The FieldTurf is in

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The FieldTurf is in at Kinnick Stadium. The whole thing is not quite done yet (the plan is to be done by August 1st) but the main parts are installed. Throughout this week there have been lots of pictures released showing the progress. The official site has some good pictures of the installation in its photo gallery and the Press-Citizen has a nice slide show. To the right is one of the best from Matthew Holst of the Press-Citizen as it shows the whole field. The endzones look really sharp with the gold on black and the alternating two-toned scheme is fairly subtle and looks good.

100 best plays of 2008: 20 - 1

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20. Wisconsin - 4th quarter - 28-9: Shonn Greene scores his fourth touchdown of the day against Wisconsin on a rare Iowa pitch play that goes for 34 yards down the right sideline.


19. Minnesota - 3rd quarter - 41-0: Shonn Greene finds a huge hole down the middle of the field and then levels his teammate Derrell Johnson-Koulianos before being tackled 37 yard downfield.


18. Iowa State - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene takes a for sure stop at the line and breaks the tackles from 2 Iowa State players and turns it into a 31 yard run to set up a Trent Mossbrucker field goal on Iowa's first possession of the game.


17. Penn State - 1st quarter - 0-0: Adrian Clayborn sacks Daryll Clark and forces a fumble on Penn State's opening drive. Penn State recovers the ball at the 1 and Jeremy Boone is forced to punt from the back of the endzone.


16. Wisconsin - 3rd quarter - 21-9: Paki O'Meara blocks a punt by Brad Norman when Wisconsin's head coach Bret Bielema decides to re-kick after a Iowa penalty.


15. Penn State - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene gets a huge hole on the left side and a key lead block by Brett Morse as he runs in a 14 yard touchdown on Iowa's second play of the game against Penn State.


14. Penn State - 4th quarter - 21-23: Brandon Myers catches a pass from Ricky Stanzi and pushes forward, barely making the 1st down on 3rd and 10 keeping the game-winning drive alive against Penn State.


13. Minnesota - 2nd quarter - 20-0: Amari Spievey intercepts a pass that sails a little to high from Adam Weber, receives a great block from A.J. Edds, and runs all the way down the right sideline for a 57 pick-six right before halftime putting Iowa ahead of Minnesota 27-0.


12. Florida International - 2nd quarter - 21-0: Ricky Stanzi hits Brandon Myers on a beautifully executed screen pass for a 23 yard touchdown on 3rd and 4. There were about 5 Hawkeyes out in front of Myers to block one helpless FIU defenseman.


11. Wisconsin - 3rd quarter - 21-9: Allen Reisner makes a great one-handed catch on a ball thrown behind him by Ricky Stanzi, and Brandon Myers has a huge block springing Reisner for a 16 yard touchdown against Wisconsin.


10. South Carolina - 3rd quarter - 21-0: Shonn Greene rushes for 5 yards to the South Carolina 17 for a first down early in the 3rd quarter. The play was simple enough, but put Greene over 100 yards for the 13th straight game. He was the only runningback in the country (Division I - FBS) to rush for 100 yards in every game.


9. Wisconsin - 3rd quarter - 14-9: Shonn Greene bursts up the middle and runs right past the Wisconsin defense on a 2 and 10 draw play for a 52 touchdown. It was his 3rd touchdown run of the day.


8. Penn State - 4th quarter - 14-23: Shonn Greene breaks to the outside and gets a good block from Tony Moeaki to score on a 6 yard run right in front of the student section clad in green. The touchdown put Iowa within 2 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game against Penn State.


7. Penn State - 4th quarter - 21-23: Ricky Stanzi rolls to the left and completes a pass to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for 10 yards on 3rd and 6 from the Iowa 25 with 0:20 left on the game clock. Iowa makes the gutsy call to pass and get it closer for a game-winning field goal attempt.


6. Purdue - 4th quarter - 15-10: Shonn Greene completely levels Frank Duong on his way to a 14 yard touchdown run. The score was enough to hold Purdue off.


5. Minnesota - 3rd quarter - 27-0: Jordan Bernstine pushes a blocker into the punt returner (not legal, but no flag and pretty funny) causing Minnesota to fumble the punt. Brett Morse recovers the ball and Iowa gets great field position at the Minnesota 29.


4. Penn State - 4th quarter - 21-23: Tyler Sash intercepts a ball from Daryll Clark on 3rd and 24 as Penn State was trying to put the dagger in Iowa's chances. The interception earned Sash a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award and gave Iowa's offense 3:46 to drive down and get a field goal.


3. Iowa State - 4th quarter - 10-3: Andy Brodell returns Mike Brandtner's punt 81 yards for a touchdown sealing the deal against Iowa State.


2. Wisconsin - 2nd quarter - 7-0: Shonn Greene takes the handoff, finds a hole to the right, spins out of a tackle, jumps out of another tackle, dodges the last defender and scores a 34 yard touchdown to put Iowa ahead 14-0 over Wisconsin.


1. Penn State - 4th quarter - 21-23: Daniel Murray kicks the game-winning 31 yard yard field goal with 6 seconds left to upset the #3 Penn State Nittany Lions 24-23 in Kinnick Stadium on November 8th.



100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 21-1

100 best plays of 2008: 40 - 21

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40. Indiana - 1st quarter - 0-0: Brett Greenwood intercepts a tipped pass by Kellen Lewis and returns the ball 31 yards to the Indiana 11. Four plays later Trent Mossbrucket put the Hawkeyes up 3-0.


39. Illinois - 4th quarter - 16-24: Ricky Stanzi escapes getting sacked and scrambles down the sideline for a 14 yard gain on 3rd and 10 with 4 minutes left in the game.


38. Minnesota - 2nd quarter - 6-0: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos runs right by his defender and catches a deep pass from Ricky Stanzi for 48 yards down to the Minnesota 9 yardline early in the second quarter.


37. Purdue - 4th quarter - 22-10: Pat Angerer intercepts a pass from Curtis pass on 1st and goal from the 4 after it gets tipped and deflected by several players. The interception keeps Purdue from cutting into Iowa's 22-10 lead.


36. Florida International - 1st quarter - 7-0: Ricky Stanzi, in his first start of his career, hits Derrell Johnson-Koulianos in stride down the sideline on a 59 yard pass for a touch down to put Iowa up 14-0 on Florida International.


35. Purdue - 4th quarter - 22-17: Mitch King sacks Curtis Painter as Purdue tries to drive for a game-winning touchdown as time is running out. The sack not only put Purdue back 9 yards, but also forced Purdue to burn its final timeout.


34. South Carolina - 1st quarter - 0-0: Brandon Myers catches his third straight pass on third down from Ricky Stanzi as Iowa drives down the field on its opening possession. The 10 yard completion keeps the drive alive and puts Iowa on South Carolina's 18 yardline.


33. Pittsburgh - 2nd quarter - 3-14: Shonn Greene breaks it to the outside down the right sideline rushing for 32 yards on 2nd and 19 against Pitt. This run set up a 6 yard touchdown a couple plays later to put the game at 10-14.


32. Indiana - 1st quarter - 3-0: Andy Brodell catches a 35 yard pass from Ricky Stanzi on play-action at the 4 yard line to set up 1st and goal.


31. Florida International - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene pounds his way through defenders on an 11 yard carry for a touchdown on the first drive of the game, and for the second week in a row, Iowa scores on its opening possession.


30. South Carolina - 2nd quarter - 14-0: Bradley Fletcher covers his man perfectly and intercepts a pass in the endzone as South Carolina is putting together a drive early in the first half of the Outback Bowl.


29. Illinois - 4th quarter - 16-24: Mitch King hits Illinois RB Jason Ford causing a fumble that is recovered by Tyler Sash on the Illinois 36 yard line giving Iowa a chance to tie it up.


28. Minnesota - 2nd quarter - 13-0: Ricky Stanzi pumps once, then heaves up a pass as he is falling down to a wide open Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a 30 yard gain in the closing minutes of the first half against Minnesota.


27. Minnesota - 3rd quarter - 34-0: Shonn Greene spins out of a tackle and out runs the Minnesota defense on his way to a 15 yard touchdown run increasing Iowa's lead to 41.


26. Penn State - 1st quarter - 7-0: Karl Klug hits Evan Royster for a 5 yard loss on 3rd and goal from the 2 after Iowa held Penn State to no gain on 1st and 2nd down. Penn State settles for a field go and makes it 7-3.


25. Wisconsin - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene looks stopped at the line, but breaks through for a 12 yard touchdown run on Iowa's first possession against Wisconsin to take the early lead.


24. Michigan State - 4th quarter - 6-16: Ricky Stanzi connects with Andy Brodell in the back of the endzone on a perfectly time pass for a 31 yard touchdown. The play cut into Michigan State's lead putting the score at 13-16.


23. Illinois - 4th quarter - 9-24: Ricky Stanzi scrambles, then connects with Andy Brodell on a 29 yard touchdown pass to get Iowa within 8 of Illinois late in the game.


22. Penn State - 3rd quarter - 7-16: Derrell Johnson-Koulianous gets behind his defender after Ricky Stanzi pump fakes. DJK is wide open in the endzone for Stanzi, who hits him for a 27 yard touchdown pass closing the margin on Penn State 14-16.


21. Purdue - 2nd quarter - 6-3: Shonn Greene spins and leaves Purdue S Frank Duong behind sprinting to the outside and down the field for a 75 yard touchdown in the second quarter putting the score at 12-3.


100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 21-1

100 best plays of 2008: 60 - 41

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60. South Carolina - 3rd quarter - 24-0: Brandon Myers breaks a tackle and stretches out to get another first down after catching a pass from Ricky Stanzi.


59. Florida International - 1st quarter - 14-0: A.J. Edds intercepts a pass from FIU's QB Paul McCall and shows his speed returning the interceptions for 38 yards nearly outrunning the wide receiver.


58. Illinois - 4th quarter - 16-24: Shonn Greene beats the Illinois defense to the right pylon and goes in for a touchdown with 3 minutes left.


57. Minnesota - 4th quarter - 48-0: Tyler Sash intercepts a pass from Adam Weber that sails high as the QB was getting pressured. Sash returned the interception 58 yards before being tackled on the Minnesota 24.


56. Maine - 1st quarter - 0-0: Jewel Hampton returns the opening kick off of the season against Maine for 26 yards to the Iowa 31. The first Iowa Football play of the year!


55. Indiana - 2nd quarter - 10-3: Shonn Greene runs to the right and make his way into the endzone untouched on a 12 yard touchdown to go up 17-3 on Indiana.


54. Northwestern - 2nd quarter - 3-0: Shonn Greene runs it in for a 18 yard touchdown to put Iowa up 10-0 on Northwestern.


53. Maine - 2nd quarter - 14-0: A.J. Edds sacks Maine's QB Adamd Farkes for a safety to put the Hawkeyes up 16-0 after a Jake Christensen interception.


52. South Carolina - 1st quarter - 14-0: Christian Ballard runs down Stephen Garcia from behind forcing a fumble that's recovered by Tyler Sash. In 4 offensive plays by South Carolina, this is already the second turnover by Stephen Garcia.


51. Minnesota - 3rd quarter - 34-0: Ricky Stanzi hits Derrell Johnson-Koulianous on another long pass on 3rd and 10. The 50 yard completion put Iowa on the Minnesota 15 yardline setting up a Shonn Green touchdown run.


50. Pittsburgh - 1st quarter - 0-0: Matt Kroul recovers a fumble from Pitt's LeSean McCoy on the Panthers first offensive play of the game. This set up a Trent Mossbrucker 26 yard field goal.


49. Michigan State - 4th quarter - 6-16: Jordan Bernstine picks off a Brian Hoyer pass as Michigan State is driving in the 4th quarter to keep the game within reach.


48. Indiana - 3rd quarter - 17-9: Ricky Stanzi finds Andy Brodell behind Indiana's DB Chris Adkins in the endzone for a 34 touchdown putting Iowa up 24-9 early in the 3rd quarter.


47. South Carolina - 1st quarter - 7-0: Shonn Greene plows forward for a 1 yard touchdown run in the first quarter against South Carolina to put the Hawkeyes up 14-0 early.


46. Iowa State - 4th quarter - 3-3: Shonn Greene carries the ball to the left for 20 yards on 3rd down to set up a himself for a 5 yard touchdown on the next play to put Iowa up 10-3 over Iowa State.


45. Maine - 4th quarter - 32-3: Jewel Hampton rushes for a 19 yard touchdown on the first carry of his college career against Maine starting a lot internet hype.


44. Northwestern - 2nd quarter - 10-0: Christian Ballard block Amado Villarreal's 37 yard field goal attempt keeping Northwestern off the board.


43. Minnesota - 3rd quarter - 27-0: Derrell Johnson-Koulianous creates seperation and catches a 29 yard pass from Ricky Stanzi for a touchdown putting Iowa up 34-0 on Minnesota.


42. Illinois - 4th quarter - 22-24: Ricky Stanzi passes to Allen Reisner on a must have 2-point conversion to tie Illinois at 24.


41. South Carolina - 3rd quarter - 24-0: Shonn Greene, on his final rush of his Hawkeye career, runs through about 5 South Carolina defender and scores an 11 yard touchdown. Iowa goes up 31-0, puts it in cruise control on the way to a victory.


100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 21-1

100 best plays of 2008: 80-61

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80. Penn State - 3rd quarter - 7-13: Matt Kroul and A.J. Edds stop Evan Royster in the backfield on 2nd and 9 on the Iowa 11 forcing a 3rd and long. Penn State does not pick up the 1st down and settle for another field goal, keeping Iowa in the game.


79. Maine - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene rushes for 15 yards on the first offensive play of the game against Maine. It was our first look at Greene and it was a nice start to the season.


78. Indiana - 4th quarter - 31-9: Jewel Hampton stretches out the ball and barely breaks the goal line as he scores from 10 yards capping off a 63 yard drive that was all Hampton.


77. South Carolina - 1st quarter - 0-0: Trey Stross catches a ball from Ricky Stanzi and dives into the endzone for the first touchdown of the Outback Bowl.


76. Iowa State - 4th quarter - 17-3: Mitch King and A.J. Edds stop Iowa State's RB Alexander Robinson for a 3 yard loss on 3 and goal from the 1 keeping Iowa State out of the endzone for the 2nd straight year and preserving Iowa's lead.


75. Pittsburgh - 4th quarter - 17-21: Jake Christensen connects with Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for 40 yards to the Pitt 27 yard line to set up a Trent Mossbrucker field goal that put Iowa within 1.


74. South Carolina - 2nd quarter - 21-0: Tyler Sash comes up with his second interception as South Carolina is driving, tying an Outback Bowl record. Sash breaks a tackle then returns the pick 45 yards.


73. Wisconsin - 4th quarter - 35-9: Pat Angerer picks off his 2nd pass of the day as Dustin Sherer tries to get Wisconsin back in the game trailing by 26.


72. Minnesota - 2nd quarter - 13-0: Ricky Stanzi rolls out on play-action from Minnesota's 3 yardline and find Brandon Myers standing alone in the endzone.


71. South Carolina - 1st quarter - 7-0: Tyler Sash picks off Stephen Garcia's first pass of the game and returns it 29 yards deep into South Carolina territory.


70. Maine - 1st quarter - 7-0: Bradley Fletcher intercepts Maine's QB Adam Farkes as the Black Bears are driving looking to tie the score. This was the first of 23 interceptions (4th in the nation) by the Hawkeyes.


69. Michigan State - 2nd quarter - 0-13: Ricky Stanzi hits Brandon Myers for 26 yards as time is running down in the first half to set up a field goal.


68. Illinois - 2nd quarter - 3-7: Amari Spievey intercepts a pass by Juice Williams who was under pressure. Spievey returns it deep into Illinois territory and sets up a field to make the game 6-7.


67. Purdue - 1st quarter - 0-0: Jewel Hampton takes it in from 22 yards out on Iowa's opening possession of the game against Purdue. Iowa goes up 6-0.


66. Minnesota - 4th quarter - 41-0: Ricky Stanzi runs the play action rollout to perfection again, completing a pass to Tony Moeaki who runs it in for a touchdown against Minnesota. The 13 yard play put Iowa up 48-0.


65. Michigan State - 3rd quarter - 3-16: Shonn Greene gets to the outside and rushes for 17 yards down to the Michigan State 20 setting up a 33 yard field goal by Trent Mossbrucker to make it 6-16.


64. Northwestern - 1st quarter - 0-0: Ricky Stanzi completes a pass to Brandon Myers for 11 yards on 4th and 3 at the Northwestern 33 on the opening drive of the game. Iowa looked ready to score before fumbling it the next play.


63. Northwestern - 2nd quarter - 10-3: Ricky Stanzi throws a bomb to wide open Andy Brodell for a 45 yard touchdown to give Iowa a 17-3 advantage over Northwestern.


62. Minnesota - 2nd quarter - 6-0: Shonn Greene easily runs into the endzone on a 9 yard run against Minnesota to score the first touchdown of the game.


61. Indiana - 3rd quarter - 24-9: Ricky Stanzi gets the linebackers to bite on play-action and completes a pass to Brandon Myers for a 20 yard touchdown to put Iowa ahead 31-9.


100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 21-1

100 best plays of 2008: 100-81

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100. Iowa State - 4th quarter - 17-3: Kirk Ferentz calls for Ryan Donahue to take an intentional safety as the clock ran down against Iowa State. The call worked in Iowa's favor, but had many gamblers upset as Iowa went from a 14 point lead down to 12, no longer covering the 13.5 point spread.


99. Iowa State - 3rd quarter - 3-0: Tyler Sash makes a great play on the ball and intercepts Austen Arnaud's pass in the endzone against Iowa State. Then Tyler Sash makes a not-so-great play and runs the ball out to the 1 yard line before stepping out of bounds.


98. Purdue - 3rd quarter - 12-10: Daniel Murray hits a 45 yard field goal on a cold and windy day to start of the second half after Purdue had cut into Iowa's lead.


97. South Carolina - 2nd quarter - 14-0: Ricky Stanzi rolls to his right and tucks the ball and runs towards South Carolina's endzone getting stopped just shy. This 11 yard runs set up Iowa's 3rd score of the game.


96. Florida International - 1st quarter - 0-0: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos returns the opening kick 35 yards all the way into FIU territory.


95. Michigan State - 3rd quarter - 6-16: Mitch King gets in the backfield and sacks Brandon Hoyer 11 yards to the Michigan State 21 yard line giving Iowa great field position.


94. Florida International - 3rd quarter - 35-0: Karl Klug sacks FIU's QB Wayne Younger on 4th down in Iowa territory on the way to a Big 10 defensive player of the week award.


93. Pittsburgh - 2nd quarter - 10-14: Ricky Stanzi finds Tony Moeaki for a 48 yard gain. This set up a 35 yard field goal try at the end of the half that was ultimately missed.


92. Indiana - 4th quarter - 31-9: Brent Greedwood puts a hit on Ben Chappell forcing a fumble that's recovered by Jeremiha Hunter at the Iowa 37 destroying any chance for an Indiana come back.


91. Northwestern - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene powers ahead for a 21 yard rush in the 1st quarter against Northwestern, then follows it up with a 24 yard run setting up a 40 yard Trent Mossbrucker field goal.


90. South Carolina - 2nd quarter - 14-0: Shonn Greene has no problem rushing it in from less than a yard out to put Iowa up 21-0 over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.


89. Florida International - 1st quarter - 14-0: Paki O'Meara gets a good lead block and finds a hole on the left side and takes it in for a touchdown from 17 yards out.


88. Purdue - 3rd quarter - 22-17: Broderick Binns recovers a fumbled hand off between Justin Siller and Ralph Bolden and gives Iowa the ball back after Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had fumbled it away the play before.


87. Pittsburgh - 4th quarter - 20-21: A.J. Edds sacks Pitt's QB Bill Stull on 3rd and 7 with just over 2 minutes remaining to give Iowa one last shot at a victory.


86. Minnesota - 4th quarter - 48-0: Jewel Hampton runs to the right and has daylight all the way to the endzone on a 19 yard touchdown that made the score 55-0.


85. Maine - 1st quarter - 0-0: Shonn Greene rushes for a touchdown on 4th and Goal from the 1 as Iowa puts its first points on the board of the year.


84. Illinois - 1st quarter - 0-7: Ricky Stanzi picks up the first down on 4th and 3 on the Illini 32 keeping the drive alive to set up a Trent Mossbrucker 26 yard field goal.


83. Penn State - 4th quarter - 14-23: Ryan Donahue booms a 55 yard punt in the cold to reverse the field position in the 4th quarter against Penn State. After a 3-and-out Iowa gets the ball back on Penn State's side of the field and is able to convert for a touchdown.


82. Pittsburgh - 3rd quarter - 10-14: Jake Christensen runs it in from 2 yards for a touchdown, putting Iowa up on Pitt 17-14.


81. Iowa State - 4th quarter - 17-5: Amari Spievey intercepts ISU's Austen Arnaud's desperation pass with less than a minute left in the game allowing Iowa to take a knee for the win.


100-81 | 80-61 | 60-41 | 40-21 | 21-1

Countdown to kickoff

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There are just 101 more days until Iowa football kickoffs against the University of Northern Iowa. I for one can't wait. In celebration of 100 days left tomorrow, Fight For Iowa will have something special...a countdown of the top 100 plays from the 2008 Iowa Hawkeyes football season. Be sure to check back every couple hours or so tomorrow as the countdown makes it way to the top play of the year (okay...so you can probably already guess what that's going to be, but check it out anyway).

Paki's Parents

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I had the good fortune of meeting Paki O'Meara's parents yesterday at my brother-in-law's high school graduation party. The O'Mearas are neighbor of my in-laws and they were both very nice people. I asked if they ever got tired of talking about Iowa Football, and Mrs. O'Meara assured me that her husband was always up for a Hawkeyes conversation. I only got to talk to him for about 5 minutes or so (I was busy trying to help with the party and keep food out on the table...teenage boys eat so fast!) and I wish it would have been longer, but we still had a good conversation.

The first thing we talked about was the program in general. Mr. O'Meara thought the team looked good and is poised to have a successful season. He was very optimistic about the upcoming 2009 season. I mentioned that there wasn't much news coming out right now about football, but we were able to talk about some of the incoming recruits. Mr. O'Meara mentioned Drew Clark's absolute annihilation of his competition in the shot put at the state track meet, and Dominic Alvis getting a scholarship. I also asked about Keenan Davis as he and Paki (and me too!) are CR Washington guys. Mr. O'Meara said Davis looked good in high school and will probably play in 2009 though he is skinny and could use a year to put on some weight.

We also talked a little about the offensive and defensive line. We both agreed that the lines will be good as long as they stay healthy. He asked if I had ever stood next to Bulaga (I haven't) and said he was an absolute beast and that he just towers over you with a mean expression.

And, that was about it...Maybe next time I'm at my in-laws we'll get to talk more. It was great talking to somebody a little more in-the-know and it gets me even more excited for this fall!

Iowa beat UNI 48-19 (in my dream last night!)

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Last night I had a dream. A great dream where the summer was ending and fall was upon us. And, Iowa football was here again! It was a kind of strange dream though...for some reason the game wasn't on TV though it was supposed to be on channel 11 (I'm not even sure what channel that is). So I scurried off to the computer to follow the game, only to find my brother and his friends recording their latest composition. I kicked them off the computer (the song was they were sining was not good) and found the score. Iowa 48 - UNI 19.

Man I am ready for fall to get here.

Miscellaneous news

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I haven't posted much content in a couple days (sorry!) so here is some miscellaneous recent news about Iowa football.

Good luck to former Hawkeye Kenny Iwebema. The defense end had a baseball sized benign tumor surgically removed from his chest on Monday. Hopefully all is well.

The FieldTurf has arrived at Kinnick Stadium! Who knew it came in roll just like carpet? You can see pictures on Iowa's website.

Tony Moeaki is coming back for his senior season recovering from injury after injury. He is one of the 11 players that must come through this year according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. Also recovering from injury is Dace Richardson (Moeaki's former high school teammate.) His career was thought to be over, but his recovery story is one of the Big Ten spring surprises.

Now with Friend Connect

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After hours of struggling to get this to work on Internet Explorer (you should use Firefox people!) I finally added Google's social app Friend Connect to this site. You can join at the bottom of the page and leave "Hawk Thoughts." So, now we can have a little bit of interaction here instead of just a few posts by me a week. I thought this would be good, especially now that there is basically no news coming out about college football. I think message boards are a better place to have good discussions and you can still comment on individual posts. But now there's at least another option.

NOTICE: Google is having some problems with the comments gadget so no Hawk Thoughts for now. Hopefully it will be back soon!

A very early look at Northwestern

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The Northwestern Wildcats will visit Kinnick Stadium for the second straight year on November 11. Last year, Northwestern handed Iowa its worst defeat of the year (only 5 points though) after knocking out Shonn Greene from the game. This year, the Wildcats lose almost all of the skill players on offense and will rely on a defense that returns 8 starters and only gave up 19.3 points per game last year. If the offense can come together, Northwestern should be able to repeat last year's success (9-4 with a trip to the Alamo Bowl) due to its very easy schedule.

Offense: Key Returning Players
The offense returns very little from 2008. The total offensive yards by the returnees only total 831 (651 are QB Mike Kafka) out of the 4660 gained by Northwestern last year. Kafka was not even a starter last year, but is probably the most important player back on offense. He did start a couple of games while C.J. Bacher was injured, and was decent. He is a good runner and will need to learn to be more consistent and limit his turnover for the Wildcat's offense to succeed. Northwestern also returns 4 from the offensive line (OT Al Netter, C Ben Burkett, OT Desmond Taylor, and OG Doug Bartels) and TE Josh Rooks.

Offense: Key Losses
The Wildcats lose its leading passer, leading rusher, and top 3 leading receiver. C.J. Bacher had 2432 passing yards in 2008 and over 7300 in his career. In the 11 games he started last year the team averaged almost 26 points…in the 2 games he did not play, the team only average 13.5 points. Perhaps an even bigger loss though is RB Tyrell Sutton. Sutton was a threat running the ball and receiving and led the team in all-purpose yards with 1195. The 3 receivers gone are Ross Lane, Eric Peterman, and Rasheed Ward. Each had over 50 catches and over 500 yards last year.

Defense: Key Retuning Players
The Northwestern defense returns 8 starters and is led by Brad Phillips. At safety Phillips led the team with 109 tackles and also had 3 interceptions. The rest of the secondary is back also with S Brendan Smith, CB Sherrick McManis, and CB Jordan Mabin. Smith was 3rd on the team with 82 tackles and McManis was 4th with 67. (Side note: don't linebackers usually have the most tackles? What is up with all these guys from the secondary? I guess it worked though.) Up front DE Corey Wootton returns. Wootton consistently got in the backfield and had 10 sacks in 2008. A couple of linebackers also return (Nate Williams and Quentin Davie) who were both average in 2008.

Defense: Key Losses
The only major loss is LB Prince Kwateng. Kwateng was second on the team in tackles and a team captain. Also gone is DT John Gill and DE Kevin Mims.

Spring Guide: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/nw/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2009springguide.pdf
ESPN Spring Wrap: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigten/0-3-360/Northwestern-spring-wrap.html

Post Spring Big Ten Power Rankings

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Two sources have published their post spring power rankings for the Big Ten, and Iowa ranks #3 in both. On ESPN, Rittenberg comments on Stanzi progress and notes that the defense might one of the nation's best. Bleacher Report also mentions Stanzi, but says the road schedule is going to be tough. The two lists are pretty similar and both have OSU 1, PSU 2, and Iowa 3.

ESPN, Bleach Report Rankings
  1. OSU, OSU
  2. PSU, PSU
  3. Iowa, Iowa
  4. MSU, Ill
  5. Ill, MSU
  6. NW, NW
  7. Minn, Minn
  8. Wisc, Wisc
  9. Mich, Mich
  10. Ind, Pur
  11. Pur, Ind

4 Hawkeyes in the Rivals Power Rankings

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Rivals.com has released its post spring Power Rankings by position. Four Iowa Hawkeyes have made the top 25 at their respective position. The highest ranked Hawk is junior tackle Bryan Bulaga. Bulaga is ranked the 9th best offensive lineman in the country. Also highly ranked is TE Tony Moeaki coming in at 11th. Moeaki was a highly touted recruit, however has been slowed by numerous injuries. This ranking must be based on potential because he hasn't had a chance to put up big numbers yet. At linebacker, Pat Angerer ranks 20th. Angerer led the Hawkeyes in tackles last year with 107 and is expected to be the leader of the defense. Coming in at 13th in the defensive backs is Amari Spievey. Spievey really turned into a lock down corner by the end of the year and is said to possibly be the best cornerback in the Kirk Ferentz era by Norm Parker. Speaking of Norm Parker, he also is ranked on the best defensive coordinators list and is 8th. Iowa had the 12th overall best defense last year and were 5th in scoring defense only giving up 13 points per game. With 8 starters returning, Norm's defense could be even better this year. Last but not least, the captain comes in as the 21st best head coach. Kirk Ferentz was ranked number 5 in another list by Rivals earlier, but it is clear either way, he is an excellent coach for Iowa.
Bryan Bulaga9thOffensive Lineman
Tony Moeaki11thTight End
Pat Angerer20thLinebacker
Amari Spievey13thDefensive Back
Norm Parker8thDefensive Coordinator
Kirk Ferentz21stHead Coach

College Football News 2009 Iowa Preview - Reaction

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College Football News has its 2009 Iowa Preview up (written by Pete Fiutak). There are 3 articles to read through: an overall preview, one for the offense, and one for the defense. You can also see a projected depth chart that looks pretty close to what I expect it to be opening day. This is overall a good read and is pretty in depth. Each position is analyzed and rated, and there is a list of the 10 best players on the team (no surprise, Bulaga is first). There are something things I completely disagree with (like Northwestern should have gone to the Outback Bowl over Iowa) but it's still worth your time to read. Here are some of my thoughts on Fiutak's analysis of each position:

Quarterback: The author gave the QBs a rating of 7 (out of 10) and liked Stanzi calling him "tremendously efficient." He was also very high on the backups, Vendenberg and Wienke and says that they "are more talented than Stanzi." I agree with his overall assessment. If Stanzi can be more consistent and limit turnovers, then we will be in good shape.

Running Backs: The running backs also receive a 7 rating, though I think they will be better. Fiutak seemed a little hung up on the fact that Hampton and Brinson had minor injuries in the spring, but thinks Hampton will be good and "a look for 1,000 yards." Depending on how much time is split between Hampton and Brinson (and even Paki) I think Hampton can have a big season, but more importantly the corps as a whole should be very productive. Also mentioned was the strength of the fullbacks as Fiutak says they "might be the best in the Big Ten." I have to agree with that. Both Morse and Leppert with very good lead blockers for Shonn Greene last year (let's forget about the last play at Michigan State), and both had 5 catches.

Receivers: Fiutak liked giving out sevens I guess as the receivers also received a rating of 7. He was very high on Marvin McNutt. I am as excited as anyone about McNutt's progress as a receiver in the spring, but still he is very unproven. He did see a little time at receiver last year catching 1 pass for 11 yards, but that was it. The other starters listed are Trey Stross and Tony Moeaki. Both will be good, but have a history with the injury bug. Hopefully this year will finally be both of their break out years. So our starters are a converted quarterback, a two guys plagued with injuries… However, let's not forget about DJK, though like Fiutak says, it's hard "making grabs from the doghouse." So hopefully he will get his act together and turn into the true game changing receiver that we saw flashes of last year.

Offensive line: Though the interior of the line is not set, Fiutak likes the experience and rated the o-line a 9. He praises Bulaga and Calloway, for obvious reasons, and likes Richardson and Vandervelde at guards. He is concerned with Eubanks' health but thinks he'll be good at center. It'll be interesting to see how the line shakes out…I'm guessing it won't be Richardson, Eubanks, and Vandervedle all starting, with Eubanks the least likely. Doering and Kuempel will definitely push for a spot and Fiutak expects Gettis to be good as well.

Defensive line: Look, another 7! The defensive line does have some questions marks with Mitch King and Matt Kroul graduating, but the ends will be studs. Fiutak predicts All-Big Ten honors for Clayborn and I agree. Clayborn will be the star of the line. He's excellent against the run and will likely move inside in to let pass rush specialist Broderick Binns play in passing situation. This should help Iowa's pass rush which the author says is a weakness of the d-line.

Linebackers: The linebackers get a 9. Pat Angerer is Fiutak "star of the defense" and rightly so. Angerer led the team in tackles and tied for the lead in interceptions. Fiutak also really likes Hunter calling him the "most talented linebacker" (that's saying something with Edds and Angerer playing beside him). But, Norm Parker has said that Jeff Tarpinian is pushing Hunter and the competition is very close…so Hunter might not even be a starter. That said, I'm very comfortable with all 4 guys and agree that however the 3 starters are, all "three could end up on All-Big Ten teams."

Secondary: The secondary gets an 8. The secondary returns 3 starters and Amari Spievey will be the number 1 corner. Fiutak says that opposing team's "passing games will avoid the game-changer at all costs" and I think that is right on. Jordan Bernstine or Shaun Prater, whoever wins that spot, will see a lot of balls thrown in his direction. Fiutak is also rightly worried about the backup experience as he says the "reserves are a bit green." However, in the spring, Sash and Greenwood sat out giving David Cato and Jack Swanson some important reps.

Special Team: Last, but not least the special teams get a rating of 8. The author really seems to like the place kickers Murray and Mossbrucker. I think they both did a good job, but a couple of missed field goals really hurt in some of the losses early in 2008. I will completely agree, however, with the statement that Ryan Donahue is the "star of the show" on special teams. He's a good punter and as he has become more consistent is turning into a great punter.

Be Bold, Wear Gold against UNI

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The first game of the season against UNI will be the Be Bold, Wear Gold game. This is going hand in hand with Fry Fest. The gold always looks great in Kinnick, though it is usually reserved for bigger games. There is still the option of doing a "black out" against someone. Maybe Michigan, though the first ever black out was against Michigan and that didn't turn out so well as Iowa fell in OT. I'd vote for Northwestern. It's time Iowa stepped up and beat the Wildcats.

Ranking the schedules of the Big Ten

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I took a look at the upcoming schedule for each Big Ten team for the 2009 football season. I did my best to rank the schedules from hardest to easiest looking at the teams on the schedule and if the games were home or away. Here's the full Big Ten schedule week by week and my rankings.

Weekly Big Ten Schedule:
1234567891011121314
IllinoisMIZZISU@OSUPSUMSU@IND@PURMICH@MINNNW@CINNFRES
IndianaEKUWMU@AKR@MICH OSU@UVAILL@NW@IOWAWISC@PSUPUR
IowaUNI@ISUARIZ@PSUARSTMICH@WISC@MSUIUNW@OSUMINN
MichiganWMUNDEMUIND@MSU@IOWADLSTPSU@ILLPUR@WiscOSU
Michigan StateMTSTCMU@ND@WISCMICH@ILLNWIOWA@MINNWMU@PURPSU
Minnesota@SYRAFACAL@NWWISCPUR@PSU@OSUMSUILLSD@IOWA
NorthwesternTOWEMU@SYRMINN@PURM-OH@MSUINDPSU@IOWA@ILLWISC
Ohio StateNAVYUSC@TOLILL@INDWISC@PURMINNNMSU@PSUIOWA@MICH
Penn StateAKRSYRTEMIOWA@ILLEIUMINN@MICH@NWOSUIND@MSU
PurdueTOL@ORENIUNDNW@MINNOSUILL@WISC@MICHMSU@IND
WisconsinNIUFRESWOFMSU@MINN@OSUIOWAPUR @INDMICH@NW@HAW


Schedule Rank:
  1. Ohio State (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Toledo) - Ohio State has a pretty good out of conference schedule that includes USC. They also have a really tough end of the season (at Penn State, vs. Iowa, and at Michigan)

  2. Minnesota (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easist: vs. South Dakota State) - Decent out of conference schedule Cal and Air Force, plus away games at Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, and Northwestern. A seven win season would be good with this schedule.

  3. Illinois (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Illinois State) - Illinois has one of the hardest out of conference schedules with Missouri, Illinois State, Cinncinati, and Fresno State. Then to start of the Big 10 they are at Ohio State, vs. Penn State, and vs. Michigan State. They could easily start 1-4.

  4. Iowa (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Northern Iowa) - Okay, people may say at Ohio State is the hardest, but a white out in Beaver Stadium at night is defintely a tough environment to be the away team. The rest of the away games are tough at Mighigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa State. The home schedule is not so bad.

  5. Wisconsin (Hardest: @Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Woffard) - The Badgers out of conference include Fresno State and a trip out to Hawaii, both of which are tough games. The real test in their schedule though, is the first 4 Big Ten games, Michigan State, at Minnesota, at Ohio State, and Iowa.

  6. Michigan (Hardest: Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Deleware State) - Michigan's out of conference games are pretty easy, but they play at Michigan State and Iowa back to back. They also on the road at Illinois and Wisconsin, both tough places to play. Penn State and Ohio State are also on the schedule.

  7. Indiana (Hardest: @Penn State, Easiest: vs. Eastern Kentucky) - Indiana's schedule will be challenging for them. They have Iowa and Penn State on the road and will have tough games against Ohio State and Illinois at home.

  8. Michigan State (Hardest: vs. Penn State, Easiest: vs. Montana State) - The Spartans get Iowa and Penn State at home and miss out on Ohio State. Games at Notre dame and Wisconsin will be tough, but the schedule sets up pretty nicely for Michigan State to have a solid season.

  9. Purdue (Hardest: @Oregon, Easiest: Toledo) - I'll give Purdue credit for an out of conference with Toledo, Oregon, Northern Illionois, and Nortre Dame. That is one of the toughest in the Big 10. However, in conference play, Purdue misses Iowa and Penn State and gets the toughest teams, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Northwestern at home.

  10. Northwestern (Hardest: @Iowa, Easiest: vs. Towson) - Towson, Eastern Michigan, Syracuse, and Miami (OH) make up an easy out of conference schedule. Then in the Big 10 they miss Michigan and Ohio State.

  11. Penn State (Hardest: vs. Ohio State, Easiest: vs. Eastern Illinois) - This schedule may have some tougher teams than some of the other schedules, but with Penn State's team they have a chance at going 12-0 with this schedule. The out of confernce is very easy (Akron, Syracuse, Temple, and Eastern Illinois all at home…pretty sad Penn State!) and with 8 home games they get Ohio State and Iowa at home. The toughest road test will be at Michigan State, though at Illinois, Michigan, and Northwestern will also be challenging.

A very early look at Indiana

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The Indiana Hoosier will be coming to Iowa City on Halloween. The last time Kinnick hosted a game on Halloween was in 1987 against (you guessed it…) Indiana. Iowa won that game 29-21 on the way to a 10-3 season that included a Holiday Bowl win. The 1987 Indiana team was good and finished with a 8-4 record. The 2009 Indiana team will likely not repeat that kind of success this year. Though they return almost the entire starting lineup, they are coming off a 3-9 season (1-7 in the Big 10). Indiana struggled on offense and defense last year. The Hoosier only averaged 20.5 points per game (10th in the Big 10) while giving up over 35 (last in the Big 10, 109th in the country).

Offense: Key Returning Players
The Hoosier have installed a new Pistol offense and it will rely on QB Ben Chappell. Chappell started 3 games in 2008, though was generally in the backup role. However he threw for over 1000 yards and was a key part in the team’s victory over Northwestern. Also returning is WR Terrance Turner who was 3rd on the team with 29 receptions. The entire offensive line returns as well.

Offense: Key Losses
The biggest loss (by far) is Kellen Lewis. Lewis was kicked off the team this spring after moving from QB to wide receiver. He was expected to be a major contributor this fall at his new position after leading Indiana in passing last year. Indiana also loses its leading rusher, Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen ran for 631 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2008 and was used a lot in the passing game as well. Yet another statistical leader, WR Andrew Means who had a team leading 450 receiving yards, is gone too.

Defense: Key Returning Players
One of the bright spots on Indiana’s defense last year was DE Jammie Kirlew. Kirlew will return after recording 19.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 2008. Joining Kirlew on the line are DE Greg Middleton and DT Deonte Mack. Two linebackers are returning, Will Patterson and Matt Mayberry. Mayberry was the team’s leading tackler with 89. In the secondary CB Chris Adkins, SS Austin Thomas, and FS Nick Polk all return, and Ray Fisher, who led the team with 42 receptions and was very good returning punts and kickoffs, moves over from WR to play cornerback this year.

Defense: Key Losses
The Hoosiers don’t lose a lot on defense, but must replace Geno Johnson at linebacker and 4-year starter Greg Brown at tackle. Both were solid for Indiana last year with 50 and 37 tackles respectively.

Spring media guide: http://iuhoosiers.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/09-spring-media-guide.html

ESPN spring wrap: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigten/0-3-365/Indiana-spring-wrap.html

Kinnick FieldTurf Update

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The official site has some more photos of the FieldTurf installation from yesterday. It looks like the bottom layers are about finished. Marc Morehouse's blog, On Iowa has a pretty good picture taken today.

Also, check out the Kinnick FieldTurf puzzle on the official site. They are slowly revealing what the new field will look like. There has been a lot of speculation about what will be in the middle and what the endzone will look like. I'm guessing a block I in the middle and black endzones with gold IOWA and HAWKEYES. Who knows though...I'll be keeping an eye on that puzzle.

UPDATE: The second piece has been removed and more of the field is revealed. It doesn't really show anything new, but it makes it look less likely that there is anything at midfield.

UPDATE 2: The third piece is now gone and revealed the middle of the field...and nothing. I really thought they would add something, but oh well.

UPDATE 3: We can now see an endzone! It will be a black background with gold lettering. I think it looks pretty good.

Iowa plays on 4 stops of the "ultimate Big Ten road trip"

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Adam Rittenberg has it all planned out...the ultimate Big Ten road trip for the upcoming 2009 football season. Iowa appears on his list of games 4 times: Sept. 26 at Penn State, Oct. 17 at Wisconsin, Oct. 24 at Michigan State (as the second part of a double header), and finally Nov. 14 at Ohio State. These are all great games that I'd love to go to, but Adam, why no trip to Kinnick? Iowa will be debuting its new FieldTurf this season, and has some okay home games on the schedule (Michigan, Northwestern are not great, but okay.

Online Sport Fanatic has listed the top 60 games of next year. Iowa has made the list at 15 (vs. OSU) and at 53 (vs. PSU). It is overall a pretty good list, but I don't really believe the Ohio State is that much better than the Penn State game. I might even rank the Penn State game high since it is going to be a "white out" and in prime time...plus that whole revenge factor.

One more list...Iowa vs. Arizona was named the 15th most intriguing non-conference match up by NBC Sports.

A very early look at Michigan State

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The Michigan State Spartans are Iowa's 8th opponent of the upcoming season. The two teams had identical records (9-4) in 2008, though Michigan State won the head-to-head 16-13. They also had two of the best running backs in the nation with Shonn Greene and Javon Ringer, who both must be replaced. Even with the loss of Ringer, the Spartans do return a lot of talent on both sides of the ball with 7 offensive starters and 8 defensive starters coming back.

Offense: Key Returning Players
The Spartans should have a talented set of players catching passes this fall. The top 4 in receiving yards, WR Blair White, WR B.J. Cummingham, WR Mark Dell, and TE Charlie Gantt all return. Together, these 4 players combined for 78% of Michigan State's 2773 receiving yards. Also returning the the left side of the offensive line with LT Rocco Cironi, LG Joel Foreman, and C Joel Nitchman.

Offense: Key Losses
Though Michigan State only loses a few players on offense, the losses account for 4041 of the 4465 yards of total offense and 32 of the 35 touchdowns scored in 2008. Javon Ringer carried the team on his back running the ball 30 times a game. No other back even carried the bal 30 times over the entire season for the Spartans. Ringer was 1st team All-Big Ten. Brian Hoyer was not the most loved quarterback but was servicable in Michigan State's offense and provided experience. He threw for 2404 yard and 9 touchdowns in 2008 and did a good job handing the ball off to Ringer.

Defense: Key Returning Players
Michigan State's defense was very average last year giving up 22.1 points and 356 yards per game. They were right in the middle in basically every statistical category expect 4th down defense (as we sadly found out last year when Greene was stopped at the end of the game), which they were first in the country only giving up a 1st down 17.6% of the time. Though average last year, the defense will have lots of experience this year and should be better. Leading tackler, LB Greg Jones returns. Jones had 127 tackles with 14 of those for loss which earned him 2nd team All-Big Ten honors. The other 2 linebackers, Adam Decker and Eric Gordon, are also back. On the line, Trevor Anderson was a pass rush specialist and had 8 sacks in 2008. Anderson will return along side DT Oren Wilson. Also returning are FS Danny Fortener, CB Ross Weaver, and CB Chris Rucker in the secondary.

Defense: Key Losses
Like the Hawkeyes, the Spartans lose two starters from the defensive line and one from the secondary. SS Otis Wiley was the star of the secondary in 2008 leading the team with 4 interceptions, 1 returned for a touchdown. He also had 78 tackles and returned punts. The two linemen gone are Justin Kershaw and Brandon Long. Kershaw and Long both had good careers at Michigan State. Kershaw was a 3 year starter and had 8 tackles for loss in 2008.

Spring Prospectus: http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/msu/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/Prospectus09Spring.pdf
ESPN Wrap: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigten/0-3-362/Michigan-State-spring-wrap.html

Penn State - Iowa Game a White Out

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Check out the 2009 Theme Days video on Penn State's Football site. The Penn State - Iowa game is officially the "Whitehouse" game. This was apparently announced the PSU's spring game, but this is the first official information I could find on the game. Iowa and Penn State are schedule to kick off in prime time, 7:00 PM (CST) on September 26th. The Nittany Lion's will be looking for revenge as Iowa ruined their perfect season last year with a 24-23 victory on a Daniel Murray field goal with 0:01 remaining. The match up with be highly anticipated as both teams are expected to challenge for the Big Ten title. Penn State must replace some high performers at receiver, the offense line, and in the defensive secondary, but should field a strong team this fall.

When the two teams met in 2004, the Penn State "white out" was in effect. In one of the sloppiest games I've ever seen, Iowa was up 6-2 on 2 Kyle Schlicher field goals and time was running out. Instead of punting, Kirk Ferentz elected to take an intentional safety in favor of field position and with a strong confidence in the Hawkeye defense. The defense held and Iowa won 6-4.

2009 Preseason Rankings

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A lot of different sources put out a top 25 very early. Most just mimic the final rankings from the year before, and Iowa is pretty constantly ranked around where they finished in 2008 (#20). Here is a compiled list on where the Iowa Hawkeyes fall in some of the different rankings.

ESPN: 19
Sports Illustrated: 21
Rivals: 19
CBS Sports: 24
Atlanta Journal Constitution: 11
College Football News: 31
National Champs: 17
Athlon: 23
Bleacher Report: 12

A very early look at Wisconsin

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Three years ago Bret Bielema took over the Badger's head coach position and led the team to 12-1 season including a Citrus Bowl victory against Arkansas and finished in the top 10 in both the AP and USA Today polls. Since then, the program has been in a decline. In 2007 Wisconsin finished with a record of 9-4, and last year 7-6. Some are calling for Bielema's head, and with the latest recruiting violations his seat has definitely heated up.

In 2008 Wisconsin started the season off strong winning its first 3 games, including a win at Fresno State. But after a close loss to a bad Michigan team and another close loss to Ohio State, Wisconsin went on to get dismantled by Penn State and then Iowa. Wisconsin recovered winning 4 of its next 5, but then got stomped by Florida State in Champs Sports Bowl. With that said, the season was just a few plays away from being really good as 3 of their 6 losses came by 3 points or less.

Offense: Key Returning Players

Wisconsin had the 14th best rushing offense in the country last year and average just under 400 yards per game in total offense. The Badgers have a good running back in John Clay who split time last year with P.J. Hill. Clay rushed for 884 yards and 9 touchdowns. Also returning is QB Dustin Sheerer, who started the final 7 games last year and threw for 1389 yards. Sheerer is not a lock at starter however, as he is pushed by Scott Tolzien and Curt Phillips. One of the stars of the offense last year was TE Garrett Graham. Graham had 40 catches for 540 yards and 5 touchdowns, all team leading stats. The Badgers also have 2 linemen, Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt, with a combined 42 starts and 3 receivers, Kyle Jefferson, David Gilreath, and Isaac Anderson, with starting experience. Gilreath was the team's second leading receiver with 520 yards and handled the punt and kickoff returns.

Offense: Key Losses
The Badgers lose 5 starters on offense and 3 are linemen. Kraig Urbik was select in the 3rd round of the NFL draft and will leave a whole at right guard. Also gone is LG Andy Kemp and RT Eric Vanden Heuvel. Another loss is P.J. Hill who declared for the NFL after his junior year, but did not get drafted. Hill was the Badgers' leading rusher last year.

Defense: Key Returning Players
The defense only returns 5 starters and most of the experience comes in the secondary. The Badgers return CB Niles Brinkley, and 3 safeties with experience, Jay Valai, Chris Maragos, and Chris Maragos. Also returning is leading tackler LB Jaevery McFadden who had 84 tackles in 2008.

Defense: Key Losses
Wisconsin must replace 3 defensive linemen. RT Mike Newkirk had 59 tackles including 9 for loss in 2008 and at RE Matt Shaughnessy had 4 sacks. The 3rd lineman leaving is LT Jason Chapman. Also leaving are both outside linebackers, DeAndre Levy who was second on the team with 73 tackles and first with 9.5 tackles for loss, and Jonathan Casillas who had 62 in 2008.

For more information on Wisconsin check out the spring prospectus.

Big Ten Network Iowa 2009 Outlook

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The Big Ten Network has a pretty good preview of the Hawkeye's 2009 season. They talked a lot about the higher expectations Iowa has coming off a 9-4 year including a bowl win. I also found it was interesting that they said Iowa isn't a team with superstars, but rather a lot of really solid players. I think that is a fair assessment and I do really like the composition of the 2009 team.


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