Iowa defensive tackle Mike Daniels had four reasons to celebrate last Saturday. He had four tackles for loss, including a sack. Seemingly, he busted a move for everyone one of them.
The junior did a stompy thing, a head-shaker, some flexing and then had fellow defensive tackle Christian Ballard nearly jump on his shoulders.
None of it was rehearsed.
“Truth be told, I blacked out after every play I made, so I have no idea what happened,” said Daniels, who leads the Hawkeyes with 7.5 tackles for loss. “I woke up one time and Christian was on top of my head. I really don’t know what went on there.”
Make no mistake. Those were spontaneous.
“That’s how it has to be,” Daniels said. “Can’t go out here planning to do a two-step or some funky stuff. That’s disrespectful to the game. It has to be spontaneous.”
The greatest poster that ever lived II
You know all about quarterback Ricky Stanzi and the patriotism thing.
Tuesday was the first chance I had to ask him about the Hawkeyes’ senior poster, the one draped in red, white and blue that reads “Hawkeye Nation: Love it or Leave it.”
Stanzi gave full credit to senior fullback Brett Morse, his roommate, but he thoroughly enjoyed participating.
“Brett came up with Hawkeye Football Nation, Love it or Leave it,” Stanzi said. “Obviously, I’m going to say yes to that.”
The day of the picture, the players decided to throw in the fireworks and the American flag in the background.
“It hits home. It’s pretty awesome,” Stanzi said. “We’re very happy with it. I think it’s something we’ll look back on when we’re older and think, ‘Yeah, that was a great idea and we’re glad we have the proof of it.’”
All the seniors were totally cool with it, by the way.
“I only have one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my mom and dad gathered 50,” Stanzi said. “They tend to overdo it with things.”
It was a Des Moines TV station’s turn, WHO 13 the NBC affiliate, to lament wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos’ absence from Tuesday’s news conference.
Of course, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hasn’t allowed DJK to speak to the media since media day on Aug. 6. I’ve taken a few heavy e-mail demanding me to force Ferentz into allowing DJK to speak to the media. I’d have a better chance running a three-hour marathon on my elbows. I ask, it doesn’t happen and the season goes on, a season, by the way, that is shaping up to be a good one and a historic one for DJK.
You know, Johnson-Koulianos is coming up on Iowa’s receptions and receiving yards records.
“I think he loves you guys actually, talking in general terms,” Ferentz said when asked if the media did something to make him angry. “You can move in with him in January. Help yourself. I told him that, too. He can Twitter. Can have a ball.”
More on the topic:
“He’s really a pleasant guy,” Ferentz said. “Like I told you before, it’s not like we’re cats and dogs at all. I’m the killjoy and he’s the fun guy, so . . . Old guy/young guy. One of those deals.”
Will Ferentz maintain the radio silence when — and it’s a when — DJK breaks the records?
“He’s choosing to stay out, too, because he doesn’t want to say something to get me ticked off,” Ferentz said. We’re trying to coexist peacefully.”
Ferentz was asked if he’s had another player like DJK.
“Derrell would be a perfect NFL receiver based on some of the guys that are getting notoriety,” Ferentz said. “He’ll fit right in if he gets that chance.”
So, no, probably not even when DJK breaks the records.
UPDATE: Here are DJK’s thoughts on the matter from his fan page on Facebook (no way I’m going to see “The Social Network,” not unless there are some ‘splosions):
“Finally Captain Kirk has put my issues with the media to bed! For those who read his comments today, there you have it! Coach Killjoy and Mr. Fun-Haver have reached a mutual agreement – Playing time over T.V. time! Some may be disappointed with my decision, but I feel it is unnecessary to jeopardize this opportunity for a few media sound bites. See you in January!”
I don’t see any tension here at all.
I’ll be writing this story tomorrow. Well, trying to write the story. Linebacker Jeremiha Hunter was a no-show for interviews. He was a natch, him being from Harrisburg, Pa., and having been recruited by Penn State.
He wasn’t available for interviews, so he wasn’t there to defend his ability as a barber.
Hunter, a fifth-year senior, is one of several players who cut hair on the team. Read more on the blog tomorrow. It might not turn out great. Pretty spur of the moment, but it might be fun.
The reviews seem to, um, vary.
Got an e-mail today from Vanessa Barbieri from StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace.
The No. 17 Hawkeyes and N. 22 Nittany Lions is officially a hot ticket.
It’s the No. 3 hottest college game of the week on StubHub.com (based on gross sales), Barbieri wrote in her e-mail.
“There are currently over 500 tickets up for grabs on StubHub.com, and so far, fans have paid an average price of $215 to see the game,” she wrote.
Here’s the PSU-Iowa ticket link on StubHub.
Tickets are going as $100 and as high as $695 (Sideline 128). She also wrote that “Iowa buyers outnumber Pennsylvania buyers 10:1, but there are a significant number of fans traveling from Illinois and Minnesota.”