News from Nebraska’s weekly press conference, Marvin McNutt’s thoughts on a dropped touchdown pass and plans for fans at the Big Ten title game are among notes in 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. Californian Taylor Martinez isn’t so sure about the talk of a rivalry between the football teams from Iowa and Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers’ quarterback said Friday’s 11 a.m. game at Memorial Stadium is “just another game for us.’’
Martinez and Nebraska will be looking to rebound from last weekend’s setback at Michigan when the Hawkeyes show up in Lincoln for the first time since 2000.
“We have the leadership to come back. Look at what we did the week after the Wisconsin game. We came back from a 21-point deficit to win. We have the leadership to come back, we have what it takes to come back this week and beat Iowa,’’ Martinez said.
Nebraska will honor its seniors prior to the game and Martinez said playing for a group of players that has dealt with a lot of change within the program during their careers is important.
“It means everything to me, especially for those guys, to come out and try to get a win,’’ Martinez said.
2. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini called the Cornhuskers’ 45-17 loss at Michigan on Saturday a total team loss, but said his team must move on.
“There is no sense crying about it. Every guy that participated in that game, coaches included, didn’t get it done,’’ Pelini told the Lincoln Journal Star. “You don’t sit there and make excuses or anything else.
“You be a man, accept responsibility for what happened and move on to get ready to play Iowa on a short week. It’s as simple as that, nothing magical to it.’’
3. Iowa will be facing a Nebraska team that has dealt with a number of injuries.
Coach Bo Pelini said during his weekly news conference on Monday that an ankle injury has left defensive end Eric Martin questionable for Friday’s game against the Hawkeyes. Tight end Ben Cotton is doubtful because of a shoulder injury and a foot injury has left offensive guard Adam Rodriguez listed as out for the game.
The Cornhuskers previously lost preseason all-American defensive lineman Jared Crick to a season-ending injury and tackles Thad Randle and Chase Rome have missed playing time as well.
“We’ve had a lot of guys get hurt, miss a lot of snaps,’’ Pelini said. “That has given other guys a chance to play a lot of snaps. Those guys do grow. They step up and play like warriors in there. I give them a lot of credit.’’
4. Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Kinnie wasn’t putting the blame for the Cornhuskers’ struggles Saturday at Michigan on anybody other than the players on the field.
“It was us. It was us. It was all on us,’’ Kinnie told the Lincoln Journal Star. “We shot ourselves in the foot.’’
Michigan’s defense had a little to do with it, limiting Nebraska to 260 total yards and 11 first downs.
The Wolverines denied Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead any outside opportunities, holding him to a season-low 36 yards and keeping him out of the end zone for the first time in any game this season.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez led the Cornhuskers in rushing with 49 yards on 16 carries, but struggled to a 9-of-23 day through the air.
5. There was a moment in Saturday’s game at Purdue – somewhere between his touchdown catches of 26 and 51 yards – when Marvin McNutt was looking for more.
McNutt dropped a touchdown pass in the second quarter and he was still seething about it following the game.
“I was pissed off,’’ McNutt said. “I was real mad especially knowing that it would have been a touchdown. You don’t drop those.’’
McNutt didn’t drop many. He equaled a career high with nine catches against the Boilermakers and topped the 100-yard receiving mark for the fifth straight week.
6. Penn State defensive lineman Devon Still has been named as one of three finalists for two national awards.
Still joins Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower and Tyrann Mathieu of LSU as the finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the college defender of the year.
He is also a finalist for the Outland Trophy, presented to the game’s top interior lineman. David DeCastro of Stanford and Barrett Jones of Alabama are also finalists for that honor.
7. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was named Monday as one of three finalists for the 2012 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the top running back in the country.
Ball, who leads the conference in rushing with an average of 133.3 yards, is joined by Oregon’s LaMichael James and Alabama’s Trent Richardson as finalists for the award.
8. The Big Ten has announced plans for two events that will be held in conjunction with the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.
The Big Ten Football Awards Gala will be held on Friday, Dec. 2, when winners of the 17 individual awards the league is presenting this season will be honored.
On the day of the actual game at Lucas Oil Stadium – a match-up between Legends Division winner Michigan State and Leaders Division champion Penn State or Wisconsin – a fan fest will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.
The fan fest runs from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and will include interactive games, pep rallies and football clinics. Admission is free to fans with tickets to the game, but will cost $8 for adults and $4 for children for those who do not have a game ticket.
9. Two Big Ten institutions – Michigan and Penn State – rank in the top 10 nationally in selling university sports apparel, according to statistics compiled by the Collegiate Licensing Co.
Texas, Alabama, Florida, LSU and North Carolina fill the top five spots on the chart. Michigan is seventh, just behind Georgia and right ahead of Kentucky. Penn State is ninth and Oklahoma ranks 10th.
10. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is among coaches expressing concern about defensive players faking injuries to slow the tempo against no-huddle attacks, something that was an issue in Iowa’s game with Michigan State and something that has been an issue in Cornhuskers games this season.
“I think they need to look into it,’’ Pelini said Monday. “I think it becomes obvious at times, but it hasn’t been obvious to the referees. Sometimes, your hands are tied.’’
Pelini said he would support requiring a player who leaves the field because of injury to sit out the remainder of the series.
“”It’s something I’m sure we’ll talk about in the offseason,’’ he said. “There isn’t a rule right now against it. We won’t do it, but some people do what they choose.’’