1. Good story I – Iowa defensive end Joe Gaglione had a week to remember against Northern Illinois. He made six tackles, including three for loss and a sack that caused a fumble and led to an Iowa field goal. Iowa won by one point, so, yes, every little bit helped. Gaglione is a fifth-year senior and you’re just getting to know him. Why? He missed 2009 and spring ’10 with a torn labrum and a sports hernia. He considered quitting — “I’ve been playing football since I was 8-years-old,” he said. “To have it taken away for more than a year was definitely hard” — but he leaned on former Hawkeye D-linemen Karl Klug and Mike Daniels and had a great start to his senior season last week.
2. Good story II — Iowa State running back Shontrelle Johnson suffered a broken neck last October. There was some concern that his career was over. After being ISU’s featured back in the first four games, Johnson needed surgery and watched from the sidelines in a neck brace when his teammates shocked Oklahoma State and earned a spot in the Pinstripe Bowl. In January, doctors said his progress was terrific and it looked as though he could return to football. He received final medical clearance in July. Last week against Tulsa, he had 120 yards and a TD. “I don’t often recognize individuals in the locker room, but it was great to see him back and we did welcome him back in the locker room after the game,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads said.
3. Wacky story I and II – The body count on Cy-Hawk trophies out there retired or simply put out to pasture is three, with the newest version sitting in Kinnick Stadium today and ticketed to the victor’s trophy case for the next calendar year. Remember the old one, the glorified bowling trophy? That is . . . no one really knows. Iowa won it the last time (2010), so maybe it’s in Iowa City. The Iowa Corn “farm family” trophy, which cost $40,000 and was rejected universally by fans, is in a museum somewhere. The replacement trophy, which ISU players and fans broke in two during last year’s celebration, is gone, Rhoads confirmed. He also wanted to clear the air on the “breaking” of the trophy. “I don’t know if you can say we ‘broke’ that trophy,” Rhoads said. “I don’t know how well constructed it was when it arrived in the stadium.” Iowa Corn held an internet vote and the “Mascot Football Concept,” which features mascots Cy and Herky standing in a field of corn and holding a brass football, won in a landslide. Everyone seems happy.
– Marc Morehouse