Kreiter keeps quiet: Casey Kreiter has enjoyed the type of sophomore season he was hoping for as the Iowa football team’s first-year long snapper.
It’s been a quiet, and consistent, season for the Central DeWitt graduate.
“I’ve had some friends wonder why my name doesn’t show up more often in the paper, but I tell them that’s the way it’s supposed to work in this job. The less people notice you, the better,” Kreiter said as the Hawkeyes neared the end of preparations for today’s Insight Bowl.
“It’s been a good start from that perspective. Pretty quiet, pretty uneventful. I hope it stays that way.”
Kreiter said he has experienced a few growing pains.
“There have been a couple of times when (punter Eric Guthrie) has bailed me out, but we’ve worked pretty well together. It’s been a good season and it has been good to have a bigger role this year. It’s been a great experience for me.”
It has also has validated Kreiter’s decision to walk on at Iowa.
“I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could compete at this level and while I know I can continue to work to become more consistent, I feel like I’ve proven to myself that this was the best thing for me,” Kreiter said. “I’m looking forward to building on this.”
Under the weather: The Hawkeyes are dealing with some illness as they prepare for today’s game.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said Thursday that starting offensive tackle Markus Zusevics missed Wednesday’s workout because a flu-like illness, but returned for Thursday sessions. He said one other Hawkeye, who he declined to identify, missed the afternoon walk-through at Sun Devil Stadium because of illness.
Ferentz did say that tight ends Brad Herman and Roy Hamilton and linebacker Quinton Alston will miss the game against Oklahoma because of injuries. Herman, a three-game starter, is sidelined because of an sprained foot.
Starting nod: He’s been listed as the second-team running back all season, but Jason White drew at least one starting assignment for Iowa.
At a bowl media event where both teams brought starters, White was the lone Hawkeyes tailback brought to field questions from reporters.
“I’m not reading anything to it,” White said, adding, “but I’ll be ready to do anything they need me to do.”
Ferentz repeated Thursday that Iowa will use a collection of backs against the Sooners, opting to not pinpoint a starter.
“We have a lot of young guys, (Jordan) Canzeri, (Damon) Bullock, who bring a lot to the table,” White said. “They are going to help us. I think a lot of guys are going to get a chance.”
Remembering a teammate: Safety Tony Jefferson will wear No. 12 for Oklahoma tonight, part of a season-long tribute by the Sooners to a teammate who died in May.
Defensive captain Travis Lewis selects one player each week to wear the jersey number worn by Austin Box, who died in May after an overdose of painkillers. Jefferson learned he had been chosen to wear the jersey during Wednesday’s Insight Bowl media day.
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“It’s a way for us to keep Austin with us whenever we compete,” Jefferson said. “It means a lot, especially in our last game.”
Remembering a mentor: Both Ferentz and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops heaped praise on the influence former Hawkeyes defensive coordinator Bill Brashier had on their coaching careers.
“I’m not certain that I have ever worked with a better coach than Bill Brashier and I can say the same thing about Norm Parker,” Ferentz said. “They are both tremendous individuals.”
Laid-back Hawkeyes?: Oklahoma cornerback Demontre Hurst said Iowa presents a “laid-back” challenge for the Sooners secondary.
After chasing around the pass-heavy quarterbacks of the Big 12, Oklahoma players say they respect Iowa’s passing game but believe the Hawkeyes will bring a run-first mentality to the field tonight.
“It’s kind of laid back,” Hurst said. “Iowa runs its offense pretty much every game. It’s who they are. They do a lot of things, so we have to stay ready, but I think their preference is to run the football.”
That’s fine with defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland.
“We can just play our defense, play gap football,” McFarland said. “Coach has spent a lot of time talking about that.”