Oct. 15, 2012
Iowa Game Notes
GAME 7 STORY LINES
claimed his 100th victory as Iowa's head coach with last week's thrilling 19-16 double-overtime triumph at Michigan State. Ferentz is the 12th Big Ten coach with 100 victories. His overall record stands at 112-89 in 17 years as a head coach.
Penn State enters Saturday's game on a four-game winning streak after losing its first two, while Iowa has won its last two games. Both teams are 2-0 against Big Ten competition.
has rushed for a combined eight touchdowns the last four games (three in each game against UNI and Central Michigan, and one each vs. Minnesota and at Michigan State).
Iowa is 6-3 in night games in Kinnick Stadium, including a 41-31 win over Northwestern a year ago.
Saturday will mark the third time in four years that the Iowa-Penn State game was selected for primetime. Iowa scored the final 21 points after trailing 10-0 in the first half to post a 21-16 win at Penn State in 2009. The Hawkeyes beat the Nittany Lions 24-3 in 2010 in Iowa City.
Iowa's defense has collected at least one takeaway in five of six games this season and 70 of its last 81 games, dating back to 2006.
Four of Iowa's first six games have been decided by three points or less (2-2), including two contests decided by one point each and one in double overtime.
Iowa is in the middle of a stretch of playing three of four road games. After Saturday's game with Penn State, Iowa travels to Northwestern (Oct. 27) and Indiana (Nov. 3).
LB Anthony Hitchens
, who leads the country in tackles, has posted double-digit tackles the last five games.
HAWKEYES HOSTS PENN STATE IN PRIMETIME
Iowa (4-2, 2-0) returns home to entertain Penn State (4-2, 2-0) Saturday at 7:01 p.m. (CT) inside Kinnick Stadium. A few hundred tickets remain, but a sellout is expected.
Saturday is Iowa's second annual ANF Day and also the UI's annual Black and Gold Spirit Game. Odd sections and UI students wear BLACK, while even sections wear GOLD. Fans sitting in the Mediacom Outdoor club section of the Paul W. Brechler Press Box should wear GOLD if there seat number is 104 or below and BLACK if their seat number is 105 or above.
ON THE TUBE
BTN (HD) will televise the contest. Eric Collins, Derek Rackley and Jon Jansen will call the action. The game can also be viewed online at BTN2Go.com.
Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play, with color commentator Ed Podolak and sideline reporter Rob Brooks. The Hawkeye Radio Network includes more than 40 stations throughout the state.
The game can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio 112 and XM 190.
ON THIS DATE
Iowa has posted a 6-9 record when playing on Oct. 20. Iowa defeated Augustana 34-0 in 1894; Ripon 61-6 in 1928; Hawai'i 34-0 in 1956; Michigan 26-0 in 1984 and 24-23 in 1990; and Indiana 42-28 in 2001. The Hawkeyes lost to Grinnell 10-0 in 1917; Illinois 9-6 in 1923; Iowa State 31-6 in 1934; Indiana 52-20 in 1945; Michigan 21-0 in 1951; Wisconsin 42-14 in 1962; Minnesota 31-23 in 1973 and 24-7 in 1979; and Purdue 31-6 in 2007.
HITCHENS, MEYER HONORED
Juniors Anthony Hitchens and Mike Meyer earned recognition for their respective performances in Iowa's 19-16 double-overtime victory at Michigan State last Saturday. Meyer was tabbed the Lou Groza Star of the Week, Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, and College Football Performance Awards National Place kicker of the Week and was an honorable mention specialist of the week. Hitchens was tabbed College Sports Madness' Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
Hitchens helped lead the Hawkeye defense to holding the Spartans to 16 points on the road. The linebacker posted double-digit tackles for the fifth straight game after amassing a game-high 15 stops.
Meyer, who ranks second nationally in field goals per game, earned his second Big Ten weekly award this season and third of his career after splitting the upright four times (23, 27, 28 and 42 yards) to match a career high. The 42-yarder was in the second overtime, which proved to be the game-winning score. Meyer has made 13 straight field goals, dating back to the season opener. He also made a PAT to extend his school-record consecutive streak to 68.
Meyer earned Big Ten co-special teams honors on Sept. 1 after his four-field goal performance in Iowa's 18-17 win over NIU. He earned the distinction for the first time in his career following Iowa's 18-13 win at Indiana in 2010. Meyer also had four field goals in that contest.
Iowa's defense has posted stellar numbers this season. The Hawkeyes rank 14th in the country in turnover margin (+7), 19th in total defense (317.2), 21st in scoring defense (17.2), 28th in pass defense (199.8), 30th in pass efficiency defense (114.8), 31st in rushing defense (117.3), 34th in passes intercepted (7), 52nd in turnovers gained (11), and 53rd in tackles for loss (5.8).
Iowa's defense has amassed 27 tackles for loss and forced 10 turnovers the last five games combined. Four of the 10 takeaways were collected inside the red zone, thwarting Iowa State scoring opportunities. Also, CB Greg Castillo picked off Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell on the 14-yard line (Michigan State had not yet reached the red zone yet) in double-overtime to preserve a Hawkeye victory. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 70 of its last 81 games, dating back to 2006.
Kirk Ferentz has amassed a record of 100-68 in 14 years as Iowa's head coach.
After averaging 12 points in its first two games, Iowa has averaged 27 points in its last four contests.
The Hawkeyes mounted their ninth comeback when trailing in the fourth quarter, since 2009, last week at Michigan State. Iowa ties Minnesota, Ohio and Wyoming with the most comeback wins (9) when trailing at any point in fourth period since 2009 in the country.
Iowa started five native Iowans on its offensive line the first four games, marking the first time under Coach Ferentz the offensive line has consisted of all native Iowans: LT Brandon Scherff (Denison), LG Matt Tobin (Dyersville), C James Ferentz (Iowa City), RG Austin Blythe (Williamsburg), RT Brett Van Sloten (Decorah). Ferentz has 32 career starts, followed by Tobin's 16 starts and nine by Scherff.
Iowa has sold out Kinnick Stadium 59 of the last 61 games, including the first four games of 2012.
Iowa has rushed for a combined 721 yards the last four games (180.3 avg.).
Iowa's defense had 10 interceptions in 13 games in 2011, the Hawkeyes have already collected seven in six games in 2012. Five Hawkeyes have intercepted at least one pass this season, with Tom Donatell and Greg Castillo collecting two each.
QB James Vandenberg has a 27:10 touchdown-to-interception ratio the last two seasons.
CB Micah Hyde's seven tackles at Michigan State put him over the 200-tackle plateau for his career. He becomes the second Hawkeye this year (James Morris) and the 67th player to accomplish the feat in school history. He enters Saturday's game at Penn State with 202 career stops.
Iowa has played two games decided by one point, beating Northern Illinois (18-17) in its season opener, while falling to Central Michigan (32-31) on Sept. 22. In fact, four of Iowa's six games have been decided by three points or less.
Mark Weisman rushed for a combined 334 yards and six TD's against UNI and Central Michigan. He became the first Hawkeye to rush for 300+ yards and score 6+ times in a two-game span since Tavian Banks in 1997. Banks had a combined 517 yards and six TD's against UNI and Tulsa and 441 yards and eight TD's vs. Tulsa and Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes have played six true freshmen: P Connor Kornbrath, CB Kevin Buford, CB Sean Draper, WR Tevaun Smith, LB Nate Meier, and RB Greg Garmon.
The Hawkeyes are tied for fourth in the country in fewest turnovers lost (4), second in fumbles lost (1) and 14th in turnover margin (+7). Iowa is one of only five teams in the country to have lost one fumble or fewer (Indiana, Kent State, UNLV and Clemson).
Tom Donatell and Greg Castillo are two of 10 Big Ten student-athletes with multiple interceptions this year. Donatell and Castillo are tied for 47th in the country in thefts (0.33).
Iowa is 9-2 in the games that QB James Vandenberg has completed at least 60 percent of his passes the last two seasons.
Iowa is tied with Nebraska for fourth in the Big Ten in scrimmage plays of 30+ yards with 14. Individually, Mark Weisman ranks third in the league in scrimmage of 30+ yards with 6.
The Hawkeyes are 7-2 over the past two years when QB James Vandenberg throws for 219 yards or more.
Iowa averages 67 offensive plays through six games. The Hawkeyes averaged 53 offensive plays a year ago.
C.J. Fiedorowicz leads Hawkeye tight ends with 16 receptions for 178 yards. Last season, he had 16 catches for 167 yards and three TD's.
After not allowing a sack the last four games, Michigan State sacked QB James Vandenberg once last Saturday.
Iowa has had 12 different players catch at least one pass this season. TE Jake Duzey caught his first passes of his career last Saturday at Michigan State.
Iowa has utilized two punters this season: freshman Connor Kornbrath and senior John Wienke. Wienke, who is mainly used on short-field punts, has had seven of his nine punts downed inside the 20, including two on the 1-yard line (Northern Illinois and Central Michigan). Kornbrath has punted 23 times for 860 yards (37.4 avg.).
Iowa is 0-1 on two-point conversions this season. The Hawkeyes failed to score on their only attempt, late in the fourth quarter in their 18-17 victory over NIU.
Iowa's next opponent, Northwestern on Oct. 27, hosts Nebraska Saturday.
Saturday will be the 25th meeting between Iowa and Penn State; the series is even, 12-12. Iowa has won three of the last four and eight of the last 10 meetings against Penn State. The Nittany Lions snapped a three-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes a year ago in University Park (13-3).
Iowa holds a 9-6 advantage since 1993 when the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes are 5-7 in games played at Iowa City, but have won the last four games in Kinnick Stadium since PSU's 31-7 win in 1999.
The teams first met Nov. 15, 1930, with Iowa winning 19-0 in Iowa City. PSU won five in a row, as Iowa didn't defeat PSU again until 1976.
Both teams have had a five-game winning streak in the series. Penn State won each game played between 1971 and 1975. Iowa's longest streak in the series began with a double-overtime win in 2000 and included wins from 2000-04. The teams did not meet in 2005 and 2006.
The teams have played two overtime games, both at Penn State. Iowa won in two overtimes in 2000 (26-23) and in single overtime in 2002 (42-35).
IOWA/PENN STATE STATE NOTES
Penn State was idle last week after recording a 39-28 come-from-behind victory over Northwestern on Oct. 6.
Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz and his wife Nikki welcomed the birth of their first child, Presley, the morning of Oct. 9.
Brian Ferentz coached alongside Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien with the New England Patriots. Ferentz was on the Patriots's staff from 2008-11, while O'Brien joined the staff in 2007.
According to the NCAA, Iowa has played the 31st-toughest schedule in the country and fourth-toughest in the Big Ten, based on past opposition records. Through last week, opponents that the Hawkeyes have played are 14-9. Penn State ranks sixth in the league and 45th nationally. Nittany Lion opponents are 15-12.
Iowa has two players on its roster from the state of Pennsylvania, including RB Greg Garmon (Erie) and LB Marcus Collins. Penn State does not have any Iowans on its roster.
Iowa Director of Football Operations Paul Federici earned his bachelor's degree from Penn State.
Penn State offensive line coach Mac McWhorter coached with Iowa offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis at Texas. McWhorter coach the Longhorn tackles and tight ends from 2002-04 and served as the associate head coach and offensive line coach from 2005-10.
Saturday pits two of the nation's top scoring defenses against each other. Penn State ranks 15th in the country in scoring defense (16.0), while Iowa ranks 21st (17.2).
Both Iowa and Penn State lead the Big Ten with a +7 turnover margin.
The Nittany Lions rank second in the Big Ten in passing offense (251.8) and scoring defense (16.0); and third in sacks allowed (1.33) and sacks (2.33).
Saturday begins a stretch of three of four road games for Penn State. The Nittany Lions will host Ohio State the following Saturday, followed by trips to Purdue and Nebraska.
Iowa and Penn State are two of six Big Ten teams with four overall victories.
WINNING AT HOME
Iowa has won 57 of its last 71 games (.803) in Kinnick Stadium, dating back to the 2002 season, including a 6-1 record in 2011. Iowa recorded a school-record 22-game home winning streak between 2002-05, which ended with an overtime loss to Michigan.
Iowa is 25-7 (.782) at home since the start of the 2008 season.
FERENTZ FOURTH IN LONGEVITY
Now in his 14th season as Iowa's head football coach, Kirk Ferentz ranks fourth in longevity among FBS head coaches. Ferentz is first among Big Ten coaches and nationally ranks behind Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Larry Blakeney of Troy and Mack Brown of Texas.
Penn State took advantage of three Iowa turnovers in the fourth quarter in taking a 13-3 win at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa., on Oct. 8, 2011.
Penn State drove to a field goal on its first drive, taking a 3-0 advantage after an opening drive that lasted over eight minutes. Iowa responded with its only scoring drive of the game, as PK Mike Meyer tied the game with a 23-yard field goal that completed a 12 play, 72-yard drive. Due to time consuming drives, each team had just two possessions in the first period. The Nittany Lions took the lead with 4:59 remaining in the second period when Anthony Fera booted his second 20-yard field goal of the half.
Iowa trailed by just a field goal late in the third period when CB Micah Hyde came up with an interception in the end zone to stop a Penn State scoring threat. The theft was Hyde's third of the season.
Iowa moved across midfield after collecting the only PSU turnover of the game, but a QB sack by Penn State resulted in a Hawkeye fumble and the home team took over at the Iowa 49-yard line. Penn State drove for the only touchdown of the game from there, scoring on a two-yard pass on third down.
Iowa's next two possessions ended with PSU pass interceptions, the second coming on a tipped pass with just 3:42 remaining. The Nittany Lions held Iowa on downs on its last possession and ran out the clock to earn the win. The Hawkeye offense was held to just 114 yards total offense in the second half.
LB James Morris led the Iowa defense with 13 tackles and LB Christian Kirksey recorded 10 stops and a forced fumble. DL Mike Daniels recorded eight tackles, including a tackle for loss. Hyde added eight tackles and two pass break-ups to go with his interception.
QB James Vandenberg completed 17-34 passes for 169 yards. WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. led the Iowa receivers with four catches for 73 yards. RB Marcus Coker led the ground game with 18 attempts for 74 yards.
FIRST TIME STARTERS
Iowa players earning the first start of their career in the season-opening victory over Northern Illinois included OL Austin Blythe, OL Brett Van Sloten, RB Damon Bullock, FB Mark Weisman, DL Darian Cooper, DL Louis Trinca-Pasat, LB Anthony Hitchens, and DB B.J. Lowery. True freshman Connor Kornbrath was Iowa's starting punter. RG Andrew Donnal started his first career contest in Iowa's Big Ten opener against Minnesota.
Hitchens and Van Sloten are juniors, Bullock, Lowery, Trinca-Pasat and Weisman are sophomores and Blythe and Cooper are redshirt freshmen.
IOWA AMONG TOP 20 IN WINS, 2002-12
Iowa has posted 89 wins since the start of the 2002 season, which ranks as the 18th highest total in Division I football. The list includes the following: Boise State (122); USC (114); LSU (112); Oklahoma (112); Ohio State (112); Texas (107); TCU (108); Virginia Tech (105); Georgia (103); Florida (101); West Virginia (100); Wisconsin (99); Alabama (97); Oregon (96); Auburn (95); Utah (94); Florida State (91); Iowa (89); Texas Tech (89); Miami, FL (87); Nebraska (86); Michigan (86); Hawai'i (85); Boston College (84).
Since 2003, Iowa is tied with Navy for 22nd in the country with 78 wins.
MEYER GETTING HIS KICKS
Junior PK Mike Meyer has earned Big Ten Special Teams Player and Lou Groza Star of the Week accolades twice this season. He first was recognized after his performance against NIU in the opener and second, this past Saturday at Michigan State. Meyer has also earned CFPA honorable mention weekly recognition after the NIU, Central Michigan and Michigan State contests.
Meyer has connected on 14-of-15 field goal attempts this season. He has made his last 13 attempts since missing a 40-yarder in the season-opener against Northern Illinois (second attempt of the year). The school record is held by Nate Kaeding, who made 22 consecutive field goals spanning the Alamo Bowl game in 2001 and the first nine games of the 2002 season.
Meyer's 50-yarder against Northern Illinois, tied his career long (at Iowa State, 2011). He made four treys against NIU and Michigan State, which matches his career high (at Iowa State, 2011 and at Indiana, 2010). His five attempts vs. NIU ties Iowa's single-game record, which he also shares (at Indiana in 2010).
Meyer, who is on the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, is tied for fourth in Big Ten scoring (9.0) and ranks second in the country in field goals made per game (2.33). He was one of 20 semifinal candidates for the 2011 Lou Groza Award. Meyer has amassed 213 career points and ranks ninth on Iowa's career list. He has made 42-52 (.808) career field goal attempts. Meyer is 31-35 (.886) from kicks 39 yards and closer; 9-13 (.692) from attempts 40-49 yards; and 2-4 (.500) from kicks 50 yards or farther.
The native of Dubuque, Iowa, has made 68 consecutive PAT attempts, which is a new school record. His four straight PAT's against Central Michigan helped him surpass All-Pro Nate Kaeding's previous record of 60 straight. Meyer's last PAT miss was in a 37-6 win over Michigan State on Oct. 30, 2010 in Iowa City.
Iowa's defense has ranked among national leaders in causing turnovers in recent seasons. Since the start of the 2008 season, Iowa has collected 79 interceptions, a total that ranks among the best in the nation over that span. Iowa had 10 interceptions in 2011, with two of those being returned for touchdowns (89 yards by DB Shaun Prater and 98 yards by DB Tanner Miller). Iowa's defense has registered seven interceptions the last five games (two vs. Iowa State, one against UNI and Michigan State, and three vs. Minnesota). The seven passes intercepted ranks 34th in the country.
LB Christian Kirksey returned a theft 68 yards for a score against Minnesota (Sept. 29). The interception return for a touchdown is the third longest in school history. The Hawkeyes have had an interception return for a touchdown in each of the last five years, including four in 2010. Iowa has had an interception return for a score in 10 of the last 12 seasons and 10 of 14 seasons under Kirk Ferentz.
CB Greg Castillo has had an interception in each of Iowa's last two games, including a game-clincher theft off a tipped pass in the second overtime at Michigan State last Saturday.
IOWA LIKES STARTING ON OFFENSE
Iowa has started the game on offense in 139-of-168 games under Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes started on offense four times in 2012: Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State; Iowa started on defense against Iowa State and UNI. Iowa is 16-13 in the games it has started on defense under Ferentz.
HAWKEYES WIN THRILLER AT MICHIGAN STATE
Iowa improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play with a thrilling 19-16, double-overtime win to spoil Michigan State's Homecoming. The victory gave Kirk Ferentz 100 wins at Iowa.
Iowa scored 10 fourth-quarter points to force overtime and sealed the win in the extra frame thanks to place kicker Mike Meyer and a strong defensive effort.
Michigan State led, 10-3, heading into the final quarter. Meyer converted his second field goal of the game with 14:08 left in the fourth period to trim the deficit to 10-6. After a Spartan field goal made the score 13-6, the Hawkeyes engineered a nine play, 68-yard drive, capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Mark Weisman, to tie the game and force overtime.
Iowa won the toss and started on defense, holding the Spartans to a field goal on its first possession. Meyer responded on Iowa's offensive chance, nailing a 27-yard field goal to send the game to double overtime.
The Hawkeyes started on offense and Meyer drilled his fourth field goal, this time from 42 yards, to give Iowa a 19-16 lead. Meyer's four made field goals tied a career best for the Dubuque, Iowa, native.
Spartan quarterback Andrew Maxwell's pass on the second play of their double-overtime drive was tipped at the line by Louis Trinca-Pasat. The ball was then tipped by a Spartan wide receiver and cornerback Greg Castillo came down with the interception to secure the Hawkeye road win.
Michigan State took advantage of a Hawkeye turnover on the first drive of the game to take an early lead. Le'Veon Bell scampered for a 14-yard touchdown run after the Spartan defense recorded an interception in the first stanza.
Weisman went over 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game, finishing with 116 yards and a touchdown. QB James Vandenberg completed 19-of-36 passes for 134 yards.
Three Hawkeyes tallied double-digit tackles; Anthony Hitchens (15), Joe Gaglione (11) and James Morris (10). The Hawkeye defense collected two sacks and six tackles for loss.
IOWA POSTGAME NOTES
Iowa improved to 5-3 in overtime games. Saturday marked the second time the Hawkeyes and Spartans have played an overtime game. Iowa won a 34-27, double-overtime contest in Iowa City on Oct. 27, 2007. That game was also Iowa's last overtime victory.
Iowa's last three games played at Michigan State have been decided by three points or less, with the Hawkeyes winning two.
Greg Castillo's interception on the final play of the game was the only turnover forced by the Iowa defense. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 70 of its last 81 games, dating back to 2006. Iowa had one turnover (one interception). The Spartans converted the turnover into a touchdown.
PK Mike Meyer, who ranks second nationally in field goals made per game, tied a career best by converting four field goal attempts. He improved to 14-of-15 this season, making his last 13 tries and 42-of-52 for his career in field goal attempts. Meyer now has 213 points, ranking ninth in career scoring. He also converted his only PAT attempt on the day, extending his school record consecutive streak to 68.
Mark Weisman led Iowa in rushing for the fourth consecutive contest, rushing for 116 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. Weisman has gone over 100 yards in four straight games. The sophomore has totaled 635 yards rushing on 100 carries this season.
Iowa was 3-3 in the red zone, scoring field goals in the second and fourth quarters, along with the game-tying touchdown in the final period. The Hawkeyes have scored on 163 of the last 187 (.872) red zone possessions (111 TDs and 52 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Michigan State was 3-3 in the red zone, scoring a TD in the first period and field goals in the second and fourth periods.
Linebackers Anthony Hitchens (15 tackles) and James Morris (10 tackles) and lineman Joe Gaglione (11 tackles) led the Hawkeyes in tackles. Morris has registered double-digit tackles four times this year, while Hitchens has been credited with double-digit stops the last five games. DL Joe Gaglione recorded his team-leading fourth sack of the season in the first quarter. His 11 tackles are a career high.
Connor Kornbrath punted a career-high six times for 243 yards (40.5 avg.), including a long of 50 yards in the third quarter. The 50-yarder is his second-longest punt of the season (51 yards vs. Northern Illinois).
Jordan Cotton had a 45-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, which helped lead to an Iowa field goal. The kickoff return was the longest of his career and the longest by a Hawkeye this season. The 45-yard return is Iowa's longest since Jordan Bernstine's 62-yard return against Indiana a year ago.
QB James Vandenberg was intercepted in Iowa territory on Iowa's first possession, marking the first time the Hawkeyes failed to score on an opening drive this season. Michigan State drove 26 yards on its opening possession and scored a touchdown. The Spartans are the fourth Hawkeye opponent to score on their opening possession this season (Iowa State, Central Michigan, UNI and Michigan State).
Saturday marked the first time since the season opener that the Hawkeye offensive line has allowed a sack. Michigan State's Kyler Elsworth tallied one sack in the contest.
Andrew Donnal started at right guard for the second consecutive game in place of the injured Austin Blythe. It marked Donnal's second career start. Greg Castillo also started his second game of the year at cornerback for the inured B.J. Lowrey.
TE Jake Duzey had his first career reception (11 yards) in the third quarter. He finished the game with two catches for 14 yards.
RB Damon Bullock, who started the first three games, and CB B.J. Lowrey, who started the first four contests, did not play due to injury. Austin Blythe did not see action as well for the second straight game, due to injury.
Iowa improved to 9-5 during the Ferentz era in games when it has rained.
DEPTH CHART INCLUDES 6 WALK-ONS, 4 TRUE FRESHMEN
Iowa's depth chart includes seven players who originally joined the program as a walk-on. That includes three on offense (OL Matt Tobin and WR Steven Staggs) two on defense (SS Tom Donatell and LB Travis Perry), and two specialists (PK Mike Meyer and LS Casey Kreiter).
True freshmen on the depth chart include defensive backs Kevin Buford and Sean Draper, punter Connor Kornbrath, wide receiver Tevaun Smith.
DAVIS LEADS HAWKEYE RECEIVING CORPS
Senior Keenan Davis became the 35th Hawkeye wide receiver to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards when his 75 yards on four catches against Iowa State pushed him over 1,000. Davis has caught 97 passes for 1,272 yards in his career. He ranks 28th in Iowa career receiving yards. Davis is only nine yards from Dallas Clark (1,281) for 27th and 89 from Kerry Reardon (1,361) for 26th.
For the season, Davis leads the team with 32 catches for 373 yards; he ranks fourth in the Big Ten in receptions. Davis, who is on the preseason Biletnikoff, Senior Bowl and CFPA award watch lists, had five catches for 54 yards against UNI, a team-high six grabs for 88 yards against Central Michigan, a team-best six grabs for 50 yards in the Big Ten opener against Minnesota and six catches for a team-best 65 yards at Michigan State.
NEXT MAN IN...
After running backs Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon left the UNI game (Sept. 15) with injuries, fullback Mark Weisman was forced into full-time running back duties against UNI and Central Michigan. The walk-on has delivered, rushing for 623 yards and eight touchdowns on 98 attempts (7.0 avg.) the last four games.
The sophomore has totaled 631 yards rushing on 100 carries this season. The 631 yards rushing are the most by a Hawkeye in the first six games of the season since Shonn Greene had 822 yards in 2008. Weisman ranks sixth in Big Ten rushing (105.2 avg.). His 6.3 average per carry ranks second behind quarterbacks Michigan's Denard Robinson (8.0) and Braxton Miller of Ohio State (7.1).
Weisman rushed for 113 yards and three scores against UNI and a career-best 217 yards and three touchdowns versus Central Michigan. The 217 yards tie for the eighth-best rushing total in Iowa single-game history. In the Big Ten opener against Minnesota, he carried the ball 21 times for 177 yards (8.4 avg.) and a score. Weisman had rushed 26 times for 116 yards and a score at Michigan State.
Weisman, who earned honorable mention CFPA honors against Central Michigan and Minnesota, is one of only six Big Ten players to rush for 100+ yards in four games.
Weisman scored all three of Iowa's touchdowns against UNI; two 1-yard scores and one 2-yard run. It marked the first time a Hawkeye rushed for three touchdowns in a game since Adam Robinson against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 4, 2010). Weisman tallied three of Iowa's four touchdowns against Central Michigan, scoring from five, 12 and 34 yards out. He added an 8-yard scoring run against Minnesota and a 5-yarder at Michigan State.
LINEBACKER DUO LEADING HAWKEYE DEFENSE
LB Anthony Hitchens leads the nation in tackles per game (13.0). Hitchens has already surpassed his 2011 tackle total (25 stops in eight games). Hitchens was tabbed College Sports Madness' Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after his Saturday performance at Michigan State.
Hitchens has posted double-digit tackles the last five games. The junior amassed 19 tackles, including one for loss, against Iowa State. The 19 tackles are the most by a Hawkeye since LB Abdul Hodge had 22 vs. Illinois on Oct. 1, 2005. Against UNI, he was credited with a team-high 10. He shared game-high tackle honors with 14 against Central Michigan, while he amassed a game-high 12 stops in Iowa's win over Minnesota. Hitchens registered a game-high 15 at Michigan State last Saturday.
LB James Morris, who is on the preseason Bednarik, Butkus and Rotary Lombardi award watch lists, earned honorable mention recognition from the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his play vs. Iowa State.
Against the Cyclones, the Solon, Iowa, native totaled 12 tackles, including one for loss, intercepted his second career pass at the goal line and recovered his first career fumble. He also broke-up one pass.
Morris ranks third in the Big Ten and 18th nationally in tackles (10.0). He began the 2012 season with eight tackles in the win over NIU, including one tackle for loss, and had eight stops in Iowa's win over UNI. Morris registered double-digit tackles four times in 2012 (Iowa State, Central Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State), including the last three contests. He had 12 tackles against Central Michigan and Iowa State, and 10 vs. Minnesota and Michigan State.
Morris is the 65th Iowa player to reach the 200-tackle plateau. His 240 tackles (99 solo, 141 assists) tie Leven Weiss for 33rd in school history. He is four from equaling Mel Cole (244) for 32nd, five from Jim Johnson (245), seven from Dan LaFleur (247) and eight from Merton Hanks (248) and Pat Angerer (248).
Morris earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from both league coaches and media in 2011. He tied for the team lead in tackles (110 in 12 games) and ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 37th in the nation. Morris recorded 52 solo stops and 58 assists, along with one pass interception, in 12 games.
IOWAN CALLING THE SIGNALS
Senior QB James Vandenberg started all 13 games a year ago and 21 overall in his career.
Vandenberg is on four preseason watch lists (Davey O'Brien, Maxwell Award, Manning Award and CFPA Quarterback Trophy) and was also ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the Big Ten by ESPN.com. He has completed 112-195 passes for 1,134 yards and two TD's in 2012. His 189 yards per game average ranks fifth in the Big Ten.
Vandenberg has completed 396-694 passes for 4,661 yards and 30 career touchdowns. He ranks seventh at Iowa in career passing yards and eighth in touchdowns. Vandenberg completed 76-128 (.594) for 683 yards with one TD and one theft in Iowa's four victories. He completed 36-67 (.538) for 451 yards with one TD and two interceptions in Iowa's two losses.
Vandenberg completed 237-of-404 pass attempts for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2011. He ranked third in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (232.5), fourth in total offense (237.2) and fifth in pass efficiency (138.5). Vandenberg (6-foot-3, 212) was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA District Six Academic All-America team and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Vandenberg is a native of Keokuk and is the second quarterback from the state of Iowa under Coach Kirk Ferentz. Kyle McCann (Creston) led Iowa to victory in the 2001 Alamo Bowl, the first bowl win for Coach Kirk Ferentz.
Two native Iowans have led the Hawkeyes to Rose Bowl wins, including Kenny Ploen (Clinton) during the 1956 season and Randy Duncan (Des Moines) during the 1958 season. Both were first team All-Americans.
St. Ansgar native Matt Sherman led Iowa to a pair of bowl wins (1996 Alamo and 1997 Sun Bowl), while Iowa City native Paul Burmeister was Iowa's quarterback in the 1993 Alamo Bowl.
Additional Iowa natives who passed for over 1,500 yards, but never led Iowa in a bowl game, include Gary Snook (Iowa City, 1963-65), Ed Podolak (Atlantic, 1966-68, who ended his Iowa career as a prolific running back), Phil Suess (Des Moines, 1977-80), Randy Reiners (Ft. Dodge, 1996-99), Tom McLaughlin (Dubuque, 1975-77), Al DeMarco (Mason City, 1947-48) and Glen Drahn (Elkader, 1948-50).
IOWA IN THE RED ZONE
Iowa is 18-20 (90%) in the red zone, scoring nine field goals and nine TD's. The Hawkeyes' two failed red-zone possessions resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion attempt against UNI and running out the clock at the end of the NIU game in an 18-17 victory.
Iowa has scored touchdowns in six of its last eight red-zone possessions the last three games (Central Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State). The Hawkeyes have scored on 163 of the last 187 (.872) red zone possessions (111 TDs and 52 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008.
Hawkeye opponents are 17-20 (85%) inside the red zone. Iowa's defense forced three red-zone turnovers vs. Iowa State.
VANDENBERG NAMED SEMIFINALST FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY
QB James Vandenberg has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy. He is also a candidate for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
Selected as the best and brightest from college football, the Campbell Trophy, named in honor of Bill Campbell, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal in 2004, recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, Oct. 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored December 4 during the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.
BULLOCK MISSES 3 GAMES WITH INJURY
Sophomore RB Damon Bullock, who led the Hawkeye offense through three games, missed the Hawkeyes' last three games due to an injury suffered in the first half of the UNI contest. Bullock's return is uncertain at this time. He has amassed 367 all-purpose yards, averaging 122.3 yards per game.
Bullock led Iowa's offense in the opening win, rushing 30 times for 150 yards and his first career touchdown. He scored on a 23-yard run with 2:15 remaining in the game as Iowa rallied for an 18-17 win. He also had three receptions for 26 yards. Bullock started for the first time in his career after collecting just 10 rushing attempts for 20 yards and one pass reception for 11 yards as a true freshman in 2011.
The 150 rushing yards are the most for an Iowa running back in a season-opening game since 2003, when Fred Russell rushed 22 times for 167 yards in a 21-3 win over Miami, Ohio. It is also the most yards gained by a player in their first career start since Russell gained 170 yards on just 14 carries in a 57-21 win over Akron in the opening game of the 2002 season.
Against UNI (Sept. 15), Bullock had 77 yards rushing, including 53 yards on Iowa's opening drive, but left the game in the second quarter due to injury and did not return. He also had one reception for five yards.
Against Iowa State (Sept. 8), Bullock totaled 109 all-purpose yards (56 receiving and 53 rushing). He had five receptions, which was a team and career best.
BEST DECADE FOR IOWA FOOTBALL
Iowa's football record in the 2000 decade was 80-45 (.640), a record that ranks as the best decade in Iowa football history, based on total wins. Iowa posted a record of 77-40-4 (.652) during the 1980's and the Hawkeyes were 62-53-2 (.538) in the 1990's.
Part of the Hawkeye success is due to the stability in the program, as Iowa has had just two head coaches since 1979. Hayden Fry took over prior to the 1979 season and coached through the 1998 season, posting a record of 143-89-6. Current Coach Kirk Ferentz replaced Fry, leading the program for the last 13 seasons. Ferentz also served as Iowa's offensive line coach from 1981-89 under Fry.
IOWA PROGRAM NOTES
Iowa defeated a team ranked in the top five in the nation, in the Associated Press rankings, in 2008 (Penn State), 2009 (Penn State) and 2010 (Michigan State), along with defeating 13th-ranked Michigan in 2011.
Iowa earned Big Ten Conference championships in 2002 and 2004 and placed second in 2009. Iowa (8-0, 2002) is one of two Big Ten teams to post a perfect mark in conference play since 1998 (BCS era).
Iowa has ranked in the top 10 in the final Associated Press and CNN/USA Today coaches polls in four of the past 10 years, including a ranking of seventh in both polls at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Iowa ranked eighth in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Iowa established a school record with 11 wins in 2002 (11-2) and matched that record in 2009. In 2009, Iowa won 10 regular season games for just the fourth time in school history.
Iowa won 10 or more games in three consecutive years (2002-04) for first time in school history.
Iowa compiled an eight-year record of 85-42 (.669), 2002-11, including a 50-30 Big Ten record. The 85 victories tie as the 17th best total in the nation.
Kirk Ferentz has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times (2002, 2004 & 2009) and he was named National Coach of the Year in 2002. Ferentz joins Michigan's Bo Schembechler (four), Iowa's Hayden Fry (three) and Penn State's Joe Paterno (three) as the only coaches to be honored in more than two seasons.
Iowa has had national award winners in: Robert Gallery (2003 Outland, Top Lineman); Brad Banks (2002 Davey O'Brien, Top Quarterback; 2002 Associated Press National Player of the Year); Dallas Clark (2002 Mackey, Top Tight End); Nate Kaeding (2002 Groza, Top Kicker); Shonn Greene (2008 Doak Walker, Top Running Back).
Iowa has appeared in the final Associated Press poll 21 times in program history, a total that ranks 25th best in the country.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS
Iowa has scored 13 points following 11 defensive takeaways. The 11 turnovers gained ranks 52nd in the country. The Hawkeyes collected at least one takeaway in every game this season, except Central Michigan. The Hawkeye defense was without a takeaway through regulation last week at Michigan State, but CB Greg Castillo's interception in the second overtime helped preserve Iowa's road victory. Iowa's defense has collected at least one takeaway in 70 of its last 81 games, dating back to 2006.
Hawkeye opponents have scored 10 points following four turnovers (three interceptions and one fumble). Iowa had no turnovers in wins against Northern Illinois, UNI and Minnesota. The Hawkeyes had two interceptions against Iowa State (zero points allowed), lost their first fumble against Central Michigan (field goal), and had an interception at Michigan State (touchdown).
GAGLIONE HAS CAREER GAME
Joe Gaglione led the Hawkeye defensive line last week in the team's 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State. The senior amassed a career-high 11 tackles, which includes 1.5 TFL's and a sack.
The defensive end leads Hawkeye defensive linemen with 35 tackles, eight TFL's and four sacks. He also leads the team with four forced fumbles.
Gaglione ranks fourth in Big Ten TFL's (1.33); tied for second in forced fumbles (0.33); and is tied for sixth in sacks (0.67). He also ranks among the conference's best linemen in tackles.
He earned honorable mention honors from CFPA for his efforts in week one's win over NIU. Gaglione played a key role for the Iowa defense that held NIU to just 201 yards of total offense. Gaglione recorded six tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. He forced an NIU fumble that was recovered by Iowa and led directly to a Hawkeye field goal in the third quarter.
AVERAGE SCORING DRIVES
Iowa's 24 scoring drives have averaged 8.3 plays, 56.4 yards and 4:07 in elapsed time. Eleven of Iowa's 24 scoring drives had totaled 10 plays or more. The Hawkeyes averaged 10.7 plays and 62 yards in their three scoring drives against Michigan State.
The drive averages do not include Iowa's two overtime possessions.
BIG PLAY HAWKEYES
Iowa has had 14 pass plays and nine rushing plays, along with eight KO returns, one punt return, one interception return and 12 field goals, of at least 20 yards. The Hawkeyes had a season-best seven offensive plays (three rush and four pass) over 20 yards against Minnesota. Iowa had eight offensive plays covering 20 yards or more in its first three games combined, while amassing a total of 15 the last three outings.
Hawkeye opponents have had 13 passing plays, four rushing plays, nine KO returns and 12 field goals of at least 20 yards.
HOME GROWN HAWKEYES
Iowa's roster of 116 players includes 45 players from Iowa. The roster includes 13 players from Illinois; 11 from Ohio; six from Michigan; five from Florida and Texas; four from Maryland; three from Nebraska; two from Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; one from Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia; and three from Canada and one from Australia.
MORE THAN ONE
Eleven high schools have contributed more than one player to the current Iowa football roster. The leader is Iowa City High (Iowa), Washington HS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Solon, Iowa HS with three each. Those with two include Cass Technical HS in the Detroit area, DeMatha Catholic in the Washington, D.C. area, Dowling HS in West Des Moines, Iowa, Heelan HS in Sioux City, Iowa, Hazelwood East HS in the St. Louis area; Mount Pleasant, Iowa HS, Oskaloosa, Iowa HS, Wahlert HS in Dubuque, Iowa and Regina HS in Iowa City.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has each of his three sons involved in the Iowa program this season. Brian, a former Hawkeye letterman (2003-05), is in his first season as Iowa's offensive line coach. James is a senior offensive lineman who has started the last 28 games at center. Steven is a tight end who is in his first season in the program as a true freshman.
Iowa has seven players on its 2012 roster whose father played for the Hawkeyes. WR Jordan Cotton (Marshall in 1984-87), OL Cole Croston (Dave in 1984-86), TE Zach Derby (John in 1988-91), QB Dan Hartlieb (Chuck in 1986-88), OL Mitch Keppy (Myron in 1986-87), ATH George Krieger Kittle (Bruce in 1977-80) and DB Sean Skradis (Bryan in 1977-81).
DAD IN THE NFL
The fathers of DB Tom Donatell and DB Greg Castillo are coaches in the NFL. Ed Donatell is the defensive secondary coach for the San Francisco 49'ers and Juan Castillo is the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles.
THE HAWKEYES, SIZE WISE
Freshman QB Dan Hartlieb is the lightest Hawkeye player at 155 pounds. Sophomore DL Carl Davis and sophomore OL Brandon Scherff are the heaviest at 310 pounds. A total of six Hawkeye players are listed at 300 pounds or more.
The tallest players, at 6-7, are sophomore OL Andrew Donnal, junior TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, redshirt freshman DE Riley McMinn and junior OL Brett Van Sloten. The shortest players, at 5-8, are sophomore Jordan Canzeri and freshman Riley McCarron.
The average Hawkeye player is 6-2 and weighs 227 pounds. That is one inch taller and 3.3 pounds lighter than the average Iowa player in 2011.
There are a few remaining tickets for the Penn State and Purdue games. Iowa has issued over 59,000 season tickets, which includes more than 10,000 student tickets. The Iowa record for average home attendance is 70,585, set in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Iowa has sold out Kinnick Stadium 59 of the last 61 games. In addition, Iowa sold its allotment of tickets to road games at Michigan and Michigan State. An estimated 35,000 Iowa fans attended the season opener against Northern Illinois at Chicago's Soldier Field, which had an announced attendance of 52,117. Iowa's first four home games of 2012 (Iowa State, UNI, Central Michigan and Minnesota) were sellouts.
HAWKEYES THIRD IN BOWL APPEARANCES
Iowa ranks third in Big Ten bowl appearances. Ohio State has received a conference-best 42 bowl bids, followed by Michigan (41) and the Hawkeyes (26). Wisconsin ranks fourth with 23.
Iowa (14-11-1, .558), Penn State (27-15-2, .636) and Purdue (9-7, .563) are the only Big Ten teams with a winning percentage in bowl games.
Nebraska, competing in the Big Ten for the first time in 2011, holds a 24-24 (.500) record in 48 bowl games.
Iowa was one of 10 Big Ten Conference teams to play in a bowl game following the 2011 season. The Big Ten had two teams competing in BCS games for the 11th time in 14 seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 25 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Seven different Big Ten programs have played in BCS bowl games.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY
Iowa and Nebraska will meet for the second straight year on the Friday following Thanksgiving. The 2012 "Heroes Game" will be played Friday, Nov. 23 (11 a.m., ABC) in Iowa's Kinnick Stadium. The teams met on Friday following Thanksgiving last season in Lincoln in the inaugural battle for the "Heroes Game" trophy.
IOWA BOWL NOTES
Iowa was bowl eligible last season for the 11th straight season under Coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff.
The Hawkeyes have appeared in 10 bowl games since 2001. Iowa won the Outback Bowl over South Carolina following the 2008 season, concluded the 2009 campaign with a win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl and defeated Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl. Iowa's three-game bowl win streak (2008-10) is an Iowa record.
The Hawkeyes have posted a 6-4 record in bowl games under Ferentz, including wins in four of six January bowl games.
Since the 2001 season, no Big Ten team has won more bowl games or has a higher winning percentage in bowl games, than Iowa.
Overall, Iowa has posted a 14-11-1 (.558) record in 26 bowl games. The Hawkeyes have competed in the Rose (five times), Alamo (four), Holiday (three), Outback (three), Orange (two), Peach (two), Sun (two), Insight (two), and the Capital One, Gator and Freedom bowls once.
Iowa (14-11-1, .558), Penn State (27-15-2, .636) and Purdue (9-7, .563) are the only Big Ten teams with a winning percentage in bowl games.
Iowa was one of 10 Big Ten Conference teams to play in a bowl game following the 2011 season. The Big Ten had two teams competing in BCS games for the 11th time in 14 seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 25 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. Seven different Big Ten programs have played in BCS bowl games. The Big Ten sent 10 teams to bowl games in 2011 for the first time ever.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz is featured on "Hawk Talk with Kirk Ferentz" each week. The 90-minute radio call-in show is hosted by Gary Dolphin, the play-by-play voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The show airs each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. from Carlos O'Kelly's in Iowa City.
Iowa will hit the road for back-to-back road games at Northwestern on Oct. 27, (11 a.m.) and Indiana on Nov. 3, (TBD).