Sunday, September 14, 2008

After all, it's a Hawkeye State, again for '08

Iowa and Iowa State met at Kinnick Stadium Saturday for the annual Cy-Hawk Trophy game. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 17-5 on a wet field that clearly slowed down the Iowa running game, while reducing both teams offensive options.

I was glad that the weather didn't impact my return from Las Vegas, after a week of work in Sin City. It is interesting to see how strong the Vegas numbers turned out to be. The spread was 13 1/2 entering the Cy-Hawk game. The over/under was 27 1/2. My pre-game prediction wasn't hit, Iowa 24, ISU 9, but Vegas certainly knows it's stuff. Plenty of growth going on in Sin City, regardless of the election year economy.

Iowa had the spread covered at 17-3, under Kirk Ferentz took a safety to secure field position and put the game strongly in Iowa's favor. Vegas surprised me with a 27 1/2 over/under and they were right on the money.

Both Iowa (3-0) and ISU (2-1) played a conservative chess match on Saturday. Both teams appear to be well coached. Ironically, it would be nice to follow ISU next weekend. They head to Vegas for a football game vs. UNLV (2-1, 0-1 MWC) next weekend. There are some things I would still enjoy to do in Las Vegas, after my business trip last week. By the way, UNLV is coming off a 23-20 road win over Top 25 Arizona State late Saturday.

Iowa will head East next week to play a down Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1) team. This will be a real test for the Hawkeyes, despite the problems at Pittsburgh.

Iowa controlled the first half of the Cy-Hawk game, but the scoreboard only reflected a 3-0 lead. As often is the case with underdogs, if they can keep it close, an upset victory can be obtained.

Iowa's defense raised to the occasion in the third quarter, which was played on Iowa's side of the field for nearly the entire 15 minutes. But, ISU didn't take advantage or real find it's niche in the moment. They finished the half tied, 3-3, after former Linn Mar's Grant Mahoney's 43-yard field goal late in the quarter.

A side note, the ISU band and Linn Mar enjoyed a solid weekend together this weekend. The ISU band is very good and they were on hand to witness the Linn Mar Lions first victory in a long time Friday night. Mahoney's Cyclones didn't prevail, but his alma mater finally did. :)

Iowa's offense, defense and special teams all raised above Iowa State on Saturday. They were supposed to, being a 13 1/2 point favorite. Both teams have a lot more to play for in '08. Both teams clearly appear better than their '07 counterparts.

It's after all called the Hawkeye State, both in the text books and today on the football field, again!

Iowa's coach Kirk Ferentz has won 4 of last 6. Historically, Iowa wins 2 out of every 3 games vs. ISU in the Cy-Hawk series. Yesterday, was a good game in the series. Hopefully, both Iowa and ISU will move on from the Cy-Hawk games to make some noise in their respective conferences, the Big Ten and Big 12.


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