As you ponder your questions for a 2 p.m. live chat right here on Friday, Michigan State’s quarterback settles into his role and a blustery Saturday forecast that could make things interesting for punters are part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
Here is your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes, something you can count on each weekday at 10 a.m. at hawkmania.com:
1. After rotating through three quarterbacks during the opening games of the season, Connor Cook will start at quarterback for Michigan State in Saturday’ s 11 a.m. game at Iowa.
Spartans coach Mark Dantonio looks for growth from the 6-foot-4 sophomore who has started the last three games for MSU.
“Connor is our quarterback. That has been settled,’’ Dantonio said. “What we’re looking for from him is to grow and gain experience as he goes. He had an opportunity to start for us at Notre Dame and we’ll be looking for him to build off of that.’’
2. Current forecasts call for somewhat blustery conditions Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, where temperatures are expected to fall into the upper 50s during the day and winds in excess of 20 miles per hour are likely.
That could play a role in the kicking game.
Michigan State brings one of the better punters in the league to the table in junior Mike Sadler, who averages 41.2 yards. He has punted 25 times through four games, the second-highest total in the league.
Sadler has ties to the Quad-Cities region. His father, Dave, grew up in Clinton and attended St. Ambrose in Davenport.
Mike Sadler grew up in the Grand Rapids, Mich., area, where he was one of the most highly-recruited prep punters in the nation.
3. Iowa has held each of its five opponents below its season rushing average.
Michigan State enters Saturday’s game averaging 187 yards per game on the ground, while the Hawkeyes have been allowing 79.2 rushing yards per game, a number which ranks seventh nationally.
The Hawkeye offense has converted 52.5 percent of its third-down plays, the 13th-best conversion rate in the country and the second-best effort in the Big Ten.
By comparison, the Spartans have been limiting opponents to a 21-percent conversion rate on third down which is the third-best defensive effort in the nation.
4. Iowa linebacker James Morris was named Wednesday as one of 170 candidates for 2013 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards.
The recognition places Morris among candidates on a list which will be whittled down to as many 16 recipients on Oct. 31 and each will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and vie as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the top-scholar athlete in college football.
To be considered, players must maintain a grade-point average of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
5. Hawkeye defensive end Dominic Alvis welcomes the idea of preparing for another strong running attack this week coming off a game which saw Iowa surrender 30 yards on the ground to a Minnesota team which had averaged 282.3 rushing yards per game.
“Michigan State is another good, tough team and they love that downhill running game, so we need to be ready for that again,’’ Alvis said. “That’s a part of it.’’
6. Iowa has topped 200 rushing yards in each of its five games this season.
That is the longest stretch of consecutive rushing performances of at least 200 yards since the Hawkeyes rushed for more than 200 yards in six straight games cover the final two games of the 1996 season and the first four games of the 1997 season.
During that stretch, Sedrick Shaw led Iowa to efforts of 227 yards at Minnesota and 217 yards vs. Texas in 1996 and Tavian Banks led the Hawkeyes’ to rushing totals of 379 vs. Northern Iowa, 408 vs. Tulsa, 233 at Iowa State and 219 vs. Illinois to open the 1997 season.
7. Of the 39 designed run plays Iowa ran a week ago, 22 went to the left side behind guard Conor Boffeli and tackle Brandon Scherff.
“You don’t really sense that during a game, you’re just moving from one play to the next,’’ Scherff said. “There are different responsibilities but you are just out there playing. When somebody mentioned that after last week’s game, I had no idea we went that direction that many times.’’
8. Among the four sacks Iowa recorded against Minnesota, two were the first recorded in the careers by Iowa players.
Nate Meier’s six-yard sack of Philip Nelson and Louis Trinca-Pasat’s six-yard sack, both in the second quarter, were the first recorded by the two Hawkeyes.
9. With 11 points Saturday, Hawkeye kicker Mike Meyer continued to climb on the Iowa career scoring and field goal charts.
Over the past two weeks, he moved past Kyle Schlicher and Tom Nichol and into the third spot on the career scoring list with 278 points. He is currently 12 points behind Rob Houghtlin for second on the chart. Nate Kaeding is Iowa’s career scoring leader with 373 points.
Meyer hit three field goals Saturday and moved past Schlicher into the third spot on that list with 53. He sits one field goal behind Houghtlin and is 14 behind Kaeding’s school record of 67.
10. Iowa is playing its 102nd homecoming game this weekend. The Hawkeyes are 55-41-5 all-time in homecoming games and have won their last four homecoming games.
The game is also Iowa’s designated Black and Gold Spirit Game, with fans seated in even-numbered sections encouraged to wear gold and fans in odd-numbered seating sections encouraged to wear black.