Fans are being encouraged to show their true stripes at Saturday’s Iowa homecoming game – wearing gold if you sit in even-numbered sections and black if your seat location is in an odd-numbered section as part of Black and Gold Spirit Day at Kinnick Stadium.
If you have any questions about what to wear – or about anything else for that matter – you are encouraged to participate in a 2 p.m. live chat here today once you’ve worked your way through today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10.
Here is your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes, something you can count on each weekday at 10 a.m. at hawkmania.com:
1. Connor Cook has made just one start and saw only limited time before that, limiting the amount of tape Iowa coaches and players have to work with when it comes to preparing for the Michigan State quarterback.
“It makes a little more difficult, but we can see what he does on tape and as a team, it looks like they are doing a lot of the same things,’’ linebacker James Morris said.
Coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t see a huge difference in the approach the Spartans are taking offensively as he watches the quarterbacks work.
“It appears that is who they have settled in with, and that’s who we are going to see. Not a huge change and I don’t think it will be a huge change for them philosophically, so that’s the good news,’’ Ferentz said.
As for the limited information, Ferentz said, “You go with what you see, so you go with the tape you have.’’
2. Iowa has cleaned up its act.
The Hawkeyes have been flagged a total of 10 times since being penalized 11 times in a second-game win over Missouri State.
Last week at Minnesota, Iowa was penalized just once.
“In general terms, penalties are usually a lack of ability or a lack of concentration or technique,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The ability ones you can’t do anything about and usually concentration and technique are tied together. I would say that one game just equated to where we were as a team at that point.’’
3. If Iowa is going to have a chance to slow the Michigan State rushing attack, it will start on the practice field.
That is where offensive tackle Brandon Scherff said the Hawkeyes’ success against Minnesota started a week ago, long before Iowa hopped on a plane for the Twin Cities.
“Last week, we had a good week of preparation and that is where it has to start,’’ Scherff said. “I thought we had two good practices and then Thursday, our shell day, it was more of a thinking game from a technique standpoint. I thought we had a good day, just coming in here and helping each other. It led to some good things that carried over, but I think we all know we have a long way to go.’’
4. The Iowa and Michigan State series has been known for its close games in recent seasons, something Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio believes to the result of similar philosophies within the two programs.
“I think we value some of the same things collectively as football coaches,’’ Dantonio said. “Four of the six games we’ve had with them have been extremely close, so that’s the nature of it. That is what you would expect and why the attention to detail in the inches makes a difference.’’
5. Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock said execution in the red zone has become a priority for Iowa this week.
The Hawkeyes have scored touchdowns just 11 times on the 23 occasions they have snapped the ball inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season, settling for field goals on five other occasions.
“This game is about finishing drives, and that is something we haven’t done a good job at this season,’’ Rudock said. “The objective of the game is to get into the end zone and we haven’t done that consistently enough to this point.’’
Iowa ranks 11th in the Big Ten in converting its red zone opportunities. Only Purdue, with a 62.5 percent success rate, sits below Iowa’s rate of 69.6 percent on the Big Ten red zone conversion charts.
6. Iowa linebacker James Morris suspects that it is just a matter of time before a Hawkeye opponent scores a rushing touchdown this season.
That’s one reason the senior is getting too caught up in the notion that Iowa and Michigan are the only FBS teams that have not allowed a rushing score in 2013.
“It’s a long season and at some point, it’s bound to happen,’’ Morris said. “I hope it doesn’t, but the reality is that it likely will and when it does, we can’t get caught up in it. We just have to keep playing football.’’
7. Defensive tackle Carl Davis was recruited by Michigan State coming out of high school in Sterling Heights, Mich., but said he felt more comfortable with the Iowa coaches who recruited him.
“They were in my high school (Stevenson) quite a bit and recruited me pretty hard and Michigan State is a good school, but this is where I wanted to be,’’ Davis said. “I felt like this was the right spot at the right time for me.’’
8. Henry Tippie will be the grand marshal for Iowa’s annual homecoming parade which is scheduled for tonight in downtown Iowa City.
The parade will begin at 5:45 p.m. and will be followed by a coronation of homecoming royalty and a free concert on the Pentacrest lawn.
9. Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands is scheduled to be the featured speaker at Monday’s Davenport Grid Club luncheon.
The Hawkeye coach will join Quad-City area college and Mississippi Athletic Conference high school football coaches on the program for the noon luncheon at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1111 W. 35th St., Davenport.
Tickets, which include a buffet luncheon, are priced at $9 each and can be purchased at the door. The Grid Club luncheons are open to the public.
10. If you want a sneak peak at what Tom Brands will be working with this season, you will have a chance Saturday.
The Hawkeye wrestlers will be holding a common time workout that is open to the public starting shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday in the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.