Dolph opens with this: Let's call it a must-win for Iowa.
OK, he's right. Dolph also points out that the best three defenses in the Big Ten are in Iowa's rear-view mirror -- Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Purdue starts five frosh on offense. That's what you'd expect from a team that is rebuilding. When the Boilermakers traveled to Michigan State, 34 of the 70 players on the travel roster were freshmen.
Dolph said QB Jake Rudock is expected to be ready, just like Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday.
The game kicks off at 11 Saturday morning and is on BTN.
Dolph reminds you that most of the Fran McCaffery radio shows will be on Wednesday this year. (I didn't catch a time.)
Tom in Oelwein kicks things off with a question about the three-TE formation. He's noticed Iowa has gone away from it. He also notices Damond Powell is out there just a couple of times a game.
Dolph is a big tight end fan at Iowa, he said. Defenses have taken them out, he said (he's right, I present to you the "helmetception). Dolph talking about Powell. BTW, Powell leads the team in receiving yards and he's caught just 12 passes. That's off kilter, not good, not explosive.
Caller Craig has questions on Weisman, heckuva job the last couple of years (he's in his second year). Wants to know if he's banged up (he is). Craig is not an "On Iowa" reader.
The SEPARATION question about WRs.
Dolph says Iowa doesn't have great speed at WR (it doesn't, outside of Powell). Dolph notes Iowa is redshirting four WRs. (I saw Derrick Mitchell on Saturday. That kid is put together.)
Dolph says Weisman isn't hurt, but has been dialed back. Weisman sprained an elbow last week, but he was dialed back before that. Dolph says teams are daring Iowa to throw the ball. He's right, he also rightly points out that Iowa has played great defenses (they have).
Caller is proud of coach Furrenz. He doesn't want people to criticize if they haven't played or coached. Calls out Tommy from Des Moines. Said Tommy wasn't a Hawk fan on Saturday. Coach Furrenz.
Mike from DBQ also takes a rip at Tommy. (This is kind of awesome.)
Dolph talks about RB Markel Smith and said he can't talk about recruits. He can. Ferentz can't. Dolph can.
How did Tommy become a thing?
Dolph talking wideouts. Iowa has four schollie WRs redshirting this year -- Mitchell, A.J. Jones, Derrick Willies and Andre Harris.
Caller Adam is talking about players pressing. Inability to score in second is false starts, drops. What can coaches do to get them over the hump?
Steve is up. He's got comments. Crowd is lacking, he believes. Has to do with what's on the field and how predictable the offense is. Cracking down on tailgating. $8 for a bottle of water. The environment is lacking.
I think Steve just became everyone's favorite fan.
Dolph talking game day atmosphere and fan support. Dolph RIGHTLY points out that the coaches have never been critical of the fans. The deal was "stadium experience."
Iowa is blessed to have you guys. Seriously. Coaches know this. Iowa has gone to better bowls because of you guys. Might this year.
Ferentz talks about the sound system, which will be better next year (remember, the sound company is spending this year figuring out the best way to make it work).
"Most loyal fans in college football," Ferentz.
Caller (Brent from Edwardsville, Ill.) wants to know about the younger players. Everyone does. You know the answer, it's game 10. That's where Ferentz's head is.
He said it's dynamic. Players change all the time. Thinking a year or two or three years ahead. Talking LBs: Talks junior Quinton Alston. He stepped up this spring and has positioned himself for middle linebacker next season. Travis Perry is moving into OLB. WLB is up for contention and it's Reggie Spearman vs. Cole Fisher. KF talked about Josey Jewel, true freshman from Decorah. John Kenny, too. Faith, Jaleel. D-line was an area of "interest," KF said, but it's been solid. Mentions Mike Hardy. Players change a lot. Fun part for KF.
Steve did bring up some salient issues.
Dolph talking frosh WRs. We've done this before. KF said they have a chance to learn without pressure. They sound terrific. KF said they've helped themselves at that position (it needed help). WR is crowded. I feel like they're still sorting through them still this year in week 10.
KF said probably 20ish recruits. Pace of recruiting has changed. Long way to signing day (Feb. 5 this year, I think).
Caller talks recruiting OL. Sean Welsh has been hurt, "little bump in the road." KF said they've been "borrowing" schollies from the OL spot for other areas. Would like to add two more to this class.
Caller talks about the BTN feature on the '85 Hawkeyes. Talking the Helversen play from '85. Clearly a TD, I agree. Caller now talks about B1G nationally, believes it's better than people give credit for. With expansion, going to be harder to get to B1G title game. Conference title game a requirement?
Great question (Big 12 doesn't have a conference title game).
Troy in Urbandale, great call.
Has a quick comment and a question. Asking about the 3-pointer for Iowa hoops. Wants to know about the 50 free throws. Tommy doesn't have a good feeling, but hopes Iowa wins.
TOMMY GETS BOOOED BY THE CARLOS O'KELLY CROWD
KF predicts Iowa will be better from the 3-point arc. (Wow, I wish KF were this fun on Tuesdays, instead of pit bull deal. Ah well, frog and scorpion, I guess. Nature of the thing.)
Buncha hoops stuff.
Dolph talks about the FTs, the freedom of movement rule (hand checking). Dolph hopes they figure it out by Feb. The block/flop call, Dolph said if you run in better be really set. Taking the query out of it. Any doubt, it's a block. Player safety issue.
KF says it'll settle down in a month. He anticipated more problems with targeting. The basketball rule changes are a little more drastic, IMO. KF was getting to that point.
Condolences to Kevin Dolan, the Iowa radio engineer and Cedar Rapidian. He lost his mother this week. Very sorry to hear that.
Dude from Omaha want to know the opinion about the recent health issues with NFL coaches (Kubiak, Fox). People talking about capping the time in the office. (Never happen, nice though, though.)
KF jokes about being home too much. Gets serious. He doesn't know if it's any different than any other professions. They do work hard, but a lot of people work hard. Big thing is keeping it in perspective. "Which is getting tougher and tougher to do every year." Coaches should police themselves, although they're not very good at it.
NFL hazing question from Dolph.
I used to cover the Bears and the Packers a little bit (mostly Bears training camp). I remember Bears punter Todd Sauerbrun (sp??) coming out to stretch one day with patches cut into his hair. You could tell he resisted having his head shaved. He eventually fixed it. I think Todd was pretty cocky and Bears veterans wanted to quiet that.
Anyway . . .
Jim calls in and said he believes Iowa can win its last three games. KF approves and kind of disses Tommy. KF: "You obviously don't have a black cloud following you down Highway 20. If you do, hit the gas."
KF talked to his players about winning the next three games. If Iowa wins out, it's an outstanding year. That is still out there. Everyone knew the last stretch was going to be bumpy.
Tommy has left his mark on this show. Still getting play two segments after his call.
"No mountains out there you can't climb," KF.
Matt from Omaha is very positive. "Beat Nebraska, hate those guys." Question about "sketchy" officiating.
Dolph said Ed Podolak talks about the lack of holding calls. Everyone holds, everyone. Holding is legal, pretty much, as long as they stay within the shoulders.
Bill LeMonnier is retiring!!!???? Shoot. That guy is a tremendous official. I met him at the officials consortium in Chicago a few years ago. To see the pain in his face when he spoke of calls that he missed, these men care very deeply about getting things right. I think the B1G has excellent officiating. OK, I can think of one sketchy official, the "Invisible Hand of the B1G."
Rudock is a little beat up, but he's fine, KF said. Tough kid. On CJB's performance: Did a lot of good things. Future is bright. Feels good about QB.
No Hawk Talk next week, I think Dolph said. I'm sorry, I was spacing out.
Joe's comment: Tommy from Des Moines, you can join the school 30 miles north of you and their bitterness if you don't like Hawk Talk!
And then a question about a TE formation. KF said the Badgers popped a TE seam on Iowa. Might be something you see at some point. (KF has dialed it down tonight.)
Press conference reference. Something about scoring or second half. Spaced out again. Sorry.
Wisconsin plays great defense (it does, I even wrote about it before the game). Self-inflicted wounds, KF said, penalties and drops. Better focus. "You have to push it up over the hill at some point."
Dolph on Purdue, five frosh on offense. Literally learning on the run.
Going full speed with Danny Etling. KF said he's excellent. Iowa offered. Akeem Hunt is outstanding, particularly in screens. "Hopeful we can keep some pressure on them."
Dolph references Brock Spack, the head coach at Illinois State. KF has always had great respect for Spack.
Purdue's shift to 3-4. It happened about the same time PU went to Etling.And that's it.