The Black Friday game against Nebraska was pushed down to the Big Ten network from Fox and that meant that fans were “treated” to the ramblings of Matt Millen. Don’t get me wrong, Millen has a lot of knowledge on the x’s and o’s of football. My problem, until Friday, was that he doesn’t know when to stop talking. Make your point and move on but Millen likes to not only beat a horse to death, but also stab it, shoot it, choke it, and burn it.
On Friday, Millen said that A.J. Epenesa was pretty good and had a lot of skills that translate to the next level but that he would like to see him “have a more consistent motor”. This is basically saying that a guy takes plays off and that is not Epenesa. There are times when he may not be going gangbusters after the quarterback but that’s because he has gap coverage or he’s dropping back in coverage. Anyway, Millen pissed me off with that comment.
While Epenesa didn’t hear Millen, he certainly made him eat his words as he dominated and helped the defense lead Iowa to 9-3 on the season. With the 27-24 victory over the Cornhuskers, Iowa now waits to see who and where they will play for their bowl game.
The official stats for Epenesa were 14 tackles, two sacks, and four and a half tackles for loss.
For his efforts, Epenesa won the Big Ten defensive player of week award for the second time in the past three weeks and for the fourth time for his career. He also was the leading populous vote getter in the week 14 Lott IMPACT Trophy Defensive Player of the Week, but the committee chose Auburn’s Derrick Brown as the winner because they beat Alabama. Brown’s stats were pedestrian in comparison with seven total tackles which included three and a half for loss.
Without much analysis, enjoy all the havoc and devastation that Epenesa caused the Cornhuskers.
2 sacks in the 2nd half today for A.J. Epenesa pic.twitter.com/VElZODjubZ— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) November 29, 2019
1,000+ points in basketball, a state champion discus thrower and the highest rated recruit ever to sign during the Kirk Ferentz era— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) December 3, 2019
Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa is a man of many talents
We are witnessing an NFL Draft prospect hitting his stride at the right timehttps://t.co/oNRxhuAw6p
Here’s some Jedi level use of the force.
We unearthed some must-see footage of WWE legend Jim Ross calling A.J. Epenesa's offside penalty against Nebraska: pic.twitter.com/U9Fw4oukLj— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) December 1, 2019
Epenesa is going to be a marketing star in the NFL with his ability to articulate all the while deflecting praise to his teammates. The Ultimate Warrior type eye black won’t hurt either.
A.J. Epenesa on the Heroes Game win: “Is that five in a row? Five, right? I played in three of ‘em. ... That’s a real nice-looking trophy. It’s not as heavy as the other trophies. But it’s a pretty trophy. I like it.” #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/OGCewcSnvY— Hawkeye Headquarters (@HawkeyeHQ) November 30, 2019
2018 Annihilations: 10.5
2019 Annihilations: 9.0
Up Next: Bowl Game
Depending on what you read, Iowa could be headed to the Citrus Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Music City Bowl, or Redbox Bowl.
I think it’s down to Holiday, if Michigan goes to the Citrus, or the Redbox if Michigan gets the Holiday.