Iowa turns its attention on the practice field today to Purdue as Damon Bullock nears a career milestone and the Boilermakers search for a way to end endless string of sacks freshman quarterback Danny Etling has taken.
All are part of today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes which appears each weekday at 10 a.m. at hawkmania.com.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said following the Wisconsin game that he played the percentages when he opted to punt at the end of the first quarter instead of letting Mike Meyer attempt what would have been a 52-yard field goal with the wind.
“The percentages weren’t real great there,’’ Ferentz said. “The thought process was pretty much that we had played with pretty good field position at that point and if we could give them a long field I thought that would be the best deal.’’
Connor Kornbrath pinned the Badgers deep, giving Wisconsin the ball at their own 8-yard line. The drive stalled at the 30, where the Badgers’ punted and Iowa answered with its longest drive of the game, a 13-play, 66-yard effort which resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Meyer.
2. Tanner Miller helped Iowa get off to a tone-setting start Saturday.
The senior safety’s interception three plays into the game was the third of the season for Miller, who seemingly had all day to wait for Joel Stave’s wounded duck to return to Earth.
“They were trying to go to (Jared) Abbrederis there on a wheel route and I didn’t really slide. I took off to his side,’’ Miller said. “I didn’t know if someone had gotten to the quarterback or he got hit or whatever. I turned around and looked to see if the ball was coming and it was up there floating. I had to put on the brakes and it kind of fell into my lap.’’
3. With Chris Borland sidelined, Wisconsin moved Marcus Trotter into the starting middle linebacker spot Saturday against Iowa and he responded by leading the team with nine tackles.
“It was Marcus’ moment,’’ Badgers coach Gary Andersen said. “It’s a credit to the way he prepared. He obviously lived in the moment. That doesn’t just happen.’’
4. Hawkeye running back Damon Bullock is 97 yards away from becoming the 44th player in Hawkeye history to rush for 1,000 career yards.
Bullock enters this weekend’s game with 903 yards on 244 carries.
Junior Mark Weisman passed that plateau earlier this season.
Only eight programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision have produced more 1,000-yard rushers than Iowa has produced.
5. It’s been a rough ride for Purdue’s true freshman starting quarterback, Danny Etling.
He was sacked six times last weekend by the Ohio State defense has been dropped for losses 19 times since taking over the starting quarterback’s job during the Boilermakers’ loss to Northern Illinois on Sept. 28.
On Saturday against the Buckeyes, he completed 13-of-29 passes for 89 yards while directing an offense which totaled just 116 yards.
6. There are no changes on the Iowa depth chart for Saturday’s game with Purdue.
Quarterback Jake Rudock, running back Mark Weisman and offensive guard Jordan Walsh all left last weekend’s game with Wisconsin because of injuries, but each is listed at the top of the depth chart at their position this week. Weisman continues to share the top spot with Damon Bullock.
7. Denied a successful 54-yard field goal after Iowa called a timeout and then unsuccessful after being iced with two more timeouts, Wisconsin kicker Jack Russell tried to spin things positively following Saturday’s game.
“I was pretty excited after I made that first one and then I heard the whistles blow,’’ Russell said. “It felt good that I was able to make the field goal in that situation and prove to myself I can do it.’’
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Russell was making his first start against Iowa, but sent the kick that counted low and to the right in his only field goal attempt of the day.
He said he got too far under the ball on the miss at the end of the second quarter.
8. To the winners go the spoils. This week’s Big Ten players of the week all played for winning teams last Saturday.
On offense, Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson and Penn State running back Bill Belton shared the award.
Nelson threw four touchdown passes and passed for 309 yards in the Gophers’ 42-39 win at Indiana while Belton rushed for a career-high 201 yards and scored a touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ 24-17 overtime win over Illinois. Belton is the first Penn State back since Larry Johnson in 2002 to top 200 yards in a game.
Michigan State’s Denicos Allen is the Big Ten defensive player of the week after he recorded nine tackles, including three for a loss and two sacks, in the Spartans’ win over Michigan.
The special teams player of the week is Minnesota punter Peter Mortell, who averaged 43 yards and dropped two inside the 20-yard line against Indiana, while Nebraska’s Jordan Westerkamp is the freshman of the week. The Cornhuskers’ receiver from Lombard Montini caught four passes for 104 yards, including the game-winning 49-yard reception.
9. Iowa’s four losses this season are to teams which have a combined record of 32-3.
Two Hawkeye opponents, Northern Illinois and Ohio State, remain undefeated, while Michigan State has one loss and Wisconsin two.
10. Injuries have impacted Purdue’s recent performances.
In Saturday’s loss to Ohio State, the Boilermakers were without starting left guard Devin Smith, who was sidelined by mononucleosis, while a shoulder injury kept defensive end/linebacker Jalani Phillips off the field and defensive tackle Ryan Watson sat with a hamstring injury.
On Monday, coach Darrell Hazell said that cornerback Normando Harris is listed as questionable after suffering both a thigh bruise and an ankle sprain on the same play in the Ohio State loss.