The Iowa City that the players know and see isn’t as hostile as you might think.
You might remember the “mushroom cloud” coach call-in show from a few weeks ago that went a full-on hostile before civility returned last week. Center James Ferentz said he didn’t hear that show.
“It comes with the position,” he said. “If you’re a coach, you have a very public job. Everybody is going to see your job performance from week-to-week. I don’t know, I guess that’s how some people let out and give him his two cents. What he [Kirk Ferentz] does with that? I don’t know. I don’t know what anyone gets out of that.”
He also talked about the physical environment the players face on a day-to-day.
“I would say [Iowa City] is the complete opposite [of nasty],” he said. “I think we have really great support here. After the Penn State beating, I remember coming off the field and there were people still cheering for us and showing their support.
“To call Iowa City nasty, I don’t think that’s accurate. I would say we have loyal and passionate fans. They’re invested in the program, which, you know, you feel for them. You want to have good performances and get some wins, but when things aren’t going well, people are going to get frustrated.
“We’re frustrated, too. Being frustrated isn’t going to get anything done. We need to focus on growth and improvement.”
That’s a good thing, the supportive environment. That said, this interview was before the Indiana game. Let’s see if it holds up.
I have to admit, I’ve heard from a lot of Iowa fans who are ditching Saturday’s game and looking to sell Nebraska tickets.
– Junior Nolan MacMillan starts over Jordan Walsh at left guard. It was a learning day all around for the three players (including Austin Blythe) who saw time at guard last week. MacMillan struggled. Walsh struggled in pass protection. Blythe had a decent second half. Blythe and Walsh are in their first seasons. MacMillan missed a year and a half due to injury. They will be a chunk of Iowa’s O-line in 2013. The time to learn is now.
– Sophomore Nico Law remains the starter over senior Tommy Donatell. Law is faster. You’d see the scout word “sudden” here, but let’s not cloud it up. Law got to plays that Donatell was a step late to. Still, Law will make mistakes. This is his second start.
– Kirk Ferentz was asked about the lack of fullback in the offense last week. Brad Rogers was out with an undisclosed injury. We’ll see where he is this week. Ferentz said he has a shot. Fullback wasn’t going to save the day on offense. It did take inside iso plays out of the playbook. This week, senior Jonathan Gimm is listed as the starter.
– If you were a D-lineman who hadn’t played much, you earned your letter at Indiana. Everyone played. It was sort of like shifts, an adjustment to the pace that Indiana uses and that Northwestern and Penn State used. The heavy rotation wasn’t a huge factor. Players like Mike Hardy, Melvin Spears and Drew Ott need to play, sure, but they also need to earn their time. That’s the only way this rotation will be healthy and productive. Also, you know that Iowa coaches are in a “win now” mode, so don’t look for playing time on a developmental basis. Bowl eligibility is on the line the next three games.
– Senior CB Greg Castillo is listed over junior B.J. Lowery. That wasn’t the case last week and won’t be this week.
SE — 6 *** Keenan Davis ^ 6-3 215 Sr.
81 Tevaun Smith 6-2 190 Fr.
LT — 60 * Matt Tobin 6-6 290 Sr.
76 * Nolan MacMillan 6-6 290 Jr.
LG — 76 * Nolan MacMillan 6-6 290 Jr.
65 Jordan Walsh 6-4 270 #Fr.
C — 53 ** James Ferentz 6-2 284 Sr.
59 Connor Boffeli 6-5 290 Jr.
RG — 63 Austin Blythe 6-3 275 #Fr.
50 Drew Clark 6-4 288 Jr.
RT — 70 ** Brett Van Sloten 6-7 292 Jr.
76 * Nolan MacMillan 6-6 290 Jr.
TE — 86 ** C.J. Fiedorowicz ^ 6-7 265 Jr.
82 * Ray Hamilton ^ 6-5 248 So.
QB — 16 *** James Vandenberg 6-3 212 Sr.
15 Jake Rudock 6-3 200 #Fr.
WR — 11 * Kevonte Martin-Manley 6-0 205 So.
83 * Steven Staggs 6-3 195 Sr.
RB — 32 Damon Bullock ^ 6-0 195 So.
4 Greg Garmon ^ 6-1 190 Fr.
FB — 92 ** Jonathan Gimm 6-3 240 Sr.
41 Jacob Reisen 6-2 231 Jr.
PK — 96 ** Mike Meyer ^ 6-2 185 Jr.
1 Marshall Koehn 6-0 160 #Fr.
LE — 99 Joe Gaglione 6-4 264 Sr.
95 Drew Ott ^ 6-4 245 Fr.
LT — 54 * Steve Bigach 6-3 282 Sr.
71 Carl Davis 6-5 310 So.
RT — 90 Louis Trinca-Pasat 6-3 270 So.
97 Darian Cooper 6-2 280 #Fr.
RE — 79 * Dominic Alvis 6-4 265 Jr.
49 Melvin Spears 6-2 255 #Fr.
OLB — 20 ** Christian Kirksey ^ 6-2 220 Jr.
39 Travis Perry 6-3 230 #Fr.
MLB — 44 ** James Morris ^ 6-2 230 Jr.
* 52 Quinton Alston ^ 6-2 224 So.
WLB — 31 ** Anthony Hitchens ^ 6-1 224 Jr.
36 Cole Fisher 6-2 218 #Fr.
LC — 2 *** Greg Castillo 5-11 187 Sr.
19 B.J. Lowery ** ^ 5-11 188 Jr.
SS — 21 * Nico Law ^ 6-1 195 So.
13 ** Tom Donatell 6-2 205 Sr.
FS — 5 ** Tanner Miller ^ 6-2 201 Jr.
37 * John Lowdermilk ^ 6-2 203 So.
RC — 18 *** Micah Hyde ^ 6-1 190 Sr.
7 Sean Draper ^ 6-0 180 Fr.
PT — 98 Connor Kornbrath 6-6 215 Fr.
14 * John Wienke 6-5 220 Sr.
Punt returns: 18 Micah Hyde
Kickoff returns: 81 Tevaun Smith; 23 Jordan Cotton Jr.
Deep Snaps: 61 * Casey Kreiter 6-3 250 Jr.
54 * Steve Bigach 6-3 282 Sr.
Holder: 14 * John Wienke 6-5 220 Sr.
* – – Letters won
^ – – Redshirt year still available
# – – Indicates redshirt freshman
From Iowa sports info:
MEYER NAMED GROZA SEMIFINALIST FOR SECOND YEAR
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior kicker Mike Meyer has been named one of 20 semifinal candidates for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl Committee. The award is named in honor of former Cleveland Brown PK Lou Groza. Meyer was also a semifinalist for the award in 2011.
Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 19. The 2012 winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 6.
Meyer, a native of Dubuque, Iowa, has earned Big Ten Special Teams Player and Lou Groza Star of the Week accolades twice this season. He first was recognized after his performance against Northern Illinois in the opener and later for his play in Iowa’s win at Michigan State. Meyer has also earned CFPA honorable mention weekly recognition after the NIU, Central Michigan and Michigan State contests.
Meyer has connected on 15-of-18 field goal attempts this year, including making 13 in a row earlier this season. Meyer’s 50-yarder against Northern Illinois, tied his career long (at Iowa State, 2011). He made four treys against NIU and Michigan State, which matches his career high (at Iowa State, 2011 and at Indiana, 2010). His five attempts vs. NIU ties Iowa’s single-game record, which he also shares (at Indiana in 2010).
Meyer ranks fifth in Big Ten kick scoring (7.1) and ranks eighth in the country in field goals made per game (1.7). He ranks fifth on Iowa’s career scoring list with 223 points. He has made 43-55 (.782) career field goal attempts. Meyer is 31-36 (.861) from kicks 39 yards and closer; 10-15 (.667) from attempts 40-49 yards; and 2-4 (.500) from kicks 50 yards or farther.
Meyer has made 75 consecutive PAT attempts, which is a school record. His four straight PAT’s against Central Michigan helped him surpass All-Pro Nate Kaeding’s previous record of 60 straight.
Former Iowa PK Nate Kaeding was the recipient of the Lou Groza Award in 2002 and was one of three finalists the following season. Former Hawkeye Kyle Schlicher was a semifinalist for the award in 2005.