Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
Nov. 20, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on the morning of the last home football game of 2010 for the good guys...and a biggie it is...Iowa versus Ohio State...
A bunch of young men who have invested significantly will play their final game in Kinnick today. Lots of familiar names like Stanzi, Ballard, Greenwood and DJK, and some not so like Schulze and Kuchel. "It's a mix of guys. That's what makes football so interesting. The big thing is all these guys have been committed. It's probably true in any program. For someone to be a senior and finish up their career as a senior, they've gone a hard road, paid the price academically, citizenship wise as well as football," Kirk said on Tuesday. "I've got tremendous respect for all the guys that are going to be out there Saturday. All of us are extremely appreciative of what they've given us. Great group to work with. They've done a lot of good things on the field. That's important, especially the last three years."
Speaking of Brett Greenwood, his is (one of) the "stat that jumped off the page" for this week's game. The senior from Bettendorf currently leads the Big Ten with four interceptions. That shouldn't have surprised me when I read it, but it did...and so, too, did the fact that Iowa's Shaun Prater was tied for No. 2 on the list with three picks. Here's hoping each adds to their total later today and again next week in Minneapolis.
Have you heard it, too? It's palpable. It's real. What am I talking about? The buzz that's about Iowa men's basketball.
Ah, yes. The first regular season road trip after Thanksgiving occurs next week when Iowa travels north to play the Golden Gophers. The UM ticket office announced earlier this week that they do have tickets to sell to fans of the Hawkeyes. You can purchase them over the phone at 1-800-UGOPHER.
Lisa Bluder has a busy weekend ahead of her. Practice yesterday, shoot around this morning - early, game against Northeastern at noon, a little Iowa football, some tape, shoot around tomorrow and game tomorrow at 2. Here's a suggestion: Check out the Hawkeyes sometime soon. If not today - free admission, free hot chocolate, and a chance to win season tickets to next year's football home games - tomorrow or Dec. 5 (Buck Night!) or Dec. 9 (Iowa State). I dare suggest that you'll enjoy Bluder's Bunch and that you'll want to come back....preferably on Jan. 8 when Iowa entertains Ohio State at 3 p.m. in the Arena. Yes. That's a biggie, folks, and it would be nice to have 10, 11, 13-thousand fans of the good guys in the stands.
Speaking of Iowa-Iowa State, the grudge match on the mat is Friday, Dec. 3. Don't let the pre-season rankings fool you. This is Iowa wrestling coached by Tom Brands. They'll be ready to rumble.
I had a chance to visit with Larry Station earlier this week. What a very special Hawk! He's written a "how to" guide for parents with talented student-athletes. If you are one of those - or know someone who is - I'd suggest you take a peek by clicking HERE.. Larry's a been-there, done-that, kind of guy with a heart the size of Iowa whose life will become really interesting next year when Nebraska officially joins the Big Ten. He'll carry the black-and-gold flag proudly in the Omaha area.
Kachine Alexander, the very talented senior forward for Lisa Bluder's squad who is already on the "watch lists" for the Naismith Trophy, the Wade Trophy and the Wooden Award, was added to another yesterday. The winner of this one is determined by fan vote...so go ahead and vote for Kash...click HERE.
Here's another "stat that jumped off the page": The Big Ten Conference publishes weekly statistics in the sport of football. The list includes 30 categories ranging from scoring offense to kickoff coverage. Iowa and Ohio State rank are 1-2 or 2-1 in eight of those categories. Seems to me that speaks to what many expect to see today: Two pretty evenly matched football teams on the FieldTurf in Kinnick.
And, lastly, one final stat that speaks to history. Call me stubborn, but I still subscribe to the theory that defense wins championships. Ohio State ranks first in the Big Ten in scoring defense. The Buckeyes have allowed just 13.6 points per game in 2010. Iowa ranks second. The Hawkeyes have allowed just 15 points per Saturday. By the way, Mike Meyer, Iowa's freshman placekicker has made 10 of 12 field goal attempts and has a long of 42. Ohio State's Devin Barclay - he who booted the game-winner a year ago - has made 14 of 17 field goals...and has a long of 42.
Random Thoughts is written by Rick Klatt, the UI Athletics Department's associate athletics director for external affairs, and first appears in the digital world as an exclusive feature of Hawk Talk Daily, the daily e-newsletter of the UI Athletics Department.