hawkeyes look materially better than last season, as wins that were close last year are blowouts now. Ricky Stanzi is far more efficient as a passer, and the only interception he's thrown all season came on a deflection. The bad news: the Hawkeyes have three kickers, which is to say they have none, and their cornerbacks are still rather suspect. And good heavens, that Arizona game. Iowa committed mistake after mistake in the first half, found themselves down 20 points at the break, then imploded on the offensive line with the game on the line. So what's there to make of the Arizona game? Was it an aberration, or is Iowa merely a bully of plainly inferior competition? Penn State comes to town this weekend, and intends to find out exactly how good the Hawkeyes actually are.

Wisconsin (4-0): No undefeated Big Ten team is more of an enigma than Wisconsin, who looks like it should be a Rose Bowl contender on paper -- and may very well be so -- but has underwhelmed against FBS competition. The Badgers needed a blocked extra point and a miraculous tackle at the 1-yard line at the end of the first half to help preserve a 20-19 win against Arizona State, and only beat an unimpressive San Jose State team 27-14. Yes, they won 70-3 over Austin Peay. Whatever. Wisconsin has the hogs up front and the stable of running backs (led by All-American candidate John Clay) to run over just about anybody in the conference, and Scott Tolzein is having another impressive and efficient season. Their defense isn't a weakness, and they get Ohio State (whom they've usually given fits) in Madison. But lo and behold, they face Michigan State in East Lansing this week, and it's basically a toss-up. Which Wisconsin will show up this Saturday -- and this season? 

Penn State (3-1): Joe Paterno made waves when he installed true freshman Rob Bolden at quarterback to begin the season, and for the most part, the decision has worked out; Bolden hasn't looked great, but he's playing with a maturity beyond his years, and he's certainly not a weak link in the offense. That weak link, however, would be the offensive line; Penn State hasn't blown anyone off the ball with any regularity yet this season, and that includes the likes of Youngstown State and Temple. That Penn State is still ranked after its somewhat underwhelming non-conference schedule demonstrates the deep level of trust voters have in JoePa to field a competitive team, and that's a trust that's rarely betrayed. Still, the Nittany Lions had better start playing like a quality team very soon, or they could find themselves in line for something like the Texas Bowl.

Northwestern (4-0): The Cardiac 'Cats have the inside track to a 6-0 record right now; they're two-thirds of the way there at 4-0, and their next two opponents are absolute doormats Minnesota and Purdue. Quarterback Dan Persa is one of the highest rated passers in the NCAA, and he's also Northwestern's leading rusher. That's sort of a bad thing. In fact, Persa and his stable of running backs all average less than 4 yards per carry, and they haven't even faced great rush defenses: of their three FBS opponents, only Central Michigan is in the top half of the nation's rush defenses. Let's face it: if you can't run on Vanderbilt (143 yards on 46 carries most certainly does not qualify), you can't run on most of the Big Ten. Can Persa keep up his efficient passing in the conference season, or is that 6-0 start going to turn into 8-4 and a mediocre December bowl bid?

Michigan State (4-0): Here's what's scary: The relatively underhyped, unheralded Michigan State squad could end up being better than all the teams mentioned above. Kirk Cousins is 17th in passing efficiency in the FBS. True freshman Le'Veon Bell is a dynamo in the Spartans' backfield (and pancaked two defenders at once on MSU's game-winning fake field goal). Also, unlike Michigan, MSU doesn't have a giant honking RED ALERT attached to its defense. Oh, and the Spartans miss Ohio State on this year's schedule. Ten wins or more for Sparty? It's happened all of once (1999) since the NCAA went to 11-game regular seasons, but it could easily happen this year. Or MSU could revert to its usual self and drop four or five games in the conference. We'll start finding out when the Spartans and Badgers lock horns -- if, y'know, ancient Greek warriors and badgers had horns -- this Saturday.

So who's legit and who's not? To be honest, right now, nobody really knows. That's why this weekend's going to be vitally important for all the teams mentioned above. No more excuses, no hiding behind cupcake schedules; it's Big Ten season now.

*It's worth pointing out that the Big Ten is still something of a dinosaur in this respect; it's the only conference with an eight-game schedule that has yet to begin conference play. Sure, thanks to bye weeks, Indiana and Illinois each still have a non-con to squeeze in during the conference slate, but that's it; for the rest, it's the tried and true formula of out-of-conference, in-conference, bowl. A bit stale, to be sure, but it's somewhat nice to not have your conference title hopes completely ruined before it's even October; Georgia, after all, has already gone 0-3 in the SEC. Hopeless in September. That's no way for a fan to be, is it?

Posted on: September 21, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 1:23 pm
 

Jewel Hampton has torn ACL, is out for year

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's hard not to feel for Iowa running back Jewel Hampton. The unheralded recruit burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2008, rushing for 463 yards and scoring seven touchdowns in a reserve role behind Shonn Greene, and looked to be tailor-made for Iowa's starting role after Greene departed early for the NFL.

That plan quickly went south, unfortunately, when Hampton tore his right ACL during the summer of '09, causing Iowa to turn to freshmen Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher for the course of 2009. With Hampton redshirting during his season off, Iowa looked to have three experienced sophomores in its tailback stable this year, and up to nine total.

But Wegher left the team before the season, and now the Hawkeyes have confirmed that Hampton tore his left ACL during last weekend's 34-27 loss to Arizona. The injury means, obviously, that Hampton is out for the rest of the season.

Also during last week's game, reserve tailback Paki O'Meara suffered a concussion during special teams play, and he is out indefinitely. With that, Robinson is now the only running back with any game experience left in Iowa's backfield. Robinson's backup looks to be true freshman Marcus Coker, a highly touted prospect out of Maryland who's now healthy but missed significant amounts of practice time with a shoulder injury.

If there's any consolation for Iowa fans, it's that in 2004, Iowa had a disastrous road trip to the state of Arizona, then lost basically every single running back for the season... at which point the team promptly rattled off eight straight wins en route to a Capital One Bowl victory. So there is positive precedent. But at the same time, that near-miraculous finish to the season was so improbable that we're pretty sure no member of the Iowa staff ever wanted to go through that scenario again. And yet just six years later, here they are.

Posted on: September 19, 2010 12:42 am
 

Arizona cruising at the break, 27-7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's been an uncharacteristically sloppy first half for the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes, who came into today's road trip at No. 24 Arizona with a reputation for sound play and senior leadership. The Hawkeyes have seen little of either thus far, and Arizona leads, 27-7.

Arizona didn't have to work especially hard on offense for any of their three touchdowns. A blocked punt gave Arizona 1st and goal right out of the blocks, and the Wildcats scored their other two touchdowns on an interception return by Trevin Wade and a kickoff return by Travis Cobb.

That's not to say that Arizona hasn't done anything on offense; Nick Foles guided two long, clock-eating drives that both resulted in field goals, and Adrian Clayborn and the rest of the vaunted Iowa defensive line have looked largely impotent thus far.

But the story of the day so far must be Iowa's mistakes; Arizona's pick-six came on a pass that went through Marvin McNutt's hands, and twice, Ricky Stanzi had sure touchdown passes barely miss open receivers and fall harmlessly incomplete.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:30 am
 

Game day weather updates, Week 3

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Will the heat affect teams' gameplans in the southeast? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

No. 12 Arkansas at Georgia, 12:00, Athens, GA: Lower 80s, clear, hot

Maryland at No. 21 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Upper 60s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 8 Nebraska at Washington, 3:30, Seattle, WA: Mid 60s, cloudy, scattered showers

No. 18 USC at Minnesota, 3:30, Minneapolis, MN: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

No. 10 Florida at Tennessee, 3:30, Knoxville, TN: Mid 80s, clear, hot

Evening kickoffs

Clemson at No. 16 Auburn, 7:00, Auburn, AL: Mid 80s, cloudy, slight chance of showers

No. 6 Texas at Texas Tech, 8:00, Lubbock, TX: Mid 80s, partly cloudy, windy

Late kickoffs

No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona, 10:30, Tucson, AZ: Lower 90s, breezy, hot

No. 23 Houston at UCLA, 10:30, Pasadena, CA: Upper 60s, clear

Wake Forest at No. 19 Stanford, 11:15, Palo Alto, CA: Lower 60s, clear

Posted on: September 15, 2010 7:57 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 9:22 pm
 

Iowa football poster: 'Love It Or Leave It'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One of the lasting images of the 2009-10 football season has got to be Ricky Stanzi's impromptu display of patriotism during an interview at the denouement of the Orange Bowl. Here, let's all watch once more:

It turns out that wasn't a once-off expression of patriotism; as Stanzi would explain later, the first thought he has every day is that these colors don't run, so this is a life-long commitment to the flag and all it stands for. As it should be, we suppose.

On a related note, Iowa released its football poster recently, and Iowa's director of football operations told the press that the seniors had some input on the theme of the flag. RELATED NOTE: Ricky Stanzi is a senior. So, yep, here we go:

And yes, that's Stanzi in the left corner, holding one of the flags. As if there'd be any doubt.

Posted on: September 4, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 1:13 pm
 

Ricky Stanzi hurt in first half

Posted by Adam Jacobi

UPDATE: Stanzi has returned to the game.

The worst thing that could have happened to the Iowa Hawkeyes may have just gone down at Kinnick Stadium. While rolling out of the pocket, quarterback Ricky Stanzi slipped while trying to make a cut, and fell awkwardly on his left leg.

Stanzi left the field under his own power, but he was noticeably limping. Trainers worked on his knee, and Stanzi has put his helmet back on. We'll see if the knee affects him going forward.

Even if Stanzi's knee isn't 100% for the rest of the day, it probably won't matter; sophomore running back Adam Robinson ran roughshod over the EIU defense and scored his third touchdown to finish off the drive. Iowa leads 28-7 late in the second quarter.

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