– Iowa LB James Morris was named Big Ten defensive player of the week on Monday.
He had a sack, interception and eight tackles in Iowa’s win last week over Minnesota.
Check the senior talk about his interception (shows a very high football IQ and what it means in a game): “It’s very similar to some of the things Iowa State tries to do. They try to influence the Mike or the hole player. They’ll send a back one way and try to empty out that middle-of-the-field area and throw a slant to try to game the Leo a little bit. There’s just something where you get a feel throughout the game and then you sort of hedge your bets, ‘Hey, I think I know what they’re doing, I’m going to come back.’ Glad it worked out that time.”
Morris is Iowa’s second straight Big Ten defensive POW. CB B.J. Lowery earned it with a pair of pick sixes last week. Iowa faces Michigan State’s defense this week. If the Hawkeyes win, a hat trick is possible.
– Iowa WR Damond Powell has 206 yards on four catches, including a pair of TDs. Why, yes, he does average 51.50 yards a catch. Now, he’s one of those baseball players with not enough at-bats to win the batting title. Looks as though the minimum number of receptions to make any of the Big Ten lists is 8 or 11.
The results from smart bombing Powell are pretty terrific. You can’t argue with the production. I know you’ll argue with the number of opportunities. I’ve told you what they’ve said, he needs more time with the playbook. You find that answer unacceptable. We’ll see what the answer is this week.
– I saw CB Jordan Lomax in the postgame. He looked to be moving OK. Iowa radio said he was cleared and available to go. I think he probably plays this week. Iowa ran maybe a play or two more of nickel vs. the Gophers. Iowa’s nickel package is DE Nate Meier in for DE Drew Ott and CB Sean Draper in for LB Anthony Hitchens. Maybe Lomax gives them some options. He certainly can’t hurt this week. If the Gophers’ crew of WRs could tag Iowa consistently, you’d think Michigan State would be able to. Everyone wants to dump on the Spartans’ passing game, and, yes, the numbers are putrid. But the light can go on at any time.
– How’s true frosh Desmond King holding up at corner? OK, I think. The Gophers went almost exclusively at Lowery. Iowa has played a ton more man coverage this year. That technique is much different than the zone Iowa has played over the years. Iowa played a lot of man with Micah Hyde last year. I’d hate to put a percentage on it this year, but I think “exclusively” is in the ballpark. Lots of cover 1 last week. Lots of ground for senior free safety Tanner Miller to cover.
– Iowa had other weekly honors come with the victory over the Gophers
From UI sports info:
MORRIS, MEYER AND PARKER EARN RECOGNITION
IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior linebacker James Morris was named Big Ten Conference defensive Player of the Week for his play in the 23-7 win at Minnesota, while senior Mike Meyer was one of three kickers named as a Star of the Week by the Lou Groza Place-Kicker Award. In addition, Athlon Sports named Iowa’s Phil Parker as the Big Ten’s Coordinator of the Week.
Iowa won its fourth straight game while opening league play with a win over the Golden Gophers for the second straight year. The Iowa defense held Minnesota to 30 net rushing yards and 165 yards total offense. Minnesota entered the game averaging 282.2 rushing yards and 41.8 points per game. Minnesota’s only score came on a 34-yard drive following a long kick return. Iowa remains one of two teams in the nation to not allow a rushing touchdown this season.
Through five games, Iowa ranks seventh in the nation in rush defense (79.2) and total defense (265.6), eighth in third down defense (25.4%), tied for eighth in interceptions (8), and tied for 12th in red zone defense (66.7%) and turnovers gained (11).
Morris, a Solon native, recorded eight tackles against the Gophers, just behind the team-leading 10 tackles of fellow senior linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Morris added a quarterback sack and collected his second interception of the season with four minutes remaining to stop Minnesota’s final drive. Senior linebacker Christian Kirksey collected Iowa’s other interception in the game.
Morris has been in Iowa’s starting line-up since early in his freshman season. He has totaled 324 career tackles to rank 15th on the career chart and the interception at Minnesota was the fourth of his career. He is on watch lists for the Bednarik Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Nagurski Award. He has twice earned academic all-Big Ten honors.
Meyer, a Dubuque native, moved to third in career field goals and career scoring after connecting on three field goals and scoring 11 points in the win at Minnesota. He connected from 49 yards to give Iowa a 3-0 first quarter advantage and added a 23-yard kick in the third quarter. His 46-yard field goal provided the final margin with 4:48 remaining in the game. He made both PAT attempts, increasing his streak to 100 consecutive PATs, which is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation and ranks sixth best all-time in the Big Ten.
Meyer has 53 career field goals and 278 career points, trailing only Nate Kaeding (67, 373) and Rob Houghtlin (54, 290) in both categories. Meyer has made 8-10 field goal attempts this season and leads Iowa in scoring with 43 points. Prior to the season he was named to the Lou Groza Watch List for the third straight season after being a semifinalist in both 2011 and 2012.
The Big Ten honor is the first for Morris and comes one week after teammate B.J. Lowery, a senior defensive back, earned the same honor for his play in Iowa’s win over Western Michigan. In addition, WR Kevonte Martin-Manley was named Big Ten special teams Player of the Week vs. Western Michigan. Iowa has Big Ten Players of the Week for consecutive weeks for the first time since Sept. 19 (QB James Vandenberg) and Sept. 26 (DT Tom Nardo) in 2011.
– Sophomore DE Riley McMinn has dropped off the depth chart. Maybe that happened last week. Dolph said on the radio show last week he has a shoulder problem, but not sure on that. Ferentz said it’s an injury that reaggravates itself. Similar to something Brandon Scherff. McMinn will sit this week, getting to the idle week.
– Remember, this week’s game is an 11 a.m. kick on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins and Joey Galloway on the call.
SE — 4 Tevaun Smith ^ 6-2 200 So.
8 ** Don Shumpert ^ 6-3 200 Sr.
LT — 68 ** Brandon Scherff 6-5 315 Jr.
76 ** Nolan MacMillan 6-6 294 Sr.
LG — 59 * Conor Boffeli 6-5 295 Sr.
58 Eric Simmons 6-2 295 So.
C — 63 * Austin Blythe 6-3 300 So.
57 Tommy Gaul 6-3 277 Jr.
RG — 65 Jordan Walsh 6-4 290 So.
78 * Andrew Donnal 6-7 305 Jr.
RT — 70 *** Brett Van Sloten 6-7 300 Sr.
73 Ryan Ward 6-5 290 #Fr.
TE — 86 *** C.J. Fiedorowicz ^ 6-7 265 Sr.
82 ** Ray Hamilton ^ 6-5 252 Jr. OR 87 * Jake Duzey 6-4 245 So.
QB — 15 Jake Rudock 6-3 205 So.
16 C.J. Beathard 6-2 195 #Fr. OR 19 Cody Sokol 6-2, 215 Jr.
WR — 11 ** Kevonte Martin-Manley 6-0 205 Jr.
23 * Jordan Cotton 6-1 192 Sr. OR 17 * Jacob Hillyer 6-4 205 So.
RB — 45 * Mark Weisman 6-0 236 Jr. OR 5 ** Damon Bullock 6-0 200 Jr.
33 * Jordan Canzeri 5-9 187 So.
FB — 38 Adam Cox 5-11 215 So.
42 Macon Plewa 6-2 234 So.
PK — 96 *** Mike Meyer ^ 6-2 190 Sr.
1 Marshall Koehn 6-0 195 So.
LE — 95 Drew Ott ^ 6-4 265 So.
98 * Mike Hardy 6-5 275 Jr.
LT — 71 * Carl Davis 6-5 315 Jr.
97 * Darian Cooper 6-2 280 So.
RT — 90 * Louis Trinca-Pasat 6-3 290 Jr.
67 Jaleel Johnson 6-4 307 #Fr.
RE — 79 ** Dominic Alvis 6-4 265 Sr.
34 Nate Meier 6-2 235 So.
OLB — 20 *** Christian Kirksey ^ 6-2 235 Sr.
39 * Travis Perry 6-3 232 So.
MLB — 44 *** James Morris ^ 6-2 240 Sr.
52 ** Quinton Alston ^ 6-1 232 Jr.
WLB — 31 *** Anthony Hitchens ^ 6-1 233 Sr.
55 ** Marcus Collins 6-0 222 Jr. OR 36 Cole Fisher 6-2 228 So.
LC — 19 *** B.J. Lowery ^ 5-11 193 Sr.
7 * Sean Draper 6-0 180 So.
SS — 37 ** John Lowdermilk ^ 6-2 207 Jr.
21 ** Nico Law ^ 6-1 200 Jr.
FS — 5 *** Tanner Miller ^ 6-2 207 Sr.
12 Anthony Gair 6-2 200 #Fr.
RC — 14 Desmond King 5-11 185 Fr.
35 Gavin Smith 5-10 190 Sr.
PT — 98 Connor Kornbrath 6-6 215 So.
1 Marshall Koehn 6-0 195 So.
Punt returns: 11 Kevonte Martin-Manley
Kickoff returns: 33 Jordan Canzeri; 23 Jordan Cotton
Deep Snaps: 61 * Casey Kreiter 6-3 250 Jr.
Holder: 98 Connor Kornbrath
* – – Letters won
^ – – Redshirt year still available
# – – Indicates redshirt freshman