It’s hard to believe that after Saturday one third of the Hawkeye football season will be in the books, but Iowa is preparing for its final non-conference tune-up as is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10.
Providing you with your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com throughout the football season, here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Center Austin Blythe welcomes the power running game that Iowa has executed in its last two games.
“I think that’s what Iowa football is all about,’’ the sophomore said. “When you think about Iowa football, you think of two backs and running it right at people with success and we’re doing what we can to make that happen.’’
2. Iowa’s preference to build its attack around a strong ground game is no accident.
It’s a core belief of coach Kirk Ferentz which has led to the rushing attack which has helped the Hawkeyes open the year with a 2-1 record.
“Historically, if you can’t run the ball pretty much at any level at some point it’s going to catch up to you,’’ Ferentz said. “I know that’s changed a little bit, but I think conversely, too, if you can’t pass effectively, you’re going to be in trouble, too, unless you are an option team.’’
Ferentz views the ability to run and the ability to defend the run as the critical components to success.
“It’s really hard to play football if you can’t do both of those things, run it and stop the run. I think over the long haul, that really proves to be true,’’ Ferentz said. “That is kind of a starting point.’’
3. It didn’t take long for family and friends to get in touch with Hawkeye cornerback B.J. Lowery to compliment him on his leaping one-handed interception late in Saturday’s win at Iowa State.
“My cell phone ran out of juice on the bus ride home,’’ Lowery said. “I was hearing from so many people who wanted to say they saw it and wanted to congratulate me. It was a pretty big deal to a lot of people. I guess it was.’’
4. Western Michigan lost its game at Northwestern last week 38-17, but the Broncos did hold the Wildcats without a point in the first quarter.
That had not happened in either of Northwestern’s first two games, when the Wildcats averaged 193.5 yards of offense in the opening quarter. Against Western Michigan, Northwestern totaled just 61.
“That was a real encouraging start for us,’’ Broncos coach P.J. Fleck said. “It was the type of effort we needed and now it is something we try to build on as we get ready to go out to Iowa.’’
5. The investigation into the theft of cell phones and cash belonging to nine Hawkeye players from the locker room at Iowa State continues.
Coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t recall ever being involved in a similar situation and asked about what precautions are taken at Hawkeye home games to avoid similar things from happening, Ferentz said he wasn’t really certain.
“I think we have really good security, and we were told that was the case there,’’ Ferentz said. “So, it’s just one of those unfortunate things. It’s just one of those things that happens occasionally.’’
6. After racing across the field to snag the Cy-Hawk Trophy, Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis is ready for his next trophy dash.
“I can’t wait to go get the next one. I was surprised at how heavy that one was. It’s built to last,’’ David said.
Iowa will defend its possession of Floyd of Rosedale later this month when it opens Big Ten play at Minnesota and will have two chances to regain trophies in November, first when it hosts Wisconsin on Nov. 2 and later when it plays at Nebraska.
7. Western Michigan is no stranger to Big Ten competition.
This week’s game at Iowa will be the 23rd nonconference game the Broncos have played against Big Ten teams since 1996, the most for any one school at the FBS level.
8. Iowa receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley ranks second in the Big Ten with 19 receptions covering 163 yards through three games.
Only Penn State’s Allen Robinson with 23 ranks more.
Martin-Manley is one of 15 receivers who have caught passes for Iowa this season.
9. Iowa topped the 80-play mark for the third straight week when it ran 83 pays for 378 yards Saturday at Iowa State.
It marks the first time in the 15 seasons Kirk Ferentz has coached at Iowa that the Hawkeyes have recorded 80 or more plays in three straight games.
10. Jake Rudock’s four rushing touchdowns through three games matches the season total for James Vandenberg a year ago.
The last Iowa quarterback to run for more than four touchdowns in a season was Nathan Chandler, who ran for six in 2003.