That’s how a weekend is supposed to go. No, not the ridiculous wind and the 20 degree drop in temps marking the start of autumn actually showing up. I’m talking about Iowa Football looking like Iowa Football and Iowa Basketball destroying an inferior opponent. I’ll admit, I was nervous about a potential letdown from the football team following last weekend’s Miracle on Melrose (I guess if I say that enough everyone will forget I called it the Nightmare on Melrose before the game), but thanks to what we saw over the weekend I’m walking into Monday morning like this:
1. Defense Stays Stout
Back to back weeks, back to back stellar performances for the Iowa defense. The numbers speak for themselves: 41 passing attempts for 137 yards; 24 rushes for 61 yards; 0 TDs across the board; 0 points; 1 INT. I get it, Illinois is always going to be Illinois. They are generally just not good at football, regardless of the talent they recruit or the head coaches they hire. But those are damn good numbers against anyone. For comparison’s sake, #1 world-beater Alabama gave up 114 passing yards on 24 attempts, 70 rushing yards on 30 carries and 3 points this week. Against Chattanooga. Iowa isn’t Alabama, but Illinois isn’t Chattanooga and I like what I’ve seen out of this defense for the last couple weeks. If only we saw that against NDSU or Northwestern.
2. Run Game Ramping Up
Speaking of wishing we had seen something all year, the run game is finally rolling along. It took a little bit to get rolling, but once it did it was a thing of beauty. I would have liked to see Wadley get a little more run, especially given how spectacular he looked last week, but the tandem of him and Daniels was (is) fantastic. Daniels finished with twice the carries, 26, roughly twice the yards, 159 to 82, and twice the touchdowns, 2 to 1, of Wadley. It will be interesting to see if that continues against Nebraska. It would also be swell to see Wadley get worked back into the passing game again after only catching 2 balls for 3 yards this week, although that was likely dictated more by game flow than anything planned.
50 yd TD RUN LESHUN DANIELS! pic.twitter.com/rMm1maWwVz— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) November 19, 2016
3. Rugamba Ready
Last week the freshman did something crazy. This week he didn’t. Instead, he just looked like your run of the mill starting Big Ten corner who has been there all season. I’m telling you now, the kid will be special. I don’t know that he has the ball skills of King (few do) but he has good athleticism and solid technique for his age. I really wish we had seen him more early on, but understand and respect playing your seniors. I just have grown to dislike Greg Mabin more than any adult should dislike a college kid they’ve never met (I blame Greg Davis for ruining the name). Regardless, Rugamba sure looks like he will be joy to watch shut down a side of the field for the next few years.
4. Corrales De-Commitment
Time for your weekly dose of pessimism. Iowa’s #Swarm17 took another hit Friday. Shocker, it was another Texas kid. WR Beau Corrales, whose recruiting has picked up significantly this fall, announced he was de-commiting from Iowa before promptly hitting the road to visit Utah. Corrales is a former Texas State commit who jumped on the Iowa offer earlier this season. He now has a number of power 5 schools after him and indicated he just wasn’t certain he had made the best choice for his family given how things have changed. He noted his desire to take other visits (and Iowa’s no visit policy) as being the reason for the de-commitment. You may recall he, like basically all of the Texas players in the class, is good friends with former RB commit Eno Benjamin. They just happened to visit Utah together this weekend. [INSERT FIRE FERENTZ LINE HERE]
5. Cooking With Gas
Back to the awesome side of the weekend. Tyler Cook. Just, wow. WOW. I keep saying the kid is Doug Thomas if Doug Thomas could dribble and shoot. For those less interested in those assets, here is a quick look at just his dunks. From just Sunday. From just the first half.
Bruh. I need more of this is my life. This may be the first instance of the hype train not doing a player justice. Yeah, yeah, it was Texas Rio Grande Valley (no, really, that’s the name of a school). But Thursday, before the everything is awesome weekend officially kicked off, Cook dropped 24 on Seton Hall. Including this:
6. Jok Gonna Jok
There’s been a little interwebz scuttlebutt (I honestly just wanted to work in scuttlebutt, thanks for humoring me) regarding hoops senior Peter Jok’s comment that he wants to average 35 points a game this year. I get it. We probably don’t want to just watch the kid come down and chuck up forced shots. We want him playing within a system and taking the best shot for the team. But guys, unless Tyler Cook is dunking the basketball, I think any shot Jok takes is the best shot available. On the season, he is 23.3 a game, but that’s brought down significantly by a 13 point night in a 116-84 blow out of Savannah State. That is the lone night he has had not scoring at least 27 points. It’s also the only night he didn’t shoot at least 50% from the field. The season is young and the competition hasn’t been stellar, but that’s just ridiculous. Oh, and the game against decent competition? Yeah, 30 points on 11-21 shooting (2-8 from 3) and 11 boards. Jok is gonna get his this year. It’s just a matter of who else will step up any given night and who wants to play some defense.
7. Time Out for Turkey Week
I’m done with the weekend reactions, time to look forward to a great week ahead. Short work weeks. Lots of great food (if you don’t like Thanksgiving food, let me know, I will fight you... with words, on the internet.... I’m a tough guy). Lot’s of football and family and hopefully fun. Since Thanksgiving to me, is all about being with the people you care about, I’m kicking off the week with a look back at the various ways college football fans (and players) have been spending their time with the people they care about.
Let’s start before the games began. LSU RB Leonard Fournette likes to spend time with those closest (or at opposing schools) to him wrasslin’ a bit. Who doesn’t like to rough it up some on Thanksgiving?
The Illinois student section is notorious for travelling to try and invade opposing stadiums come hoops season. Apparently they started that early this year and decided they didn’t want to spend time together at a football game their team was playing in.
What you can't see is that the Orange Krush are all there just dressed as bleachers and will change at kickoff to INVADE! pic.twitter.com/jz2gc9PQBi— hawkize (@Hawkize) November 20, 2016
Rutgers fans also decided to do something else with those closest to them on Saturday.
End 3: Penn State 25, Rutgers 0. pic.twitter.com/b8LFz6bq6u— Derek Levarse (@TLdlevarse) November 20, 2016
Since the Rutgers fans were off bragging about the number of TV sets they bring to the conference, I guess Penn State fans decided they wanted their seats?
It’s a shame there are fanbases like that which just don’t show up in the Big Ten. Then there are fanbases that show up and sit through this stuff:
Only 6 minutes of game time elapsed between these two screengrabs. pic.twitter.com/zDxX79W82u— Dr Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) November 19, 2016
I prefer watching that with those closest to me from the comfort of a couch. With a beverage. And food. And feeling in my toes.
Meanwhile, Kansas fans like to celebrate when they finally beat Texas (RIP Charlie Strong’s job).
Kansas students: 1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 20, 2016
Goal post: 0https://t.co/p5guVqtQfT
That brings back some sweet Hawkeye memories, doesn’t it?
And since we are on the topic, was there any better way to spend time with those closest to you than the way you did last Saturday?
Iowa beats Michigan, the celebration was too damn fun to watch... pic.twitter.com/PpNQIRejdN— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) November 13, 2016
Happy Monday. Enjoy the week. Enjoy the turkey. Go Hawks. Everything is awesome.