The long ball
Here’s a quick-and-dirty list of Iowa’s longest plays from 2009:
Rushing — 43, 32 and 28. Receiving — 92, 66, 54, 39, 35, 29, 23, 22 and 21.
Saturday’s list matches up pretty well.
Rushing — 75, 39, 16, 13, 12. Receiving — 66, 55, 23.
The top list of numbers is over a 13-game sample. The bottom was Iowa’s 35-7 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.
It was an uncommon display of firepower for the Hawkeyes. The Indiana game last season had more big pass plays (92 and 68 pass plays), but it didn’t have the ground fireworks that sophomore running back Adam Robinson provided.
Robinson’s 75-yarder — stopped at the 1, QB Ricky Stanzi scored from there — was Iowa’s longest run from scrimmage since Shonn Greene scored on a 75-yarder against Purdue in 2008 and the longest of Robinson’s career.
WR Marvin McNutt picked up where he left off last season with the 66-yard reception. That led to QB Ricky Stanzi’s 2-yard TD pass to TE Allen Reisner, who hauled in Stanzi’s 55-yarder that eventually turned into Robinson’s 39-yard TD run.
Remember, McNutt averaged 19.8 yards on 34 catches last season. In two games this year, McNutt has four catches for 93 yards, a 23.2 average.
Iowa’s offense thrived on deep crossing routes. That’s what got McNutt and Reisner open for their big gainers. Stanzi just missed WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a deep cross for what would’ve been a long TD in the first half.
What was the name of the play that delivered the 66-yarder?
“What’s the play called? I can’t tell you what the play’s called,” Stanzi said. “What would be the point of that?”
Stanzi said it wasn’t a play that clicked in practice much over the last couple weeks. Saturday, against ISU cornerback Leonard Johnson, it worked like a charm.
“It’s kind of funny how these things work out. When you get to the game, you can laugh about it,” Stanzi said. “It’s not funny when they don’t work in a practice or a game, but it’s funny now.”
The wind whipped 17 mph out of the WNW, but the wind didn’t help Robinson run faster.
I’m not even sure why I mention this. Maybe just so you know that WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos was requested for interviews after Saturday’s game. He led the Hawkeyes with five catches for 65 yards, including a key third-down reception that helped the Hawkeyes keep alive their first scoring drive.
Of course, you know about all the doghouse and all that kind of stuff between DJK and Ferentz. It’s ongoing and it’s too bad.
It’s not motivation. It could be discipline, of some sort. It also could be that Ferentz wants DJK’s focus on playing and not talking.
If Saturday is the result of that strategy, it makes a lot of sense.
The last two weeks DJK was requested for Tuesday interviews. Iowa SID Phil Haddy doesn’t even put DJK on the list. It’s a standing no from a few pay grades above.
Again, I’m not complaining. Yes, it’d be great to interview DJK. It’s always great to interview any player. But it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme. I bring this up only so you know why you don’t read or see what DJK has to say.
Meanwhile in other DJK news, he’s now at 133 receptions and 1,940 yards for his career. He’s now fifth in receiving yards and sixth in receptions in his career.
I’m not confirming or denying simply relaying a tweet Saturday night from a gentleman on Twitter named @MrPressBox.
“Wegher seems to be enrolled at USD (SoDakota), red shirting, will play at USD next year, source near family reports.”
Then, “Neither #USD or #Iowa confirming Wegher transfer at this time. Not surprising. Official statement probably not going to be made.”
That’s something that’s out there. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong. Wegher has a home in his name in Iowa City. He was still enrolled in class as of Tuesday last week. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said this week it’s all up to Wegher.
I don’t see a transfer at this point. I’m not sure exactly what the point is where you can withdraw from school without it counting toward a GPA, but I think it’s close at the UI. School has been in session three weeks, I believe.
I think if there is resolution on the transfer side, Iowa would release a statement. When O-lineman Cody Hundertmark left the team last week, Iowa issued a statement. And Ferentz would likely report if he returned to the team on a random Tuesday.
But, who knows? This has been a different kind of story.
Red, dead zones
The Hawkeyes went 4-for-4 in the red zone Saturday, with two rushing and two passing TDs. Iowa has scored 71 of its last 79 times in the red zone, inside the opponent’s 20-yard line (47 TDs, 24 FGs), dating back to Michigan State 2008. Iowa is 52 of 60 inside the red zone in its last 18 games. This season, Iowa is 8 of 10 with all eight going for TDs. No field goals yet this season for the Hawkeyes.
BTW, Daniel Murray (hip flexor strain) didn’t dress Saturday.
Saturday, the Cyclones were 1 of 2 in Iowa’s red zone, with two interceptions. FS Brett Greenwood picked off a pass at Iowa’s 3. LB Tyler Nielsen picked off his first career interception at Iowa’s 10. So far this season, Iowa’s opponents are 2 fo 4 in the red zone. Last season, opponents were 24 of 29 with 10 FGs and 14 TDs.
The No. 9 Hawkeyes (2-0) travel to Arizona (2-0), which throttled FCS school The Citadel, 52-6, Saturday night.
Running back Nic Grigsby rushed for three touchdowns, including a career-long 62-yard scoring run.
Nick Foles completed 17 of 22 for passes for 214 yards and one touchdown before calling it a night early in the third quarter as the Wildcats rolled for 489 yards in a tuneup.
Grigsby rushed for 107 yards in 11 carries and boosted his career rushing touchdown total to 25, tied for third-most in Arizona history.
Yes, the last time the Hawkeyes played in Arizona it was ugly, a 44-7 defeat at Arizona State.
@j_steff, a Twitter guy from CR, put together this graphic on Iowa’s results west of the Rockies since 1979:
Iowa Out West Under Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz : 1979-2009
Date Opponent W/L Pts Opp Margin
1/1/1982 Washington (Rose Bowl) L 0 28 -28
9/25/1982 Arizona W 17 14 3
12/26/1984 Texas (Freedom Bowl) W 55 17 38
1/1/1986 UCLA (Rose Bowl) L 28 45 -17
12/30/1986 San Diego St. (Holiday Bowl) W 39 38 1
9/12/1987 Arizona W 15 14 1
12/30/1987 Wyoming (Holiday Bowl) W 20 19 1
9/3/1988 Hawaii L 24 27 -3
1/1/1991 Washington (Rose Bowl) L 34 46 -12
12/30/1991 BYU (Holiday Bowl) T 13 13 0
9/24/1994 Oregon L 18 40 -22
9/19/1998 Arizona L 11 35 -24
9/18/2004 Arizona St. L 7 44 -37
TOTALS 5-7-1 21.6 29.2 -7.6
So, there you go. Iowa is 5-7-1 in its last 13 games in the west. Notice the last three margins, -22, -24, -37.
Here’s a link to a much cleaner look at @j_steff’s graphic.