Monday, September 3, 2012

Football in a Battleground State... Game Notes: Iowa vs. Iowa State

In 1977, Kinnick Stadium hosted the rebirth of the Iowa-Iowa State football series.  On Saturday, September 8, 2012, the Hawkeyes and Cyclones will compete in the 60th meeting in the Cy-Hawk series.  Iowa on average wins 2 out of every 3 games played in this series:-) za, but last year was a 45-42 triple overtime game won by Iowa State in Ames.
Check out this Iowa Game Notes article: sent from the University of Iowa Android App
Iowa State hasn't won in Iowa City over Iowa in ten years.  The 2002 game was the best game in the series.  Iowa opened up strong in the first half building a 24-7 lead, but it was all Iowa State in the second half, with the Cyclones leaving Iowa City, back to Ames with a 36-31 win, but Iowa turnovers and mistakes proved too much.
The 1977 game was renewed, after "bitterness had ended (the) in-state rivalry, but calmness and d(efense) reigned in series revival after 43 years" as the 50 years of College Football by Bob Broyles & Paul Guido explained the 12-10 win by Iowa in the renewal game at Kinnick Stadium 35 years ago.  The win by Iowa was consider an upset victory in 1977.
Iowa has won four straight games in Iowa City in the Cy-Hawk series.  Will they make it five on Saturday, in the 36th meeting in the modern era?
What can we expect by Iowa (1-0) vs. Iowa State (1-0) on the Big Ten Network at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday?
-  Iowa will wear throwback uniforms in honor of the 1921 and 1922 Hawkeye teams that posted identical 7-0 overall records and perfect 5-0 Big Ten records.  The 2002 Iowa Hawkeyes posted a perfect 8-0 Big Ten record, but the lone loss in the regular season was the Cyclone win at Kinnick.
-  Iowa State will not wear throwback uniforms in honor of the 1911 and 1912 Cyclome teams.  Iowa State has not won a share of a football title in any conference, since the co-champions in 1911 and 1912 in the old Missouri Valley Conference.
-  Could this be ISU coach Paul Rhoads best team in the four seasons he has been in Ames?  ISU brings in a lot of momentum from the 38-23 win over Tulsa in Week 1.  His record as a head coach for ISU is 19-20.
-  Last year, JUCO transfer Steele Jantz got the start at QB for ISU against Iowa.  Injury during 2011, lead to then freshman Jared Barnett to QB.  In the fall, it was a battle for #1, until senior Jantz was named starter for the Tulsa game.  Jantz ran or was sacked 13 times for minus 9 yards vs. Tulsa.  He passed 32-45 for 281 yards, with  2 touchdowns and 1 interception in opener.  Last year, Jantz threw 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
-  Iowa returns senior James Vandenberg, who was sacked 6 times in the 18-17 win over Northern Illinois in Chicago.  He had 12 carries/sacks for minus 25 yards.  Vandenberg threw 21-33 for 129 yards, with zero turnovers and no touchdowns in opener.  Iowa had trouble finding the end zone, except a late 23 yard touchdown run by sophomore RB Damon Bullock for the go ahead score and victory in opener.  Vandenberg threw for 3,022 yards, 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 2011.
-  Iowa starts 10 Iowans to ISU's 5.  The entire offensive line for Iowa is Iowa grown this year.  The Hawkeyes struggled in pass production, but appeared stronger in run blocking helping first time starting RB Bullock garner 30 carries, 150 yards and one touchdown in the opener.
-  Iowa State was lead by junior Shontelle Johnson vs. Tulsa, who carried 18 times, 118 yards and 1 touchdown.  Juniors James White (10-54, 1 td) and Jeff Woody (2-1 and protective boot after game) are considered 1-2 on the Tulsa depth chart, so ISU goes three deep at RB.  Iowa's back up is Greg Garmon, a true freshman, who got 4 carries for 8 yards for his first taste of collegiate football, after being a highly regarded athlete out of Erie, PA.
- Both Iowa and Iowa State must replace the #1 WR from 2011.  Iowa has two WRs back in senior Keenan Davis and sophomore Kevonte Martin-Manley, who will be primary for the Hawkeyes, while Iowa State returns senior Josh Lenz, senior JUCO Chris Young, senior Aaron Horne in the 3-WR set ISU likes to run.  Iowa is looking for a third WR to step up.  ISU has more depth, including former QB, turned WR in '11 senior Jerome Tiller, sophomore Jarvis West, redshirt freshman Quenton Brundrage and junior Albert Gary.  ISU will spread things out in the passing game, while Iowa needs to improve on the vertical passing attack, after a sluggish opener vs. Northern Iowa.
-  Iowa often is known as TE-U, since the success under coach J. Hayden Fry.  Iowa goes three deep already at TE lead by junior C.J Fiedorowicz, sophomore Ray Hamilton and Senior Zach Derby.  Hawkeye TEs must block and contribute in the passing game under Ferentz.  ISU returns two senior TEs with Ricky Howard and Kurt Hammerschmidt, as Howard blocks and KH can be a receiving threat.  Success in the passing game from the TE position is often important in Cy-Hawk series.
-  How good is the ISU offensive line in 2012?  Senior LT Carter Bykowski and junior RG Kyle Lichtenberg are the newbies as 3 starters return with sophomore C Tom Farnock, junior LG Ethan Turftee and senior Braydon Burris are back for ISU.  Farnock is the anchor of the line, as is senior C James Ferentz for the Hawkeyes.  As mentioned, it is an all-Iowan starting line up in the O-Line for the Hawkeyes with sophomore LT Brandon Scherff, senior Matt Tobin, Ferentz, redshirt freshman Austin Blythe and junior Brett Van Sloten.  Ferentz and Tobin are returning starters, while Scherff moves outside after 3 starts at LG.
-  Iowa State returns 7 offensive, 5 defensive starters and junior P Kirby VanDerKamp, though the most experience starting is with the Cyclone defense unit.
-  Iowa returns 6 offensive, 5 defensive starters and junior PK Mike Meyer.  This is Kirk Ferentz youngest team in his 14th season as head coach.
-  The play on the line of scrimmage in the line, both offensive and defensive will go a long way in determing who wins in the Cy-Hawk series.  Special teams, big plays, mistakes, turnovers and coaching adjustments will all play make keys.
-  Linebackers are the key units for both teams.  ISU has seniors A.J. Klien and Jake Knot.  Junior Deon Bloomfield is the third guy in Iowa's 4-3 line with NG.  Iowa plays a 4-3 with two DTs.  Juniors James Morris, Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens lead Iowa's LB crew.
-  Both teams only return 1 starter each in the D-Line.  Senior Jake McDonough returns to anchor the NG position for the Cyclones.  ISUs other guys are junior DE Willie Scott, seniors DT Cleyon Laing and Roosevelt Maggitt.  New starters with experience.  Iowa junior DE Dominic Alvis injured his knee in Iowa's win over Michigan.  Al is missed spring, but is back in the starting lineup and gained a sack vs. NIU.  Iowa rotates seniors Steve Bigach and Joe Gaglione, who had 3 TFL, sack and forced fumble vs. NIU.  Iowa plays a young group of tackles with sophomore Louis Trica-Pasat*, Carl Davis, Mike Hardy and redshirt freshman Darian Cooper* [starters* at DT]. 
-  The Secondary will be tested at Kinnick in the Cy-Hawk series.  ISU's spread offense vs. Iowa's 4-3 defense.  Iowa's pro-set offense vs. ISU 4-3.  Senior CB Jeremy Reeves is one of the two returning starters and leader for ISU.  Junior FS Jacques Washington is the other returning guy.  The newbies are junior CB Jansen Watson and senior SS Durrell Givens, a JC transfer.  For Iowa, two starters return, along with Letterman, like ISU.  Senior CB Micah Hyde is the leader in the secondary, along with junior FS Tanner Miller.  The new starters are junior CB BJ Lowry and senior SS Tom Donatell.  Unlike departed DC Norm Parker, his replacement Phil Parker moves over from DB coach the past 13 years and is more likely to mix it up from 4-3 to nickel/dime formations, which should make Iowa's defense less vanilla, as before.  Risk and reward will be in play.
-  Special teams are huge in the Cy-Hawk series and 2012 should be no different.  ISU has a brand new PK, who kicked a 30 yard FG in the opener vs. Tulsa.  ISU kicked 9 times in their opener for a 43 yard average, which is about par with VanDeKamp's 42.7 yard average in '11.  Experience returns in KR/PR for ISU.  Jarvis West is the #1 KR, with Josh Lenz and Aaron Horne.  Lenz (5.7 per return) and Horne are 1-2 PR returning and Albert Gary is another RS.  Iowa has Keenan Davis back as a KR, but #1 KR is likely Greg Garmon, true frosh.  Big game... how will lack of experience impact Iowa.  It was a big part of ISUs comeback in 2002.  Of course, new rules may change things in '12.  Micah Hyde (8.2 per return) is back as Iowa's #1 PR.
It's Monday and Cy-Hawk week is here.  Game on!

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