Coach Ferentz met with the media Tuesday at his weekly press conference and had one important update. Freshman Mika'il McCall will not make the trip to Lincoln this week. He's been suspended for a violation of team policy.
As usual, Morehouse has video of both Ferentz and player interviews. Apparently, James Vandenberg doesn't know who Opie is/was. Oh, and Ferentz wasn't as snarky this week. Winning will do that.
The Hawks will also be without freshman running back Jordan Canzeri who is still out with a hamstring injury.
Micah Hyde announced that he will return for his senior season at Iowa. That's good news, now about Riley Rieff.
Marc Morehouse tweeted that there may be good news coming on the recruiting front. Defensive tackle Tommy Schutt ended up at Penn State after being turned away from both Notre Dame and Michigan (they filled their DL spots). Schutt is a Top 50 player and was named ESPNChicago's Defensive Player of the Year. Not long after Morehouse's tweet came another from ESPN Chicago's prep writer stating Schutt is firm with Penn State. It's recruiting so who knows? Schutt attends Glenbard West, the same school Hawkeye freshman Jordan Walsh attended.
Sticking with recruiting, FightforIowa has the weekly round-up of recruits still in action. Believe it or not, there are still high school games being played.
Nebraska. Raise your hand if you've been waiting all season for this one. Me? I've been waiting since Nebraska was first rumored to be a candidate for the Big Ten when all the expansion talk first fired up. The Hawkeye players know this is a big game too. James Vandenberg told Steve Batterson, "Just talking to people around town and around Iowa, there is a lot of hype for this game." Broderick Binns also told Batterson, "there's a lot to play for, a lot on the line."
Jon Nyatawa, of the Omaha World-Herald, writes that the Nebraska's season finale with Iowa "will be the first time since 2008 that NU is playing a regular-season game without being in contention for a conference championship." Hey Cornhuskers! You're not playing in the Big 12 North anymore.
There isn't a Big Ten Legends Division championship to play for but there is still plenty on the line. There's the Hero's Game trophy, there's also pride. Marc Morehouse, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, writes that the Huskers' pride wasn't listed among their injured but "it's at the very least concussed." Bo Pelini says his team is down following the loss to Michigan which also cost the Huskers a chance at a trip to Indianapolis. Pelini says that "I think they'll be ready to play," because "it's about pride and it's about the next game."
Pelini also says he's proud of his teams accomplishments this season. He's not Paul Rhoads PROUD but "proud of where it (the football program) is right now." Pelini's quote is in response to a press conference where the Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel described as 'different." Shatel writes "the honeymoon for Bo Pelini is over," and that the "direction of the marriage is now the hot topic." If Bo's seat is getting hot in Lincoln lets hope the Hawkeyes can add some gas to the flames with a victory Friday. Remember, this is the school that fired Frank Solich after a 9-3 season.
Last week we went to Michigan blog MGoBlog to get a solid breakdown of Purdue's offense and defense. Let's head there again for Fee Fi Foe Film: Nebraska. The Cornhuskers run a hybrid style offense. They will come out in a "one-back set", shotgun with one or two backs, the "pistol look" and the "I-formation." Defensively, MGo notes they played mostly nickel against Northwestern but mentions the Nebraska secondary plays mostly "cover-2 man under." Against Iowa expect a 4-3 defensive front and the same look from the secondary. There's a lot more information in the MGoblog post with videos. Good stuff as usual.
Nebraska's star on defense is senior linebacker Lavonte David. He was named as a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. David is Nebraska's fourth ever finalist for the Butkus and first since 1994.
Nebraska's pass defense was ranked 78th in the nation. Those rankings were after three weeks in the season and after three games without defensive back Alfonzo Dennard. Since Dennard's return the Nebraska pass defense has moved to the #19 in the country. Dennard is an NFL bound defensive back and will match-up with Iowa's NFL bound wide receiver Marvin McNutt. Dennard has a difficult task, McNutt has five 100 receiving yard games in a row. This match-up will be the key to Iowa's offensive success.
On the Nebraska injury front, Ben Cotton (TE) is out and Rex Burkhead has been spotted wearing a boot. Burkhead reportedly practiced yesterday so expect him to play.
Nebraska's problems on defense might be defending the mobile quarterback. In three losses against Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan the Huskers have been outscored 121-59. The blog Husker Corner confusingly notes that the QB's for Wisconsin, NW and Michigan averaged 74 yards per game (I think that means rushing?). Russell Wilson is a mobile quarterback but his damage is done off of a roll-out after Wisconsin pounds you to death on the inside. Denard and Persa are going to give everyone problems. I'm not sold on the argument the Husker Corner brings here. It seems like typical blowout loss knee-jerk reaction.
Hoops. The Hawkeye starting line-up for Campbell is same as the previous four games.
The Campbell Fighting Camels arrive at Carver with a perfect 4-0 record. They defeated Chicago State 75-69 in Chicago Monday night. Campbell had a 14 point lead with two minutes to go and Chicago State rallied to lose by six. Campbell is averaging 81.8 points a game so expect a high scoring affair. The Camels are led by Darren White (20 pts/game) and Eric Griffin (18.8 pts/8.3 rebounds/game).
The Hawkeyes have had freshmen lead the scoring three of the four games this season. Coach Fran McCaffery says "we've got to get Melsahn (Basabe) going." Basabe has struggled early on and McCaffery thinks the sophomore has tried to be too "fancy."
Other links of interest:
- LSU Freek, genius
- McNutt, Daniels and Binns' draft stock on the rise?
- Bowl tickets! Get yer Bowl tickets!
- Pelini talked a little bit about his year at Iowa (1991)
- Men's Big Ten hoops TV schedule for the week
- The Des Moines Register continues a look back at Iowa vs. Nebraska 1981, here, here and here
- What if Tim Dwight picked Nebraska over Iowa? What if we run out of things to write about?
- Iowa vs. Nebraska game notes (includes Hawkeye Huddle info)
- The Husker Hombre
- DJK an Iowa Barnstormer?
- On Iowa Podcast talks Nebraska/Iowa
- Tommy Frazier does a web show, X's and O's
- ESPN Big Ten bloggers both pick Nebraska to win
- Marvin McNutt, triple threat
- Heading to Lincoln? Need somewhere to go/things to do?
- Here is the Iowa Hero to be recognized at halftime of Friday's game
- If you need a place to watch the game Friday in Des Moines, come to our tweet up at the Cab in West Glen (note: this is not a BHGP sponsored event, just a collection of Internet dorks)