The timing of the second bye week of the season is allowing Hawkeye coaches to change the routine a bit this week and spend time recruiting.
The Hawkeye 10 @ 10 will go into a bye week break as well after today, but will return with your daily 10 a.m. game week dose of Hawkeye news and notes as preparations begin for the Michigan game.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Jake Rudock may be a Florida native, but Kirk Ferentz likes the way Iowa’s sophomore quarterback adapts to the weather.
The Hawkeyes dealt with winds gusting as high as 30 miles per hour last weekend at Purdue and Rudock responded by completing 12-of-20 passes.
“That’s tricky both ways, into it and with it. He just seems to handle whatever comes his way pretty adeptly. That was a really nice throw down there,’’ said Ferentz, referring to a 22-yard touchdown pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley which gave the Hawkeyes the lead.
2. Defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat credits defensive line assistant Reese Morgan with the growth of the Hawkeyes’ defense front this season.
“He’s constantly coaching us and getting us prepared,’’ Trinca-Pasat said. “Coach Morgan gives us confidence to go out and play football with confidence.’’
3. Hawkeye coaches will spend extra time recruiting this week.
That is one reason that coach Kirk Ferentz welcomes a rare second bye week of the season.
Unlike the bye week Iowa had in October, coaches will use time this week to recruit and as more and more high school players commit early, Ferentz sees a benefit to hitting the highway now.
“It gives us a little better chance maybe to get some things done without taking away from our football team,’’ Ferentz said. “We’ll do a little more of that than we did on our last bye week.’’
Iowa currently has 16 verbal commitments from players who expect to sign with the Hawkeyes in February, the earliest date that high school seniors can sign binding letters of intent. Ferentz expects Iowa to sign around 20 players in this year’s class.
4. Kevonte Martin-Manley found himself with a little extra motivation when he pulled in a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter Saturday.
After fumbling a punt which provided Purdue with an opportunity to tie the game at 7-7, Martin-Manley was on the receiving end of a catch which put Iowa ahead to stay.
“When you make a mistake like that, you know you have to get the next one and make up for it,’’ he said. “The concentration was definitely there. I let the next chance get by.’’
Mostly on a day when the Hawkeyes’ focus was centered on running the ball, Martin-Manley didn’t mind seeing the ball headed his way.
“It’s always good when the ball is in the area and you have a chance to get it,’’ he said. “I have to like that.’’
5. C.J. Beathard called an audible on his 5-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of Iowa’s 38-14 win Saturday at Purdue.
The redshirt freshman quarterback was supposed to run a quarterback sneak as the Hawkeyes attempted to work the clock on a 3rd-and-1 play late in the fourth quarter with a 31-7 lead.
Instead, Beathard spun and scored on a 5-yard bootleg play that extended the Iowa edge with 2 minutes, 48 seconds left in the game.
6. James Morris is one of 12 finalists for the 2013 Wuerffel Trophy, presented annually to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
The senior linebacker is a four-year starter who ranks eighth on Iowa’s career tackle charts with 374 stops. He has also been selected as one of 16 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athletes and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Morris is one of three Big Ten players selected as finalists, joining Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and Minnesota placekicker Chris Hawthorne.
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7. Tevin Coleman of Indiana, Randy Gregory of Nebraska and Chris Borland of Wisconsin were honored Monday as the Big Ten players of the week.
Coleman was named the offensive player of the week after rushing for a career-high 215 yards including touchdown runs of 75 and 64 yards in the Hoosiers’ win over Illinois.
Gregory and Borland shared defensive player of the week honors. Gregory had three sacks with helped the Cornhuskers hold Michigan to a minus-21 yards rushing while Borland returned from a hamstring injury to record 13 tackles and matched a career high with two sacks in a win over BYU.
Minnesota’s Peter Mortell was named the special teams player of the week after averaging 46 yards per punt and placing three inside the 20 in a win over Penn State, while quarterback Tommy Armstrong was named the freshman of the week after completing 5-of-7 passes for Nebraska on a 59-yard drive which led to the game-winning score at Michigan.
8. Nine teams are still in the running to earn at least a share of division titles in the Big Ten, including Iowa.
The Hawkeyes may be 3-3 and sitting in fourth place in the Legends, but every team with the exception of Northwestern remains mathematically alive to earn a share of the division title.
Michigan State, with a one-game lead on Nebraska, visits the Cornhuskers this weekend and the winner of that match-up will have the inside track to represent the division in the Big Ten championship game.
Because of its earlier win over Wisconsin, Ohio State essentially has a two-game lead over the Badgers for the title game spot representing the Leaders Division. Only Illinois and Purdue have been mathematically eliminated from a title share possibility in that division.
9. The starting time of Iowa’s next game has not yet been determined.
The Hawkeyes will host Michigan at Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 23 at either 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. The starting time will not be determined until after this week’s games are completed as television networks have opted to use a six-day pick clause in their contract for the week which will delay decisions on starting times for five of the six Big Ten games played that day.
The only start time which was announced Monday is for the Illinois-Purdue game that day. It will start at 11 a.m. and be televised by the Big Ten Network.
10. Iowa reached a program milestone with its win over Purdue.
The victory was the Hawkeyes’ 300th all-time in Big Ten play. Earlier this season, Iowa won the 600th game overall in the program’s history.