Riley’s revenge, Northwestern’s struggles and one eye on the future are all part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
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Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. It’s been a challenging fall for Riley Moss.
After dealing with early-season injuries, Moss is finally back in the Hawkeye rotation at cornerback and Saturday, he was rewarded for his patience and enjoyed a bit of revenge at the same time.
Picked on a year ago as a freshman as Purdue threw for 333 yards against Iowa, Moss intercepted a pass, broke up a second pass and recorded a pair of tackles after replacing starter Matt Hankins in the Iowa lineup.
“That’s what I prepared all week to do, be ready if I was called upon,’’ Moss said. “I knew they were going to pick on me so I was mentally ready for to go in and play my game.’’
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz called the effort a tribute to the growth Moss has made since last season.
“The way he’s worked since last year, the way he was really coming on in camp doing good things before he was injured,’’ Ferentz said.
Moss’ pick came on his second play of the game and coming off the field, Hankins was there to greet him.
“That was one the best things I saw. He’s the first guy out to congratulate him,’’ Ferentz said. “That’s just representative of the kind of guys we have on our football team.’’
2. Neither starting receiver Brandon Smith or middle linebacker Kristian Welch are listed on Iowa’s depth chart for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at Northwestern.
Smith was injured the fourth quarter of last week’s game with Purdue, while Welch missed that game because of injury.
Redshirt freshmen Tyrone Tracy Jr. and Calvin Lockett are listed 1-2 at the wide receiver spot filled by Iowa’s receptions leader while redshirt freshman Dillon Doyle and true freshman Jack Campbell are listed 1-2 at the middle linebacker spot played by Iowa’s tackles leader.
Doyle and Campbell split time there against the Boilermakers.
The other changes on the depth chart are at left cornerback, where Riley Moss and Matt Hankins share the top line this week and are backed by Terry Roberts and at punt return, where Max Cooper is listed in front of Nico Ragaini, reflecting a move made for the Purdue game.
3. Before injuring his lower right leg, Brandon Smith recorded his biggest game in an Iowa uniform.
The junior receiver caught nine passes for 106 yards in the victory over Purdue, the first 100-yard receiving effort of his career and a byproduct of the faith quarterback Nate Stanley has in Smith to deliver.
“I always trust him when he’s out on the field. He’s a big guy with a large radius for him to get the ball,’’ Stanley said. “I know he’s going to compete for every single ball I throw to him. I definitely feel no matter what type of ball I throw to him he’s going to have a good chance to make that catch.’’
4. Saturday’s win of Purdue was like a number of wins in the Kirk Ferentz era – maybe a little light on style points but a matter of getting the job done.
“At some point, you have just got to find a way to get it done,’’ Ferentz said. “That’s what you have to do. It’s not difficult, but it gave us a chance to have a little more momentum moving forward.’’
Ferentz said that is also reflective of how things typically play out in conference match-ups.
“That’s just what you have to expect,’’ he said. “When it’s easy, boy, you go home that night saying ‘How did that happen?’ I’m proud of our guys the way they persevered and it wasn’t easy there going down the stretch for sure.’’
5. Iowa has had its share of battles with its next opponent as well, dropping a 14-10 game to Northwestern a year ago that allowed the Wildcats to clinch the West Division title in the Big Ten.
That won’t be the case this year.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald’s team has struggled to find any offensive rhythm throughout its 1-5 start during a season impacted by injuries and inconsistencies.
In the conference, only Rutgers averages fewer than the 12.5 points Northwestern has averaged this season.
The Wildcats are 13th in the Big Ten in total offense at 277.2 yards per game Northwestern is eighth in rushing, one spot ahead of Iowa, with an average of 153.2 yards per game.
But, the Wildcats are last in the conference in passing yards at 124 yards per game. Unsettled at quarterback, Northwestern has completed a league-low 47 percent of its 183 passes.
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The Wildcats have also turned the ball over 14 times, one shy of a league high.
6. The work of true freshman Tyler Goodson continues to impress quarterback Nate Stanley.
“Him being a young guy, it doesn’t set the tone for him mentally or physically,’’ Stanley said. “He’s a great player and he prepares his ass off every single day.’’
Goodson, who rushed for his first career touchdown last Saturday against Purdue on a 1-yard carry, is currently Iowa’s third-leading rusher.
He averages 36.9 yards per game and he is the Hawkeyes’ fourth-leading receiver with 17 receptions covering 130 yards.
Goodson is one of seven true freshmen to see action this season for Iowa, playing in all seven of the Hawkeyes’ games.
Tight end Sam LaPorta has played in six games and linebacker Jack Campbell has played in five games.
Offensive lineman Justin Britt has seen action in four games, but is expected to go beyond the four-game maximum a player can compete in and maintain a redshirt year.
The other three true freshmen who have played for Iowa, defensive backs Dane Belton and Jamari Harris and receiver Desmond Hutson, have appeared in two games apiece.
7. Iowa’s decision to simply run out the clock at the end of the first half was a matter of mood, coach Kirk Ferentz said.
The Hawkeyes had regained possession with 38 seconds left in the second quarter after Purdue had cut the Iowa lead to 9-7 but 75 yards away from the end zone Ferentz opted not to challenge the Boilermakers at that point.
Fans expressed their displeasure as the Hawkeyes exited the field, but they weren’t the only ones unhappy at that time.
“We had it on the 25 and I was a little ticked,’’ Ferentz said. “We must have had a little miscommunication on the kick return. I thought it was a returnable ball and we fair caught it. That’s one more thing we better get cleaned up, but I was not in a good mood at that point quite frankly. If we had squirted out, then we probably would have gone with it, but I was a little upset at that point.’’
8. Purdue receiver David Bell was named Monday as the Big Ten freshman of the week for the second consecutive week for his work against Iowa on Saturday.
The Indianapolis native, heavily recruited by the Hawkeyes, caught 13 passes for freshman school-record 197 yards and a touchdown against Iowa.
The Big Ten also named Penn State receiver KJ Hamler and Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen as the league’s offensive and defensive players of the week.
Hamler recorded 186 all-purpose yards, caught six passes for 108 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Nittany Lions’ 28-21 win over Michigan.
Hansen forced a pair of fumbles, giving him a nation-leading seven for the season, and recorded 11 tackles including one sack and one tackle for a loss in the Fighting Illini’s 24-23 win over Wisconsin.
Minnesota sophomore holder Casey O’Brien was named the Big Ten special teams player of the week after the four-time cancer survivor made his collegiate debut for the Golden Gophers, holding on three successful extra-point attempts in the second half of a win at Rutgers.
9. Hawkeye wide receiver recruit Diante Vines did a little bit of everything last weekend at the prep school level in Connecticut.
Vines scored three touchdowns, including one among his seven receptions covering 148 yards, one on a six-yard rush and another on a 90-yard kickoff return.
His work highlighted the work of Iowa commitments at the prep level last weekend.
Elsewhere, tight end Elijah Yelverton had nine catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns, tight end Luke Lachey had three catches for 58 yards and a score, running back Gavin Williams gained 95 yards on eight carries and quarterback Deuce Hogan completed 6-of-14 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown.
On defense, end Yahya Black had two tackles for a loss and a sack among seven tackles, end Lukas Van Ness finished with four tackles for a loss and three sacks among eight tackles, Reggie Bracy recorded an interception and defensive back Brenden Deasfernades broke up a pair of passes and had two tackles for his unbeaten Belleville (Mich.) team.
10. Nate Stanley continued to climb Iowa’s passing charts with his 260-yard performance against Purdue.
The senior has now thrown for 7,122 yards in his Hawkeye career, moving into the fourth spot on the Hawkeye career record book and passing Chuck Hartlieb at 6,934 yards with his work against Purdue.
With 269 yards of total offense, Stanley also moved up a spot on that list. He passed Matt Rodgers’ 6,855 yards and now has 6,989 total yards in his career.
Ricky Stanzi sits ahead of Stanley in third on both career charts for Iowa, passing for 7,377 yards and recording 7,373 yards of total offense. Chuck Long and Drew Tate rank 1-2 on both lists.