Welcome to the hump day edition of the Hawkeye 10 @10, your daily dose of Iowa football news, notes and information.
The 10 @ 10 appears weekdays at approximately 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, updating you on the Hawkeyes, the Big Ten and Iowa’s upcoming opponents.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Iowa’s effort against Northern Iowa last week started on the practice field. Hawkeye after Hawkeye said Tuesday that a crisp week of practice translated into improved performance on the field against the Panthers.
“The difference to me last week was Thursday,’’ center James Ferentz said. “That’s a big mental day after most of the physical work is done. We came out Thursday and we were crisp. Guys knew their assignments and what needed to be done. That made a huge difference Saturday because you earn that confidence during the week.’’
2. Iowa’s opponent this week, Central Michigan, is coming off of a bye week which followed a 41-7 loss to Michigan State.
Chippewas coach Dan Enos said the bye came at a good time for his team.
“I wanted our guys to get a chance to get fresh, get physically ready for our next stretch of games,’’ Enos said. “We had a good week of practice, good weight room sessions and we took care of some academic work.’’
Enos said the extra time allowed Central Michigan to get a jumpstart on preparations for the Hawkeyes.
3. The Hawkeyes will face a disciplined Central Michigan team on Saturday.
The Chippewas have not been penalized once in their two games this season.
4. C.J. Fiedorowicz is changing the way opponents defend the Hawkeyes and coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.
“When you have a guy who is 6-6, 6-7, he’s a big guy, 260 plus, and runs pretty well, it attracts attention,’’ Ferentz said. “You know, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but if you look at us right now who would you defend if you’re playing us? That’s what we are working on, developing guys that you have to defend. I think we’re on the right path.’’
Ferentz said the more Hawkeyes who touch the ball probably is an approach which works to Iowa’s favor.
“If C.J. is not one of those guys they have to defend, then we are going to be in trouble. We really need him to be a featured guy, but the ball goes where it needs to go based on how teams play us. When we call on him, we really need him and he’s done some good things.’’
5. Iowa’s search for a No. 3 receiver remains a work in progress, Ferentz said during his Tuesday news conference.
Ferentz liked the growth he saw from Kevonte Martin-Manley and Keenan Davis, but said the Hawkeyes are looking to establish a consistent No. 3.
“It was good to see Kevonte get involved, so that was good. Keenan had two really nice third-down catches,’’ Ferentz said. “So, you know, you’ve got (Don) Shumpert, and Jordan (Cotton) jumped in there, had a nice third-down catch. We’ve got the help wanted sign up, no doubt about that.’’
6. Central Michigan has an effective rushing attack, which is led by Zurlon Tipton.
He averages 123.5 yards per game on the ground, part of an average of 198 yards rushing the Chippewas have averaged in their first two games.
Tipton works behind an offensive line which includes three seniors who have a combined 74 starts between them.
7. The way Iowa adjusts what it is doing during the course of games impresses Central Michigan coach Dan Enos.
“They always have been good at making adjustments based on what they’re seeing and we go into this week knowing that,’’ Enos said. “I feel like we have a good plan, a blueprint, but we need to be ready to go in and execute it as well. That’s what we are working on now.’’
8. Iowa’s desire to work more quickly on offense is making a difference this season.
Through three games, the Hawkeyes have averaged 74.3 offensive plays per game. In 2011, the Iowa offense took an average of 53 snaps per game.
In last week’s game against Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes ran 71 plays.
9. Mark Weisman’s three touchdowns against Northern Iowa last week were the most rushes for a score by a Hawkeye in a single game since Adam Robinson ran for three touchdowns against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 4, 2010.
10. Several hundred tickets remain for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game.
Tickets can be ordered through the Iowa athletic ticket office or online at hawkeyesports.com