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Wednesday Scrambler: Let’s have a talk

Wednesday Scrambler is here to provide you comfort in this not-so-fun time.

NCAA Football: North Dakota State at Iowa
Iowa’s been punched in the face for two consecutive weeks. A third blow would be disastrous.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk expectations. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us here in Hawkeyeland, with the loss to North Dakota State, the gross game that ended in a win over Rutgers, and now, the loss of top receiver Matt VandeBerg.

So what happens now? Should we still be buying our tickets to Indianapolis and prepping to drink the town dry? As much as the cynic in me wants to say no, it’s not time to give up on this year yet. At least before this week.

It’s obviously going to take a much better effort than the one Iowa’s shown over the past two contests, but I’m still having an impossible time wrapping my head around how a roster with lots of key pieces to last year’s run has looked so bad at times.

Injuries this and Old Kirk that, but C.J. Beathard is still under center with Josey Jewell and Desmond King still manning the defense. Yes, VandeBerg is a huge loss, but that should, in theory, open the door for some other guys. You’re hearing a lot about Jay Scheel, and if his Hawkeye career is going to amount to something, now seems like the best chance he’ll have to show us what it’ll be. George Kittle will presumably draw more attention, but could boost the hell out of his draft stock if he performs without a clear No. 1 receiver to complement him — if that’s not motivation, what is?

I suppose the point here is the last two games, VandeBerg’s injury, negative press (don’t believe that ‘blocking the outside noise’ BS), whatever, should create a huge sense of urgency for this team.

That’s been lacking the past two games, and if this week hasn’t created it, we might as well cancel the Indy plans.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know punter/touch back-er Ron Coluzzi was named Big Ten Special Teamer of the Week for his performance against Rutgers. The news “broke” Tuesday that Coluzzi carries a football around with him everywhere named Naomi, which also happens to be the name of his car.

That’s, uh, something, and the first thing that comes to mind is Tom Hanks’ volleyball, Wilson, in Castaway.

It might seem a bit on the extreme side, but Coluzzi’s work Saturday in New Jersey kept that game — and in turn, maybe the season — from being cast away (sorry) in week four.

A coworker of mine who happens to be a Purdue grad told me there's a push among Purdue grads to hire Les Miles as the next Boilermaker head coach.

Hawkeye freshman/the future Tyler Cook posted that video today of a bunch of what looked like intentionally missed dunks from himself fellow newcomers Maishe Dailey, Ryan Kriener, and Cordell Pemsl. Full disclosure, I’ve only touched the rim like twice (kind of a big deal), but I’m assuming they were missed on purpose.

One can only hope the missed slams aren’t a metaphor for the pattern — if you can call it that — of guys I get really excited about (read: the Damond Powell of Iowa hoops, Trey Dickerson, as well as Andrew Fleming) not making any significant impact on the court.

Keeping with the ball-in-the-hoop game, Northwestern will play all of its games at Allstate Arena this season as Welsh-Ryan Arena undergoes a ‘complete renovation’.

Does this mean it won't be a high school gym anymore? Will the average attendance in Rosemont break 7,000? This should be enjoyable to watch.

If anyone’s curious, Derrick Willies has six grabs in three games for Texas Tech this season, averaging 24 per catch to go along with a touchdown. Sigh.