Iowa notes: Micah Hyde, tattoos and kickoffs
IOWA CITY — Iowa sophomore cornerback Micah Hyde joined his brother, Michigan State safety Marcus Hyde, in intercepting a pass on Saturday.
Micah Hyde picked off Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier in the third quarter and returned it 4 yards. Marcus Hyde, a senior, had a 30-yard interception return against Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase in a 26-6 Spartan win.
“We talked a little bit. I told him good game,” Micah Hyde said. “I didn’t get to watch his game but my mom told me how good he did. He had a pretty good game.”
Marcus Hyde has experience playing against Wisconsin, Iowa’s opponent this week. He had five tackles in a 34-24 win three weeks ago. But he hasn’t dispensed any knowledge to his younger brother about the Badgers.
I haven’t talked to him anything about Wisconsin yet,” Micah Hyde said. “It’s one of those things. He has to prepare for his own team, and I have to prepare for mine.”
Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema, a former Iowa team captain, has a Tiger-Hawk tattooed to his lower calf with the words “believe” and “achieve.” He said Monday in his news conference that Iowa coaches use his ink against him in recruiting battles.
“Every time somebody goes to visit there, the first thing — I can write it down to a tee — they’re going to come back and say, ‘Coach, can we see your tattoo?’” Bielema said. “Every Iowa coach says that to him, so I know their routine, and it’s nothing surprising.”
Tuesday, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said he doesn’t have a tattoo and has never told a recruit to check out Bielema leg.
“I’ve never said a word,” Ferentz said. “That’s all I can say. I’ve never said a word.”
Bielema played at Iowa from 1989 through 1992, served two years as a graduate assistant and then worked at Iowa from 1996 through 2001 as an assistant under Ferentz and Hayden Fry.
Just for kicks
Iowa’s much-maligned kickoff coverage has improved recently, but it faces a huge test Saturday against Wisconsin.
Badgers kick returner David Gilreath returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State. He now owns the Big Ten record for kickoff return yardage at 2,677.
The last three games Iowa has given up less than 21.5 yards per kickoff return. That’s an improvement after allowing nearly 50 yards a return to Arizona and more than 40 a return to Iowa State.
“I thought we played better on special teams, and I thought our kickoff coverage was better,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Now we’ll have to amp it up even more because, certainly Gilreath’s an excellent returner. He has been and still is.
“(A) quick way to get in trouble is to give up a kick return. Not the way you want to start a game, and certainly not the way you want to start any half or after you score, give one right back to them. So we’ll have to be at our best.”
Former Marion prep and Iowa tight end Allen Reisner was named to the John Mackey Award semifinal watch list. The Mackey Award, which former Hawkeye Dallas Clark won in 2002, is given to the nation’s best tight end.Reisner, a 6-3, 248-pound senior, has caught 19 passes for 229 yards and has started every game for Iowa this year.