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Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts

It's a great place to play football, our Kinnick Stadium is.

It's a great place to play football, our Kinnick Stadium is.

Sep 9, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- -- Random thoughts on the day after what was -- for me -- an anticlimactic Saturday at historic Kinnick Stadium...



Yes, anticlimactic. Allow me to elaborate... With all due respect to our opponent, I expected Kirk's squad and staff to walk off the SportsTurf of Kinnick yesterday after three or so hours of hard, sweaty work with a victory. After reviewing the goings on of Week 1 of the college football season, it seemed reasonable to me that the good guys in black and gold would be the superior team getting off the buses on Melrose Avenue yesterday. We were also playing in Kinnick which is a significant advantage even if it isn't filled to capacity -- a very temporary problem as far as this person is concerned. So, from where I sit, yesterday was "Mission Accomplished." At the end of the day, we walked up the home team tunnel with our first win of 2013. I was also hoping that we would make that walk satisfied with the progress that would come after 160 or so plays from the line of scrimmage while knowing that there was plenty of more work to do. I will leave that assessment to those who know our team the best: Our coaching staff and the student-athletes. Lastly, I was hoping that we would make our way to the locker room as a healthy group of Hawkeyes. We appear to have accomplished that. So, yes -- for me -- yesterday was a little anticlimactic.

Here's our take on the happenings yesterday in Kinnick: HERE.

Here's what Kirk had to say: HERE.

And, lastly, here's a link to a redesigned home page for Hawkeye All-Access, where you'll find a bucket load of free video, including a highlights package from yesterday's victory presented in a way that, in my opinion, is much easier to navigate: HERE. One note: I continue to be amazed at the quality of the video.

What are my takeaways from yesterday? Count me as an even bigger fan of Jake Rudock. Sure, many will point to the Pick-6 and begin to shout. I prefer to point to the perfect strike to George Kittle for 47, and how definitively he steadied the ship after the give-away. I also like the way he carries himself after positive plays -- flips the ball to the referee after a touchdown with that look of confidence -- and after not-so-good plays. He's got that "I've been here before" swagger that successful field generals have. I also love how deep and talented our running back position is (click HERE for more on this) and how solid we are defensively against the run. I also like the improvements that have been made to our public address system and the modifications that were made to the look of the south scoreboard.





I was listening to a regional sports talk show Friday night while driving to the Iowa Soccer Complex. The two at the microphone were talking about the upcoming men's basketball season at the UI and how exciting the year could be for Fran's Hawkeyes. No doubt, it could be a lot of fun. However, I nearly drove off the road when one of the hosts suggested he wasn't ready to turn the page on the season for the football Hawkeyes yet. Yeah. One game down...11 (12) to go...and he "just wasn't ready to turn the page just yet." Talk about a short attention span...


The undefeated Iowa women's soccer team fired the first shot over the bow in the annual battle for bragging rights with Iowa State on Friday night by handing their peers from our sister institution in Ames a 3-0 defeat in the first event of this year's Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series competition. It's always good to top the 'Clones. You can read about the win, Iowa's sixth of the season, sixth in a row over ISU, 23rd straight against a nonconference opponent, and played before a school-record crowd of 1,500-plus HERE. Better still, you can watch the Hawkeyes live and in-person today at 1 at the Iowa Soccer Field.

If you are going to get out of the house for the soccer match, leave a little early and catch a chunk of the action at Grant Field where the unbeaten and nationally ranked Iowa field hockey team will be entertaining No. 1 ranked North Carolina in the second of two Big Ten/ACC Challenge games of the weekend for Tracey Griesbaum's squad. Iowa defeated Wake Forest yesterday with a pair of goals in the second half. You can read about that victory HERE. If you're looking for incentive to get to Grant Field, we're giving away 50 pairs of tickets to the football game at Kinnick on Sept. 21. Who knows, it might be your lucky day.

Or, you can watch today's field hockey match live online inside Hawkeye All-Access: HERE.

I was listening to a regional sports talk show Friday night while driving to the Iowa Soccer Complex. The two at the microphone were talking about the upcoming men's basketball season at the UI and how exciting the year could be for Fran's Hawkeyes. No doubt, it could be a lot of fun. However, I nearly drove off the road when one of the hosts suggested he wasn't ready to turn the page on the season for the football Hawkeyes yet. Yeah. One game down...11 (12) to go...and he "just wasn't ready to turn the page just yet." Talk about a short attention span...

Speaking of Fran's team, here's a link to the Hawkeyes' 2013-14 schedule: HERE. There's great potential for a lot of exciting day and nights but let's not get ahead of ourselves, please. There are 11 more football games to be played....and, yes, I said 11.

Is Saturday's football game in Ames a "big" game? There's an easy answer to that question: Of course it is. It's always a big game. It's Iowa vs. Iowa State...the biggest single-day event in our state. And, there's three points riding on the outcome in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series. However, I would suggest that both teams already have a scratch in the loss column this season that they aren't happy about and that reality probably puts more oomph on this year's scuffle. Iowa exorcised at least a portion of that demon yesterday and will be looking to build on that momentum. The 'Clones are still waiting for those same opportunities after scheduling a bye week the Saturday after their opener against FCS powerhouse and intrastate rival Northern Iowa.

Chances are pretty good that for the vast majority of us we would be wise to be reminded just how lucky we are. Any of the stories about our "Kid Captains" do this quite effectively. Here's a video about yesterday's KC, Michaela Inman of Ankeny: HERE.

I was moving the sprinkler the other day and my thoughts turned to former boss and current Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. A week ago, Bob woke up as the guy in the biggest chair of a league that has historically been touted for its football prowess, but, on the first weekend of the 2013 college football season, he saw not just one (Kansas State) but two (Iowa State) of the Big 12 member institutions toppled by (very talented) Football Championship Series opponents on their home fields. I'm not sure if that has ever happened before. As most who know Bob know, the commish did have a silver lining to grab onto in this "moment of crisis": Bob had a hand in building one of the David's -- the Northern Iowa Panthers -- that tripped a Goliath.

Raise your hand if you watched the NFL's season opener -- defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore at Denver -- last Thursday night. Raise your hand if you went to bed shaking your head over Peyton Manning's work that night. Amazing stuff.

Thinking about making a trip to Kinnick? We do have a handful of tickets left for all five home games and discount priced youth tickets for the final nonconference game on Sept. 21. If you're a UI student, you can purchase single-game tickets for our Big Ten home games. For all the details, click HERE.

Grabbing and Running With It No. 1 -- Kudos to Tom Brands and Cael Sanderson, two who stand tall in the world of college wrestling, for working together to schedule a nonconference dual between the Iowa and Penn State wrestling teams. Here are three dates of importance: No. 1 -- Dec. 21. That's a Saturday and that's the date for the dual. Match time will be set for shortly after 8 p.m. on Mediacom Mat in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The expectation is simple: A filled-to-capacity Carver. No. 2 -- Sept. 23. That's a Monday and that is the first day UI season ticket holders in the sport of wrestling have an opportunity to purchase tickets to this special event. Please note: This event is not part of the 2013-14 Iowa wrestling season ticket package. No. 3 -- Oct. 7. That day, too, is a Monday. It is the date the tickets not purchased by UI season ticket holders will go on sale to the general public.

Grabbing and Running With It No. 2 -- I mentioned above that I liked the changes we made to the south scoreboard presentation. Those were the result of great assistance and support of great friends and corporate partners and the long hours of our HawkVision staff. We'll be making one or two more between today and when the Hawkeyes square off against Western Michigan on Sept. 21. The final product will be better for all involved.

Speaking of Kinnick's scoreboards and ribbon boards, I would like to give a second tip of the fedora to the staff that make all that magic happen: the HawkVision staff. I have spent a fair amount of time in the HawkVision control room these first two weeks of the college football season and I can tell you that that group of professionals make a complex and challenging job look easy. I was excited with the additions the staff made to "the show" this week and can't wait to see what they'll do at Game 3 as they continue to climb the learning curve.

Speaking of kudos and tips of the fedora, here's one to you: Last Sunday's edition of Hawk Talk Daily was the most-read in the four-year history of the daily e-newsletter of the Iowa Hawkeyes. More than 12,500 friends of the UI and fans of the Hawkeyes opened our e-mail offering one week ago this morning. If you were one of them, thanks! If you're new to the HTD list, enjoy this and every daily dose of black and gold!

Someone once said a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree and here's a little evidence of that: HERE. My personal favorites are the bookends, the first and the last.

Here is my final takeaway from yesterday at Kinnick: I love our football stadium. I've spent a lot of time during the last two games in various locations inside Kinnick, high, low, east, west, northeast, midfield west, south high -- you name it -- and, in so doing, I've reminded myself how historic Kinnick Stadium is; simply a darn good place to watch a college football game.

As always, the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football event will ratchet up the rhetoric around the water cooler a notch or two this week. My suggestion would be to be loud and proud and a Hawk...and not "That Guy."

GH!