Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Oct. 18, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on the first day of "Bull Week"...
If I'm not mistaken, fans of the football team at the University of Iowa should see some good old fashioned "Big Ten Football" the next two weeks inside historic Kinnick Stadium. That's not to say the three teams to play in Kinnick the last two Saturdays of October aren't contemporary or entertaining. No, that's not it at all. My point is that each are built on run first, pass second offensive philosophies, and "Sure, we'll line up with ya.' " defenses. Should be fun for us on the sidelines. Should be physical, really physical, for those on the gridiron.
"Bull Week"...The Heartland Trophy...get it?
Please grab a thesaurus and toss it on my desk because I'm running out of superlatives to describe the play of Adam Robinson. I guess we should all stop being surprised. He's been cranking out big-time performances weekly for more than a season and a half now. But, c'mon...taking a pass of his shoelaces then darting 26 yards up field in the Big House with the game still hanging in the balance. Wow. Talk about getting it done. That young man is getting it done.
And, while I'm at it, have you looked closely at Ricky Stanzi's numbers? His 13 touchdown passes rank fourth best in the league behind three peers with considerably more attempts. More importantly - and impressively - he shares the league lead in least interceptions among a regular with only two. As Hayden Fry once told me, there is almost nothing better than a senior quarterback and that fact was on full display when he took the field with about eight minutes to play Saturday.
Not to even begin to suggest that we look ahead, but fans attending the Oct. 30 game with Michigan State at Kinnick do need to remember it's the fifth annual "Blackout Saturday" event, so plan to dress appropriately, and 100 percent participation and a few extra decibels of support from start to finish would be greatly appreciated by your Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa was a perfect five-for-five in the red zone Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Hawkeyes are now 23 for 26 for the season. That's a pretty efficient and productive offense. Now, here's a little detail that puts a smile of the face of the offensive coordinator: Of those 23 scores, 20 have been for touchdowns...10 by the run, 10 by the pass.
And, speaking of the red zone, it wouldn't be fair of me to not note that Iowa leads the Big Ten in red zone defense. The Hawkeyes have denied their opponents any points on eight of their 17 visits - 52 percent.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos...I've never had a conversation with the talented young man, but I hear he's quite engaging. He certainly has a magnificent smile and looks like a bright future at the next level. My hope is that he goes out with a big-time bang...say, two or three or more performances like his on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
There's another book about the BCS out this week. The topic makes me scratch my head. Name another sport that has a regular season as engaging as college football? If you're in need of evidence of just how "Every Game Counts," talk to anyone who watched all or part of Iowa-Michigan, Arkansas-Auburn, Wisconsin-Ohio State and/or Texas-Nebraska last weekend. Each were action-packed events being played out before standing-room-only crowds in the stands and national television audiences...and all part of a system that has consistently put the top two ranked teams on the field in January to determine the best of the best. Folks, you can debate it all you want, but it just doesn't get much better than this.
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.