I'll start it off with some another Brett Greenwood update. According to Hawk Central, Greenwood "remains in a medically induced coma." The good news is that Greenwood is responding to pinching and coughing on his own.
And finally, if you're still down from last week's loss to rival Iowa State, maybe this will help. The last time Iowa faced Pitt it, well, it wasn't good. Yet, some goon decided to make an Iowa vs. Pitt highlight video for YouTube. There's a few punts in there, a tackle after a 10 yard run. The game was ugly and so is this video, but it should serve as a reminder of what went down in '08 and that the Hawks need the fans tomorrow.
Pittsburgh is 2-0 after defeating Buffalo and FCS Maine in back-to-back weeks at home. There isn't a whole lot of video of Pitt's offense under new coach Todd Graham but there is plenty of video of his days at Tulsa. Here are some clips:
The Pitt offense isn't the "fastest 60 minutes in football" or whatever Tennessee Tech called themselves, but Pitt is "high octane football." Above is 100% of the Tulsa offense, Graham says he will only be able to implement about 60 to 60% of it this year at Pitt because of personnel. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette went on to include that at Tulsa, Graham's offense had 87 different formations.
Schematically, Pittsburgh is a lot like Tennessee Tech, but with better athletes. They bring to Iowa City the nation's leading rusher, Ray Graham. Graham has 322 yards on 57 carries in the teams first two games. That's right, 57 carries. Pitt's offensive stats credit just 11 carries to players besides Graham, so he is their offense (not including Sunseri).
Here, in this terrible YouTube video, we get a glimpse of what Pitt did against Buffalo:
Quarterback Tino Sunseri has been ineffective in Pitt's first two games and may have been pulled last week against Maine. Sunseri's credited with 17 carries for -6 yards, sacks included. Through the air Sunseri is 38/63 (58.7%) for one touchdown and two interceptions.
Former Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt was a pro style kind of guy. He recruited players to fit that mold. The change in philosophy is and will continue to be a challenge for Pittsburgh this season. At times it may be trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Imagine if Iowa went to a shotgun spread offense. It's not exactly like that but you get the picture.
Iowa's rush defense has been poor in both games this season. The Hawkeyes surrendered 140 yards rushing to FCS Tennessee Tech (albeit, a lot of those yards came against second and third team players). Iowa State rushed for 194 yards against Iowa and had 473 total yards in the game.
Pittsburgh is going to ride Ray Graham this week and do so by attacking the middle of the Iowa defense. Look for spread formations and motion to move the linebackers out of the box. I expect Pitt to attack both inside and outside with Graham and look for the big play with play action out of the shotgun. Don't rule out trick plays as Pitt will surely throw one or two out there. Iowa's defense has to be fundamentally sound and correct the missed tackles and bad angles that we've seen in weeks one and two.
Okay, so DJK is again in the news. Personally, I'm tired of his saga and would like to move on. But, I received an email this week from a die hard Hawk fan that wanted to get their message out. This person, who shall remain anonymous (their wishes), wanted their "Ten ideas for DJK Now" posted on a blog and since I'm out of ideas I said sure. I'm a sucker for content. So, without further blah, blah, blah, here is an open letter from Hawkeye Fan X.
Ten Ideas for DJK NOW
by: Hawkeye Fan X
(For the purposes of this open letter, the author will assume the
reader knows who DJ Koulianos is, hereafter known as DJK. Readers should know the author is a season-ticket-holding Iowa graduate who was an
admirer of DJK during his time on the Iowa Football team.)
According to data on Livestrong.com the average career length of an
NFL Player is 3.3 years. Common knowledge is most of them are broke 10
years after their football career ends due to entourage-heavy
lifestyles, which DJK seems to be living, minus the NFL salary.
Here are 10 ideas for what DJK (or any other young person) with a
dream deferred could do to be a better person in 3.3 years' time.
...Or he could join the military, which would take care of all of the
below in one action.
1. Quit being weird on Twitter. Quit twitter. No one really enjoys
your odd, pointless, immature missives, they follow for the weirdness,
the novelty, to be a starfucker. Twitter isn’t real, it’s a real waste
2. Travel. It’s obvious you haven’t been anywhere, and even if you do
have stamps in your passport, that's the only place that travel made a
mark. Get out of Chicago, Iowa City, or wherever else you've been
living, as soon as you are clear with the law. California is not the
answer, everyone in California is an entitled airhead. You are an
attractive man, but you lack substance behind the eyes, which
translates into vapid photos. What kind of modeling are you actually
qualified to do? You're not famous enough for endorsements, wrong
height for runway, too undisciplined for commercials. If you’re
modeling in order to travel, just go to Europe unfettered by
fake-work. Learn to travel alone. Learn how lucky you are to live in
the United States. Learn how lucky you are to get ice in your drink in
Germany. See architecture, see culture, see how quiet it is without
the sounds of girls, Twitter, the media, the roar of Kinnick.
3. Work on mental fitness. Your dad, your attorney? Nice guys, but
they have spoiled you. Find a licensed counselor and meet with them
regularly. Ideally, this will be someone with a lot of life
experience. It will not be anyone associated with the entertainment or
sports worlds. You need a LOT of therapy to become a functioning,
love-reciprocating, responsible adult.
4. Get educated. Go to the library and check out some books. Go back
to class. Finish your degree. Get an advanced degree. Get degrees in
something that is actually marketable, given this rotten economy.
Perform academically as if there had been a career-ending injury and
the NFL was never a possibility. Focus on learning to write in AP
style. Forget the slurred, made up words and arcane acronyms. No one
knows or cares about MPOD. ( Author’s note—I did not actually look
into what MPOD stands for.)
5. Do charity work. Do charity work you may not get recognized for.
Don’t lend your celebrity to the charity, do the actual work. If the
charity has a PR person worth a shit, they will use your celebrity
properly. They can’t use your celebrity properly if you show up with
manicured hands, so, bring a pair of gloves and be prepared to pull
weeds or paint or generally get dirty.
6. Get a manual labor job. You learned hard work on the team, prove
that you can keep it up. You will meet good people, you will learn a
trade and most of all, you will get a paycheck. Once you get a year’s
worth of paychecks, you can get a financial advisor, and start saving
for retirement. There are more millionaires than you know, who started
with little more than a shovel.
7. Stay off drugs. Stay away from drugs. Cut anyone who takes or sells
drugs out of your life completely. It doesn’t matter if they are
somewhat legal some places, they aren’t legal everywhere and they
haven’t done a THING for your life so far.
8. Stay in shape, but stay out of the gym. The attitude in the gym is
not going to get you where you need to be.
9. Quit Girls. Flirting seems to be your favorite distraction from
productivity. You have plenty of time, and you’ll meet a better
caliber of woman once you’re older.
10. Get off the Hawkeye radar. You are done with the team now. The
Hawks have a season to focus on, they don’t need or want to be
thinking about YOU.
A former Hawkeye runningback is in the news. Aaron Greving was arrested and given a simple domestic abuse charge in Story County. Greving left the Hawkeye football team in 2002 citing injury problems. Greving played for Iowa in 2001 and '02. He had 338 career rushing yards with six touchdowns.
Now, the person every Hawk fan is talking about, Adam Woodbury. Here is his press conference from last night:
How big is Woodbury's verbal commitment to Iowa? ESPN's Paul Biancardi calls Woodbury a "difference maker." Biancardi also notes that McCaffery's 2012 class migh help in "putting the Hawkeyes in the upper echelon of the Big Ten."
Scott Dochterman, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, writes that Woodbury is a "program-changer." Dochterman notes that it was hard for Woodbury to say no to Roy Williams and the Tarheels. Woodbury called it the "toughest decision I’ve ever had in my entire life."
According to Hawk Central, Woodbury says “I grew up a Hawkeye fan. I want to be part of rebuilding the program.” Hawk Central also has a photo gallery of Woodbury in action.
Hoopniks, a basketball recruiting blog, says Hawkeye fans should keep an eye on Indiana's freshman Cody Zeller. Hoopniks says "they aren’t exact matches, there are enough similarities to make it worth fans’ while to track his progress."
Fran McCaffery landed a verbal commit from 7' center prospect Adam Woodbury. The Top 50 recruit made his college choice known at a press conference at Sioux City East High School. Rivals rates Woodbury as the #42 rated prospect in the country. He is perhaps the highest rated recruit to verbally commit to the Hawks since Tom Davis nabbed Ricky Davis. Fran McCaffery and staff beat out Ohio State, Wisconsin and North Carolina for Woodbury's verbal.
Woodbury rose up the recruit rankings after a strong AAU circuit this past Summer. Woodbury, and AAU and future Hawkeye teammate Mike Gesell, made a solid impression playing for the All-Iowa Attack. Woodbury earned MVP honors at the NBPA Top 100 tournament.
Both Gesell and Woodbury are ranked in the ESPN Top 100. Signing the duo could mean that with Pat Ingram and Kyle Meyer the Hawks will have a Top 25 recruiting class for 2012. It didn't come without a lot of work on McCaffery's part. Earlier, when Mike Gesell committed, he said that Fran McCaffery attended every AAU game the two played.
Mississippi State has little time to recover from last week's loss to Auburn. Coming to town is the #3 ranked LSU Tigers. Mississippi State dropped out of the Twitter Top 25 and could move right back in with an upset. LSU dropped behind Alabama in this week's poll but still received 12 first place votes.
Saturday 9/16/2011 11:00 AM CST
#17 West Virginia at Maryland Spread: Maryland -1.5
Maryland knocked off Miami in the season opener and now hosts #17 ranked West Virginia. Maryland is a home favorite giving 1.5 in Vegas. West Virginia and South Florida are the only Big East teams ranked in the Twitter Top 25. WV has crept up the poll since starting the preseason at #24. A win for WV solidifies their spot in the Top 20. A win for Maryland may move them into the Top 25 from the "others receiving votes."
Saturday 9/16/2011 11:00 AM CST
#22 Auburn at Clemson Spread: Clemson -3
The Auburn Tigers have bounced in and out of the Top 25 this early season. After a narrow win in week 1 they then knocked Mississippi State (previously rated #16) in week two. Auburn is a road dog in this one. Clemson received just three points in this week's poll. A win against Auburn could put them into the Top 25.
Saturday 9/16/2011 2:30 PM CST
Tennessee at #16 Florida Spread: Florida -9.5
Perhaps the first test for Florida in a conference battle with Tennessee. The Vol's travel to the swamp to take on the #16 team in the Twitter poll. Vegas loves Florida at home but don't be surprised to see this game come down to the final possession. Tennessee is currently rated the #31 team in the poll, they could be Top 25 with a tough conference road win.
Saturday 9/16/2011 2:30 PM CST
#15 Michigan State at Notre Dame Spread: Notre Dame -5
Notre Dame has started 0-2 and went from a preseason Top 20 team to receiving zero votes. Michigan State has played two cream puffs but put on an impressive defensive performance in week two. The Spartans appear to be the cream of the Big Ten Legends Division but Vegas loves the Irish at home. Notre Dame is a five point favorite despite having a bad secondary and facing a senior quarterback.
Saturday 9/16/2011 6:00 PM CST
#19 Arizona State at Illinois Spread: Illinois -1
The Sun Devils knocked off Missouri last week in prime time. It took overtime to beat the previously rated #23 Tigers. Now, the Sun Devils travel to the Midwest to take on the 2-0 Fighting Illini. Illinois has yet to receive a lot of press but hosting this game sets up nicely for them. An Illinois win wouldn't be an upset, they are the favorite in Vegas.
Saturday 9/16/2011 7:00 PM CST
#1 Oklahoma at #4 Florida State Spread: OU -3
This rematch from last season is must see TV. Bob Stoops' Sooners take the #1 ranking into Tallahassee to face the #4 Florida State Seminoles. Twitter pollsters have liked what they've seen thus far out of FSU. They've move up from #7 to #4 after two weeks. The Sooners have been #1 since preseason but have received less first place votes in each of the last two weeks. Vegas likes the Sooners, they are three point favorites on the road.
Other games to watch:
9/16 2:30 PM CST
Washington at #14 Nebraska
Spread: Nebraska -16.5
9/16 5:00 PM CST
Central Florida at Florida International
Spread: UCF -5.5
9/16 6:30 PM CST
#18 Ohio State at Miami (Fl)
Spread: Miami -3
9/16 8:15 PM CST
Utah at BYU
Spread: BYU -5.5
9/16 9:00 PM CST
#8 Oklahoma State at Tulsa
Spread: OSU -13.5
Notice the first video in the series begins with Rob Howe, of Hawkeye Insider, asking Ferentz about Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Ferentz denies "black balling" Derrell. DJK responded last night via Twitter with this:
Which is great and all but I specifically heard Rob Howe say that DJK reached out to him. The timing obviously isn't clear on when that was but it's curious, at least to me.
There may be some potential exciting news on the hoops front. Adam Woodbury will make his college choice known at 7pm CST. Woodbury is set to decide between Iowa and North Carolina. Sioux City radio station KSCJ will carry the announcement live at www.kscj.com.
In football recruiting news, Minnesota wide receiver Andre McDonald recently gave his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. McDonald had originally committed to Minnesota but opened his recruiting back up. He had Iowa as a leader and this news is a little bit of a surprise.
Yes, I'm going to rewatch this. Here are some thoughts, bullet style:
Dakota Getz went down on the opening kick off and he's out for the year. I'm not sure how much that hurts because Getz has never played but you lose another LB from an already thin position.
If Tyler Nielsen is going to line up on the tight end he needs to get a solid jam on him if the TE releases for a pass. He let the TE go right by him on ISU's second play.
Mike Daniels has to keep his head up. He likes the bull rush but you can't put your head down and let the QB run right up your gap.
It will be tough for Iowa to go nickle against four and five WR if the Dline can't get separation. The QB draw was there all day for ISU. The safeties have to step up too.
Iowa's first rollout found six Cyclones back in pass protection. The tight end had three covering his area alone. When you only have three WR options in a play and the defense knows its coming it's tough to complete the play. I would have liked to see a rollout with a TE screen on the backside at some point late in the game. That would have went for big yards.
ISU would shift the LB's and roll the SS over to what they thought was the play side. If you're looking for positives, Iowa was still able to gain positive yards against an eight man front. You still have to wonder why Iowa doesn't try to counter that defense and use some misdirection out of the backfield.
I like that Coker finds a way to get positive yards, even when he doesn't have a lane to run in he still looks to fall forward.
Vandenberg did a nice job with the audible for Iowa's first TD. Iowa State was in a zone and with McNutt crossing the DB had to quickly leave McNutt and cover KMM on the out. It was a nice pass with the zip necessary.
Speaking of KMM, he'll be a player that grows this season. He did get pushed off his route more than once Saturday. He'll get better as he gets reps and I think he'll be a fine WR at the end of the year.
For as much as Lebron Daniel got dominated he was held a few times too. Still, if he had dreams of the NFL I think they should be gone now.
Iowa State going to Jeff Woody at any point and time was a gift for Iowa. He was slow enough he made Iowa's D look fast.
Coker was calling for a sub at the end of the first quarter, the sideline camera showed the team and he had taken a knee. I wonder if his conditioning is there yet.
Iowa's screen out of the shotgun fooled no one. Iowa State knew what was coming almost every play.
Brad Herman has to catch the ball.
Kirksey has a chance to really be a player, his sack came from a blitz where he was six yards off the LOS.
Iowa up 10-0 really had a chance to put a nail in the coffin, even though it was still early second quarter. ISU lost momentum with the early fumble and three-and-out. The Hawkeyes suddenly went stale on offense and let the Cyclones slowly find their confidence.
Matt Tobin whiffed on a third down obvious passing situation, really looked bad against the ISU stunt.
Get a fumble, give back a fumble.
Okay, so I made it that far. Couldn't do it anymore.
There are some positives. The tackling will get better. I mean it has to right? I think the door should be open for younger guys to see some snaps all over the field. With the exception maybe along the offensive line.
Teams are going to throw at Castillo all year and with Micah Hyde lost out there as a safety maybe it's time we ended that little experiment?
I think Thomas Nardo would be a nice DT if he had more god given ability. He gets off his blocks really well and might have the best technique. Problem is, he wasn't blessed with foot speed.
Alvis is a little quicker and shows a lot of effort getting after the ball carrier. Alvis, like Nardo, may not be the most physically gifted player but if they keep up the effort they will be hard not to like as Hawkeyes.
I wrote something a month ago about not worrying about fullback. Well, I'm back to worrying about the fullback. Iowa doesn't have one and it hurts. Gimm threw a couple of nice blocks but he's not overly quick to the hole and Meyers looks lost.
I wondered on Twitter last night how many checks Vandenberg goes to the line with. With ISU over loading the playside I would have liked to see a check to a pass on the outside or maybe a different play. It seemed JV would check to a run way from the defense but the play was still stopped for a short gain. I think that is something that will improve as JV gains experience.
Jordan Bernstine will be back from the strep throat that held him out. He may be the spark the defensive back seven needs.
Iowa is going to have a lot of games that go like this in 2011. Close games that come down to the fourth quarter and perhaps the final possession. I'm not going to get much into the coaching decision that came in the fourth quarter but if that's the way the season is going to be you need to be prepared for final drives and realize your teams strengths. It's not the defense, not this year.
Here is a link post I don't expect anyone to read. If you still care, and you will eventually, here are what the coach and players had to say about yesterday's loss to Iowa State. Also, I've included some media links: