Friday, December 30, 2011

Bowl Day for Iowa State and Iowa to close out 2011

Iowa State vs. Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl in the afternoon, while Iowa vs. Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl this evening. Follow coverage with The Gazette.

Iowa State does not have a strong bowl history, but coach Paul Rhoads is 1-0 at ISU in bowls for Cyclones. ISU will need to play sound, as Cyclones look to finish 2011 with a winning record. ISU is a two point underdog.

For Iowa, defensive coordinator Norm Parker closes out his 13 year career at Iowa in the Insight Bowl, as heavy underdogs vs. Oklahoma. Iowa enters the game in Insight Bowl, as a 14 point underdog.

In 1995, when former Iowa defensive coordinator retired under coach J Hayden Fry, the Hawkeyes rised to the occassion in the Sun Bowl and beat Washington. Will the Hawkeyes rise up for Norm Parker and finish his career out in similar fashion? It will be a tall order for Iowa.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The First Semester and Finals have concluded; Back to College Basketball for Creighton and Iowa

The first semester of the 2011-12 College Basketball season has concluded for Creighton University and the University of Iowa. Both teams have opened 2011-12 in opposite directions. Both teams are lead by second year coaches, in Omaha and Iowa City, respectively. Greg McDermott has the Bluejays headed in a positive direction. Fran McCaffery has a Top 25 recruiting class signed for next season, but year two on the court has been ugly, so far.

The Creighton Bluejays opened the 2011-12 season with seven straight wins and a Top 25 ranking. However, last weekend was a rough weekend for Creighton sports. The men's soccer team lost a semi-final game in the College Cup, while the Bluejays' men's basketball team fell for the first time at St. Joseph's, 80-71.

On the flip side, the Iowa Hawkeyes are off to a rough start in 2011-12, with a 5-5 record. Two key players have opened the season out of sync. Sophomore forward Melsahn Basabe started the season out very slow. He has played better of late, but not to the level he played as true freshman last season. Senior point guard Bryce Cartwright's woes appear to be fueled by a groin injury. Cartwright has missed time on the court lately and his health is extremely important, as Iowa's only true point guard.

Creighton returns home to CenturyLink Center Omaha on Saturday night, when they host Houston Baptist (4-6) for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Jays have won 14 straight at home, since last season. The Bluejays need to improve on the little things, especially defense and rebounding, as they get ready for two big games next week, at Tulsa on Monday night, followed by a rematch (last year's game, in Evanston) vs. Northwestern on Thursday night; before opening Missouri Valley Conference play, after Christmas.

Creighton forward Doug McDermott has lived up to the preseason expectations of all-MVC and All-America hype. He leads the MVC in scoring (24.0) and rebounding (9.1) this year, and is the first Bluejay since Rodney Buford (in 1997) with seven straight games of 20 or more points.

Senior guard Antoine Young (11.1 ppg., 4.5 apg.) and junior center Gregory Echenique (8.1 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.1 bpg.), are honorable-mention preseason all-Valley selections as well. The Bluejays are expected to be a strong program in The Valley, as well as a team to watch in the Field of 68 for the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Like Creighton, the University of Iowa returns to action, after finals week on Saturday night. The Hawkeyes tip-off on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m., with a game vs. in-state Drake (6-3).

Iowa is coming off back to back road losses at UNI and at Iowa State, before finals week.

Two of Iowa's underclassmen -- sophomores Roy Devyn Marble and Melsahn Basabe -- had their best games of the season at Iowa State on December 9Th. Marble had career highs in points (21) and assists (five), while Basabe made 7-of-12 shot attempts en route to 18 points to go along with nine rebounds.

"We want to try to get better. Defensively, we haven't been as good as
we need to be. We want to execute a little better, we had been executing better,
but it's not good enough
." - Iowa coach Fran McCaffery
Like the Bluejays, the Hawkeyes will play two additional non-conference games, before opening conference play, after Christmas. The Hawkeyes will play Drake on Saturday night at home, as they begin a four game home swing, including the Big Ten opener on December 28Th vs. Purdue.

It should be an entertaining Holiday season with College Basketball and the bowl season in College Football, which kicked off on Saturday. Plenty of excitement awaits in College Basketball, as Christmas approaches next weekend.

The 2011-12 Bowl Season kicks off on Saturday with 3 Bowl Match Ups

The FBS kicks off the first of 35 bowl games in 2011-12, with the first three bowl games on Saturday. Too many? Sure, but when one considers 68 teams make the NCAA Basketball Tournament, is it that far fetched that 70 teams finish the season with a bowl game?

Big Ten leads with ten bowl spots. The Big Ten has a record ten teams in bowl games this year, including first-year member, Nebraska. The University of Iowa is playing in its tenth bowl in eleven years, under Kirk Ferentz, who is in his 13 season as head coach. Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten for the second straight year in the Rose Bowl.

Three other college football games play on Saturday. The Division II Championship Game and the NAIA Championship Game are played on Saturday, as well as the second semi-final game on the road to the FCS title game. On Friday, the first semi-final game in FCS was played, with Sam Houston State defeating Montana 31-28 at home.

2011-12 Bowl Games kick off on Saturday

D2 Final: Pittsburg State vs. Wayne State (MI)
10:00 a.m.
ESPN2 (HD) / espn3

New Mexico Bowl: Temple vs. Wyoming
1:00 p.m.
ESPN (HD) / espn3

DI-AA Semifinals: Georgia Southern at North Dakota State
1:30 p.m.
ESPNU (HD) / espn3

NAIA Championship: Carroll (MT) vs. Saint Xavier (IL)
3:30 p.m.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio vs. Utah State
4:30 p.m.
ESPN (HD) / espn3

New Orleans Bowl: LA Lafayette vs. San Diego State
8:00 p.m.
ESPN (HD) (3D) / espn3

Cidsports Thoughts and Predictions on the three opening bowl games:

Temple (8-4, 5-3 MAC East) vs. Wyoming (8-4, 5-2 MWC) in New Mexico Bowl

  • First year coach Steve Addazio's Owls vs. third year coach Dave Christensen's Cowboys

  • Both teams last bowl games were in 2009, Christensen's Cowboys won in New Mexico over Fresno State, while the Owls lost to UCLA in the EagleBank

  • Owls are 1-2 lifetime in bowls, while Cowboys are 6-6

  • We will take the Cowboys, as a +7 underdog in this bowl game

Ohio U (9-4, 6-2 MAC East) vs. Utah State (7-5, 5-2 WAC) in Idaho Potato Bowl

  • Seven year coach Frank Solich's Bobcats vs. third year coach Gary Anderson's Aggies

  • Solich is leading the Bobcats to third straight bowl game, fourth in six years, while Anderson has the Aggies in their first bowl game, since '97 season

  • Ohio U is 0-5 in bowls, while Utah State is 1-4 over the years

  • Again, we will take the underdog, Ohio U as a +1.5 underdog in this bowl game

Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt) vs. San Diego State (8-4, 4-3 MWC) in New Orleans Bowl

  • Battle of first year coaches: Mark Hudspeth's Ragin' Cajuns vs. Rocky Long's Aztecs

  • Ragin' Cajuns have never played in an FBS bowl, while the Aztecs beat Navy last season 35-14 in the Poinsettia Bowl

  • San Diego State is 2-4 lifetime in bowl games, while it is the first postseason appearance in 41 years for the Ragin' Cajuns

  • San Diego State is a -4.5 favorite in this bowl game: Go Aztecs!

Friday, December 16, 2011

After 13 seasons at Iowa and 47 years overall; Norm Parker's final game as Iowa's Defensive Coordinator will take place in Insight Bowl vs. OU

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz and defensive coordinator Norm Parker gathered with the media on Friday, Dec. 16, to discuss Parker's decision to retire.

Parker announced his retirement from football Sunday, Dec. 11Th. He will visited with local, regional and national media for the first time since his announcement.

Norm Parker is also a savior off the field. Story by former Iowa player, Matt Bowen, on the impact Parker had on Bowen's life, after football.

‘Norm Parker saved my life’ - Matt Bowen in The Gazette

Complete Transcript [PDF]

COACH FERENTZ: Welcome. Glad everybody is here. Just a couple words before I turn it over to Norm. We've been running around recruiting. This is our last day of contacts, last time we're allowed out. As a staff, we've been kind of running around, doing that. Some of the guys have been working on Oklahoma.

I think we're looking forward to having the banquet tomorrow. Our guys have finished up their finals, then we'll be able to turn our sights towards Oklahoma on Sunday.

I think we have 13 guys graduating tomorrow. All the seniors will be excused from football activities tomorrow, then we'll have our banquet tomorrow night.

Side bar there, I think Tyler Nielsen, I remember the days when academic performance was rewarded. Tyler graduated in business with pretty hefty credentials last May. He by far gets the prize. He has a final this afternoon and one this evening. He has the last two time slots as the reward for being a good student. We're all kind of chuckling about that.

The guys have been busy. As I said, we'll turn our sights to Oklahoma after tomorrow's banquet.
I thought the main thing today is for Norm to have a chance to visit with all of you. The announcement was made last Sunday about his retirement. It's really fitting this is the year Norm was already selected to be AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year. Probably long overdue in my mind and our staff's mind, but a real fitting reward.

I think everybody is aware of Norm's expertise as a defensive coach. The record speaks for itself and the numbers speak for themselves. I point this out every time I have a chance to talk about Norm, but I think his impact, the effect he had on this football program goes way beyond the football part of things. I don't care if you're talking to our staff, players, support staff, they'd all tell you the same thing: his impact has really gone beyond any defense he may have called or coached during the week. That's something we're real appreciative of.

I've been here 23 years now. My first nine year stint was with defensive coordinator Bill Brashier, as fine a man and as fine a defensive coach as I've ever been with. Then Norm comes along and has just done a stellar job in all regards.

I know I speak for everybody on behalf of our program, how appreciative we've been of Norm's efforts and all he's done for us. Without further ado, I'll turn it over to you, Norm.

COACH PARKER: Do you want to talk about Oklahoma (laughter)? Like he said, you know, I'm retiring. I would really like to thank Mr. Barta and Kirk. The University of Iowa has been super to myself and my family, my kids. The whole thing has been a great, great, great experience. I want to thank them and thank the players.

You know the fantastic fans we've got. From the secretaries to the equipment people, to the medical people that kept me standing, I got to say thank you.
It's all been a lot of fun. It's all been a lot of fun. I'm very appreciative to everybody, to everybody even you guys (laughter).

Any questions?

Q. Do you plan to stay in Iowa City?

COACH PARKER: Yeah, I'd like to stay around. I think the big thing now is to see if we can slow down these Boomer Sooners and then see where we go from there.

Q. Will you hang around the football office?

COACH PARKER: They'll probably throw me out (laughter).

I'll probably be like Carl Jackson. When Carl retired, he used to come and see us once a day. I think he did it to get out of the house. Now he calls us once a day on the phone.

But I don't know. I'll have a hard time sitting at home, I know that. I like being around. I like being around the guys, being around the players. It's the fun of it. I feel like a guy, that I'm 70 years old and I've never really gone to work a day in my life. I never felt like, Oh, I've got to go to work today. I've never felt like that one day. So I guess that's good. I'm sure you guys feel the same way.

Q. Do you see yourself still in contact with the student athletes?

COACH PARKER: I don't see any official capacity. I don't even know what the rules are there. I don't know what I'm allowed to do.

Q. What went behind the decision for this year?

COACH PARKER: As much as anything, as much as anything, I think you got to be fair to the team, you got to be fair to the program. When it's time to go, it's time to go. I have always said, I never want to coach just to have a job. When you can't do it and do it right, do it the way it should be done, then it's time to let somebody else do it.

So I think in all fairness to the team, the players, the other coaches, myself, it's time to get out. It's time to go bounce some grandkids around on your knee.

Q. Norm, is there a moment or a game or a win that stands out in your mind that you'll tell your grandkids that that was a lot of fun?

COACH PARKER: Yeah, you know, I don't know. There's plays. You remember plays that happen. You remember plays. You remember incidents. You remember different things happening, funny things happening, as opposed to a win or something like that. You remember plays that happened.

The hard part about coaching is you remember the losses more than the wins. That's the hard part. I'm not going to talk about all of them that I lost. I'm not going to bring that up again.

Q. When you were a young coach in 1965 at St. John's, can you talk about how the game has changed since that day when you first put a whistle on till now?

COACH PARKER: I think the thing that the public really doesn't understand, people don't understand, is you hear of guys playing in the old days and now. Believe me, they are so much bigger, stronger, faster, and hit harder than ever before.

From now to 20 years ago, it's a different game. It's a different game. You get old geezers like me that say, That's when football was tough. No, it's tougher now. Now they're bigger, they're stronger, they're faster, and they have no fear. It's a harder game. I think when you even take that to pro football, it even goes up another notch, it even goes up another one.

Q. Is that I don't want to say 'scary' but shocking for you?

COACH PARKER: Yeah, yeah. You would go down on that field and all of a sudden these things are flying around down there hitting each other. You say to yourself, Damn, man, these guys are going at each other. It's changed. They're bigger.

It's like the Olympics. They run faster, they jump higher, they throw the shot further. They're better. They're bigger, they're stronger, they're faster, they're better than ever before. Ten years from now... When does it stop? How fast can a guy run? How high can a guy jump? I don't know, but it will go up. They'll get better.

Q. What persuaded you to come to Iowa and join this staff 13 years ago?

COACH PARKER: The opportunity, Kirk. I always thought when I coached at the other Big Ten schools, I thought this was a nice place. I heard a lot of good things about Kirk. We had some mutual friends that sort of talked about the thing. I talked to them. I just thought it was a good opportunity, which it was. It was a great move. It was a great move. It was a lot of fun.

Q. Have you heard from a lot of your players and what have they said?

COACH PARKER: I've heard from them. They've said, you know, nice things. Not many guys going to call you up and say, It's about time you quit. Not many guys going to call you up and say that (laughter). They've said nice things.

Q. If you had to pick one or two of your former players...

COACH PARKER: I'm not going to do that.

Q. ...who would you pick to help you stop Landry, the Oklahoma offense? Who would you pick to help you?

COACH PARKER: That's a hard question. I'd like to know what Matt Roth is doing that day, who could go get that quarterback. I mean, there's a lot of them you'd like. There's a lot of them you'd like at different positions.

I think a lot of positions have to play very well for us. I'd like to know what Considine is doing that day. I think the free safety is going to be an intricate part of what we're doing. To try to stop them, you have to have a free safety. I'd like to know what Considine is doing that day, see if he has that ability left.

Q. How does it feel to have your final challenge be against an offense like Oklahoma, all the weapons they have, how explosive they are?

COACH PARKER: Got to play somebody. Everybody's got to be someplace that day. Got to be there. Where else would you rather be than doing that? You wake up in the morning, you got to be someplace. What the hell, might as well be here. Let's go have a football game, see if you can win. That's what you do it for.

Q. If a college kid somewhere here in town said, I'm thinking of going into coaching, what do I really need to know, what would you tell him?

COACH PARKER: I would tell him that it's rewarding, but it's long hours, and if you are going to do it you have to do it the right way. Don't do it halfway. Don't insult the game.

To me, I think the game is a very important thing. If you do it half assed, then you're insulting the game. If that's what you're going to do, don't go into it. If you're going to go into it 100 miles an hour, full heart, then go do it, but don't insult the game. Don't insult the players and don't insult the game.

Q. I know you spent 12 years at Michigan State, you've been at Vanderbilt, East Carolina. That jumps off your résumé as a different location. Did you kind of find a home here at the end, do you think?

COACH PARKER: I think this, without question, is the nicest community to live in of all the places I've been. And I like the other places, I don't want to say that they weren't nice, but Iowa, this is a nice place, this is a nice place. It's got great schools. My kids weren't young enough that they would have gone to school here, but I think this is a great place to raise a family.

College Town USA to me it is. I think it's a nice place.

[A sharp contrast in light of Professor Bloom's article in The Atlantic on Living in Iowa the past 20 years]

Q. Could you talk a bit about a person or a moment that had the greatest effect on you in your career.

COACH PARKER: In terms of what?

Q. Let's say your coaching development.

COACH PARKER: I think all the guys that I worked for. I could give you sort of a sentimental story, but I don't want to get into that.

I think my high school coach was very important. I think my dad. I think my dad. I'm one of those guys that still at this age, my dad is long gone, but I still idolize my dad. He always encouraged me to do sports, to do other things. I think probably him more than anybody else.

Q. What is it about football that did it for you that got you out the bed in the morning, made you excited?

COACH PARKER: I think when you look at it, you know, you heard it said a lot of times, it is the ultimate team game. It is the ultimate team game. I think just being with the guys, being with the team, being part of something, just that. That got me going. That's what I like. I like to be part of the team. I like to be around the guys.

I think you often hear if you hang out with those younger people, they keep you young. I don't know if they've done that. I'm like a relic. But to me that's fun. That's fun.

Q. How are you able to relate year after year after year with them, with the different generations?

COACH PARKER: I honest to God don't think the players have changed. I don't think the players have changed nearly as much as people think they have. I think the parents have changed. Don't get me going on that.

The kids, they're the same. They're the same. I don't care if he's a kid from South Dakota or he's a kid from the inner city of Detroit. I think Abdul (Hodge) and (Chad) Greenway, they taught me as much as anything. I mean, here you had the white guy from South Dakota, the pig farmer from South Dakota, and the kid from the inner city of Miami, and those two guys were like this.

They were so tight, it was unbelievable.

The beauty of it was when they looked at each other, when Abdul looked at Greenway, he didn't see a white guy, he just saw his buddy. When Greenway looked at Abdul, he didn't see a black guy, he just saw his buddy. And they worked hard. That's what they looked at, what they saw when they looked at each other. To me it was a teaching thing for me to watch those two guys interact because that's the way they were.

It would be nice if everybody looked at everybody like that, if everybody could really just look at everybody like that. They didn't see a difference. There's no difference to them. They just saw their buddy. I really thought that was cool, just watching those two guys interact. I thought that was great.

Q. When you look at Oklahoma, without their top wide receiver, top runningback, how different has their offense become because of injuries?

COACH PARKER: None. They just reload. They just reload. I mean, they take this guy out and put that guy in. Different number. Same ability, different face, different size.

They lost two great players, but they've got great players. They've got a great football team.

They've got a great football team. Talent wise they're probably as good as anybody.

Q. Iowa's defense, did it all end up the way you thought it would 13 years ago?

COACH PARKER: I used to be a blitz o maniac, a blitzaholic. You sort of do what you can do with what you got. You do what you do because of what you have and who you're playing. I mean, I think you got to adjust a little bit. But, you know, the basic idea is to stop the other guy. Regardless of how you got to do it, you still have to try to stop him.

Q. (Question regarding Iowa's defense.)

COACH PARKER: If you had to classify what we had, and we've had some good athletes, but basically I think we've had tough, smart, hard working guys, and then we've had some guys ability wise, there's some what you would classify I don't know if you want to call them superstars, but there's been some of those guys that have been in there.

When you take guys like Mitch King, guys like that. If Considine walked in the door or Pat Angerer walked in the door and said he's a middle linebacker. Who the hell you kidding, middle linebacker in pro football.

But he's tough, he's smart, he's overachieving. He's an Iowa guy, he's an Iowa guy. That's what they are. That's what they are.

I think they work hard. Angerer, King, those guys work hard. So you have that core of your team, and then outsiders come in and they have to join that team. They have to take on those work ethics. That's the idea. That's the idea.

The core of it is made up of King, Angerer, Considine, those type of guys, then anybody that comes in has to join that core, has to join that core. If you do that, you got enough guys doing that, then you got a halfway decent defense.

Q. Angerer called you a genius the other day.

COACH PARKER: Angerer has been hit in the head too much. Got to examine his helmet (laughter).

No, Angerer is a good guy. If you look at Pat Angerer physically, he tells you he's a middle linebacker in the National Football League, you would tell him you're Vince Lombardi or somebody. But he's a good football player, a darn good football player.

Q. Would you like one of the current assistants on this staff to step in for you?

COACH PARKER: I want to see whoever Kirk wants to hire.

Q. You worked with a lot of these guys. Are they capable?

COACH PARKER: I'm not in charge of that. You're throwing out loaded questions at me now. I came in peace (laughter).

Q. How important was it for you to come back for the season after the amputation?

COACH PARKER: I think personally it was important just to prove that you could do it, just to prove that you could do it. 'The leg ran me off': I didn't want that to happen. Just to prove that you could do it. I don't know if that makes any sense or not.

But, you know, I can remember when I was a little kid, we used to put a rock in your shoe, you would see if you could walk all day with the stone in your shoe to see if you could do it. It hurt like hell, but you didn't want to take it out, just to prove that you could do it.

Q. Is that one of the things that you'll take away from this final season, that you did prove you were able to do it?

COACH PARKER: It's something I'll know. It's something I'll know. When I read that article about the kid in the paper yesterday that's playing middle linebacker and fullback, it makes me look like a piker. I felt like a sheep. I'm walking around, and he's playing middle linebacker and fullback. Sort of makes me look not real tough.

I admire that guy. I admire that guy. I mean, he must be one tough kid to be able to do that. He should win that Rudy award, whatever that award is. I can't imagine what he's doing.

Q. What did Kirk say when you told him it was time?

COACH FERENTZ: Glad you're gone (laughter). No, he was very nice. He was very nice.

Q. What did your wife say?

COACH PARKER: I'm not sure she was that nice. She didn't say much, you know. I hadn't talked it over with her. It wasn't like it was something we talked over a lot. Sort of, well, if that's the way you feel, you shouldn't do it any longer if that's the way you feel.

My kids were happy. They were afraid I was going to die on the field. They were all good, you know, so... I ain't going to die, don't think.

Q. What have other teams been able to do to slow Oklahoma down?

COACH PARKER: They were going 100 miles an hour, then Texas Tech beat them. It was like, Oh, we're not going to be the national champs. Then they lost another game. Other than Oklahoma State, nobody has really slowed them down. I mean, they move the ball. They move the ball.

It's not so much what they do, that they do anything fancy, it's the speed that they do it. It's not only the speed they execute the play but the time there is in between plays. It's almost like they line up, run a play faster than you can get lined up. It's as fast as you can get lined up, then they run another play, then they run another play. They'll go with no gain, no gain, no gain, then all of a sudden it's 15 yards, 20 yards, 25 yards, and they're in the end zone. But it is boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It's the speed that they run in between the plays. I mean, it's fast.

The hard part is going to be simulating that in practice. How are you going to get that simulated in practice? Then during the game, they get you out on the field, they get teams out on the field, they get tired, but there isn't any of that waving your hand, Hey, coach, I'm tired, get me out of here. There's not time to get you out of there. Stay in there.

They go fast. They go fast. It's fast break football. It's like fast break football. If they were a basketball team, they sure as hell don't need a shot clock, they'd be gone. First team to 100 wins, which seems to be the mentality. A year ago they were trying for those games. They can put points on the board fast.

Q. What would you tell the person that will take your job?

COACH PARKER: I'd tell them it's a great job and good luck. I'd tell them that the guys are going to fight hard. I'd tell them you got good people, going to work for a good person, work in a good place. I think you'd tell them congratulations. That's what I'd tell them, you know. I don't know if that's sort of what you're thinking, but that's what I'd tell them.

It's a good deal. It's a good situation. I enjoyed it. I had a great time. I had a great time. Don't drive too fast down Melrose, you get a parking ticket. That guy out there will get you. Other than that, that's the only hazard, that cop out on Melrose.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Official: Iowa (7-5) vs. #14 Oklahoma (9-3), while the BCS Title game will be a SEC rematch

The bowl games are set for the 2011-12 College bowl season! Both the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) and the Iowa State State (6-6) will play on December 30Th. The Northern Iowa Panthers are still alive in the FCS Playoffs. UNI will play Friday night on ESPN with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Montana. Of course, in the BCS Championship Game, it will be a battle of SEC teams, as #1 LSU faces #2 Alabama, in a rematch.

The Hawkeyes will face former Iowa defensive back Bobby Stoops, who is in his 13Th season at the helm of the #14 Oklahoma Sooners, in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. In additional to Stoops, former Iowa OL Bruce Kittle is in his first season as offensive line coach, while co-offensive coordinator Jay Novell is a former Iowa defensive back.

The Cyclones will play earlier in the day against Rutgers (8-4) out of the Big East. Both teams will square off in Yankee Stadium in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, in New York City.

2011-12 Bowl Games (games are Central Time start)

Saturday, December 17Th

New Mexico Bowl:

Temple vs. Wyoming 1:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Idaho Potato Bowl:

Ohio vs. Utah State 4:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

New Orleans Bowl:

UL Lafayette vs. San Diego State 8:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Tuesday, December 20Th

St. Petersburg Bowl:

Florida International vs. Marshall 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Wednesday, December 21st

Poinsettia Bowl:

Louisiana Tech vs. TCU 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Thursday, December 22Nd

Las Vegas Bowl:

Arizona State vs. Boise State 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Saturday, December 24Th

Hawaii Bowl:

Nevada vs. Southern Miss 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Monday, December 26Th

Independence Bowl:

Missouri vs. North Carolina 4:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) /

Tuesday, December 27Th

Little Caesars Bowl:

Purdue vs. Western Michigan 3:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Belk Bowl:

Louisville vs. North Carolina State 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /
Wednesday, December 28Th

Military Bowl:

Air Force vs. Toledo 3:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Holiday Bowl:

California vs. Texas 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /
Thursday, December 29Th

Champs Sports Bowl:

Florida State vs. Notre Dame 4:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Alamo Bowl:

Baylor vs. Washington 8:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Friday, December 30Th

Armed Forces Bowl:

BYU vs. Tulsa 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD) /

Pinstripe Bowl:

Iowa State vs. Rutgers 2:20 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Music City Bowl:

Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest 5:40 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Insight Bowl:

Iowa vs. Oklahoma 9:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Saturday, December 31st

Car Care Bowl:

Northwestern vs. Texas A&M 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD) /

Sun Bowl:

Georgia Tech vs. Utah 1:00 p.m. CBS (HD) /

Emerald Bowl:

Illinois vs. UCLA 2:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Liberty Bowl:

Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt 2:30 p.m. ABC (HD)

Peach Bowl:

Auburn vs. Virginia 6:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Monday, January 2Nd

Games traditionally scheduled for New Years Day

to be played on Jan. 2nd to avoid Sunday NFL conflict

TicketCity Bowl:

Houston vs. Penn State 11:00 a.m. ESPNU (HD) /

Capital One Bowl:

Nebraska vs. South Carolina 12:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Gator Bowl:

Florida vs. Ohio State 12:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) /

Outback Bowl:

Georgia vs. Michigan State 12:00 p.m. ABC (HD)

Rose Bowl:

Oregon vs. Wisconsin 3:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Fiesta Bowl:

Oklahoma State vs. Stanford 7:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Tuesday, January 3rd

Sugar Bowl:

Michigan vs. Virginia Tech 7:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Wednesday, January 4Th

Orange Bowl:

Clemson vs. West Virginia 7:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Friday, January 6Th

Cotton Bowl:

Arkansas vs. Kansas State 7:00 p.m. FOX (HD)

Saturday, January 7Th

FBS Championship Game

12:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) /

BBVA Compass Bowl:

Pitt vs. SMU 12:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Sunday, January 8Th

Go Daddy Bowl:

Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois 8:00 p.m. ESPN (HD) /

Monday, January 9Th

BCS Championship Game:

#2 Alabama vs. # LSU

7:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) (3D) /

Enjoy the ride of the 2011-12 College Football bowl season

Friday, November 25, 2011

Iowa @ Nebraksa as the Heroes Game kicks off on ABC on Black Friday

Omaha was special location to celebrate Thanksgiving for a gathering of twenty friends and family. It was a mix of Cornhuskers, with Hawkeye fans. Several will be at today's game rooting for Big Red.

Which team will show up? An equal question for each fan base heading into the 11 a.m. showdown in Lincoln on ABC Sports. Both teams will not represent the Legends in the first Big Ten title game. A record of 4-3 wasn't worthy of a division title in 2011. The winner today will finish with a 5-3 Big Ten record.

Keys to Iowa-Nebraska game in Lincoln:

1. Which quarterback does a better job of game management, Vandenberg or Martinez?
2. Which defense gets off the field better on third down?
3. Which offense establishes the run better?
4. Who opens up the game and has more big plays?
5. Nebraska is a 9.5 home favorite, so Iowa needs to play a clean game, from a turnover, penalties and miscue prospective.
6. Special teams and the game of field position will be key.
7. Ultimately, this game will come down to physical line play and who consistently wins the battle in the line of scrimmage.

Iowa needs to score points and finish drives. Typically, Nebraska scores 42 points in Lincoln over Iowa, as 1982 and 2000. Last three wins in series, Nebraska has scored 42. Iowa has been dominated, but won in 1981 in Iowa City.

This series us now a conference game. Which team will show up in Lincoln for either side?

Iowa rolls 34-17 as Hawkeyes win all the phases of game. Cornhusker fans look to tar and feather coach Bo Pelini and his staff, after Year 1 in Big Ten.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Are We Ready for some Football: The Heroes Game debuts on Black Friday

For the University of Iowa and its fans, a football game the day after Thanksgiving has been on the mind of a lot of people. Football in the regular season, after Thanksgiving is rather new for most Big Ten programs.

However, for Iowa's opponent on Black Friday, playing football has been a tradition dating back to the days of the old Big 8 Conference and the Nebraska-OU series. After the Big 12 Conference was created, the game was Colorado-Nebraska, in the annual game, after Thanksgiving.

Next: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers, in a new Big Ten rivalry game.

Both teams enter the game 4-3 in the Legends division. Depending on how Michigan (5-3 in the Legends) does hosting Ohio State (3-4 in Leaders) on Saturday, the game is likely for third place in the division. A win by Ohio State on Ann Arbor would throw the winner of the Iowa-Nebraska into a tw0-way tie for second place in the first Legends division race.

Michigan State (6-1 in the Legends) will represent the division in the first Big Ten title game in Indianapolis on Saturday, December 3Rd. The winner of the Penn State (6-1 the in Leaders) at Wisconsin (5-2 in the Leaders) will determine, who plays Michigan State in the title game. Michigan State plays Northwestern (3-4 in Leaders).

Nebraska holds a 26-12-3 advantage in the series that began with a 22-0 Iowa victory in 1891. The teams have not met since 2000 and the Huskers have won the last three meetings. Nebraska prevailed 42-13 in Lincoln in 2000 and won 42-7 in Iowa City in 1999 in the most recent meetings. The 1999 contest in Kinnick Stadium marked Coach Kirk Ferentz' first game as Iowa's head coach.

Iowa's most recent win in the series was a 10-7 victory at Iowa City in 1981. That game marked the first game in which Kirk Ferentz served as an Iowa assistant, being named Iowa's offensive line coach prior to the season.

Nebraska holds a 14-2-1 advantage in games played in Lincoln. Iowa has not won in Lincoln since a 33-13 win in 1933, having lost on its last four visits to Memorial Stadium. The first 10 games in the series were played in either Omaha (eight games) or Council Bluffs (two games). The series was even at 4-4-2 in those 10 meetings.

Nebraska won last meeting in series

Nebraska outscored Iowa 21-0 in the second half in pulling away to a 42-13 win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln on Sept. 23, 2000, when the teams last met. Iowa drove 76 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession for a 7-0 lead, but the Huskers tied the game midway through the period and the teams were tied 7-7 after one quarter. Nebraska took a 14-7 lead in the second period before Iowa cut the deficit to a single point on Nate Kaeding field goals of 40 and 39 yards. Nebraska scored on a 43-yard pass on the final play of the first half for a 21-13 halftime advantage.

The Huskers dominated the second half. Iowa had just one possession in the final two quarters of more than six plays. Still, Nebraska led by a 28-13 margin before collecting two touchdowns in the final 1:27 of the fourth quarter. The big difference in the contest was rushing yardage, as Nebraska held a 331-47 advantage. In total offense, the Huskers held a 490-299 advantage. RB Ladell Betts led Iowa's rushing attack with 75 yards on 20 carries, while QB Scott Mullen completed 19-40 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions. LB Mike Dolezal led Iowa's defense with 17 tackles. LB Roger Meyer had two tackles for loss and DL Jerry Montgomery recovered a fumble.

Iowa is 7-4 heading into the 2011 game in Lincoln. Nebraska is 8-3. In 2000, Iowa finished 3-9, while Nebraska finished 10-2. This year's game will be like no other in the Iowa-Nebraska series, since the Cornhuskers have now joined the Big Ten Conference.

College Basketball Top 25: Creighton #25 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, after wins at UAB, vs. Iowa

The 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings in ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Week 3 (Nov. 21) has the Creighton Bluejays (4-0) at #25, after picking up wins at UAB (70-60) and vs. Iowa (82-59) in Des Moines. Creighton moved up seven spots from 32Nd in last week's release.

It's the first time that Creighton has been ranked in the coaches poll since being tabbed 24Th on March 12, 2007. The last team from the MVC to be ranked by the coaches was Northern Iowa, which was 13Th in the final USA Today Coaches poll at the conclusion of the 2009-10 campaign.

Creighton will enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday, then host Campbell (3-0), who will play at Iowa (3-1) on Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, before heading to Omaha. Creighton's game with Campbell on Friday will tip off at 7:05 pm at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

Creighton didn't make the Top 25 in the AP Poll, finishing #28, right behind Michigan State (2-2). Creighton has not been ranked in the top 25 by the Associated Press since being 20Th on Nov. 13, 2006. Creighton was last as high as 28Th in the AP poll on March 12, 2007, when it was 26Th. The Jays had been tied for 33rd in last week's AP poll.

The Missouri Valley Conference honors Doug McDermott as Player of the Week

After double-digit wins at UAB and versus Iowa on a neutral floor, the Creighton men's basketball team on Monday garnered its share of recognition from the league office and national pollsters.

Sophomore forward Doug McDermott was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week after averaging 26.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He shot 63.6 percent from the field (21-33), including 5-of-7 from downtown (71.4 percent) and also sank 5-of-6 free throws (83.3 percent).

McDermott began his week with 27 points and seven rebounds in a 70-60 road win at defending Conference USA champion UAB, snapping the Blazers 38-game non-conference regular-season home winning streak. He made 11-of-18 field goals, 3-of-4 shots from downtown, and both free throws while going against a UAB front line that included Preseason C-USA Player of the Year Cameron Moore.

On Sunday, McDermott returned to his home state and put on another impressive all-around display in an 82-59 demolition of Iowa. The sophomore had 18 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to help CU to a 45-29 intermission lead, and finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes. He sank 10-of-15 field goal attempts, including 2-of-3 from deep, and also made 3-of-4 foul shots.

McDermott also became the first Bluejay since 2003 with three straight games of 20 points or more, something last accomplished by two-time MVC Player of the Year Kyle Korver.

This is the first MVC Player of the Week accolade in McDermott's career, though he did set a league record last winter with seven MVC Newcomer of the Week awards.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our look at the Top 25 in College Football, after Week 12

We are heading into Thanksgiving week and many conferences will finish play in Week 13, ahead of conference title games in Week 14.

Week 12 brought a lot of upsets, especially in the Big 12, where both Oklahoma Big 12 schools, OU and Okie State, fell on back to back days. North Carolina State knocked down Clemson in the BCS pecking order in ACC play, during Week 12. USC spoiled Oregon's BCS hopes.

Here's our look at the Top 25 after Week 12

  1. LSU Tigers (11-0, 7-0 SEC West)

  2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC West)

  3. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1, 6-1 SEC West)

  4. Stanford Cardinal (10-1, 8-1 Pac 12 North)

  5. Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1, 6-1 ACC Coastal)

  6. Boise State Broncos (9-1, 4-1 MWC)

  7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12)

  8. Oregon Ducks (9-2, 7-1 Pac 12 North)

  9. Houston Cougars (11-0, 7-0 C-USA West)

  10. Oklahoma Sooners (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)

  11. Kansas State Wildcats (9-2, 6-2 Big 12)

  12. Georgia Bulldogs (9-2, 7-1 SEC East)

  13. Michigan State Spartans (9-2, 6-1 B1G Legends)

  14. South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2, 6-2 SEC East)

  15. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-1 B1G Leaders)

  16. Wisconsin Badgers (9-2, 5-2 B1G Leaders)

  17. USC Trojans (9-2, 6-2 Pac 12 South)

  18. Clemson Tigers (9-2, 6-2 ACC Atlantic)

  19. Michigan Wolverines (9-2, 5-2 B1G Legends)

  20. TCU Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-0 MWC)

  21. Baylor Bears (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)

  22. Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends)

  23. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3)

  24. Auburn Tigers (7-4, 4-3 SEC West)

  25. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3, 7-0 C-USA West)

    Looking at the conference races, after Week 12 -
    ACC - Clemson wins the Atlantic at 6-2, one game ahead of Wake Forest and Florida State. In the Coastal, the division title will be on the line in Week 13, with Virginia Tech (6-1) @ Virginia (5-2) for the right to play Clemson in the ACC title game.

    Big 12 - With the loss of Colorado and Nebraska ahead of the 2011 season, there is no title game anymore in the Big 12. Oklahoma State (7-1) remains in the lead, despite the 2OT loss at Iowa State on Friday night, since Oklahoma (5-2) fell at Baylor. Kansas State (6-2) sneaks into the #2 spot now, with OU's loss.

    Big East - There is no title game in the Big East, so two weeks remain in the regular season. Louisville and Rutgers lead at 4-2, but three other teams have only two losses at 3-2: Cincinnati, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Pretty much par for the case in the lowest rated BCS conference.

    Big Ten - Michigan State (6-1) clinched the Legends division spot in the first Big Ten title game, with a 55-3 win over IU. The Leaders division spot will be determined in Week 13, when Penn State (6-1) travels to Madison for the final regular season game at Wisconsin (5-2).

    C-USA - Southern Miss (5-2) leads East Carolina (4-3) in the East, while the West is a little more interesting heading into Week 13 with both Houston and Tulsa at 7-0. Week 13 will determine how the C-USA title game breaks down.

    Independents - Only two programs will be bowl eligible this year with BYU and Notre Dame, who are both currently 8-3, with one game left. Neither are worthy of a BCS bowl in 2011.

    MAC - Ohio U (5-2) leads the East, one game ahead of Temple and Kent State. While in the West, Northern Illinois and Toledo are both tied at 6-1 heading into Week 13. This week will sort out who meets in the MAC title game.

    MWC - In the final season, before heading to the Big 12, TCU at 6-0 has clinched the tie breaker for the title with wins over both Boise State and Wyoming, who are both at 4-1 heading into Week 13. There is no MWC title game, but TCU controls whether they win the conference outright or not.

    Pac 12 - Stanford has closed out the North division with a 8-1 record, ahead of Oregon, who is 7-1, with one game left in the conference. The Cardinal will play their final regular season game outside the conference, when they host Notre Dame at home in Week 13. Who Stanford will play in the first Pac 12 title game will be determined in Week 13, when USC (6-2) hosts UCLA (5-3) for the South division spot.

    SEC - Georgia (7-1) collected their ninth straight win of the season in Week 12, clinching the East division spot in the title game, one game ahead of South Carolina. LSU (7-0) controls their own destiny as they continue a one game lead heading into the final week of SEC play in the West. Alabama and Arkansas are both 6-1, with games at Auburn and at LSU, respectively.

    Sun Belt - No title game in this conference, with Arkansas State at 7-0 with one game left, leading Western Kentucky, who is 6-1, with an opportunity to clinch a share of the conference title, if Arkansas State falls and WKU wins out.

    WAC - The conference is dwindling soon, with no title game, either. Louisiana Tech (5-1) is ahead of Nevada (4-1) and Utah State (3-2), with the final weeks coming in WAC play.

    We want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable week of Thanksgiving. peace

    Heroes Game - Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 B1G Legends) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends) on Black Friday of Week 13.

    Creighton advances to 4-0 on young season, after solid 82-59 win over Iowa in Des Moines

    From Creighton University Sports Information
    Box Score
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- Creighton's first match-up with Iowa since 2001 was a lopsided affair, as the Jays drained 9-of-19 three-pointers to post a 82-59 win over the Hawkeyes before 12,746 fans at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Creighton is now 4-0 on the season, while Iowa dropped to 3-1. The game was the third for both teams in the Dale Howard Classic, as both teams will host unbeaten Campbell in the coming days.

    Doug McDermott scored 13 of Creighton's first 18 points and the Jays used a 10-0 run to build up a 22-10 lead with 8:09 left in the first half. CU's lead reached 31-18 on a three-pointer by Grant Gibbs. The Jays kept up their hot shooting, moving ahead 45-26 after consecutive treys by CU's Avery Dingman and Josh Jones. Dingman (pictured to right) made three trifectas, while McDermott had 18 points, as the Jays headed to halftime with a 45-29 lead.

    Creighton went inside early and often to start the second half, a major reason they outscored the Hawkeyes 40-16 in the paint for the night. Gregory Echenique scored the first five points, while McDermott and Antoine Young also scored in the paint to bring CU's lead to 56-36 with 14:48 to go. That started a 14-0 run that saw CU lead by as much as 66-36.

    Creighton led by as much as 33 points (74-41 with 6:16 left) before settling for the final margin.

    McDermott led CU with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Echenique added 15 points and nine rebounds and Dingman had a career-best 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from long-range. Creighton shot 55.2 percent in the game, including 9-of-19 from deep (47.4 percent), while outrebounding the Hawkeyes 43-27 and dishing twice as many assists as Iowa (20-10).

    Iowa was paced by 14 points from Josh Oglesby and 13 points from Matt Gatens.

    Creighton returns to action on Friday when it closes out play in the Dale Howard Classic with a 7:05 pm game against unbeaten Campbell (3-0).

    NOTES: This was the 25th all-time meeting between Creighton and Iowa, but first since the 2001 NCAA Tournament ... Doug McDermott became Creighton's first player with three straight games of 20 points or more since Kyle Korver in 2003 ... Greg McDermott is now 6-4 against Iowa ... Greg McDermott is now 52-4 in his Division head coaching career when scoring 80 or more points, and is 19-1 when his Creighton teams score 70 or more points ... Each of Creighton's last seven teams to start 4-0 or better have reached the postseason ... Creighton's first 12 points came from Iowa natives Doug McDermott and Grant Gibbs ... Creighton has won each of its first four games by double-digits ... Creighton outscored Iowa 18-3 in second-chance points ... Avery Dingman's career-high 14 points came in just 11 minutes ... Gregory Echenique's 15 points were a season-high ... Creighton is now 4-1 in the regular-season since 1998 against Big Ten competition, including a 3-0 mark against Iowa.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    It's time to take my black & gold hat off for Iowa vs. Creighton

    From 1974 to 1982, my loyalty was often to the Iowa Hawkeyes, in college basketball. But, in 1982, I enrolled at Creighton University, so on Sunday, November 20Th at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, its Creighton University (3-0) vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0).

    It doesn't happen very often. The last time it happened was over ten years ago, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with Iowa advancing that day with a 69-56 win. Iowa played the previous two seasons in a home and home vs. Creighton, with the Jays winning both of those games by two and nine points. An earlier game was played in the 1990 non-conference in the old Amana-Hawkeye Classic championship game in Iowa City, losing by six.

    Now, it's time for Game 5, since my years at Creighton. It's another neutral court.

    Iowa has played three home games. Creighton won on the road at UAB on Wednesday night, 70-60, in the Blazers season opener. It was the first loss at home in the non-conference for UAB, since the 2005 season.

    Creighton played at Wells Fargo Arena last season. The Bluejays lost at the buzzer to Iowa State.
    This will be the first of three non-conference games vs. Big Ten opponents for the Bluejays this season. First up is Iowa on a neutral court. Creighton will play @ Nebraska and vs. Northwestern at CenturyLink Arena, as well.

    Creighton is lead by sophomore Doug McDermott at 20.3 ppg, while Iowa is lead by three year captain, senior Matt Gatens at 16.3 ppg.

    Creighton is lead by junior Gregory Echenique at 6.7 rpg, while Iowa is currently lead by a true freshman off the bench in Aaron White at 6.0 rpg.

    Creighton is lead by a former Linn-Mar prep, in Gonzaga transfer, junior Grant Gibbs, who is averaging 4.7 apg. Iowa is lead by senior co-captain Bryce Cartwright at 6.3 apg. Cartwright was very solid in assists last season in the Big Ten.

    Head coaches:
    Both programs are headed by second year coaches. Creighton hired former UNI and ISU coach Greg McDermott, an Iowa native, took replace sixteen year coach Dana Altman, who is now at Oregon. Altman and McDermott squared off to close out the 2011 postseason last year. Former Siena Coach Fran McCaffery took over Todd Lickliter at Iowa last season. McDermott is 5-4 lifetime as a head coach vs. Iowa. This is the first time he has faced McCaffery head to head.

    It should be an interesting game. Both teams are playing better than last season, with a deeper roster for each. It will be Iowa's first real test. Creighton passed its first test at UAB on Saturday night, but Iowa is even bigger, since it is a neighboring state and both teams are looking to keep a win streak going.

    Some of the players have faced each other before. Iowa's Gatens and Creighton's Gibbs both played against one another in high school in Iowa.

    A Creighton win over Iowa would be a great start in Year 2 for coach Greg McDermott. The same can be said for Coach Fran McCaffery. Go Jays! On Iowa!

    Iowa picks up first road win of season with 31-21 win @ Purdue

    The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 4-3 B1G Legends) finally took care of business on the road, after losing the first three of the season, with a 31-21 win at Purdue (5-6, 3-4 B1G Leaders). Purdue falls to 0-3 on Senior Day under coach Danny Hope. Iowa gets road redemption as the Hawkeyes win at Purdue on a windy day.
    "It's good to get the win and being on the road makes it that much better. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge. Credit goes to our
    players, they fought and battled hard. It wasn't a pretty game, but they really
    worked hard."
    - Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz

    The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six and 17 of the last 23 meetings vs. Purdue. Iowa assures themselves of a winning season, with the win at Purdue.
    After losses at Iowa State in 3 OT, at Penn State, at Minnesota; Iowa gets it together with solid road win at Purdue. The Hawkeyes were lead by solid quarterback play from junior James Vandenberg, solid running from sophomore Marcus Coker and solid play by four Iowa receivers, lead by senior Marvin McNutt. On defense, the defensive line put together their best game of the season, lead by seniors Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns.
    "It's great to get that monkey off our back. This was a great team win all
    ." - quarterback James Vandenberg

    Iowa will enjoy this game, but will have to turnaround and get ready for the final Big Ten road game of the season on Black Friday, when the Hawkeyes face Nebraska (8-3, 4-3 B1G Legends) in Lincoln for the first Heroes Game, starting the Iowa-Nebraska rivalry in the Big Ten.


    Michigan State (9-2, 6-1 B1G Legends) clinched the Big Ten Legends Division with a 55-3 home win on Senior Day over Indiana (1-10, 0-7 B1G Leaders). The Spartans, who beat Iowa last weekend on Iowa's Senior Day, will play the winner of next Saturday's Penn State-Wisconsin game on December 3Rd in the Big Ten's first championship game in Indianapolis. The Spartans will close out the regular season next Saturday at Northwestern (6-5, 2-4 B1G Legends).

    Is it time for Iowa to pull off a road win in the 2011 season?

    Iowa is 0-3 on the road for the 2011 season. Iowa has two more chances at Purdue this week, then at Nebraska on Black Friday.

    Until last weekend, Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G Legends) was undefeated at home, but Michigan State dropped Iowa to 6-1 for the season. Iowa's opponent, Purdue (5-5, 3-3 B1G Leaders) this week is 5-1 this season at home, at Ross-Ade Stadium.

    Iowa hasn't played in West Lafayette, since the 2007 season and last won there in 2005. The Boilermakers and Hawkeyes haven't faced one another, since 2008, when Iowa beat Purdue 22-17 in the second to last game of the season.

    Will three be a charm for Purdue? It will be Senior Day for the Boilermakers. Under Coach Danny Hope, the Boilermakers are 0-2 on Senior Day.

    The weather is likely going to be windy at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday, as the two teams play on the Big Ten Network (Direct TV 611-1 in HD) with a 11 a.m. start. Last week, in Iowa's 37-21 loss vs. Michigan State, the Hawkeyes' junior QB James Vandenberg struggled against the wind.

    Purdue is coming off a big 26-23 OT win at Ross-Ade Stadium over Ohio State last week. Last week for Iowa, the Hawkeyes were coming off a big 24-16 win over Michigan, as they faced Michigan State for the second straight home game.

    Will Purdue's fate be similar to Iowa or will they string another victory at home and obtain bowl eligibility? http://Iowa - Black & Gold rivals, in this Big Ten intra-division protected game! Iowa has been 16-5-1, since 1983, while prior to the 1981 win by Iowa, Purdue had a 19 game winning streak over the Hawkeyes.

    Both teams have a lot to play for on Saturday. Iowa can secure a winning season for 22011. While, Purdue can secure bowl eligibility and their first win on Senior Day under coach Danny Hope.

    So, is there any Hope for Iowa in West Lafayette on Saturday?
    • Iowa QB Vandenberg needs to do a better job of game management

    • Iowa defense needs to play stronger and avoid "big plays" which hurt Iowa vs. MSU and in other Iowa losses on the road

    • Execution is huge, as well proper technique

    • Iowa must establish the running game - which they did at Minnesota in their disappointing 22-21 road loss. Who will be the #2 RB for Iowa this week?

    • Iowa must finish, unlike @ Minnesota: put points on the board in the red zone on offense

    • Iowa defense needs to play strong on red zone

    • Ironically, Iowa is a good red zone defense, in conference play

    • Special teams: both teams are pretty even, so who win the challenges in this phase?

    • Which coaching staff has there club in better position to win?

    The Iowa coaching staff for the most part has had Iowa in position to make plays this season. But, in Iowa four losses, players have not stepped up, when the opportunity has been there for the Hawkeyes.

    Iowa appears to be in a strong position, if they can get to 28 points @ Purdue.

    Purdue needs to hold Iowa to 24 points or less. In regulation, Iowa has been held to 24, 3, 21 and 24 points in the four losses Iowa has had this season.


    In 2005, it was Iowa 34, Purdue 17, in Iowa's last victory in West Lafayette, so this time around. Iowa's last road win was @ Michigan in 2010, when the Hawkeyes won 38-28.

    In this game, look for Iowa, if they can get off to a good start and control momentum, the line of scrimmage and field position... IOWA 28, Purdue 17, very similar to Iowa's first B1G road win in 2007. That game was at Northwestern, when Iowa entered the game 0-3 on the road in the Big Ten.

    24-24 Special at Iowa State again: Cyclones knock off #2 this time in 2OT

    Coach Paul Rhoads has become a dragon slayer over three years for the Iowa State Cyclones. On Friday Night in Ames, with a national ESPN audience, the Cyclones (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) knocked off #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 8-1 Big 12) 37-31 in 2 OT.

    Most observers would say it was the biggest victory likely in Iowa State football history. ISU beats a 27 point favorite, after rebounding from a 24-7 third quarter deficit in front of a national television audience to force overtime. On Senior Night, at Jack Trice Stadium, the Cyclones pull off a huge win that throws a huge monkey wrench into the BCS title game pecking order.

    For the second time in the 2011 season, ISU takes a game 24-24 into overtime in Ames. In the first OT game, earlier this season vs. Iowa, the Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 44-41 in 3 OT. Last night, vs. #2 Oklahoma State, the Cyclones forced an interception in Okie State's possession in the second OT. With the ball, the Cyclones took three carries from the 25 yard line right down the Cowboys throat for a 37-31 victory.

    David wins! Like the name of the movie Any Given Sunday, there is a reason the games are played on the field. Turnovers can often be a big equalizer.

    #2 Oklahoma State made mistakes in Ames. In an emotional charged game, for different reasons for each team, Iowa State prevails. Oklahoma State threw three interceptions, which helped Iowa State get the upset. Sadly, earlier in the day, the Oklahoma State community faced a heavy heart, with the tragic loss of two women's basketball coaches, when the plane they were flying on in a recruiting trip crashed.

    In the past three seasons under Paul Rhoads at Iowa State, the Cyclones have pulled off some special games.

    • In 2009, in Lincoln, Iowa State 9, Nebraska 7

    • In 2010, in Austin, Iowa State 28, #22 Texas 21

    • In 2011, in Ames, Iowa State 44, Iowa 41 in 3 OT

    • In 2011, in Ames, Iowa State 37, #2 Oklahoma State 31 in 2 OT

    For the second time in three seasons, Iowa State is bowl eligible, after winning the season home finale of the season. Unlike 2009, the Cyclones have two games, rather than one left in Big 12 play.

    Iowa State will wrap up the regular season with two final road games in Big 12 play. Next Saturday, the Cyclones will head to Norman for a game @ Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1 Big 12), then at Kansas State (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) on December 3Rd.

    Fan bases should always remember... any given day! ISU is a program that hasn't won a share of football title in 99 and 100 years, respectively. There is always something special to play for on any given day!

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Iowa is a .500 Big Ten football team with two games left

    Against the top two division teams in the Big Ten, Penn State (8-2, 5-1 B1G Leaders) and Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 B1G Legends), Iowa (6-4, 3-3 B1G Legends) wasn't equal, losing 13-3 at Penn State to open the Big Ten conference season, then losing 37-21 on Senior Day this past Saturday at Kinnick Stadium against Michigan State.

    The Hawkeyes are coming off three straight seasons, winning each of their bowl games. In 2009, Iowa played with the Big Ten title on the line at Ohio State, but lost 24-27 in OT. Iowa QB James Vandenberg lead Iowa in that competitive game in Columbus, in relief of starter Ricky Stanzi, who was out due to injury. Stanzi was a key piece in leading Iowa to three bowl wins.

    But, in Iowa's four losses in 2011, Vandenberg has often struggled at QB. Iowa's other two losses were on the road, with a 44-41 3OT loss at Iowa State, then a 22-21 loss at Minnesota. Turnovers have been a common denominator in Iowa's four losses this season. In Iowa's latest loss on Senior Day, vs. Michigan State, Iowa was a minus three in turnover margin.

    Typically, Quarterbacks lose more games at the Big Ten level, than win them. Balance, with strong offense, defense and special teams are all typically needed. Wisconsin has a good team this year, but special teams have lead to breakdowns and losses. Iowa's special teams breakdowns last year, caused similar results.

    Game management is important at the Quarterback position, but all phases need to step up. Since Iowa's 7-1 Big Ten season in 2004, Iowa's special teams have been hit and miss. Iowa has had some good performers, but consistency and execution has caused issues. Both coaching mistakes and player execution problems have been noticed in Iowa City, lately.

    In the game Saturday vs. Michigan State, Iowa was victim of another special team breakdown, when the Spartans executed a fake field goal. A good Michigan State defense didn't make it easy for Iowa, but at times, Iowa simply looks out of sync.

    Yeah, I don't know. I guess you'd have to say we weren't ready. We
    didn't look ready. We left the door open way too many times in all three phases.
    It wasn't just any one segment. Little details. Just little things, all the
    basics that either help you win or make it tougher to win
    , Iowa
    coach Kirk Ferentz commenting what was the key to MSU game

    Iowa will lose 18 seniors, after this season. So, where are the Hawkeyes headed, as they close out the final two games on the road in the Big Ten? Iowa is bowl eligible for the eleventh straight season, but a trip to Detroit is not what the Iowa fans had in mind heading into 2011.

    Iowa will face difficult challenges on the road with games at Purdue (5-5, 3-3 B1G Leaders) this week, then a major showdown at Nebraska (8-2, 4-2 B1G Legends) on Black Friday. The games at Purdue and Nebraska will have major bowl implications for all three teams. Both games will have an 11 a.m. kickoff. The Purdue game will be on the Big Ten Network and ABC Sports will air the Nebraska game on Black Friday.

    The Hawkeyes were at a crossroads, at 2-2, after the loss at Minnesota. Iowa rebounded with a solid 24-16 win over Michigan (8-2, 4-2 Legends), which was clearly Iowa's best game in 2011. But, unlike returning to the home field of Kinnick Stadium facing Michigan, Iowa will face two major road games, where Iowa is 0-3 for 2011. Next up: @ Purdue on Saturday.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Senior Day for Iowa: 18 seniors face Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium with 11 a.m. kickoff on ESPN2

    The Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-2 B1G Legends) will kickoff Senior Day with Michigan State (7-2, 4-1 B1G Legends), with first place in the Legends Division on the line. The game is televised on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Central Time. ESPNs preview.

    Iowa has beat Michigan State each time at Kinnick Stadium, since 1989. However, there have been some close games in the series, including a double OT game in 2007, when Iowa beat Michigan State 34-27. Last year, Iowa beat Michigan State 37-6, which was the Spartans lone loss in the Big Ten and the regular season. The Hawkeyes have beat the Spartans seven straight times at Kinnick Stadium by a 15 point margin, but like the 2007 game, this year's game should be a close one. The Spartans are favored by three points.

    However, the road has been tough for many teams in 2011. Iowa is 6-0 at Kinnick this year, but 0-3 on the road. Michigan State has lost twice on the road this season with a non-conference game at Notre Dame, then at Nebraska in Big Ten play.

    The quarterbacks will be a key position to watch in the Iowa-MSU match up. Senior #8 Kirk Cousins leads the Spartans offensive attack. Last year in Iowa City, Cousins had his worse game, according to Phil Steele, with three interceptions, with two that lead to 13 first half points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa is lead at quarterback by a first year starter, in junior #16 James Vandenberg.

    Offensively, Iowa has three of the top performers statistically in the Big Ten, with Vandenberg at QB, sophomore RB #34 Marcus Coker and senior WR #7 Marvin McNutt. Michigan State has one of the Big Ten's best defensive squads. In Iowa's road loss at Penn State, defensive strength from the Nittany Lions kept the Iowa offense off track all game, in a 13-3 loss. Will another top defense cause Iowa problems? With the game at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa's offense should play better? If they are going to defeat Michigan State, they will have to or it could be a long day for the Hawkeyes.

    On defense, Michigan State is lead by super sophomores, like DE #2 William Gholston, LB #28 Denicos Allen and CB #31 Darqueze Dennard, all first year starters. Junior DT #99 Jerel Worthy is outstanding, along with two other returning starters in a strong Spartan defensive line. Junior CB #5 Johnny Adams is another good player for the Spartans to keep an eye on.

    Success at Kinnick Stadium will start with the play of the offensive and defensive lines. The Iowa-MSU game should be a very physical game. The victory will most likely go to the team that establishes the better line play, whether that be on offense or on defense. Special teams will also be an important aspect of the game.

    Senior Day at Kinnick, with a look at the Big Ten statistical breakdown: Iowa vs. MSU:

    5. Iowa 5 17 5 17 0 0 0 134 26.8
    8. Michigan State 5 14 3 12 1 0 1 109 21.8

    MSU is weakest scoring offense of Iowa, UNL and Purdue

    t3. Michigan State 5 13 3 13 0 0 0 100 20.0
    6. Iowa 5 13 6 10 0 0 0 106 21.2

    Strongest scoring defense of teams left for Iowa

    TOTAL OFFENSE G Rush Pass Plays Yards Avg/P TD Avg/G
    6. Iowa 5 842 994 294 1836 6.2 16 367.2
    9. Michigan State 5 600 1042 308 1642 5.3 12 328.4

    Iowa beat #2 Northwestern and #3 Michigan and #8 IU at Kinnick in B1G

    TOTAL DEFENSE G Rush Pass Plays Yards Avg/P TD Avg/G
    3. Michigan State 5 647 909 338 1556 4.6 13 311.2
    8. Iowa 5 906 1092 367 1998 5.4 13 399.6

    Illinois ranks best in this stat, with PSU #2 and MSU #3. Michigan is #4.

    RUSHING OFFENSE G Att Yards Avg. TD Yards/G
    8. Iowa 5 177 842 4.8 8 168.4
    12. Michigan State 5 160 600 3.8 4 120.0

    How well will MSU run the ball at Kinnick? Could be biggest factor in game?

    RUSHING DEFENSE G Att Yards Avg. TD Yards/G
    3. Michigan State 5 214 647 3.0 5 129.4
    8. Iowa 5 211 906 4.3 5 181.2

    PSU ranks #1 and Michigan ranks #2. Iowa appears to be improving in run offense. Will Iowa show another back vs. MSU? Or, will it continue to be all Marcus Coker attacking MSU's run defense?

    PASS OFFENSE G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards Avg. TD Avg/G
    5. Michigan State 5 89 148 3 60.1 1042 7.0 8 208.4
    6. Iowa 5 73 117 3 62.4 994 8.5 8 198.8

    Iowa beat the #1 Northwestern and #3 Michigan at home. Didn't play UW or Illinois.

    PASS DEFENSE G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards Avg. TD Avg/G
    4. Michigan State 5 64 124 7 51.6 909 7.3 8 181.8
    11. Iowa 5 97 156 3 62.2 1092 7.0 8 218.4

    #11 and #12 Iowa and Northwestern, respectively pulled off big wins this past weekend.

    PASS EFFICIENCY Offense G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards TD Effic.
    3. Iowa 5 73 117 3 62.4 994 8 151.2
    6. Michigan State 5 89 148 3 60.1 1042 8 133.1

    Big game for James Vandenberg vs. MSU.

    PASS DEFENSE EFFIC. G Comp Att Int Pct. Yards TD Effic.
    6. Michigan State 5 64 124 7 51.6 909 8 123.2
    9. Iowa 5 97 156 3 62.2 1092 8 134.1

    Purdue and Nebraska rank better in this category.

    5. Iowa 5 17 392 0 23.1
    7. Michigan State 5 19 417 0 21.9

    Field position is always important and Iowa's coverage units have been improving, since ISU game.

    PUNT RETURN AVG G No. Yards TD Avg.
    3. Michigan State 5 11 109 1 9.9
    8. Iowa 5 4 19 0 4.8

    Micah Hyde is getting more comfortable and made some big catches on windy day at Kinnick vs. Michigan. Iowa needs to make sure this isn't an area where MSU shines.

    2. Michigan State 5 7 70 1 10.0
    8. Iowa 5 3 103 1 34.3

    PSU leads the B1G. Iowa's offense needs to avoid mistakes. Turnovers helped Iowa this past weekend.

    PUNTING G No. Yards Avg/P Ret. Avg. TB Net/P
    4. Iowa 5 14 535 38.2 16 1.1 1 35.6
    9. Michigan State 5 28 1073 38.3 74 2.6 2 34.2

    Field position game is always important for Iowa.

    KICKOFF COVERAGE G No. Yards Avg. Return TB Net Avg.
    3. Michigan State 5 21 1356 64.6 279 6 45.6
    6. Iowa 5 27 1655 61.3 455 0 44.4

    MSU has 6 TBs to Iowa's 0 in B1G play this year.

    FIELD GOALS G Made-Att Pct.
    8. Iowa 5 5-7 .714
    11. Michigan State 5 3-5 .600

    In close games, Alabama witnessed how important FGs can be in last night's game vs. LSU.

    PAT KICKING G Made-Att Pct.
    t1. Iowa 5 17-17 1.000
    Michigan State 5 12-12 1.000

    Iowa has been scoring more TDs, basically one more per game than MSU in the B1G.

    SACKS BY G No. Yards
    1. Michigan State 5 21 151
    12. Iowa 5 6 56

    Night and day differences when it comes to sacks and pressuring the QB.

    t5. Michigan State 5 10 61
    8. Iowa 5 14 107

    Which O-Line protects better on Saturday?

    FIRST DOWNS G Rush Pass Pen Total Avg/G
    8. Iowa 5 46 40 5 91 18.2
    10. Michigan State 5 28 47 5 80 16.0

    Big plays on offense are always important in games.

    OPPONENT 1ST DOWNS G Rush Pass Pen Total Avg/G
    7. Michigan State 5 36 45 14 95 19.0
    9. Iowa 5 51 54 6 111 22.2

    Iowa gives up first downs, but can they hold down the big plays?

    3RD-DOWN CONVERSIONS G Conv. Att. Pct.
    6. Iowa 5 22 54 40.7
    10. Michigan State 5 25 71 35.2

    First and second down will be important on Saturday.

    OPP 3RD-DN CONVERT G Conv. Att. Pct.
    3. Michigan State 5 24 69 34.8
    10. Iowa 5 38 77 49.4

    Michigan is #2 in this category, next up Michigan State.

    4TH-DOWN CONVERSIONS G Conv. Att. Pct.
    9. Iowa 5 4 9 44.4
    10. Michigan State 5 3 7 42.9

    Both coaches are likely conservative on 4th down.

    OPP 4TH-DN CONVERT G Conv. Att. Pct.
    t3. Michigan State 5 3 7 42.9
    10. Iowa 5 6 8 75.0

    Hopefully for Iowa, it will not come done to 4Th down conversions?

    PENALTIES G No. Yards Avg/G
    1. Iowa 5 22 153 30.6
    10. Michigan State 5 33 308 61.6

    MSU isn't dirty and physical are they?

    2. Michigan State 5 37 293 58.6
    5. Iowa 5 29 255 51.0

    Who will play more sound on Saturday? Michigan leads B1G in this stat.

    t7. Michigan State 5 144:37 28:55
    11. Iowa 5 136:54 27:22

    Opponent offenses are keeping the ball longer vs. each.

    Gained Lost
    TURNOVER MARGIN G Fumb Int Total Fumb Int Total Margin Per/G
    t4. Iowa 5 3 3 6 2 3 5 +1 0.20
    t9. Michigan State 5 0 7 7 5 3 8 -1 -0.20

    Huge stat typically, in a game where Iowa has won at Kinnick every game, even OT games, since 1989.

    Red Zone Touchdowns Field Goals Lost possession
    RED ZONE OFFENSE G Scores-Chances Pct. TDs Rush-Pass Made-Att Fumb Int. Downs Other
    5. Iowa 5 15-18 83.3 11 8-3 4-6 1 0 0 0
    11. Michigan State 5 8-11 72.7 7 2-5 1-1 0 1 2 0

    Only Nebraksa is better (#5) in red zone offense in the Legends.

    Red Zone Touchdowns Field Goals Lost possession
    RED ZONE DEFENSE G Scores-Chances Pct. TDs Rush-Pass Made-Att Fumb Int. Downs Other
    2. Iowa 5 17-24 70.8 12 5-7 5-5 0 3 3 1
    8. Michigan State 5 11-13 84.6 8 4-4 3-4 0 0 1 0

    Iowa leads defenses in the Legends in this category now.

    ON-SIDE KICKS BY G On-side Pct.
    t2.Michigan State 5 0-0 0.0
    Iowa 5 0-0 0.0

    1. Michigan State 5 0-1 0.0
    12. Iowa 5 1-3 33.3

    Hopefully, Iowa will not need a onside kick to win.

    RUSHING Cl G Att. Yards Avg. TD Long Avg/G
    1. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 124 721 5.8 8 50 144.2
    9. Bell, Le'Veon-MSU SO 5 64 311 4.9 2 35 62.2

    A healthy Marcus Coker has emerged in conference play.

    PASSING AVG/GAME Cl G Comp-Att-Int Pct. Yards TD Long Avg/G
    4. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 89 - 148 - 3 60.1 1042 8 69 208.4
    5. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 73 - 117 - 3 62.4 994 8 80 198.8

    Which QB will have more success on Saturday?

    PASS EFFICIENCY Cl G Comp-Att-Int Pct. Yards TD Long Effic.
    3. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 73 - 117 - 3 62.4 994 8 80 151.2
    7. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 89 - 148 - 3 60.1 1042 8 69 133.1

    Iowa just faced the #6 QB in this category with D. Robinson.

    RECEPTIONS/GAME Cl G Rec. Yards TD Long Avg/C Avg/G Rec/G
    3. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 32 546 5 80 17.1 109.2 6.4
    4. Martin, Keshawn-MSU SR 5 25 252 3 25 10.1 50.4 5.0
    t7. Cunningham, B.-MSU SR 5 22 399 2 69 18.1 79.8 4.4

    When Iowa wins, Vandenberg and the offense usually find a way to get the ball to McNutt.

    RECEIVE YDS/GAME Cl G Rec. Yards TD Long Rec/G Avg/C Avg/G
    2. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 32 546 5 80 6.4 17.1 109.2
    4. Cunningham, B.-MSU SR 5 22 399 2 69 4.4 18.1 79.8
    8. Davis, Keenan-IOWA JR 4 13 229 1 47 3.2 17.6 57.2

    The return of Keenan Davis was big in win over Michigan.

    TOTAL OFFENSE Cl G Rush Pass Plays Total Yds/G
    8. Vandenberg, J.-IOWA JR 5 28 994 151 1022 204.4
    9. Cousins, Kirk-MSU SR 5 -45 1042 164 997 199.4

    t2. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 8 0 0 0 48 9.6
    10. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 0 5 17 0 32 6.4

    Iowa needs both these players producing, if they are going to surpass MSU.

    SCORING (TDs) Cl G TD Rush Pass Ret. PAT Pts Pts/G
    t2. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 8 8 0 0 0 48 9.6
    t4. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 5 0 5 0 0 30 6.0

    Iowa has a one-two punch on offense, as long as Vandenberg has offense in sync.

    SCORING (KICK) Cl G PATs FGs Pts Pts/G
    7. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 17-17 5-7 32 6.4
    10. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 12-12 3-5 21 4.2

    As Alabama found out vs. LSU and Iowa vs. Minnesota, you have to execute and put points on the board.

    PUNT RETURN AVG Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg.
    2. Martin, Keshawn-MSU SR 5 10 73 0 15 7.3

    Iowa has dipped in this category. How many games has Martin played vs. Iowa in his career?

    KICK RETURN AVG Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg.
    4. Bernstine, J.-IOWA SR 5 12 300 0 62 25.0
    7. Hill, Nick-MSU FR 5 16 364 0 62 22.8

    Each has a 62 yard return... which KOR team will play better on Saturday?

    ALL PURPOSE Cl G Rush Rcv PR KR Yards Yards/G
    3. Coker, Marcus-IOWA SO 5 721 38 0 0 759 151.8
    9. McNutt, Marvin-IOWA SR 5 26 546 0 14 586 117.2

    Does Iowa get on sync agaisnt defensive minded MSU team?

    PUNTING Cl G No. Yards Long Avg.
    6. Sadler, Mike-MSU FR 5 28 1073 51 38.3
    7. Guthrie, Eric-IOWA SR 5 14 535 49 38.2

    Coverage units need to step up in this game.

    FIELD GOALS Cl G Made Att. Pct. Made/G
    6. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 5 7 71.4 1.00
    t9. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 3 5 60.0 0.60

    Will this game come down to the little things, such as a FG?

    FIELD GOAL PCT Cl G Made Att. Long Pct.
    6. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 5 7 47 71.4
    9. Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 3 5 50 60.0

    Iowa and MSU both typically are sound in special teams.

    PAT KICKING PCT Cl G Made Att. Pct.
    t1. Meyer, Mike-IOWA SO 5 17 17 100.0
    Conroy, Dan-MSU JR 5 12 12 100.0

    In the Iowa-Michigan game, we witnessed how important an XP can be.

    TACKLES (All positions) Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Total Avg/G Sacks
    5. Morris, James-IOWA SO 4 LB 21 23 44 11.0 0.0
    8. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 15 22 37 9.2 3.0
    10. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 LB 16 18 34 8.5 1.0
    t11. Bernstine, J.-IOWA SR 5 DB 18 24 42 8.4 0.0
    Kirksey, C.-IOWA SO 5 LB 23 19 42 8.4 0.0
    t17. Lewis, Isaiah-MSU SO 5 17 21 38 7.6 0.0
    Miller, Tanner-IOWA SO 5 DB 28 10 38 7.6 0.0
    t23. Bullough, Max-MSU SO 5 LB 11 23 34 6.8 1.5
    t36. Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 19 12 31 6.2 0.0

    Sophomores lead MSU in defense.

    SACKS Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Yards Total Avg/G
    t2. Allen, Denicos-MSU SO 5 LB 4 2 38 5.0 1.00
    11. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 2 2 20 3.0 0.75
    t14. Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 DL 2 1 21 2.5 0.50
    t17. Adams, Johnny-MSU JR 5 CB 2 0 18 2.0 0.40
    Rush, Marcus-MSU FR 5 DE 2 0 17 2.0 0.40

    MSU will get pressure from a variety of players over the defense. Iowa needs Binns to play solid again and other players to step up in game vs. MSU.

    TACKLES FOR LOSS Cl G Pos. Solo Ast. Yards Total Avg/G
    7. Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 DE 6 3 29 7.5 1.88
    t10. Allen, Denicos-MSU SO 5 LB 4 4 40 6.0 1.20
    Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 DL 5 2 32 6.0 1.20
    19. Rush, Marcus-MSU FR 5 DE 4 1 21 4.5 0.90

    TFL will help defenses get off the field and force offenses to get behind the sticks. What will we see Saturday?

    PASSES DEFENDED Cl G BrUp Int. Total Avg/G
    t1. Hyde, Micah-IOWA JR 5 4 1 5 1.00
    Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 2 3 5 1.00
    t8. Binns, B.-IOWA SR 5 4 0 4 0.80
    t16. Lowery, B.J.-IOWA SO 4 3 0 3 0.75

    Iowa needs some breaks in pass defense to continue.

    INTERCEPTIONS Cl G No. Yards TD Long Avg/G
    1. Robinson, T.-MSU SR 5 3 6 0 6 0.60
    t3. Lewis, Isaiah-MSU SO 5 2 39 1 39 0.40

    MSU has two ball hawks in pass defense. Iowa needs to step up and likely force some, if they plan to upset MSU.

    t7. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 1 0.25
    Gholston, W.-MSU SO 4 1 0.25

    Forcing turnovers... big for Iowa and MSU on occassion!

    t3. Nielsen, Tyler-IOWA SR 4 1 0.25
    t7. Bigach, Steve-IOWA JR 5 1 0.20

    Defense often wins championships. The Legends division race will be on the line at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Who steps up?

    Iowa has won 16 of last 21 finales at home. Iowa has had MSU's number at Kinnick, since 1989. Kirk Cousins had worse game of his career at Iowa LY in 37-6 loss. Cousins threw three INTs leading to 13 Iowa points.

    MSU has a new OC this year and 3 of 5 new starters in offensive line, so those two areas likely are part of MSU's dip in offense in 2011. Iowa's defense has dipped due to loss of talent to NFL and graduation.

    Iowa 27, MSU 22 when looking at B1G games
    How much will Kinnick be worth for Iowa? 5 points?
    MSU opponents 20, Iowa opponents 21 games

    Numbers are good for Iowa, but MSU has played better opponents? We shall see, our game prediction is Iowa 27, Michigan State 22.