Welcome to the start of a new football season and to the Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Iowa football news, notes and happenings.
The 10 @ 10 appears weekdays at approximately 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, updating you on the Hawkeyes, the Big Ten and Iowa’s upcoming opponents.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Linebacker Christian Kirksey welcomes the youth that runs deep through the Iowa roster this season.
“The new guys have come in here with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and they are pushing us all to improve and get better,’’ said Kirksey, who shared the team lead with James Morris with 110 tackles last season.
“We’re here to help them adjust to the college game and they’re here to help push us and make us all better. That’s been one of the good things about being at Iowa. We’re all in it together.’’
2. Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren completed its preseason camp Saturday with a mock game at Huskie Stadium last Saturday.
It included no hitting, no passes and no full-speed defense during what was mostly a mental exercise to prepare the team for its game-day experience.
The Huskies’ workout did include pregame stretching, the team entrance onto the field, work with every personnel group, a mock halftime and even the postgame singing of the school fight song.
Doeren said he likes where his team is at as it begins game-week preparations for Iowa.
“I really like the chemistry of our team, and our senior leadership has impressed me,’’ he said. “I feel good about where we’re at right now. It’s time to play a game and see what we have.’’
3. Iowa’s roster of 118 players includes 47 from the state of Iowa. It includes 13 players from Illinois, 11 from Ohio, six from Michigan, five apiece from Florida and Texas, four from Maryland, three from Nebraska, two from Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and one from Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. There are three players from Canada and one from Australia.
4. Jordan Lynch will make his first start at quarterback for Northern Illinois on Saturday.
A 6-foot, 216-pound junior from traditional Chicago Catholic League power Mount Carmel, his growth impressed coach Dave Doeren during fall camp, one of several areas of improvement the second-year Huskies coach liked from his team.
“Our quarterback played extremely well through fall camp, and our tight end position is immensely improved from a year ago. We’ve got Luke Eakes, who is a year older, Tim Semisch is a year old and (2010 starter) Jason Schepler is back in the lineup,’’ Doeren said. “Our tailback pool has improved over the last couple of weeks. I think Leighton Settle has really started to come on now that he’s healthy. I feel good about where we are offensively.’’
5. Northern Illinois enters Saturday’s game with the nation’s longest winning streak at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
The Huskies won their final nine games a year ago, including the Mid-American Conference Championship Game and the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
6. Attendance for Saturday’s game at Soldier Field is expected to be somewhere around the 46,000 mark.
Sign up for the Hawkmania Newsletter
Get our comprehensive Hawkeyes coverage delivered to your inbox
That is below the 60,000 who showed up to watch the Hawkeyes and Huskies open the 2007 season at Soldier Field, but more than 41,000-plus who were in attendance last season when Northern Illinois hosted Wisconsin at the Chicago Stadium
7. Iowa did not receive any votes in either the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches preseason polls this year. Northern Illinois is among teams that were listed as receiving votes.
8. There are seven players on the Hawkeyes’ 2012 roster whose father played football for Iowa.
The group includes wide receiver Jordan Cotton (Marshall in 1984-87), offensive lineman Cole Croston (Dave in 1984-86), tight end Zach Derby (John in 1988-91), quarterback Dan Hartlieb (Chuck in 1986-87), offensive lineman Mitch Keppy (Myron in 1986-87), athlete George Krieger Kittle (Bruce in 1977-80) and defensive back Sean Skradis (Bryan in 1977-81).
9. Northern Illinois welcomes the return this season of two starters from 2010 who missed all of the Huskies’ Mid-American Conference championship season.
Linebacker Tyrone Clark and tight end Jason Schepler are both back with the team this fall and both are listed on this week’s depth chart as probable starters for NIU.
10. Kicker Matthew Sims is the only returning Huskie who was named a first-team all-conference selection a year ago. Sims set a school record for kick scoring and PATs made and attempted as a sophomore.
Sims did hit a pair of game-winning field goals, including one vs. Ohio which allowed Northern Illinois to win the conference title.
The Huskies return all of their specialists this season.