It was kicker Miguel Recinos’ call for Iowa to attempt what proved to be a successful onside kick against Illinois on Saturday.
Add that to George Kittle’s first NFL touchdown catch, a game-deciding grab for Jerminic Smith and a countdown of true freshmen to play for Iowa this season, and it is a busy Monday in today’s Hawkeye 10@10, your daily dose of Iowa news and notes.
1. Miguel Recinos made the call on the field Saturday to execute Iowa’s successful onside kick during the opening quarter of the Hawkeyes’ 45-16 win over Illinois.
“It’s something we’ve been working on. When we were watching film on them, we saw a favorable look and when I saw it, I was like, ‘Alright, gotta do it,’’ Recinos said.
The junior kicker delivered the signal and dribbled the ball past the right side of the Illini’s front-line returners where true freshman Matt Hankins recovered it.
Recinos felt he might have hit the ball too hard, but changed his mind when Hankins recovered.
“It was relief and happiness at the same time,’’ Recinos said.
2. Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse said the Hawkeyes have some work to do this week after allowing Illinois to rush for a season-high 204 yards against Iowa.
The Illini, who entered the game running for an average of 106 yards, averaged 6.7 yards per carry.
“The consistency wasn’t there,’’ Hesse said. “We were up and down all day, especially in the first half. I think a lot of us, myself included, don’t feel very good about the way we played. We know we need to be better.’’
3. Sophomore Garret Jansen saw the most extensive action of his Hawkeye career when he replaced injured Nathan Bazata in the second quarter on Saturday.
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Pella, Iowa, played most of the second half as Bazata dealt with what Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz labeled a minor injury.
“I played a little bit last year, but not at such a significant position or in a significant role in the game,’’ Jansen said. “It felt great to be out there and contribute.’’
4. Jack Hockaday stepped in for Josey Jewell when the senior linebacker left Saturday’s game in the second quarter and briefly headed to the locker room with a shoulder injury.
Jewell called it no big deal and returned to record his third straight double-digit tackle performance, finishing with 10 against the Fighting Illini.
“With the bye week, it’s no big deal,’’ Jewell said. “It’s all good.’’
5. Alaric Jackson was doing his own thing Saturday from the left tackle spot but the redshirt freshman likes what he sees from true freshman Tristan Wirfs, who made his starting debut at right tackle against Illinois.
“He’s way ahead of his time,’’ Jackson said. “He’s out there giving it 100 percent, and he caught on really quickly. He’s doing really well.’’
6. Punter Ryan Gersonde became the 10th true freshman to see action this season for Iowa this season when he punted three times for an average of 37.7 yards in the second half of Saturday’s win over Illinois.
The other true freshmen to see playing time for Iowa this year are Noah Clayberg, Max Cooper, A.J. Epenesa, Matt Hankins, Ivory Kelly-Martin, Brandon Smith, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Geno Stone and Tristan Wirfs.
7. George Kittle’s first career touchdown pass, another pick for Micah Hyde and a return to action for Anthony Hitchens was as good as it got Sunday for former Hawkeyes in NFL play.
Kittle caught seven passes for 83 yards for San Francisco, including a five-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of regulation to force overtime in the 49ers’ loss to Indianapolis.
Hyde had two tackles and four assists to go with an interception for Buffalo in its loss to Cincinnati and Hitchens saw his first action of the season for Dallas, recording three tackles and three assists in a loss to Green Bay.
Mike Daniels finished with three tackles for the Packers in that game.
Elsewhere, Christian Kirksey had four tackles for Cleveland in its loss to the Jets and Desmond King recorded one tackle for the Chargers in a win over the Giants.
8. Former Hawkeye Greg Mabin is back on an NFL 53-man roster.
Mabin was placed there by the Bills on Friday but did not record any statistics in Buffalo’s game against Cincinnati.
9. Jerminic Smith caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass Saturday for Southwest Baptist in its 21-17 win at Truman State, highlighting the work of former Hawkeyes elsewhere in college football.
Smith caught six passes for 101 yards including a 22-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the NCAA Division II game at Kirksville, Missouri.
Elsewhere, Nic Shimonek continued to connect with receivers for Texas Tech, hitting 19-of-24 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns in a 65-19 win at Kansas.
Rock Island’s Derrick Willies had one catch for 33 yards for the Red Raiders in the win.
Incarnate Word grad transfer Derrick Mitchell rushed 15 times for 28 yards and caught three passes for 17 yards in his team’s 49-30 loss to Southeastern Louisiana and Jalen Embry returned two punts for eight yards for Northern Illinois in its 24-3 win over Kent State.
10. Kirk Speraw is scheduled to be the featured speaker at today’s Davenport Grid Club luncheon.
The Iowa assistant basketball coach will join Quad-City area college and high school football coaches on the program for the noon luncheon at the Knights of Columbus, 1111 W. 35th St., Davenport.
Tickets, priced at $10 each, include a buffet lunch and are available at the door.
All Grid Club luncheons are open to the public.