Nate Stanley’s having a blast, and the Hawkeyes are reaping rewards for their efforts against Ohio State as the Buckeyes try to pinpoint just what went wrong.
All that and more are part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10, your daily dose of Iowa news and notes.
1. Football is fun – at least that’s how Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley sees it.
The sophomore said following Saturday’s 55-24 win over Ohio State that he has tried to maintain the same approach for each of the nine games he has started for the Hawkeyes.
“I think you play your best when you’re having fun,’’ Stanley said. “I’ve had a great time all year. When you can just go out and play and not worry about the pressure or the circumstances around you, that’s really when you can come out and excel.’’
He’ll be tested again in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game at sixth-ranked Wisconsin.
Against the four opponents Iowa has played this season that are currently ranked in the Associated Press poll – Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa State – Stanley has stated his case.
He has thrown 12 touchdowns passes, has not been intercepted and has passed for an average of 236.8 yards in those four games.
2. If it isn’t broke, why fix it?
Following last weekend’s 55-24 pounding of Ohio State and with no injury issues from that game, the depth chart Iowa released Monday for the Wisconsin game contains no changes from the previous week.
That is the first time this season there hasn’t been at least one change on two-deep roster.
3. Wisconsin finds itself making some changes this week with leading receiver Quintez Cephus sidelined by a leg injury that forced him off the field during last week’s game at Indiana.
Coach Paul Chryst said Monday that the Badgers will miss Cephus, ninth in the Big Ten with an average of 55.7 receiving yards per game, in more ways than one during what he calls a breakthrough season.
“We’ll miss Cephus for whatever amount of time he will be out,’’ Chryst said. “Other guys will need to step up in his place.’’
Chryst said there will still be a role for Cephus over the next few weeks.
“He brings a lot of energy to our team and he’ll still do that the best he can, but it will be different,’’ Chryst said. “He brought a ton to our offensive team.’’
4. Iowa was named Monday by the Football Writers Association of America as its national team of the week.
The recognition for the Hawkeyes’ 31-point victory over Ohio State comes after Iowa collected the most points it has ever scored against Ohio State in 65 games between the teams.
The Hawkeyes held Ohio State 22 points below its scoring average and 200 yards below its season average for total offense.
The team of the week honor is the third for Iowa from the FWAA since 2002.
The Hawkeyes were the team of the week following a 37-6 win over fifth-ranked Michigan State in 2010 and after a 24-23 win over Penn State in 2008.
5. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley was named Monday as the Rose Bowl Big Ten player of the week for his work in the Hawkeyes’ 55-24 win over Ohio State.
The bowl recognizes one player from both the Big Ten and Pac-12 each week and the Hawkeye sophomore was honored for throwing five touchdown passes as part of a 20-of-31 day covering 226 yards.
6. Take your pick – Kirk Ferentz has a difficult time selecting his favorite from among Josh Jackson’s three interceptions in Saturday’s win over Ohio State.
“That last one was kind of a B.J. Lowery moment (a reference to his one-handed interception against Iowa State in 2013), right? Very, very similar. But the one in the middle where he fought for that ball and took it out probably represented the kind of effort we needed to win.
“We knew we had to compete, and it was a great effort by (Jackson). All three of those, you come up with four turnovers like that, four picks (including Amani Hooker’s game-opening pick six), that’s pretty good.’’
7. Josh Jackson continues to lead the nation with 20 passes defended – five interceptions and 15 break ups – and his work against Ohio State leaves the junior cornerback tied for second nationally interceptions.
Teammates struggle to answer why opponents continue to throw Jackson’s way.
“I don’t get it,’’ linebacker Josey Jewell said.
8. Akrum Wadley is nearing an opportunity to make a quick climb up the Iowa career rushing charts.
His 118-yard effort against Ohio State gives the senior 2,524 yards as the Hawkeyes work toward Saturday’s game at Wisconsin.
Currently sitting in ninth on Iowa’s career list, Wadley is 32 yards behind Owen Gill, 38 yards behind Tony Stewart and 78 yards behind Mark Weisman, who is currently sixth on the list with 2,602 yards. Fred Russell holds the fifth spot with 2,760 yards.
9. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer credited Iowa’s performance with creating most of the Buckeyes’ problems on Saturday, but said his team created some of its own issues.
During his weekly news conference Monday, Meyer pointed to costly penalties and an inability to get off the field on third down as his team’s biggest issues.
“I think there were some miscues, too,’’ he said. “We didn’t play very well, so when you see that type of thing you don’t want to just say it’s all miscues. It’s the week before there weren’t miscues and there were this week. Now the question you have to ask is why. It’s not so much the how, but the why did it happen? Are we not practicing? Have we got the right people playing? All those types of things.’’
10. If you are waiting to find out when Iowa’s final home game of the season will start, you will have to wait a while longer.
The Big Ten’s television partners have opted to use a six-day pick allowed in their contract for games played on Nov. 18, meaning that the starting time for the Hawkeyes’ game against Purdue at Kinnick Stadium will not be set until after this week’s games are played.
Most likely, it will be determined sometime Saturday night.
It is known that the game will kick at either 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. There are no primetime slots for Big Ten games on Nov. 18.