Dec. 13, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Brad Herman burst on the scene in the season-opener for the University of Iowa football team with three catches for 57 yards against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 4. He has a chance to close the season with a bang as well on Dec. 28 against Missouri in the Insight Bowl.
"(UI quarterback) Ricky (Stanzi) does a good job of getting everybody the ball," Herman said. "We don't have one specific person that gets the ball more than others. He does a good job spreading the ball around and you need to be ready when your number gets called."
On Iowa's fifth play of the 2010 season, Stanzi connected with Herman for a 35-yard completion that took the ball to the Eastern Illinois 2. It set up the first score of the season for the Hawkeyes during a 37-7 victory.
"I would like to get the ball, but if our team wins and I don't catch a pass, I'm cool with that, too," Herman said.
During the regular season, Herman grabbed nine passes for 154 yards. His long reception was 56 yards during a 37-6 win against Michigan State.
Like many of his teammates, Herman took advantage of the first four workouts from Thursday to Sunday in the Bubble. Although the week off between the regular season finale and Insight Bowl workouts was welcomed, Herman said that it's good to be back practicing.
"It's time to regroup," he said. "Now is the week we have to get better. Coach (Kirk Ferentz) always talks about all the guys that get better during bowl prep and they're all in the (NFL) right now -- Brandon Myers (Oakland Raiders), Shonn Greene (New York Jets) -- all those guys. They worked hard during bowl prep and it's playing dividends."
The Insight Bowl is Tuesday, Dec. 28, in Tempe, Ariz., with a 9 p.m. start (CT). The game will be played in Sun Devil Stadium (56,000) on the Arizona State campus and televised nationally by ESPN (HD). Iowa has a 13-10-1 record in bowl games.
Missouri is 10-2 in all games, 6-2 in the Big 12 Conference. The Tigers allow 350.7 yards per game -- 203.8 through the air. That could signal potential big games for Herman, starting tight end Allen Reisner or leading receiver Marvin McNutt, to name a few.
Herman is a 6-foot-5, 247-pound junior from Metamora, Ill. Oddly, he is excited to take off for Tempe, Ariz., but it is to get the bowl trip started, not to avoid the chilly temperatures that have crept into the Midwest.
"I love the snow," Herman said. "I'm from Illinois, so I like the (Chicago) Bears -- Monsters of the Midway, it's snowing and 20 degrees below zero."
In order for the Hawkeyes to win an unprecedented third consecutive bowl game, it will also halt a three-game skid that tainted a 7-2 record after nine games.
"We didn't hit the expectations that we needed to, and as a team I think we got kind of comfortable and believed the outside hype," Herman said. "Now we have to lock down, get better and we have to get to where Missouri's at. They're a good team, they've had a great season and we have to catch up to where they're at because we kind of slacked off these last couple weeks."
A majority of Division I programs would love to experience even a morsel of Iowa's recent postseason success. Bowl-eligible for the 10th straight season, the Hawkeyes have played in eight bowl games since 2001. Iowa played in the 2001 Alamo Bowl, 2003 Orange Bowl, 2004 Outback Bowl, 2005 Capital One Bowl, 2006 Outback Bowl, 2006 Alamo Bowl, 2009 Outback Bowl and 2010 Orange Bowl.
It is final's week at the UI and the Hawkeyes will take care of academics before returning to the practice field Friday. Iowa leaves for Tempe on Monday, Dec. 20.
"Time management is really key right now," Herman said.