Oct. 22, 2012
Iowa Games Notes
GAME 8 STORY LINES
Iowa and Northwestern have split their last four meetings at Ryan Field, dating back to 2001. Additionally, three of the last four overall meetings have been decided by seven points or less, with the fourth being decided by 10 points.
is the dean of the Big Ten football head coaches, in his 14th season at Iowa. Pat Fitzgerald is the second-longest tenured coach in the league, currently in his seventh season at Northwestern.
WR Keenan Davis
has led the Hawkeyes in receiving yards in each of the last four games, averaging 71.5 yards per game during that span. Davis surpassed 100 career receptions last week vs. Penn State.
Iowa's defense has collected at least one takeaway in six of seven games this season and 71 of its last 82 games, dating back to 2006.
Four of Iowa's seven games have been decided by three points or less (2-2), including two contests decided by one point each and one in double overtime.
The Hawkeyes are in the middle of a stretch of playing three of four road games. After Saturday's game at Northwestern, Iowa remains on the road when it travels to Indiana (Nov. 3).
Linebackers Anthony Hitchens
and James Morris
have each recorded five games with double-digit tackles this season. Morris ranks second in the country in tackles, while Morris ranks 15th.
Saturday features two of the nation's top punt coverage teams. Northwestern ranks 13th in the country, allowing 3.3 yards per punt return (18 returns), while Iowa ranks 28th, yielding 4.9 yards (13 returns). The Hawkeyes have allowed opponents only six yards on four punt returns the last two games.
Saturday will be the second time Iowa will be traveling to the Chicago area this season. The Hawkeyes previously beat Northern Illinois in the season opener on Sept. 1 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
IOWA TRAVELS TO NORTHWESTERN
Iowa (4-3, 2-1) hits the road Saturday for a Legends Division contest against Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) in Evanston, Ill. Tickets can be purchased at NUSports.com, or via phone at 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775).
ON THE TUBE
ESPN2 (HD) will televise the contest. Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Lewis Johnson will call the action.
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 91 and XM 91 (Northwestern announcers).
HAWKEYE HUDDLE AT NORTHWESTERN
Iowa fans traveling to Chicago for Saturday's contest against the Wildcats should make plans to attend the "Hawkeye Huddle" Friday evening. The Hawkeye Huddle is presented by the National I-Club and the UI Alumni Association.
The Huddle will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Goose Island in Wrigleyville, located at 3535 North Clark Ave. in Chicago.
Admission to the Hawkeye Huddle is free and includes cash refreshments, snacks, door prizes, cheerleaders and Herky. Visit jointheiclub.com for additional information.
COTTON ELEVATING HAWKEYE RETURN GAME
Jordan Cotton has provided the Hawkeyes a spark in the kickoff return game the last two outings.
Last week against Penn State, the junior returned four kicks for 152 yards, including returning a kick 92 yards for a touchdown. It marked Iowa's first kickoff return for a touchdown since Derrell-Johnson Koulianos had an 88-yard return at Minnesota on Nov. 27, 2010. The 92-yard kickoff return ties for the 10th-longest in school history, tying Levi Mitchell (1969) and Henry Vollenweider (1939). His performance garnered the junior CFPA National Kickoff Returner of the Week accolades.
Cotton is one of just three Big Ten players with a return over 90 yards this season.
The previous contest at Michigan State, Cotton returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but the play resulted in 45 yards after a flag was thrown during the return.
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.
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 101 passes for 1,355 yards in his career. He caught his 100th career pass in the third period against Penn State last week.
Davis ranks 24th in career receiving yards at Iowa. He is only six yards from Kerry Reardon (1,361) for 23rd, 22 from Keith Chappelle (1,377) for 22nd, 40 from Andy Brodell (1,395) for 21st, and 83 from Robert Smith (1,438) for 20th.
For the season, Davis leads the team with 36 catches for 456 yards; he ranks fifth in the Big Ten in receptions (5.1), receiving yards (65.1), and receiving yards from scrimmage resulting in 30+ yards (4). Davis, who is on the preseason Biletnikoff, Senior Bowl and CFPA award watch lists, has led the Hawkeyes in receiving yards in each of the last four games, including 83 yards and a touchdown on four catches (20.8 avg.) last week vs. Penn State.
Kirk Ferentz has amassed a record of 100-69 in 14 years as Iowa's head coach.
Iowa's defense had 10 interceptions in 13 games in 2011, the Hawkeyes have already collected seven in seven 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 28:12 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 Northwestern with 208 career stops. Morris has 252 career tackles.
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 seven 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 12th in the country in fewest turnovers lost (7), third in fumbles lost (2) and 25th in turnover margin (+6). Only two teams in the country have lost fewer fumbles than Iowa - Indiana (0) and Clemson (1).
Tom Donatell and Greg Castillo are two of 10 Big Ten student-athletes with multiple interceptions this year. Donatell and Castillo are tied for 55th 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 ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scrimmage plays of 30+ yards with 15.
The Hawkeyes are 7-2 over the past two years when QB James Vandenberg throws for 219 yards or more.
Iowa averages 66 offensive plays through seven games. The Hawkeyes averaged 53 offensive plays a year ago.
C.J. Fiedorowicz leads Hawkeye tight ends with 21 receptions for 213 yards. Last season, he had 16 catches for 167 yards and three TD's.
Iowa has had 12 different players catch at least one pass this season.
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 28 times for 1,042 yards (37.2 avg.). Kornbrath is one of two rookie punters in the Big Ten this season (Drew Meyer, Wisconsin).
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.
Tom Donatell's father, Ed Donatell, is the defensive secondary coach for the San Francisco 49'ers.
Iowa has sold out Kinnick Stadium 60 of the last 62 games, including the first five games of 2012.
Iowa's next opponent, Indiana on Nov. 3, plays at Illinois on Saturday.
Iowa holds a 47-23-3 advantage in the series that began with a 12-6 Iowa victory in 1897. Northwestern had won three straight games before Iowa's 41-31 victory a year ago in Iowa City. The teams have split the last 12 meetings. Three of the last four meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
Iowa holds a 23-14-3 advantage in games played in Evanston, where the teams have split the last four meetings at Ryan Field. The Hawkeyes' last victory (28-17) in Evanston came on Nov. 3, 2007.
Iowa won 21 consecutive games over Northwestern prior to a 31-20 Wildcat win in 1995 in Evanston. The Wildcats hold a 9-6 advantage since snapping that Hawkeye win streak.
Saturday will be Iowa's third game away home playing on natural grass. Iowa is 2-0 this season when playing on natural grass.
Iowa has posted an 8-7-1 record when playing on Oct. 27, including winning four of the last five.
Northwestern is one of two Big Ten teams who are bowl eligible with six or more wins (Ohio State has eight but is not bowl eligible). Iowa is one of three league teams (Michigan State and Minnesota) with four overall victories, two from becoming bowl eligible.
Northwestern led by 11 points in the third quarter at Penn State and vs. Nebraska, but ultimately lost both games.
The Wildcats rank third in the nation in punt returns (20.9); 17th in rushing offense (223.6); 18th in turnover margin (+8) and 29th in rushing defense (121.3).
Northwestern RB Venric Mark leads the country in punt returns (25.1); ranks fifth in all-purpose yardage (183.8) and 18th in rushing (114.4). Mark needs 90 yards rushing to reach the 1,000-yard plateau this season.
Iowa has 12 active players on its roster from the state of Illinois, including FB Adam Cox (Chana), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (Johnsburg), DL Jaleel Johnson (Lombard), OL Mitch Keppy (Port Byron), LS Ryan Kolka (St. Charles), DE Riley McMinn (Rochester), OL Reid Sealby (Byron), DL Louis Trinca-Pasat (Chicago), OL Jordan Walsh (Glendale Heights), OL Ryan Ward (New Lenox), FB Mark Weisman (Buffalo Grove), and P John Wienke (Tuscola).
The Wildcats are 10-3 in their last 12 regular season games dating back to Oct. 29, 2011.
Northwestern is 32-13 since 2004 in games decided by seven points or less.
Northwestern has outscored its opposition 133-63 in the first half this season. Iowa has outscored its opponents 56-25 in the fourth quarter this year.
The Wildcats have scored 21 or more points in all seven of their games. Only two of Iowa's opponents this season have scored over 20 points.
Northwestern will be off next week, before returning to action on Nov. 10 at Michigan.
Iowa and Northwestern split four meetings during Pat Fitzgerald's playing career. Fitzgerald earned all-American honors as a junior and senior in 1995 and 1996.
Mike Hankwith, Northwestern's defensive coordinator, was on the coaching staff at Arizona when the Wildcats defeated Iowa 23-20 in 1973. He has also coached at Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin within the Big Ten.
Marty Long, Northwestern's defensive line coach, was on the coaching staff at Arizona when Iowa met the Wildcats in both 1996 and 1998, splitting the two meetings.
NEBRASKA RALLIES TO EDGE NORTHWESTERN
Nebraska rallied from an 11-point third quarter deficit to upend Northwestern 29-28 Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. The Huskers scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:08 remaining in the contest on a 7-yard pass play. The Wildcats had an opportunity to reclaim the lead on a 53-yard field goal attempt on their next possession, but the kick missed wide right. Northwestern forced three Nebraska fumbles, collected six TFL's and had seven pass break-ups, but yielded 543 yards of total offense (342 passing). The game featured 21 combined punts, 12 by Northwestern. RB Venric Mark rushed for a game-high 118 yards on 16 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run in the third period.
Iowa scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 41-31 win over Northwestern in Kinnick Stadium a year ago. Iowa built a 17-0 advantage in the first half, only to see the Wildcats rally to tie the score with 4:19 left in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes then scored points on four straight possessions.
Iowa started fast, driving 52 yards on its first possession, which ended in a 27-yard Mike Meyer field goal. The Hawkeye defense then came up with a big play on Northwestern's second possession. DE Broderick Binns recorded a QB pressure to force a bad pass and DB Tanner Miller collected his first career interception and scored on a 98-yard return.
Iowa increased its advantage to 17-0 in the second period when QB James Vandenberg connected with WR Keenan Davis on a 47-yard scoring strike. Northwestern scored on a 6-yard scoring pass late in the period and the half ended with Iowa leading 17-7.
Northwestern drove to a second touchdown on its opening possession of the second half. After a three-play Iowa possession the Wildcats tied the game on a 47-yard field goal. That's when the Iowa offense answered. The Hawkeyes drove 64 yards on their next possession, which culminated with a Marcus Coker 1-yard touchdown. Northwestern missed a field goal on its following possession and Iowa answered with a 35-yard scoring strike from Vandenberg to WR Marvin McNutt, Jr.
Binns forced a fumble on Northwestern's next possession and Meyer booted a 40-yard field goal, giving Iowa a 34-17 advantage. Coker scored on a second 1-yard run later in the game for Iowa's final points.
Coker led Iowa's rushing game with 124 yards on 22 carries. Vandenberg completed 14-22 passes for 224 yards and McNutt, Jr. (6-87) and Davis (5-109) led Iowa's receivers.
Iowa's defense was forced to play without normal starters in LB James Morris and DT Tom Nardo. DB Micah Hyde and LB Christian Kirksey each had nine tackles and Miller added eight stops to his interception return.
DEPTH CHART INCLUDES 7 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, WR Steven Staggs and RB Mark Weisman), 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 back Sean Draper, running back Greg Garmon, punter Connor Kornbrath and wide receiver Tevaun Smith.
HAWKEYES FALL TO PENN STATE
Penn State scored 24 first-half points en route to a 38-14 win over Iowa inside Kinnick Stadium. The win was Penn State's first in Iowa City since 1999. The Nittany Lions controlled all facets of the game, limiting the Hawkeyes to just 20 yards rushing and 209 yards of total offense. Penn State posted 504 yards of total offense (215 rushing and 289 passing) to hand Iowa its first Big Ten loss of the season.
Two Matt McGloin touchdown passes in the first quarter gave Penn State an early 14-0 advantage. Sam Ficken added a field goal in the second period and Bill Belton collected a rushing touchdown in the second, third and fourth quarters to put the game out of reach.
Iowa junior Jordan Cotton put the Hawkeyes on the board with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It marked Iowa's first kickoff return for a touchdown since Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had an 88-yard return at Minnesota in 2010. The return tied for the 10th-longest in school history.
Senior James Vandenberg tossed his third TD pass of the year late in the fourth period, finding fellow senior Keenan Davis for an 18-yard scoring play. Davis also caught his 100th career pass, collecting four receptions for 83 yards.
Vandenberg finished 17-of-36 for 189 yards. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions. Freshman Greg Garmon had career bests in carries (8) and yards (27) to lead the Hawkeye ground game. Iowa's leading rusher, sophomore Mark Weisman, injured an ankle the previous week against Michigan State. He was limited to just nine yards on five carries.
Junior Christian Kirksey and senior James Morris led Iowa's defense with 12 tackles each. Kirksey added a 45-yard fumble return.
IOWA POSTGAME NOTES
Saturday's game was a sellout, Iowa's fifth of the season in five games. Iowa has sold out 60 of its last 62 games.
Jordan Cotton returned a kickoff a career-long 92 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It marked Iowa's first kickoff return for a touchdown since Derrell Johnson-Koulianos had an 88-yard return at Minnesota on Nov. 27, 2010. The 92-yard kickoff return ties for the 10th-longest in school history, tying Levi Mitchell (1969) and Henry Vollenweider (1939).
Louis Trinca-Pasat blocked his first career kick, a 43-yard Penn State field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. It marked the first time a Hawkeye blocked a field goal since Adrian Clayborn blocked a 38-yard attempt at Michigan on Oct. 16, 2010.
WR Keenan Davis caught his 100th career reception. The senior had four receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown against Penn State. Davis' career totals are 101 catches for 1,355 yards.
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz caught a career high five passes for 35 yards.
Iowa's defense collected two fumbles. Tanner Miller recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter, while Christian Kirksey recovered and returned a fumble 45 yards in the fourth period. The fumble return is Iowa's first of the season. Iowa scored seven points after the two takeaways. Iowa three two turnovers (one fumble and two interceptions), both in Iowa territory. The Nittany Lions scored a touchdown after the first turnover, but did not score following Iowa's second and third turnovers.
RB Greg Garmon led the team in rushing. The true freshman rushed eight times for 27 yards. Iowa has had a different leading rusher in five of its last nine games, dating back to last year.
PK Mike Meyer missed a 49-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter to snap a streak of 13 consecutive field goals made. He also missed a 37-yarder in the second period. He is 14-of-17 this season and 42-of-54 for his career in field goal attempts. Meyer made two PAT's, extending his school record streak to 70. Meyer increased his career scoring to 215 points to surpass Sedrick Shaw and Jeff Skillett for seventh in Iowa career scoring.
Iowa was 1-4 in the red zone. It scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass, missed a field goal, turned the ball over on downs and threw an interception. The Hawkeyes have scored on 164 of the last 191 red-zone possessions (112 TDs and 52 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008. Penn State was 5-6 in the red zone, scoring four touchdowns and a field goal. Iowa forced and recovered a fumble on the goal line on the Nittany Lions' fourth red-zone possession.
Micah Hyde tied a career high with three pass break-ups. He also added six tackles.
For the second-straight game, Iowa did not score on its opening possession. The Hawkeyes have scored on their opening possession five of seven times this season. Penn State did not score on its opening drive. The Nittany Lions are the third Hawkeye opponent not to score on their first possession (Northern Illinois, Minnesota and Penn State).
True freshman Greg Garmon started his first career game at running back in place of the injured Mark Weisman. Garmon becomes the third different Hawkeye to start a game this season (Damon Bullock, Mark Weisman and Greg Garmon). Weisman saw limited action in the first half.
CB B.J. Lowrey and RG Austin Blythe saw action after missing the previous two games due to injury. RB Damon Bullock did not see action for the fourth consecutive contest.
LT Brandon Scherff and RG Andrew Donnal were injured in the first half and did not return to the game. Scherff started all seven games this season. Scherff will miss the remainder of the season, while Donnal is out indefinitely.
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 632 yards and eight touchdowns on 103 attempts (6.1 avg.) the last five games.
The sophomore has totaled 640 yards rushing on 105 carries this season. Weisman ranks sixth in Big Ten rushing (91.4 avg.). His 6.1 average per carry ranks third behind quarterbacks Michigan's Denard Robinson (7.4) and Braxton Miller of Ohio State (6.8).
Weisman did not start, but did play last week vs. Penn State. He rushed only five times for nine yards. The sophomore suffered an injury in the previous game, in overtime, at Michigan State.
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 in 2012.
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.
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, while RB Greg Garmon started his first career contest last week against Penn State.
Hitchens and Van Sloten are juniors; Bullock, Lowery, Trinca-Pasat and Weisman are sophomores; Blythe and Cooper are redshirt freshmen; Garmon is a true freshman.
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, two weeks ago at Michigan State. Meyer has also earned CFPA honorable mention weekly recognition after the NIU, Central Michigan and Michigan State contests.
Meyer, who ranks fifth in the country in field goals made, has connected on 14-of-17 field goal attempts this season. His streak of 13 consecutive field goals made was snapped last week vs. Penn State after going 0-for-2, missing kicks from 49 and 37 yards.
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 sixth in Big Ten scoring (8.0) and tied for fifth in the country in field goals made per game (2.0). He was one of 20 semifinal candidates for the 2011 Lou Groza Award. Meyer has amassed 215 career points and ranks seventh on Iowa's career list. He has made 42-54 (.778) career field goal attempts. Meyer is 31-36 (.861) from kicks 39 yards and closer; 9-14 (.643) from attempts 40-49 yards; and 2-4 (.500) from kicks 50 yards or farther.
The native of Dubuque, Iowa, has made 70 consecutive PAT attempts, which is a 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 posted stellar numbers this season. The Hawkeyes rank 25th in the country in turnover margin (+6); 28th in scoring defense (20.1); 33rd in total defense (343.9), 39th in rushing defense (131.3); 44th in pass defense (212.6), pass efficiency defense (120.8) and passes intercepted (7); 48th in turnovers gained (13).
Iowa's defense has amassed 28 tackles for loss and forced 12 turnovers the last six games combined. Five of the 12 takeaways were collected inside the red zone. 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) in double-overtime to preserve a Hawkeye victory. The Hawkeye defense has collected at least one takeaway in 71 of its last 82 games, dating back to 2006.
LINEBACKER DUO LEADING HAWKEYE DEFENSE
LB Anthony Hitchens ranks second in the nation in tackles per game (12.3). Hitchens has already surpassed his 2011 tackle total (25 stops in eight games). Hitchens was tabbed CollegeSportsMadness' Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 14 after his performance at Michigan State.
Hitchens has posted double-digit tackles in five of the last six 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, while collecting eight last week vs. Penn State.
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 15th nationally in tackles (10.3). 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 five times in 2012 (Iowa State, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State and Penn State), including the last four contests. He had 12 tackles against Central Michigan, Iowa State and Penn State, and 10 vs. Minnesota and Michigan State.
Morris is the 65th Iowa player to reach the 200-tackle plateau. His 252 tackles (103 solo, 149 assists) ranks 28th in school history. He is one from equaling Dave Bryant (253) for 27th, four from Dave Simms (256), eight from Jared DeVries (260), nine from Craig Clemons (261), and 10 from John Derby (262).
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.
BULLOCK MISSES 4 GAMES WITH INJURY
Sophomore RB Damon Bullock, who led the Hawkeye offense the first three games, missed the Hawkeyes' last four outings 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.
GAGLIONE HAS CAREER GAME
Joe Gaglione led the Hawkeye defensive line 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. Gaglione has averaged nine tackles the last two games (11 at Michigan State and seven vs. Penn State).
The defensive end leads Hawkeye defensive linemen with 42 tackles, eight TFL's and four sacks. He also leads the team with two forced fumbles.
Gaglione ranks sixth in Big Ten TFL's (1.14); tied for second in forced fumbles (0.29); and is tied for fifth in sacks (0.57). 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.
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 six games (two vs. Iowa State, one against UNI and Michigan State, and three vs. Minnesota). The seven passes intercepted ranks 44th 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.
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 (123); USC (115); LSU (113); Oklahoma (113); Ohio State (113); Texas (108); TCU (108); Virginia Tech (105); Georgia (104); Florida (102); West Virginia (100); Wisconsin (100); Alabama (98); Oregon (97); Auburn (95); Utah (94); Florida State (92); Texas Tech (90); Iowa (89); Miami, FL (87); Nebraska (87); Michigan (87); Hawai'i (85); Boston College (84).
Since 2003, Iowa ranks 23rd in the country with 78 wins.
IOWA LIKES STARTING ON OFFENSE
Iowa has started the game on offense in 140-of-169 games under Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes started on offense five times in 2012: Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State and Penn State; Iowa started on defense against Iowa State and UNI. Iowa is 16-13 in the games it has started on defense under Ferentz.
IOWAN CALLING THE SIGNALS
Senior QB James Vandenberg started all 13 games a year ago and 22 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 413-730 passes for 4,850 yards and 31 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 53-103 (.515) for 640 yards with two TD's and four interceptions in Iowa's three 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).
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.
WINNING AT HOME
Iowa has won 57 of its last 72 games (.792) 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.
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 seasons, 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.
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.
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).
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.
BIG PLAY HAWKEYES
Iowa has had 16 pass plays and nine rushing plays, along with 10 KO returns, one punt return, one interception return, one fumble 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.
Hawkeye opponents have had 16 passing plays, five rushing plays, 10 KO returns, one interception return, and 13 field goals of at least 20 yards.
IOWA IN THE RED ZONE
Iowa is 20-25 (90%) in the red zone, scoring 10 field goals and 10 TD's. The Hawkeyes were 1-of-4 in the red zone last week against Penn State; Iowa scored a touchdown, lost a fumble, missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs.
The Hawkeyes have scored on 164 of the last 191 (.859) red zone possessions (112 TDs and 52 FGs), dating back to the Michigan State game in 2008.
Hawkeye opponents are 23-27 (85%) inside the red zone. Iowa's defense forced three red-zone turnovers vs. Iowa State.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS
Iowa has scored 20 points following 13 defensive takeaways. The 13 turnovers gained ranks 48th in the country. The Hawkeyes collected at least one takeaway in every game this season, except Central Michigan. The Hawkeye defense collected two Penn State fumbles last Saturday. Iowa was without a takeaway at Michigan State until CB Greg Castillo intercepted QB Andrew Maxwell in the second overtime to preserve the Hawkeye road victory. Iowa's defense has collected at least one takeaway in 71 of its last 82 games, dating back to 2006.
Hawkeye opponents have scored 17 points following seven turnovers (five interceptions and two fumbles). Iowa had no turnovers in wins against Northern Illinois, UNI and Minnesota. The Hawkeye offense had two interceptions against Iowa State (zero points allowed), lost a fumble against Central Michigan (field goal), had an interception at Michigan State (touchdown), and lost a fumble and had two interceptions last week against Penn State (touchdown).
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.
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 remains on the road for its second consecutive game away from home when it travels to Bloomington, Ind., to face Indiana on Nov. 3.