It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. But preferably not all of them at once. We usually end up laughing at people who do that.
Just in case you forgot that it's PENN SCHTAAAATE week.
Are you ready for some FOOTBAW? First things first: the Iowa-Penn State game is slated for a 7:05pm start on ESPN proper and your announcers are Mark Jones and Bob Davie, last heard narrating Iowa's disaster in the desert two weeks ago (though they also called Iowa's insane comeback win over Indiana last year and what seemed like damn near every conference game in 2002, so they're not some ridiculous hex). There don't appear to be any games scheduled on ESPN immediately prior to this one, so there shouldn't be any of the overrun debacles that marred the Arizona game.
Our suitcases are already packed. DJK's continued absence from media interviews on Tuesdays (even after one of his best games as a Hawkeye and as he continues his ascent to the top of Iowa's record book) was again a source of discussion, which prompted both DJK (via Facebook) and KF (via the presser) to clear the air:
Finally Captain Kirk has put my issues with the media to bed! For those who read his comments today, there you have it! Coach Killjoy and Mr. Fun-Haver have reached a mutual agreement – Playing time over T.V. time! Some may be disappointed with my decision, but I feel it is unnecessary to jeopardize this opportunity for a few media sound bites. See you in January! M.P.O.D.
Q. Doesn’t seem like he wants to talk to us this year. Did we do something to make him mad?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t think you did. I think he loves you guys actually, talking in general terms. You can move in with him in January. Help yourself. I told him that, too. He can Twitter. Can have a ball (laughter).
Well then. We remain a little disappointed that DJK doesn't get to speak to the press, since on the few occasions his muzzle has been loosed he's proven to be one of the more entertaining, thoughtful, and well-spoken players on the team. But if the trade-off is DJK getting every opportunity to strut his stuff on the field and produce games like last week, then it's probably a pretty good one.
Depth chartin'. The two-deeps for the Iowa-Penn State game are out and there aren't any crazy changes -- John Wienke isn't listed as the starting QB or anything -- but there are a few changes. For the second straight week, DJK is listed all by his lonesome on the top line of the depth chart, which is only notable since he's spent, oh, basically his entire Iowa career seemingly lounging in Ferentz's doghouse and sharing the top line with Colin Sandeman or Trey Stross (if he was fortunate enough not to be listed outright as a second-stringer). Marcus Coker is listed as the second-string tailback behind A-Rob, even though Brad Rogers came in to spell Robinson first in the Ball State game.
The DAS PAKIBOMB Advisory System remains pushed down to Yellow since he's still recovering from his Arizona-induced concussion and remains MIA from the depth chart. Michael Meyer unsurprisingly ascends to the top line of the placekicker depth chart after handling all kicking duties against Ball State. And the defensive line remains delightfully muddled, with Christian Ballard listed as a co-starter at DT with BHGP-certified Good Player Mike Daniels and at DE with freaky-armed Broderick Binns. We're not really fussed about who starts, but it would be amusing if Daniels remains a nominal back-up after garnering all-conference honors this week.
This is not actually the greatest poster in the world, this is just the story of its origin. Remember that fantastic poster the Iowa seniors designed this year? Snr. Mas Casa has a few more details about its origins, straight from the super-patriot's mouth:
"Brett came up with Hawkeye Football Nation, Love it or Leave it," Stanzi said. "Obviously, I’m going to say yes to that."
The day of the picture, the players decided to throw in the fireworks and the American flag in the background.
"It hits home. It’s pretty awesome," Stanzi said. "We’re very happy with it. I think it’s something we’ll look back on when we’re older and think, ‘Yeah, that was a great idea and we’re glad we have the proof of it.’"
God bless you, Ricky Stanzi.
Getting defensive. OK, so we don't have the one statistic we want the most (a 4-0 record) and outside of Arizona, the level of competition has been pretty dire, but hey: lots of teams have been playing mediocre (or worse) competition in September and they haven't racked up defensive stats as impressive as some of Iowa's, so that's worth a little horn-tooting, right? Even with that ugly outing in Tucson, the Iowa defense ranks 1st in the nation total defense (227.5 ypg), probably because for all of Iowa's faults that evening, the defense wasn't that bad. They're 3rd in rush defense (65.5 ypg), 21st in pass defense (162.0 ypg, 56.6% completion, 4/5 TD/INT), 2nd in red zone defense (56%), and 5th in scoring defense (12.0), figures which include the two touchdowns Iowa conceded against Arizona when the defense wasn't even on the field (the Rick-Six and the kickoff return). In fact, you can plausibly argue that Iowa's only given up one touchdown drive of importance all year (albeit one really goddamn costly touchdown drive):
Arizona's game-winning TD came on arguably the only meaningful scoring drive Iowa's allowed all year.
The Wildcats also scored on an interception return and a kickoff return and racked up another TD after blocking a punt inside Iowa's 10-yard line. Iowa State scored its only points in garbage time of a 35-7 loss by using its starters against Iowa's reserves, and FCS school Eastern Illinois used a perfectly executed fake punt at its own 20 to set up its lone touchdown.
Obviously, at this stage of the season stats don't mean a hell of a lot -- hell, Iowa State ranks ahead of Iowa in both pass defense and pass efficiency defense and I doubt any of us would swap secondaries* with them -- but it is gratifying to see Iowa performing so well against the teams they've been playing. It may be just Eastern Illinois, Ball State, and Iowa State, but racking up impressive stats against them beats the hell out of tearing our hair out over way-too-close wins over UNI and Arkansas State.
* Yes, we know there's more to pass defense than just the play of the secondary.
- Going to the game Saturday night? Dress appropriately -- if, you know, you feel like it. Whatever. We're not the fashion police. (Yes we are and that shirt makes you look ugly.)
- Remember the heady days when Iowa had basketball players good enough to get looked at by the NBA? Turns out they weren't that long ago, because Adam Haluska is still tryin' to live the NBA dream, now with the Dallas Mavericks.
- Finally, the Communist mouthpiece of OUR MOST HATED RIVAL has chosen this week to launch a cowardly sneak attack on BHGP, Iowa, and freedom, even though they know we're all hot and bothered by Penn State this week. Clearly Gophers aren't the only yellow-bellied scalliwags in the conference. But next week is our bye week (and OUR FILTHY COMMUNIST RIVAL is only playing just Northwestern anyway, so whatever), and then it will be on like Donkey Kong, motherfuckers.