Growth at receiver, preparing to face a top punter and recalling last season’s loss to Purdue are among the topics in today’s Hawkeye 10@10, your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes.
Appearing each weekday at 10 a.m. at hawkmania.com, here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Don Shumpert grabbed a pair of critical passes last weekend against Wisconsin and is now among seven Hawkeyes who have caught at least 10 passes this season.
The senior has averaged 9.7 yards on his 10 receptions.
“Shump was kind of hobbled a little bit for a couple of weeks there, but last week he was able to practice full speed again and did a really nice job,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “He made a couple of nice grabs. We need everybody right now, we need seniors, freshmen, everybody.’’
2. The Hawkeyes are not spending a lot of time talking about the chance to become bowl eligible this week.
“Really, all we’re worried about is winning this week,’’ offensive lineman Brandon Scherff said. “That’s really the bottom line for us. Win this week. Then win next week. That’s the approach we are taking.’’
3. Iowa’s field position will be dictated in part Saturday by one of the nation’s top punters.
Purdue’s Cody Webster leads the Big Ten and ranks 10th nationally with an average of 44.8 yards per punt and with the struggles the Boilermakers have had on offense this season, he has had plenty of practice.
Webster’s 49 punts are the most of any team in the Big Ten and he has placed 18 attempts inside the 20-yard line and has covered 50 or more yards 13 times.
4. Linebacker James Morris hasn’t forgotten the sting of Purdue’s 27-24 win at Iowa a year ago, one of two games the Hawkeyes lost on last-second field goals as part the trials of a 4-8 season.
“It was part of a very difficult time for our program that we have worked hard to turnaround since last November,’’ Morris said. “Our focus is on moving forward, because we can’t change what happened. We’ve tried to learn from those experiences so that we do not repeat them.’’
5. Purdue is starting three true freshmen and sent 18 freshmen onto the field last week against Ohio State.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said that doesn’t change the degree of difficulty in preparation this week.
“There is a lot of give and take there, so I’m sure they’re going through that, too,’’ he said. “We have to be ready for their best.’’
6. With receptions in 27 consecutive games, Iowa senior C.J. Fiedorowicz ranks second among active tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Only Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, with catches in 33 straight games, has a longer streak.
Fiedorowicz has 77 catches for 337 yards over that 27-game stretch.
7. Quarterback Danny Etling arrived at Purdue in January with some lofty credentials.
The four-star recruit is the first true freshman to start for the Boilermakers at the position since Sean Robinson opened at quarterback in 2010 and is just the second since Brandon Kirsch in 2002.
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It’s been a rough debut for Etling, who made his first start on Oct. 12 against Nebraska. He has completed 60-of-128 passes for 674 yards for three touchdowns. He has been intercepted five times.
8. Iowa continues to expect to be at full strength Saturday.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said during his radio call-in show Wednesday night that quarterback Jake Rudock and running back Mark Weisman should be good to go against Purdue after leaving last week’s game against Wisconsin because of injury.
Both were expected to return to the practice field earlier this week and Ferentz said he expects both to play against the Boilermakers.
9. Iowa has won twice at Ross-Ade Stadium since 1991.
The Hawkeyes defeated Purdue there two years ago 31-21 and won in 2005 by a 34-17 score, giving Iowa a 2-4-1 record in their last seven visits including a 21-21 tie in 1994 that was the last tie game the Hawkeyes played before college football instituted an overtime procedure.
10. In an attempt to engage fans, Purdue has implemented two activities to involve the public prior to games.
The Boiler Bridge Walk gives fans a chance to meet and greet players on Fridays before home games. Players and coaches take part in a walk across a pedestrian bridge across the Wabash River in downtown Lafayette.
On game days, coach Darrell Hazell joins the Purdue marching band, cheerleaders and mascot at the 211 Session, a rally of sorts that begins 2 hours, 11 minutes before kickoff at nearby Mackey Arena.