Anthony Hitchens discusses his early exit from last week’s Purdue game in today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes. 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. Anthony Hitchens may lead the Big Ten in tackles, but the Hawkeye linebacker learned Saturday that performance matters.
Hitchens had eight tackles for Iowa in its game with Purdue, but he spent most of the second half on the sidelines, pulled from the game by Iowa coaches because of a lack of consistency in his play.
“It just shows me that I’m not where everyone thinks I’m at. I’ve still got to improve,’’ Hitchens said.
Hitchens said he missed coverage responsibilities on several occasions against the Boilermakers, leading to big plays and a coach’s decision to pull the junior.
“It was a tough day. I made some mistakes and I’ll learn from it,’’ Hitchens said. “I’m accountable, just like every other player on the team.’’
2. As Iowa returns to the practice field this week, the Hawkeyes will attempt to do something no Michigan opponent has done since Brady Hoke’s arrival on the sideline in Ann Arbor – beat the Wolverines.
Michigan is 13-0 in home games during Hoke’s two seasons as the head coach.
3. Iowa’s injury report hasn’t changed much in the past week.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that he anticipates Mark Weisman and Brad Rogers missing Saturday’s game at Michigan.
He said Rogers may have an outside chance of contributing on special teams.
Weisman, who like Rogers has missed the last three games, with injuries, continues to work his way back from a groin pull.
“It’s one of those things where we’re day to day, and even if it looks like’s going to play, you can’t count on him,’’ Ferentz said.
Starting defensive end Joe Gaglione, who was ill late last week, has returned to practice.
4. The Hawkeyes are preparing to play another offense which has thrived with big plays.
Michigan has totaled 29 plays of 30 yards or more – the most of any Big Ten team – and has 19 plays of 40 yards or more.
The Wolverines lead the conference with 14 rushing plays of 30-plus yards and nine of 40-plus yards and Michigan leads the league with 10 passing plays of at least 40 yards.
5. Michigan enters Saturday’s game with plenty to play on the line.
With two games remaining, the Wolverines are tied for the first in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, although Nebraska owns the tiebreaker.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said his team has done a good job of not getting caught up in the race for a spot in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.
“I never hear anything but who’s next, who the next opponent is,’’ Hoke said. “I think they know that they’ve got to take care of business. To achieve greatness, you have got to put yourself in a position to take care of your business first.’’
6. Lately, it seems like Iowa has been preparing for the potential to face multiple quarterbacks on a regular basis.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said this one is a bit different, because there are some similarities between injured Denard Robinson and his recent replacement, Devin Gardner.
“Robinson is so quick and elusive, so there will be more designed runs with him in there,’’ Ferentz said. “It’s like trying to play a guy who’s a good running back who also can throw it back there. Gardner is a little bigger guy, but he can run it, too, and when he gets outside he’s dangerous.’’
The possibility of a return by Robinson is listed as day-to-day by Michigan coaches.
7. Senior cornerback Micah Hyde received honorable mention defensive back of the week honors from the College Football Performance Awards for his work against Purdue.
Hyde had 11 tackles, returned a fumble for a touchdown and deflected a pass against the Boilermakers.
8. Iowa’s most recent victory over a rated opponent on the road have come against the Wolverines.
The Hawkeyes defeated a 24th-rated Michigan team in Ann Arbor by a 38-28 score on Oct. 16, 2010.
Michigan enters Saturday’s 11 a.m. game ranked 23rd in this week’s Associated Press poll.
9. The silver helmets worn by Iowa in Saturday’s loss to Purdue are now being sold.
Priced at $350 each, the helmets are currently available on eBay. Marketed by the eBay arm of University of Iowa Surplus, only helmets that were part of a special uniform worn as a Veteran’s Day weekend tribute to the military are available. As of midday Monday, nine had been sold.
The announcement indicates that the Nike Pro Combat uniforms worn by the Hawkeyes will not be available in a similar fashion.
10. Former Hawkeye Jeff Tarpinian, released by New England on Monday, was re-signed by the organization to its practice squad on Tuesday.