Archive for October, 2008

Game primer: Iowa vs. Illinois

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Here is a quick primer for Iowa’s game at Illinois, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday:


Rust factor

Iowa hasn’t played since beating Wisconsin 38-16 on Oct. 18 and is coming off the program’s first bye week since 2005. Big Ten teams are only 2-4 coming off of byes this season, and the Hawkeyes will be looking to reverse the trend. They were playing their best football since 2004 before the layoff. Will it continue? Or will there be rust?

Ferentz and the Zooker

Illinois coach Ron Zook has led quite the turnaround, taking the Illini from back-to-back 2-10 seasons to 9-4 and a Rose Bowl berth last year. One thing he has never done is beat Kirk Ferentz. He was 0-1 at Florida and is 0-3 at Illinois. Because of the Big Ten’s rotating schedule, this is his last chance until 2011.

Big plays

It’s pretty simple. Led by quarterback Juice Williams and receiver Arrelious Benn, Illinois’ offense thrives on big plays. Iowa’s defense plays conservatively and has not given up many plays longer than 20 yards this season. Something has got to give. Will the Illini bust loose? Or will the Hawkeyes contain Illinois’ explosive weapons?

Built Ford tough

Iowa players and coaches knew they’d see a lot of true freshman running back Jason Ford, who twice committed to the Hawkeyes before landing at Illinois. Now, Ford might be the starter because starter Daniel Dufrene’s status is uncertain. Ford has rushed for 234 yards and five touchdowns this year. 

Memorial makeover

Illinois just finished a $100 million renovation of Memorial Stadium, adding luxury suites and a new press box while also reshuffling other seating. The renovation actually decreased the capacity from more than 69,000 to 62,870. A sellout crowd is expected Saturday. The stadium was rededicated Sept. 6, and the Illini are 3-1 in their new digs. 


When the Hawkeyes have the ball

Shonn Greene is averaging 162 yards rushing in Big Ten Conference play. Illinois ranks ninth in the league against the run. Advantage Hawkeyes. Greene is coming off a 217-yard, four-touchdown effort against Wisconsin, and will be well-rested against a tired Illini defense. Advantage: Iowa 

When the Illini have the ball

Iowa has had its way with Juice Williams in the past, but this is a very different Illinois quarterback we’re talking about this season. While Iowa’s defense ranks as one of the best in the nation, it has not seen the likes of Williams or the Illini offense as a whole. Advantage: Illinois  

Special teams

Iowa has the edge in almost every area of special teams play. Trent Mossbrucker leads the Big Ten in field-goal accuracy, while punter Ryan Donahue was just announced as a Ray Guy Award finalist. And Andy Brodell is dangerous on punt return. Illinois kicker Matt Eller is 5-for-6 from beyond 40 yards. Advantage: Iowa


This one is almost too close to call. Both teams need a win to jockey for bowl position. Illinois needs one worse. Iowa has gone two games without a turnover and might be due, and Juice Williams will make the Hawkeyes pay with a few big plays. Illinois 28, Iowa 24

A crazy scenario where Iowa goes to the Rose Bowl … the only catch is you have to pull for Wisconsin

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Kirk Ferentz joked Tuesday about Iowa fans getting ahead of themselves, making plans for New Year’s bowl games now that the Hawkeyes have won a couple games in a row.

Let’s get really ahead of ourselves for a minute. I’m talking “Big Ten Championship, trip to Pasadena” kind of ahead of ourselves.

It could happen. It’s not likely, but it could happen.

First, Iowa needs to win out — which would mean knocking off Penn State and Minnesota — and finish 9-3 and 6-2 in the Big Ten.

Second, Michigan State has to lose to both Wisconsin and Purdue before upsetting Penn State in the regular-season finale.

Oh, and either Northwestern, Illinois or Michigan would have to beat Ohio State.

Hey, I said it wasn’t likely. But it still is possible.

In that scenario, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State and Minnesota would tie for the conference championship with 6-2 league records. There is a long list of tie-breakers, but because they would have beaten Minnesota and Penn State and have a longer BCS drought than OSU, the Hawkeyes would get the nod and land a trip to the Rose Bowl.

So, you got that? Cheer for Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State.

Oh, and Iowa, of course.

Notes from Ferentz news conference

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

IOWA CITY — Coming off a bye week, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media Tuesday afternoon. Here are some notes from his news conference:

-Senior guard Seth Olsen (ankle) is not listed on the depth chart. Olsen suffered a severe ankle sprain the Wednesday before the Wisconsin game and has not played or practiced since. He should practice Wednesday, Ferentz said. Junior Andy Kuempel will start in his place Saturday against Illinois.

-Adrian Clayborn (ankle) and Chad Geary are listed as co-starters at defensive end. Clayborn played one series against Wisconsin after suffering an injury against Indiana.

-Tight end Tony Moeaki (leg) is questionable for Saturday’s game at Illinois.

-Sophomore Troy Johnson has moved from weakside linebacker to outside linebacker, where he is listed as the co-backup to A.J. Edds. Jeff Tarpinian now is listed as the backup at weakside backer behind Jeremiha Hunter.

-Iowa’s Nov. 1 game against Penn State is a 2:30 p.m. kickoff to be televised on ABC regionally and on ESPN in the outer markets.

-There are 2,400 tickets left for the Nov. 15 game against Purdue.

-Captains for Illinois remain the same: Mitch King, Matt Kroul, Shonn Greene and Rob Bruggeman.

-Kirk Ferentz used his bye week to vote for president on Saturday. “Just being a good American, a patriot, that’s all,” he said. He didn’t say who he voted for.

-A lot of talk about Shonn Greene for Heisman. Ferentz talked about how at some point you’ve got to start promoting him based on his performance. Basically, Ferentz said if Greene continues to play well, he’ll get the attention at one point or another.

Hawkeyes land pair of tight ends

Monday, October 27th, 2008

With their team on a bye week, the Iowa football coaching staff received a pair of non-binding verbal commitments from high school seniors over the weekend, according to Web site

Justin Lattimore and Anthony Schiavone, both tight ends, gave word they intend to play for the Hawkeyes.

Lattimore, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder, is from Tampa, Fla. Schiavone is a 6-foot-6, 230-pounder from New London, Conn. They both are rated as 2-star prospects by Rivals.

Schiavone, whose high school coach, Jack Cochran, also coached former Hawkeyes Jason Manson and Jermelle Lewis, had previously committed to Temple, but he changed his mind after visiting Iowa City Oct. 18. He picked Iowa over offers from Temple and Buffalo.

Lattimore had offers from Ball State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Miami (Ohio).

Nine players from the class of 2009 have committed to Iowa. 

My Week 9 AP ballot

Monday, October 27th, 2008

With Iowa on a bye week, I got to watch a lot more football than I normally do on Saturday. Saw some good games. The Penn State-Ohio State slugfest wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for the Big Ten, though, what with Big 12 and SEC teams putting up 50-plus all over the place. You’ve got to wonder how much water that “we play defense and run the ball” mantra can hold with recruits.

Here’s my Week 9 ballot. Not a lot of change at the top:

1. Texas (8-0, 4-0 Big 12): The Longhorns knocked off another unbeaten, Oklahoma State, in a brutal stretch of games. Colt McCoy is running away with the Heisman. Next up: Saturday at Texas Tech

2. Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten): The Nittany Lions got a major monkey off their backs by winning at Ohio State. Now, they likely will roll to an unbeaten season. Next up: Nov. 8 at Iowa

3. Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC): ’Bama scored an easy win at Tennessee and it’s looking like the Tide won’t have a challenger in the SEC West. Next up: Saturday vs. Arkansas State

4. Oklahoma (7-1, 3-1 Big 12): The Sooners still might be the second best team in the country. Quarterback Sam Bradford continues lead an explosive offense. Next up: Saturday vs. Nebraska

5. Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC): Florida led 28-0 before Kentucky got a first down on Saturday. Tim Tebow totaled four touchdowns — two passing, two on the ground. Next up: Saturday vs. Georgia

6. Texas Tech (8-0, 4-0 Big 12): Now, the showdown is set. Graham Harrell threw five touchdowns in a rout of Kansas, and the Red Raiders will get a shot at Texas. Next up: Saturday vs. Texas

7. Oklahoma State (7-1, 3-1 Big 12): Hard to drop the Cowboys after a four-point loss at Texas, a team that is No. 1 on every single AP voters ballot. Next up: Saturday vs. Iowa State

8. Georgia (7-1, 4-1 SEC): Either LSU isn’t that good, or Georgia is better than I thought. The ’Dogs stomped the Tigers on Saturday, keeping pace with Florida. Next up: Saturday vs. Florida

9. USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-10): Trojans dropped this week. They struggled at Arizona, and the teams ahead of them with losses lost to better teams than Oregon State. Next up: Saturday vs. Washington

10. Utah (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West): The Utes were idle this week. But with an unbeaten record, they are on track to crash the BCS. Next up: Saturday at New Mexico

11. Boise State (7-0, 3-0 WAC): Another possible BCS crasher, the Broncos handled San Jose State over the weekend. Next up: Saturday at New Mexico State

12. TCU (8-1, 5-0 Mountain West): Yet another possible BCS buster, the Horned Frogs might actually be the best. They beat Wyoming 54-7 a week after routing BYU. Next up: Saturday at UNLV

13. Ohio State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten): Too bad the Penn State loss had to come down to a mistake by freshman Terrelle Pryor. The Buckeyes’ defense played as well as possible. Next up: Nov. 8 at Northwestern

14. Missouri (6-2, 2-2 Big 12): After back-to-back losses, the Tigers celebrated homecoming by hanging 58 on Colorado. The Big 12 North should be a cakewalk. Next up: Saturday at Baylor

15. BYU (7-1, 3-1 Mountain West): BYU bounced back from an embarrassing loss to TCU but struggled with UNLV. The Cougars have won 17 straight at home. Next up: Saturday at Colorado State

16. LSU (5-2, 3-2 SEC): Usually known for their defense, the Tigers have given up 50-plus in their two losses, including 52 to Georgia over the weekend. Next up: Saturday vs. Tulane

17. Minnesota (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten): Coming off a bye week, a trip to Purdue was a trap for the Gophers. A 17-6 win wasn’t dazzling, but it’ll do. It’ll do. Next up: Saturday vs. Northwestern

18. Ball State (8-0, 4-0 MAC): The Cardinals are continuing to dominate the MAC even without star receiver Donte Love. Their closest game was a 12-point win. Next up: Nov. 5 vs. Northern Illinois

19. Tulsa (8-0, 5-0 C-USA): The offensive statistics are absurd for the Golden Hurricanes. Can they keep it up against a team from the SEC next week? Next up: Saturday at Arkansas

20. Florida State (6-1, 3-1 ACC): Funny … in many other years, if the Seminoles were 6-1, they’d be in the top 10, yet there are still questions as to whether they’re any good. Next up: Saturday at Georgia Tech

21. Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten): Javon Ringer showed why he might be the best back in America, running for 194 yards in the Spartans’ first win at Michigan since 1990. Next up: Saturday vs. Wisconsin

22. Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1 Big East): Who can figure out the Big East? Pitt gives up 54 in a loss to 3-5 Rutgers? I still think the Panthers are the best team in the league. Next up: Saturday at Notre Dame

23. North Carolina (6-2, 2-2 ACC): Like the Big East, the ACC is tough to figure out. There probably are a half-dozen teams that could win the conference. UNC is one of them. Next up: Nov. 8 vs. Georgia Tech

24. Oregon (6-2, 4-1 Pac-10): The Ducks rolled at Arizona State over the weekend. Their only losses were to Boise State and USC. Next up: Saturday at Cal

25. UConn (6-2, 2-1 Big East): The Huskies scored 20 in the fourth quarter of a blowout of a pretty good Cincinnati team. Did I say the Big East is tough to figure? Next up: Saturday vs. West Virginia

Dropped out: No. 16 South Florida, No. 21, Georgia Tech, No. 22 Boston College

Recruit watch: An update on Iowa commits

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Sioux City Bishop Heelan running back Brandon Wegher continued his assault on the record books, running for 267 yards to move into first place on Class 3A’s all-time rushing list. That, and other updates on Iowa recruits:

Brandon Wegher — Running back, Sioux City Bishop Heelan

Wegher carried 15 times for 267 yards and five touchdowns and also returned a punt 60 yards for a score as Heelan, Iowa’s top-ranked Class 3A team, improved to 8-0 with a 58-7 win over Le Mars. In the process, he became Class 3A’s all-time leading rusher.

From the Sioux City Journal:

The irrepressible Wegher, who became the all-time leading rusher in Class 3A history, scored on three of the first four times he touched the football. He got the Crusaders off to a rousing start by returning a punt 60 yards to paydirt less than three minutes into the game, then added scoring jaunts of 49 and 46 yards before the end of the first quarter.

Before taking a seat for good after the first series of the second half, Wegher carried 15 times, tacking on touchdown runs of 82, 15 and 20 yards. The 5-11, 205-pound tailback ran his season rush-ing total to 1,845 yards and his career mark to 5,436.

That allowed Wegner to pass Chad Shuff of Le Mars as the Class 3A record holder. Shuff, who played collegiately at Augustana, churned out 5,411 yards from 1990-92.

“He is special,” said Heelan Coach Roger Jansen. “Every time he touches the ball people are on pins and needles and we’re just thankful we don’t have to defend him and he’s on our team.”

Brad Rogers — Running back, Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic

Rogers did not play in Central Catholic’s 24-21 win over Whitmer. According to Toledo Blade re-porter Steve Junga, Rogers is nursing a “fairly significant” ankle sprain and hasn’t played much of a role for the 9-0 Irish. Junga said Rogers could be back the second week of the playoffs.

Keenan Davis — Wide receiver, Cedar Rapids Washington

For some reason, I couldn’t find a story on the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Web site, but Washington beat Dubuque Senior 56-0 to improve to 7-1. Not sure if Davis played. He has been nursing a leg injury.

Jordan Cotton — Running back, Mount Pleasant

Cotton carried 27 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns in Mount Pleasant’s 49-42 win over Oskaloosa. He had scoring runs of 3, 3, 7 and 51 yards and also had a reception for 15 yards. Mount Pleasant remains unbeaten and is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A.

Drew Clark — Offensive lineman, Marion

Marion improved to 7-1 with a 36-22 win over Maquoketa.

Brett Van Sloten — Offensive lineman, Decorah

Decorah beat Epworth, Western Dubuque 27-10 to improve to 8-0.

Scott Covert — Defensive lineman, Lake Forest (Ill.)

Lake Forest bounced back from a loss and beat an 0-8 Zion team 35-26, improving to 5-3 on the year.

James Morris — Running back, Solon

Morris, a junior, fought through a thigh injury to rush for 113 yards and three scores to lead So-lon, Iowa’s top-ranked Class 2A team, to a 27-0 win over No. 3 Iowa City Regina.

From the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I’m kind of embarrassed that I had to come out of the game a couple times. That usually doesn’t happen,” Morris said. “It was a really physical game, and they kept hitting me.”

My Week 8 AP ballot

Monday, October 20th, 2008

No changes in my top 7 this week, but that could change this week with No. 1 Texas playing No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Penn State taking on No. 9 Ohio State. A lot of good matchups in the top 25 this weekend. I think we might start to see things clear up as far as who are the real contenders.

1. Texas (7-0, 3-0 Big 12): After convincing wins over Oklahoma and Missouri, the preseason Big 12 favorites, the Longhorns clearly are the top team in the nation. Next up: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

2. Penn State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten): The Nittany Lions started slow against Michigan but ran away in the second half. The true test comes this weekend in Columbus. Next up: Saturday at Ohio State

3. Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC): You get the sense this Alabama team is one that gets up for big games but struggles againt lesser opponents. Next up: Saturday at Tennessee

4. Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12): Sam Bradford put up another ridiculous stat line against Kanas, throwing for an OU record 468 yards. The Sooners should lose again. Next up: Saturday at Kansas State

5. Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC): Coming off a 51-21 rout of LSU, the Gators were idle this past week. This team has the talent but needs to find consistency. Next up: Saturday vs. Kentucky

6. USC (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10): The Trojans were favored by 43 points at Washington State and easily covered in a 69-0 blowout. They lead the nation in scoring defense. Next up: Saturday at Arizona

7. Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0 Big 12): Sandwiched between games at Missouri and Texas, a matchup with Baylor was a trap game the Cowboys passed. Next up: Saturday at Texas

8. Texas Tech (7-0, 3-0 Big 12): Typical game for Graham Harrell over the weekend: 450 yards, five total touchdowns. The Red Raiders still haven’t been tested. Next up: Saturday at Kansas

9. Ohio State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten): After blowing out Michigan State, the Buckeyes can put themselves back in the BCS title picture with a win over Penn State. Next up: Saturday vs. Ohio State

10. LSU (5-1, 3-1 SEC): The Tigers had to come back at South Carolina. This isn’t a team that’s going to win pretty, but the defense keeps them in games. Next up: Saturday vs. Georgia

11. Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC): The Bulldogs weren’t very impressive in a win over Vandy. They’re still making too many mistakes, but Knowshon Moreno is good. Next up: Saturday at LSU

12. Utah (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West): With BYU going down, Utah moves into the “BCS buster” chair. The Utes still have to get past the Cougars and TCU. Next up: Nov. 1 at New Mexico

13. Boise State (6-0, 2-0 WAC): The Broncos could manage to get into the BCS, too, but the WAC appears down, so it’ll be tough to jump over an unbeaten from the MWC. Next up: Friday at San Jose State

14. TCU (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West): TCU’s only loss was against Oklahoma, 35-10. The Horned Frogs dominated BYU 32-7 to jump into the top 25. Next up: Saturday vs. Wyoming

15. Pittsburgh (5-1, 2-0 Big East): Iowa’s one-point loss at Pittsburgh is looking better all the time. The Panthers look like the class of the Big East, which is down. Next up: Saturday vs. Rutgers

16. South Florida (6-1, 1-1 Big East): The Bulls beat up on Syracuse over the weekend. Quarterback Matt Grothe threw for three touchdowns. Next up: Saturday at Louisville

17. Missouri (5-2, 1-2 Big 12): Missouri’s still a good team. The Tigers just ran up against a Texas squad playing as well as anyone has in the past few years. Next up: Saturday vs. Colorado

18. BYU (6-1, 2-1 Mountain West): The Cougars had been blowing out everyone and hadn’t lost a Mountain West game in two seasons before being throttled by TCU. Next up: Saturday vs. UNLV

19. Ball State (7-0, 3-0 MAC): The Cardinals were off over the weekend. It looks like they’ll get some competition from Western and Central Michigan in the MAC. Next up: Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan

20. Minnesota (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten): The Gophers had a week to rest up and watch the Big Ten race take shape. Now, they can begin a push for a January bowl game. Next up: Saturday at Purdue

21. Georgia Tech (6-1, 3-1 ACC): Paul Johnson seems to be having success with the triple-option offense in the ACC. It certanly worked for him at Navy. Next up: Saturday vs. Virginia

22. Boston College (5-1, 2-1 ACC): The post-Matt Ryan Eagles very quietly have set themselves up for a run at the ACC title. Next up: Saturday at North Carolina

23. Florida State (5-1, 2-1 ACC): The ACC looks like a conference in which everyone could end up right around .500. There’s not a really good team in the league. Next up: Saturday vs. Virginia Tech

24. Tulsa (7-0, 4-0 C-USA): The Golden Flashes had 49 points at the half of a 77-35 win over UTEP. They had 791 yards of total offense — 470 passing, 321 rushing. Next up: Sunday vs. UCF

25. Michigan State (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten): QB Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in the Spartans’ blowout loss to Ohio State. He should be back this weekend — wouldn’t miss it. Next up: Saturday at Michigan

Dropped out: No. 17 North Carolina, No. 22 Kansas, No. 23 Vanderbilt, No. 24 Virginia Tech

Iowa-Illinois kickoff set

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Iowa’s Nov. 1 game at Illinois will kick off at 2:30 p.m., the Big Ten announced today. It will be televised by ABC (WQAD, Ch. 8 in the Quad-Cities) in Big Ten markets and ESPN in outer markets. This is the first Iowa game this season to start later than 11 a.m. CST. 

Enjoy the extra tailgating time.  

Other Big Ten kickoff times for Nov. 1:

Central Michigan at Indiana, 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

Michigan at Purdue, 11 a.m., Big Ten Network

Northwestern at Minnesota, 11 a.m., ESPN or ESPN2

Wisconsin at Michigan State, 11 a.m., ESPN or ESPN2

Greene’s TD run ‘top play’

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

For those of you who didn’t catch ESPN’s Sports Center tonight, Shonn Greene’s second touchdown run, the 34-yarder in the second quarter of Iowa’s 38-16 win over Wisconsin, the one where he spun out of one tackle and then high-stepped out of another on his way to the end zone, was named today’s top play.

I have to agree.

I backed it up and watched it again and again, and each time, I was still surprised Greene was able to get out of both of those tackles and go in for the score. I think you’re going to start hearing his name a lot more from the national media. Not only is he a great back, but he’s a great story, what with having gone the prep school route and then having to go to a juco last year. To come back the way he has says a lot about his character.

My question for you is: Is Greene a Heisman contender?

Sound off. Let me know.

Report card: Iowa vs. Wisconsin

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

IOWA CITY — Saturday’s 38-16 win over Wisconsin was a big one for Iowa heading into the bye week. Now, the Hawkeyes can rest up, get healthy and prepare for a trip to Illinois.

Iowa looked really, really good Saturday, on both sides of the ball and on special teams. At 5-3 (2-2 in the Big Ten) the Hawkeyes need only one more win to clinch a bowl berth, and it looks like two or three more wins isn’t out of the question. 

Offense (B)

Zero was a big number for Iowa’s offense Saturday.

Zero turnovers. Zero quarterback sacks.

With Shonn Greene running the way he is — 6.5 yards a carry through eight games — they only way the Hawkeyes are going to be stopped is if they turn the ball over. We saw it against Northwestern. We saw it against Michigan State.

Man, it’s scary to think how close this team is to being unbeaten, but that’s a story for a different day.

Greene was brilliant Saturday, running with power, speed and vision. He is as good as there is in the country.

Ricky Stanzi was steady, completing 11 of 18 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. The receivers caught most of what was thrown their way, including a one-handed catch by tight end Allen Reisner, and they blocked extremely well downfield.

The only knock is that Iowa went 1-for-10 on third downs and had four straight three-and-outs from the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the third. That needs to improve.  

Defense (A)

Wisconsin’s 409 yards are misleading. Through three quarters, the Badgers had only 235 yards and had been thoroughly dominated by Iowa’s defense.

Same story, different week for the defense. It was stout against the run and didn’t allow big plays. A line thinned by injury played well, and the linebackers were all over the field, led by Bettendorf native Pat Angerer’s 16 tackles.

Iowa has given up only 92 points in eight games. Man, did I already say it’s scary to think how close this team is to being unbeaten.

Special teams (A)

When Paki O’Meara blocked a Wisconsin punt late in the third quarter, it was Iowa’s first since 2005.

All good teams play well on special teams, and the Hawkeyes are starting to get consistent play from theirs.

Ryan Donahue averaged 36.8 yards on eight punts, landing three inside the 20, including one that was downed at the Wisconsin 1. Trent Mossbrucker made good on his only field-goal attempt, a 35-yarder in the fourth. He is now 10-for-11 on the season.

Coaching (A)

Iowa’s coaches had a solid game plan on both sides of the ball.

There were several play calls that stood out.

The delayed draw to Greene on his 52-yard score. The play-action pass on which Reisner found the end zone. The toss sweep to Greene late in the game.

This staff has coached the Hawkeyes right back into the thick of things in the Big Ten, and they’ve got two weeks to prepare for Illinois.