Iowa returned to the practice field Sunday, taking an early peak at Michigan following a bye week.
As the Hawkeyes begin working toward Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at Kinnick Stadium, the Hawkeye 10@10 begins another week of Hawkeye news and notes.
Appearing daily at 10 a.m. at hawkmania.com, here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Saturday’s win at Northwestern wasn’t much to look at for Michigan, but Wolverines coach Brady Hoke liked the fact that his team finally returned to positive yards.
Michigan rushed for 139 yards in the overtime win versus the Wildcats, the first time in three games the Wolverines managed positive yardage and they accomplished that despite leading rusher Fitzgerald Toussaint watching the game from the sidelines after missing most of the week’s practices with an injury.
Freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith combined for 120 yards on the ground, earning praise from Hoke.
“We want to score more, but everybody in the country would like to score more,’’ Hoke said. “We want (Green and Smith) to start to run the football more, but I would say that Fitz is still our tailback.’’
2. Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock isn’t sure if the brace he wore to protect a sprained left knee will become a part of his gear for the rest of the season.
“We’ll see,’’ Rudock said. “A lot of it will probably depend on how it feels. It feels pretty stable right now. I’ll see how it feels and we’ll go from there.’’
Rudock said the knee did not bother him as he competed in Iowa’s last game at Purdue.
3. Hawkeye offensive tackle Brett Van Sloten senses a more upbeat feel around Iowa practices than a year ago, when the team stumbled to six straight losses to end a 4-8 season.
“People’s attitude is a little more energetic now than it was last year and we’ve worked hard to make it that way,’’ Van Sloten said. “We did not want a repeat of what happened a year ago and that has been motivation for us since last season ended.’’
4. The Hawkeyes’ 1,939 rushing yards through 10 games this season are the most for an Iowa team since 2002 when Iowa had gained 2,055 yards at this point in the season.
The current rushing total is also the most for Iowa in any season since the Hawkeyes rushed for 2,453 yards in 2008.
5. Even former walk-ons have an award and Iowa kicker Mike Meyer is among 53 nominees for it.
The Burlsworth Trophy is presented to the outstanding player in college football who began his career as a walk-on.
It is named after former Arkansas player Brandon Burlsworth who walked on in 1994 and went on to earn all-American honors in 1998 but was killed in a car accident 11 days after being selected with the 63rd pick of the 1999 NFL draft by the Colts.
Meyer walked on at Iowa in 2010 and has been the Hawkeyes’ primary kicker for the past four seasons, becoming just the second Iowa player ever to total more than 300 career points. He holds the school record with an ongoing streak of 112 consecutive PAT kicks.
The Dubuque native has hit 14-of-17 field goal attempts and all 31 of his PAT tries.
6. Named last week as a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, Iowa linebacker James Morris is currently the only Big Ten player this season with at least 80 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.
The senior currently has 374 career tackles, two behind Fred Barr in sixth on the Hawkeye career charts.
7. Michigan has had its share of struggles moving the chains on third down.
The Wolverines have converted on just 54-of-132 opportunities, a point of emphasis as Michigan prepares for Iowa.
“It’s something we need to do a better job with,’’ coach Brady Hoke said. “We need to make more plays on third down and keep drives alive.’’
8. The only former Hawkeye to see the field elsewhere in college last week was Brendan Wegher.
He rushed for 44 yards on 13 carries for Morningside in its 51-13 win over Doane, the team’s final game before the start of NAIA playoffs.
9. In the NFL, former Hawkeye tight ends Scott Chandler and Dallas Clark each caught a pair of passes Sunday.
Chandler had 40 receiving yards for Buffalo in its win over Jets, while Clark covered 31 yards on a pair of receptions for the Ravens in their overtime loss at Chicago.
10. Two words of advice for fans heading to the final home game of the season at Kinnick Stadium – dress accordingly.
The current National Weather Service forecast for Iowa City on Saturday calls for a high temperature in the upper 20s under mostly sunny skies.