A game with a winless Western Michigan football team separates Iowa from the start of Big Ten play. Today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10 isn’t looking ahead, though, providing you with your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com throughout the football season.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. This season has been a bit of learning experience for Western Michigan and its first-year head coach, P.J. Fleck.
The Broncos have opened the season by playing three of their first four games against Big Ten competition and Fleck said facing Michigan State and Northwestern in addition to Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at Iowa is forcing his team to improve.
“If we could get one of the Big Ten’s bowl slots, it would be a good tradeoff for us,’’ Fleck said. “Pound for pound, this has to be one of the toughest nonconference schedules anyone is playing but we’re taking on the challenge. It’s great to get to play on the Big Ten Network, it’s great to play Big Ten teams and it is definitely getting us ready for anything we’re going to see.’’
Fleck, 32, is the youngest coach in FBS football, and his team is off to an 0-3 start, losing to Nicholls State at home in addition to its two losses to Big Ten teams.
“I feel like we’re making strides, and we’re getting better on a daily basis,’’ Fleck said.
The Northern Illinois alum was hired at Western Michigan after spending 2012 as a wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2. Mark Weisman’s 35 carries on Saturday against Iowa State are believed to be the sixth most by a Hawkeye running back in a single game.
Game-by-game records get a bit sketchy further back in time, but Sedrick Shaw topped 40 carries twice in his career, running 42 times for 250 yards in a 1995 game against Michigan State and 41 times a month later during a 214-yard effort against Wisconsin.
Dennis Mosley rushed 39 times in a 1979 game against Iowa State, Albert Young ran 38 times in 2005 against Northwestern and Eddie Phillips gained 198 yards on 36 carries against Minnesota in 1981.
3. College Sports Madness named Hawkeye senior linebacker Anthony Hitchens as its Big Ten defensive player of the week for his work against Iowa State.
Hitchens had 10 tackles, including one for a loss, in helping the Hawkeyes hold Iowa State to 59 rushing yards last week.
Through three games, Hitchens leads Iowa with 31 tackles including three tackles for a loss, one sack and one pass break up.
4. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said Monday he felt his team did a solid job tackling against the Hawkeyes.
“We missed eight tackles the entire game and that’s great tackling, much improved from where we were in week one,’’ Rhoads said. “We put on the pads and tackle in drills and in individual work and it paid off.’’
5. The Hawkeyes continue to work to develop a more effective pass rush.
Iowa got to ISU quarterback Sam Richardson once – Carl Davis recorded the Hawkeyes’ second sack of the season – but the Hawkeyes are making things uncomfortable for opposing offenses even when they don’t get to the quarterback.
“That’s still the one thing we still probably lack the most,’’ defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat said. “We need to get even more pressure on the quarterback and we’re working on it.’’
6. Ohio State’s Kenny Guiton and Ryan Shazier were named Monday as the Big Ten offensive and defensive players of the week for their work in the Buckeyes’ at California.
Guiton, starting in place of injured Braxton Miller, completed 21-of-32 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start, while Shazier counted 10 solo tackles among 12 stops, forced a fumble and recovered a sack in the win.
Illinois junior Justin DuVernois, a prep teammate of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock, was named the Big Ten special teams player of the week. He averaged 45.2 yards on five punts and placed three inside the 20 during the Illini’s 34-24 loss to Washington.
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was named the league’s freshman of the week for the second time in three weeks. He completed 21-of-28 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown in the Nittany Lions’ loss to Central Florida.
7. Former Hawkeye defensive back Charles Godfrey saw his season end for Carolina on Sunday in the NFL.
Godfrey ruptured his Achilles while breaking up a pass in the end zone for the Panthers, an injury which will cost him the rest of his season.
8. Bettendorf’s Pat Angerer is returning to his old self for Indianapolis.
Rebounding strongly following foot surgery, the former Hawkeye linebacker recorded 11 tackles Sunday for the Colts in a loss to Miami, matching the production that Chad Greenway had for Minnesota in its loss to Chicago.
Highlights elsewhere in the NFL among former Hawkeyes, Brandon Myers had six catches for 74 yards and Scott Chandler recorded three receptions for Buffalo on Sunday and Adrian Clayborn finished with five tackles.
9. Television plans for Iowa’s Sept. 28 game at Minnesota have been set.
The 2:30 p.m. Big Ten opener will be televised regionally by ABC and will air on ESPN2 in outlying markets, generally outside of the Big Ten region.
10. Fewer than 5,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Western Michigan.
Iowa is again offering $25 youth tickets for its final nonconference game, the last time this season the discounted tickets are expected to be available for youths under the age of 18.