friday, NOVEMBER 29 • Iowa vs. nebraska • Memorial Stadium
The revolving door
What does Iowa’s running back by committee mean for the future?
2 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
Remember When ... Nebraska defensive tackle Terrence Moore kisses the Heroes Trophy after defeating Iowa 27-20 in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.
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Iowa has a four-headed rushing attack. What does this mean for the future of the offense?
Don’t miss this week’s biggest games.
Full roster for the Hawkeyes and Huskers. Keep it on hand while watching the game.
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Table of Contents Cover Story
Publisher: 335-5788 William Casey Editor: 335-6030 Kristen East Pregame Editor: 335-5848 Benjamin Ross Managing Editors: 335-5855 Josh Bolander and Dora Grote Sports Editor: 335-5848 Jordyn Reiland Copy Chief: 335-5855 Beau Elliot Design Editor: 335-5855 Haley Nelson Photo Editor: 335-5852 Tessa Hursh Web Editor: 335-5829 Tony Phan Business Manager: 335-5786 Debra Plath Classified Ads Manager: 335-5784 Juli Krause Circulation Manager: 335-5794 Juli Krause Advertising Manager: 335-5193 Renee Manders
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Can Anthony Hitchens stop Ameer Abdullah in his tracks?
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The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - 3
4 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
Iowa running back Damon Bullock rushes toward the endzone for a touchdown during the second quarter of Iowa’s 26-14 loss to Michigan State on Oct. 5, 2013, at Kinnick Stadium. (The Daily Iowan/Tessa Hursh)
The revolving door By Ben Ross email@example.com
Down seven points with a little over 12 minutes to play in the game, Iowa running back Mark Weisman took a handoff from Jake Rudock. Nine yards out from the end zone, Weisman went right with the ball, hit the hole, and carried two Michigan defenders with him into pay dirt to tie the game at 21 after being down 14 at halftime. Iowa went on to win the game 24-21, and Weisman finished the day with 88 yards and the score on 17 carries. The thing is, though, that didn’t necessarily seem like a play where Weis-
man would get the carry. Through the first four games of the year, the junior was more or less the guy Iowa would give the ball to on any given down, but since then, the Hawkeyes have split its carries up drastically between its four backs — Weisman, Damon Bullock, Jordan Canzeri, and LeShun Daniels. “Some people we put in in certain situations,” Canzeri said. “It’s whoever goes in and who ever is hot at the moment will tend to get more carries. Whoever is doing well is going to stay in.” Those four backs have combined for 392 carries with a game against Nebraska and a Bowl matchup left on its
schedule. And that’s a lot of running back attempts, even by Iowa’s standards. To put that number in perspective, Iowa handed the ball off to its running backs 358 times in the 2009 Orange Bowl campaign. The year before, when Shonn Greene had his memorable year at Iowa, Iowa backs got the ball 419 times. Greene had 307 of those carries. None of these backs will come anywhere close to even sniffing the amount of carries Greene got, but as a unit, they will have already reached some of his numbers. Combined, Weisman, Bullock, Canzeri, and Daniels have 1,862 yards and collectively average 4.75 yards a carry. Greene rushed for 1,850 yards and averaged 6 yards a pop in 2008. And this four-headed rushing attack may be here for good. At least in
the short-term. Each ball carrier is an underclassman, and Weisman said this running game by committee is helping everyone in the backfield. “We want to play power football, we want to run it down people’s throats,” Weisman said. “I don’t think [having multiple running backs] makes it tougher, I think it makes it better. When we’re all fresh out there you have to take advantage of your opportunities and run as hard as you can, play as fast as you can and do your job every time. And it doesn’t matter who’s out there, I think that’s how we all feel. We just want to win games and whoever is helping the most at that time needs to be in.” Daniels didn’t get any playing time in Iowa’s most recent win, but that See cover, 6
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6 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
Continued from 4
doesn’t necessarily mean the true freshman is on the bottom of the totem pole in terms of getting carries. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said he could have played at any given moment, and the way Iowa’s backfield has been performing, it seems as though its parts are largely interchangeable. “But, you know, I don’t think [LeShun Daniels] played. But the other three guys did, and they all contributed and did a good job,” Ferentz said after Iowa’s third win in a row over Michigan at Kinnick Stadium. “We’re totally comfortable with LeShun, as well. So compared to last year, it’s a lot better.” But Ferentz did also mention that Weisman is returning to his form of 2012, where he saw the great majority of carries until he sustained a leg injury. “Mark there at the end was running hard. He looked like Mark Weisman of old a little bit. That’s a pleasing sight for a head coach on a sideline, I can tell you that,” Ferentz said. There’s this idea that it’s better to keep the running back consistent, so he can gain momentum in game situations and get in a rhythm while on offense. But that school of thought has been thrown out the window in Iowa City, and all of Iowa’s backs have to be ready for an entire 60 minutes on Saturdays. “I think being fresh is more important than momentum,” Weisman said. “You want to stay fresh out there, running backs run it a lot, it’s important to keep them fresh. It’s been working pretty well for us. All of us can run at any time, it doesn’t really matter who’s getting the carries. “We’re all rooting for each other. It’s great to have so many good running backs.” The running back committee could increase attentiveness in Iowa’s ball carriers, too. “You just pretty much have to be on your toes at all times. Whenever your name is called you have to be ready,” Bullock said. The Iowa backfield is seeing a shift in carries as the season progresses. Canzeri started the season largely as the third back to go in after Weisman and Bullock — and sometimes even after Daniels — but over the last two games he’s gotten the most carries of the group, and provides a burst of speed the others don’t possess. Even Rudock, who may have the hardest time of all adjusting to a new back on plays, due to the blocking and
Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri attempts to make a Purdue defender miss in space in Ross-Ade Stadium on Nov. 9, 2013. Canzeri’s career high, 165 yard performance, helped lead the Hawkeyes to a 38-14 win over the Boilermakers. (The Daily Iowan/Tessa Hursh) route-running tendencies of each player, said he doesn’t mind the revolving door that is his backfield. “You have so many reps with them, you kind of understand who’s in there, and you always have to see who your back is. Everyone is pretty congruent with speed and pace,” the sophomore quarterback said. “It’s great that we can keep guys fresh. That’s important especially for running backs because they’re working their butts off out there. Being able to rotate guys and not miss a beat is a really good thing.” It’s pretty clear Weisman is the go-to for short yardage situations, but after that it’s up in the air in regards to who could get the ball on any given play. It’s going to be even more interesting to see how Iowa’s running back situation shakes out next year, as the Hawkeyes return all its backs and the majority of skill position players on the offense. But for now, all Iowa and its skilled runners can do is enjoy the success they’re having and sharing as a collective unit. Next season is a whole other year away, and this plethora of running backs is something Iowa hasn’t experienced since Adam Robinson, Jewell Hampton, and Brandon Wegher were on the roster. But that was short lived.
Iowa running back Mark Weisman runs the ball against Wisconsin on Nov. 2, 2013, in Kinnick Stadium. Weisman has carried the ball for 865 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013. (The Daily Iowan/Alyssa Hitchcock) “We just have to follow our assignments and trust the gameplan,” Canzeri said. “It’s awesome for whoever goes in to ignite the crowd like that and do a really good job and push harder than we have before. Just the fact that we all
know that whoever is in will get the job done is a relaxing feeling for all of us… We all trust each other and none of us are selfish about who’s getting more carries. It’s not frustrating, it’s kind of a good thing.”
The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - 7
8 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
marquee games: week 14 friday, Nov. 29
Alabama vs. Auburn
Where: Auburn, Ala. When: 2:30 p.m. Where to Watch: cbs
Ohio State vs. Michigan
Where: Ann Arbor, Mich. When: 11 a.m. Where to Watch: abc
Stanford vs. Notre Dame
Where: Stanford, Cal. When: 6 p.m. Where to Watch: FOX
UCLA vs. USC
Where: Los Angeles When: 7 p.m. Where to Watch: ABC
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Marshall Koehn Malik Rucker Barkley Hill Paul Brown Tevaun Smith Damon Bullock Tanner Miller Justin Joyce Reggie Spearman Sean Draper Drew Zaun Don Shumpert Blake Haluska Nic Shimonek Jonathan Parker David Tann Kevonte Martin-Manley Anthony Gair Greg Mabin Desmond King Connor Keane Jake Rudock C.J. Beathard Jacob Hillyer Derrick Willies B.J. Lowery Cody Sokol Christian Kirksey Andrew Stone Nico Law Trey Hadachek Damond Powell Jordan Cotton Ruben Lile Michael Malloy Kevin Ward Jordan Lomax Maurice Fleming LeShun Daniels Jr. Dayo Ogundepo Sean Skradis Anthony Hitchens Akrum Wadley Andrew Wellik Solomon Warfield Jordan Canzeri Nate Meier Gavin Smith Cole Fisher John Lowdermilk Adam Cox Dalton Shaull Travis Perry Berkley Grimm Bo Bower Macon Plewa Josey Jewell James Morris Mark Weisman George Kittle Chad Gilson John Kenny Luke Lindahl Ike Boettger Melvin Spears Palmer Foster Laron Taylor Boone Myers Quinton Alston Steve Ferentz Drake Kullick Tanner Olde Faith Ekaktike Tommy Gaul
6-0/195 6-0/170 6-0/218 5-10/195 6-2/200 6-0/200 6-2/207 6-0/170 6-3/225 6-0/180 6-0/180 6-3/200 6-4/210 6-4/196 5-8/175 5-10/205 6-0/205 6-2/200 6-2/190 5-11/185 6-1/185 6-3/205 6-2/195 6-4/205 6-4/205 5-11/193 6-2/215 6-2/235 5-11/165 6-1/200 5-11/170 5-11/170 6-1/192 6-3/210 6-0/215 6-1/190 5-10/195 6-0/188 6-0/215 5-10/191 6-0/200 6-2/233 5-11/170 5-10/195 6-0/185 5-9/192 6-2/235 5-10/190 6-2/228 6-2/207 5-11/215 6-1/213 6-3/232 6-0/230 6-2/211 6-2/234 6-2/200 6-2/240 6-0/236 6-4/225 6-1/230 6-2/215 6-0/215 6-6/235 6-2/265 6-3/220 6-0/225 6-5/250 6-1/232 6-1/220 6-1/205 6-1/255 6-3/287 6-3/277
PK DB RB DB WR RB DB QB LB DB WR WR WR QB RB DB WR DB DB DB WR QB QB WR WR DB QB LB WR DB WR WR WR DB RB DB DB WR RB DB DB LB RB RB DB RB DE DB OLB DB FB LB DB FB FR FB OLB LB RB ATH LB OLB LB TE DE OLB LB OL LB OL LB OL DL OL
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Solon, Iowa Minneapolis, Minn. Denver, Iowa Spirit Lake, Iowa Toronto, Ontario Mansfield, Texas Kalona, Iowa Midlothian, Va. Chicago, Ill. Cleveland, Ohio Urbandale, Iowa St. Louis, Mo. Carroll, Iowa Corsicana, Texas St. Louis, Mo. Cedar Rapids, Iowa Pontiac, Mich. Plano, Texas Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Detroit, Mich. St. Paul, Minn. Weston, Fla. Franklin, Tenn. Somerset, Texas Rock Island, Ill. Cincinnati, Ohio Phoenix, Ariz. St. Louis, Mo. Cedar Falls, Iowa Clinton, Md. Dysart, Iowa Toledo, Ohio Mount Pleasant, Iowa Detroit, Mich. Sioux City, Iowa Homer Glen, Ill. Upper Marlboro, Md. Chicago, Ill. Warren, Ohio St. Paul, Minn. Acworth, Ga. Lorain, Ohio Newark, N.J. Emmetsburg, Iowa Lorain, Ohio Troy, N.Y. Tabor, Iowa North Liberty, Iowa Omaha, Neb. Carrolton, Ohio Chana, Ill. Oskaloosa, Iowa Urbandale, Iowa Iowa City, Iowa West Branch, Iowa Franklin, Wis. Decorah, Iowa Solon, Iowa Buffalo Grove, Ill. Norman, Okla. Urbandale, Iowa Carmel, Ind Mahtomedi, Minn Cedar Falls, Iowa Allen, Texas Davenport, Iowa Detroit, Mich. Webster City, Iowa Sickerville, N.J. Iowa City, Iowa Muscatine, Iowa Iowa City, Iowa Brampton, Ontario Des Moines, Iowa
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IOWA VS. NEBRASKA â€˘ FRIDAY, N
Eric Simmon Conor Boffeli Jalen Chambers Christopher Smull Casey Kreiter Austin Blythe Cole Croston Jordan Walsh Colin Goebel Jaleel Johnson Brandon Scherff Brett Van Sloten Carl Davis Richard Pryor Jr. Brant Gressel Ryan Ward Mitch Keppy Dean Tsopanides Nolan MacMillan Daniel Gaffey Reid Selby Andrew Donnal Corbin Blythe Sean Welsh Dominic Alvis Henry Krieger-Coble Jon Wisnieski Ray Hamilton Riley McCarron Andre Harris Derrick Mitchell Jr. C.J. Fiedorowicz Will Rathjen Jake Hulett A.J. Jones Matt VandeBerg Louis Trinca-Pasat Daumantas Venckus-Cucchiara Will Kincart Peter Pekar Alden Haffar Riley McMinn Drew Ott Mike Meyer Tyler Kluver Darian Cooper Conor Kornbrath Mike Hardy Nathan Bazata
6-2/295 6-5/295 6-5/288 6-2/255 6-3/250 6-7/300 6-5/250 6-4/290 6-5/280 6-4/310 6-5/315 6-7/300 6-5/315 6-2/260 6-2/280 6-5/290 6-5/295 6-2/265 6-6/294 6-2/225 6-4/275 6-7/305 6-2/230 6-3/285 6-4/265 6-4/245 6-5/220 6-5/252 5-9/182 6-0/170 6-1/190 6-7/265 6-3/265 6-3/235 6-3/190 6-1/170 6-3/290 6-5/235 6-3/245 6-4/210 5-9/209 6-7/260 6-4/265 6-2/190 6-0/220 6-2/280 6-6/240 6-5/275 6-2/280
OL OL OL OL LS OL DL OL OL DL OL OL DL OL DL OL OL DL OL DL OL OL DL OL DL TE TE TE WR WR WR TE DL DL WR WR DL DL DL TE PK DE DL PK LS DL P DL DL
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Madrid, Iowa West Des Moines, Iowa Bellevue, Iowa Muscatine, Iowa DeWitt, Iowa Williamsburg, Iowa Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Glendale Heights, Iowa Lisle, Ill. Lombard, Ill. Denison, Iowa Decorah, Iowa Sterling Heights, Mich. Lawrenceville, Ga. Centerville, Ohio Homer Glen, Ill. Port Byron, Ill. Torrington, Conn. Toronto, Ontario Iowa City, Iowa Byron, Ill. Monclova, Ohio Williamsburg, Iowa Springboro, Ohio Logan, Iowa Mount Pleasant, Iowa West Des Moines, Iowa Strongsville, Ohio Dubuque, Iowa Kirkwood, Mo. St. Louis, Mo. Johnsburg, Ill. Durant, Iowa Springville, Iowa Dallas, Texas Brandon, S.D. Chicago, Ill. Weston, Fla. Bloomfield, Iowa Greendale, Wis. West Des Moines, Iowa Rochester, Ill. Trumbull, Neb. Dubuque, Iowa Marshalltown, Iowa Elkridge, Md. Bridgeport, W.V. Appleton, Wis. Howells, Neb.
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NOVEMBER 29, 2013 • 11:00 A.M. 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 21 21 22 22 23 24 24 25 26 27 28 29 29 30
Harvey Jackson Jordan Westerkamp Alonzo Moore Taylor Martinez Marcus Newby Tommy Armstrong Jr. Mohammed Seisay Josh Mitchell Johnny Stanton Corey Cooper Taariq Allen Maliek Collins Ameer Abdullah D.J. Singleton Jason Ankrah Tyson Broekmeier Sam Burtch Jamal Turner Cethan Carter Andrew Green Boaz Joseph Ron Kellogg III Zaire Anderson Jonathan Rose Ishmail Jackson Michael Rose Stanley Jean-Baptiste Evan Williams Ciante Evans Fyfe Ryker LeRoy Alexander Quincy Enunwa Alex Balke Charles Jackson King Frazier Anthony Ridder Daniel Davie Murat Kazu Austin Williams Nathan Gerry Zach Stovall Sam Foltz Adam Taylor Seth Jameson Graham Nabity Derek Foster
6-2/210 6-0/200 6-2/185 6-1/210 6-1/213 6-1/220 6-2/200 5-11/160 6-2/225 6-1/215 6-3/195 6-2/300 5-9/190 6-1/200 6-4/265 6-1/190 6-3/195 6-1/185 6-4/240 6-0/195 6-1/190 6-1/220 5-11/220 6-1/190 5-11/175 5-11/230 6-3/220 5-11/175 5-11/190 6-2/190 6-0/190 6-2/225 6-2/190 5-11/175 6-0/220 6-2/200 6-1/185 5-11/200 6-0/205 6-2/210 5-11/185 6-1/200 6-2/210 6-1/205 6-0/210 5-11/190
S WR WR QB LB QB CB CB QB S WR DT RB DB DE QB WR WR TE DB DB LB RB CB WR LB CB QB CB QB S WR WR S RB CB CB RB LB LB DB WR/P RB S RB CB
JR RS FR RS FR SR FR RS FR SR JR FR JR SO DT JR FR SR SR SO JR FR SR FR JR RS FR SO FR RS FR SR RS FR SR RS FR RS FR SR FR SO RS FR SO SO SO JR FR FR RS FR FR SR RS FR JR
Fresno, Texas Lombard, Ill Winfield, La. Corona, Calif. North Potomic, Md. Cibolo, Texas Springfield, Va. Corona, Calif. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif Maywood, Ill Weston, Mass. Kansas City, Mo. Homewood, Ala. Jersey City, N.J. Gaithersburg, Md. Aurora, Neb. Murdock, Neb. Arlington, Texas Metarie, La. San Antonio, Texas Weston, Fla. Philadelphia, Pa. Ann Arbor, Mich. Leeds, Ala. Miami, Fla. Kansas City, Mo. Miami, Fla. Foster City, Calif. Arlington, Texas Grand Island, Neb. Toledo, Ohio Moreno Valley, Calif. Iowa City, Iowa Spring, Texas Lee’s Summit, Mo. West Point, Neb. Beatrice, Neb. Plano, Texas Omaha, Neb. Sioux Falls, S.D. Bellevue, Neb. Grand Islan, Neb. Katy, Texas Southlake, Texas Omaha, Neb. Elm Creek, Neb.
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Nebraska Cornhuskers Richard Wynne Jr. Joey Felici C.J. Zimmerer Imani Cross Jared Afalava Terrell Newby Andy Janovich Drake Martinez Mauro Bondi Harrison Jordan Jordan Nelson Max Pirman Jake Long Trey Foster Trevor Roach Randy Gregory Lane Hovey Walker Ashburn Tobu Okuyemi Erik Evans Garret Johns Courtney Love Josh Banderas Adam Kucera Thad Randle Robby Painter Kevin Maurice Mark Pelini Jack Fordon Steve Graeber Colby Starkebaum Spencer Long Cole Pensick Andrew Rodriguez Ryne Reeves Dylan Utter Scott Criss Jake Cotton Brodrick Nickens Chongo Konodo Jerry Sirles Zach Hannon Sam Han Mike Moudy Chris Long Brent Qvale David Knevel Givens Price Dwayne Johnson Jr. Jordan Ackerman Kenny Bell Kevin Gladney Tyler Wllenwaber Jared Blum Sam Cotton Greg Hart David Sutton Brandon Reilly Ross Dzuris Connor Ketter Greg McMullen Gabriel Miller Kevin Williams Pat Smith Jack Gangwish Aaron Curry Logan Rath Vince Valentine Jay Guy
5-9/180 5-9/175 6-1/230 6-1/225 6-3/230 5-10/185 6-1/225 6-2/200 6-0/205 5-10/230 5-7/180 6-5/230 6-4/240 6-0/240 6-2/230 6-6/255 6-4/205 6-2/260 6-2/280 6-3/220 6-0/280 6-5/305 6-2/225 6-6/315 6-1/290 6-4/275 6-3/280 6-0/295 6-2/220 6-1/250 6-1/210 6-4/315 6-2/275 6-6/330 6-3/295 6-1/275 6-3/275 6-6/3 6-5/305 6-4/290 6-6/310 6-5/295 6-6/295 6-5/300 6-4/315 6-7/315 6-9/305 6-4/295 6-6/275 6-3/240 6-1/185 6-1/185 6-1/195 6-4/240 6-4/235 6-5/230 6-3/240 6-1/190 6-3/245 6-5/220 6-3/285 6-0/235 6-2/280 5-11/185 6-2/260 6-1/280 6-4/277 6-3/325 6-1/290
WR CB FB RB LB RB FB DB PK FB RB TE TE TE LB DE WR DE DT TE DL OL LB OL DT OL DT OL LB DT LB OL OL OL OL OL OL DT DT OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL OL DE WR WR WR TE TE TE TE WR DE TE DE LS DT PK DE DT DL DT DT
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Omaha, Neb. Omaha, Neb. Omaha, Neb. Gainesville, Ga. South Jordan, Utah Los Angeles, Calif. Grenta, Neb. Laguna Beach, Calif. Boca Raton, Fla. Omaha, Neb. Omaha, Neb. Orville, Ohio Elkhorn, Neb. Lincoln, Neb. Elkhorn, Neb. Fishers, Ind. Adel, Iowa Kenner, La. Maple Grove, Minn. Waverly, Neb. Aurora, Neb. Wahoo, Neb. Lincoln, Neb. Litchfield, Neb. Galena Park, Texas Centennial, Colorado Orlando, Fla. Youngstown, Ohio Frankfort, Ill. Omaha, Neb. Sterling, Colo. Elkhorn, Neb. Lincoln, Neb. Aurora, Neb. Crete, Neb. Papillion, Neb. Milan, Mich. Cleveland, Ohio Alliance, Neb. Carrollton, Texas Lakewood, Colo Kansas City, Mo. DeWitt, Neb, Castle Rock, Colo. Blair, Neb Williston, N.D. Brantford, Ontario Houston, Texas Houston, Texas Lincoln, Neb. Boulder, Colo. Akron, Ohio Utica, Neb. Gretna, Neb. Lincoln, Neb. Dayton, Ohio Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln, Neb. Plattsmouth, Neb. Norfolk, Neb. Akron, Ohio Mishawaka, Ind. Holland, Ohio Quincy, Ill. Wood River, Neb. Keller, Texas Aurora, Neb. Edwardsville, Ill. Houston, Texas
The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - 9
The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - 13
14 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
on the line MATCHUPS Iowa vs. Nebraska Alabama vs. Auburn Ohio State vs. Michigan Notre Dame vs. Stanford USC vs. UCLA
PREGAME EDITOR (40-15)
MANAGING EDITOR (42-13)
SPORTS EDITOR (38-17)
FOOTBALL REPORTER (41-14)
FOOTBALL REPORTER (36-19)
FOOTBALL REPORTER (36-14)
IOWA The Heroes Game is sponsored by Hy-Vee and that’s where Bo Pelini buys his Bratwurst.
IOWA Ok. I’m somewhat convinced.
IOWA If Iowa wins this, I consider it an early Christmas present
IOWA Ask Ben Ross about who sponsors the annual Heroes game. He’ll tell you all about it.
IOWA Just another one of those weird feelings, I guess.
IOWA Something tells me this will be a win.
Alabama I’m most excited to see what tricks Harvey Updyke has up his sleeve if Alabama loses this one.
Alabama But wouldn’t it be neat if Auburn could pull the upset.
Alabama I like to think I’ll be seeing Nick Saban in burnt orange soon.
Alabama Auburn was off last week. You can rest assured that Auburn beat off last week.
Alabama Auburn, welcome to the big leagues.
Michigan Just a hunch.
OHIO STATE Come on Ben, seriously!?
OHIO STATE There’s a reason why Michigan lost to Iowa last week.
OHIO STATE “The Game” has been renamed to “The Slaughter.”
OHIO STATE This isn’t a real question, is it?
OHIO STATE As we saw last week, Michigan isn’t anything special.
OHIO STATE 88%
Stanford Stanford, good. Domers, average.
Stanford I’d love to see Notre Dame win this one, but it’s not in the cards this year.
Stanford Nerd power.
Stanford “Notre Dame students in a basement, call that a whine cellar.” — Weezy
Stanford This won’t be close.
UCLA Bruins > Trojans
USC Ed Orgeron for Heisman. Fight on!
USC Because why not?.
USC It pains me, but the Trojans have been on a roll.
The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013 - 15
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16 - The Daily Iowan - PREGAME - Iowa City, Iowa - Friday, November 29, 2013
AROUND THE BIG TEN power rankings
By cody goodwin firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice: I’d like to propose a toast to the 2013 Iowa football team, the nation’s best 4-loss team. There are quite a few reasons for this, but for starters, I’ll say this: The four teams Iowa has lost to this season are a combined 41-3. That’s pretty damn good. Kirk and Company has found a way to beat every other team. I understand all the frustration with the offense, and that the defense gives up silly plays sometimes. But this is a good football team, whether you want to believe it or not. They have been — and I said this after the season-opening loss — really fun to watch at times. To that end, this one’s for you, Ferentz (*downs a shot of Cazadores); kudos to another great coaching job. 1. Ohio State Ben was wrong last week. While I would love, love, love if Sparty shut down Urban Meyer’s offense in the conference title game (which is a possibility, by the way), I just don’t see them being able to hang with such a potent unit. Ohio State is among the top-10 in the country in total offense, and has blown out each sad and sorry Big Ten team they’ve played. I understand the hype around Michigan State, but this conference belongs to the Buckeyes. 2. Michigan State Here’s my argument against the Spartans: They haven’t played anybody really tough. The one team with a winning record they’ve played outside of the Big Ten was Notre Dame — and Sparty lost that one. Every other team with a winning record was inside the Big Ten. That’s not saying much, considering how bad the conference has been this year. 3. Wisconsin Part of me thinks the Badgers deserve, at the very least, some BCS recognition. They probably don’t deserve to get an at-large bid by any means, but because Fresno State and Northern Illinois are still unbeaten, Wisconsin will continue to go about its business and rack up another 10-win season and lose to the fourth-best team in the SEC. 4. Iowa Go ahead and laugh at me. I’d understand why, but have a little faith, will ya? The old saying is that defense wins championships. And while it’s not always the best defense that wins — and while Iowa won’t win any sort of championship this season — it’s usually a pretty good indicator as to how things shake out with respect to the overall standings. All I ask is that you go and look at the Big Ten rankings for overall defense. Go on. I’ll wait. 5. Nebraska This could easily change in a week, of course. The Black Friday Heroes Game is shaping up to be an interesting one. But there’s just something about this Nebraska team that makes me believe they aren’t as good as advertised — and to that end, the advertisements aren’t all that convincing, either.
6. Minnesota I don’t think this team is as good as the record says. I feel like most of you will agree with that statement. But during this season, where the Big Ten is kind of weird and, well, bad, I’d say a middle-of-the-pack ranking justifies a team that’s held serve for majority of the season. 7. Penn State I have a couple of predictions for the Nittany Lions. First, more sanctions will be reduced and they’ll be bowl eligible before the original four-year ban is over. Two, Christian Hackenberg will win the Heisman before he leaves. There, I said it. 8. Michigan This team is holy cow bad. No wonder the Maize and Blue nation is upset with Brady Hoke. The guy is a recruiting genius, but when it comes to getting his players to actually play, it’s like getting a toddler to change a tire. 9. Northwestern I say this only because I find it hard to believe that Fitz’s ‘Cats will go winless in B1G competition this year. And the only reason I say that is because Illinois is still on their schedule. 10. Indiana Since I’ve started following the Indiana football student beat writers on Twitter, I’ve been ever-so-slightly exposed to the Indiana football fan base. When the team lost last week, securing another bowl-less season, the fans were actually upset. Either football is on the up in Bloomington, or the fans are really gullible. 11. Illinois Since losing the 2007 Rose Bowl, the Fighting Illini are 2845 overall. Not bad, but certainly not good. Like, at all. 12. Purdue I’m pretty sure Northwest Missouri State could beat this team, and the Bearcats are ranked No. 2 in Division-II football. I kid you not, this could legitimately happen and it wouldn’t shock me in the least.
Name: David Cobb, Minnesota Position: Running Back Year: Junior Cobb is the leading rusher for the Minnesota run game (5.3 yards a carry), which ranks among the top-20 in the nation (218.5 rush yards a game). This team, as stated before, isn’t as good as its record might suggest. But if Minnesota wants to topple Michigan State and establish itself as a legitimate team, it should ride the legs of Cobb to victory.
Name: Max Bullough, Michigan State Position: Linebacker Year: Senior Bullough doesn’t have the most impressive stats — he’s managed just 64 total stops this season — but there’s no question that he’s the leader and driving force behind the nation’s best defense. Look for Bullough and Company to shut down the Gopher run game and advance to the B1G title game with an 11-1 record.
Game to Watch
Minnesota vs. No. 13 Michigan State Time: 11 a.m. Location: East Lansing, Mich. Where to watch: BTN Key Highlights I know I’ve already said this, but this is Minnesota’s last chance to truly prove themselves. It’ll be a stout run game within a team that might actually believe they’re good against the massive rock that is Michigan State’s defense. Should be a doozy.
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featured matchup By Ryan probasco email@example.com
Offensive Impact Name: Ameer Abdullah Year: Junior Position: Running back Breakdown: The Cornhuskers have had trouble with its quarterback situation this year. When Taylor Martinez’s season effectively ended with a toe injury, the team not only lost its starting quarterback, but also one of its leading rushers. Enter Ameer Abdullah, the team’s workhouse running back who has rushed for 1336 yards and 7 touchdowns through 11 games of the 2013 season. The running back is also involved in the passing game, hauling in a touchdown in two of the last three games. Abdullah, while not finding pay dirt as much as the likes of Wisconsin’s James White and Melvin Gordon duo of running backs, or Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde, is getting yards and moving the chains, something that this year’s iteration of the Huskers has struggled to do in the season. Through 11 games, Abdullah is averaging 133.6 rushing yards per game, which is earning him an average of 6.5 yards per carry on his 206 total touches. This mark earns him the number one rank in the Big Ten conference for rushing. With the continuing struggles at quarterback for the Huskers, its adamant that Nebraska get its rushing game going from the onset of what should be another cold matchup for both teams. That rushing offense will start and end with Abdullah. If he’s not up to the challenge, the Hawkeyes could pull the upset.
Defensive impact Name: Anthony Hitchens Year: Senior Position: Linebacker Breakdown: No player was more crucial in Iowa’s come-from behind victory over Michigan last weekend than senior linebacker Anthony Hitchens. The senior did his duty on his day of recognition, finishing the game with 8 total tackles, including 5 solo. The linebacker also caused and recovered a Devin Gardner fumble late in the fourth quarter that, in essence, sealed the victory for the Hawkeyes. One would be hard pressed to find a better performance from Hitchens all season, possibly even his career. Although he didn’t register double-digit tackles, it seemed like his name was being called for all of the important plays against the Wolverines, particularly in the second half, when the Hawkeyes scored 17 unanswered points and Michigan mustered up just 45 yards and three first downs. Hitchens has registered 85 tackles so far in 2013, with one regular season and one bowl game left to possibly top 100. All season, Hitchens and the rest of the Iowa linebackers have had career campaigns, and helped lead the Hawkeyes to a 7-4 record. Their defense has proved stout in preventing the run, only allowing four rushing touchdowns after 11 games of the season. Hitchens and his defense will be facing a rushing-heavy offense in the Nebraska Cornhuskers come Friday morning. If the Hawks are to upset the Huskers and earn an eight win season, the tough Hawkeye run defense will need to continue.
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