Hey guys! I was too busy to write a Takeaway for Penn State earlier this week, so I'll write the HTT for Patrick. He and I haven't really coordinated on what the right topic for this week would be, but I think I've got a really good handle on this team and their opponent and all that good stuff so here goes. -- Adam
Marcus Coker is the best running back in the Big Ten. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated and he is probably ready to do some big-time rushing at this jNWU defense. If you want to talk about how good Marcus Coker is, head on over to Scout Dot Com and do up the talking about Marcus Coker there. Don't do it here. Do it there. They have given us money. Anyway he'll probably run for 150 and a touchdown or three, because why wouldn't he? It's just Northwestern.
THEME TIME! Here's the thing: They're just Northwestern. Yeah, I know Iowa hasn't been so hot against jNWU recently. Bah! I think that's because the Hawkeyes have been taking jNWU too seriously, which lends the Wildcats more legitimacy than they've earned. If you don't believe a team should be able to beat you, you won't let that team beat you. It's science.
jNWU is pretty bad this year, and we all know it. Dan Persa's still so hobbled that Kain Colter has to do all the designed rushes. Not a giveaway on personnel there or anything. Mike Trumpy is out for the year, and jNWU doesn't realize Adonis Smith is any good, so there goes any shot at a ground game. Expect a big-time shutdown here.
I bet Marcus Coker would be good at rush defense, if he wanted to be. But he doesn't want to be part of Northwestern's problem, he wants to be part of Iowa's solution. Good guy. More after the break.
Northwestern's defense has been shredded by Illinois and Michigan, two teams that run offenses that are about as good as Iowa's. James Vandenberg can't run as well as Nathan Scheelhaase or Denard Robinson -- heh, who can? -- but he's shown some escapability in the past, and he's definitely a better passer than both. Count on 300 yards from the Big Keokukker on Saturday!
Everybody knows that jNWU fans are pretty lousy. Football teams without good fan bases are generally awful, and if the team can't even win a bowl game, how can it beat Iowa? It can't. Advantage, Marcus Coker. Advantage, Iowa.
My favorite part about this game is how Northwestern fans pretend to care about football and/or know what it is. A couple weeks ago, someone from Sippin On Purple tried to talk about the sport, but he didn't know anything about it, but he wanted to sound like they did. So the guy -- I don't want to mention any names, but I am bound to accuracy, so I will tell you it was Rodger Sherman -- just plain googled football, but somehow he got on the Australian Rules Football site. So then, this is what happens to the guy, this Rodger guy, so then he gets on the blog to start talking about football, but he thinks the Australian dialect is just the football world's lingo and affectation, so he's all, "put another shrimp on the barby, let's show then how the Rabbitohs play up this sport, chip chop cheroo!" And he's the smartest Northwestern football mind in the world!
Well lemme learn you up some football, Sippin kids: Marcus Coker is the king of AMERICAN football around here, and he's going to have his biggest game since the Insight Bowl against Missouri, and that's going to be extra-embarrassing because Missouri wasn't even trying in that game. Would you? It's the Insight Bowl. Wait--OK, jNWU, imagine you had won a bowl game in the last 60 years. All right. Now if that had ever happened, you would probably not try very hard in the Insight Bowl.
So anyway, Iowa has nothing to worry about this week, because Northwestern is so bad, it's just Northwestern. jNWU lost to Army, for crying out loud. In the last 50 years, no team has ever lost to Army, then turned around and beaten Iowa. I will bet that fact is true without checking on it.
So I say Iowa wins this game and Northwestern loses it. And then their fans go right back to not caring about football. Hey, when your campus is on Lake Michigan and there's yachts to be yachted, you try caring about anything but deck shoes, pal. Well, guess what: we don't have deck shoes or yachts or water in Iowa; we have Marcus Goddamn Coker.