Iowa football #MusterOneUp Mailbag: How the Woodshed headline happened

Who is your favorite Hawkeye Porsche or I mean linebacker?

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It was the 2-yard TD pass to fullback Drake Kulick that officially put last weekend’s game in blowout territory.

Quarterback Nate Stanley floated his fifth TD pass of the day to Kulick, a senior who had a grand total of two touches this year. Kulick raised his arms and celebrated. Yes, it was 45-17, but it was the Muscatine native’s first career TD.

When the senior fullback who’s not even had double digit touches in his career scores a fourth-quarter TD on you, you are the party.

At that point, I tweeted “Dateline ... WOODSHED, Iowa — Iowa 45, Ohio State 17. Fourth quarter.” I mean, c’mon. Urban Meyer’s news conference afterward was just more than three minutes. Only two Ohio State players were made available to the media. I didn’t see everything written out of the Ohio State side, but no media seemed to complain.

And really, what could Urban Meyer say? No one saw that coming.

We used to collectively submit headline ideas near the end of games. That was a while ago. Game days are 100 percent outward communication, so that’s what I stick to.

Gazette night sports editor Sam Paxton saw the “Woodshed” tweet, added the zip, and made it the headline. Night sports copy editor Ryan Suchomel texted Iowa sports info and confirmed the 52242 zip for Kinnick (really all of the UI).

Woodshed, IA 52242

Yes, the zip is really close to the score. But Sam is one of you guys. He is a Hawkeye grad. He didn’t want the cover headline to be tied to the result, at least not forever. He hates the idea of a T-shirt or poster for one game. A lot of you do. So, that’s why the zip and not the score.

The post office feel made it kind of authentic. And doesn’t it sound as if Woodshed, IA could be a real place?

Have fun with it. Revive it for future blowouts. Oh, and buy the T-shirt and poster here.

It’s the “Muster One Up” mailbag. I’m always looking for contributions on TwitterFacebook or email. Questions, comments, over/unders, please use the #MusterOneUp hashtag on Twitter.

I have a lot this week. I can’t get to them all. Someone gets a Woodshed T-shirt.

 

First-swing home run from Dan. Open a Busch Light and walk around the bases. Maybe have a sit at second base. Well done, Dan.

This is a reference to what Iowa LB Josey Jewell told QB C.J. Beathard before last year’s Michigan game. Jewell asked Beathard to score 14 points and let the defense take it from there. The offense only came up with 12 points, but the defense went above and beyond with a safety.

Wait, wait, wait. Do any of us really believe Jewell would’ve been cool with signing off on “holding them to 54 points”?

 

Like the Big Ten did this week with the Purdue kickoff time, I’m putting this in a six-day window. You’ll get my answer after the Wisconsin game.

Kidding. I’m going to lean slightly toward Jackson. He’s a faster, taller but maybe not quite as physical Desmond King.

Everyone always hopes and wishes they can hold on to all of their players, but there’s no shame in losing players to the NFL. That’s something you splash in the media guide and anywhere you can. Iowa has done that in the Hansen Football Performance Center and in the south end zone at Kinnick, where it often hosts recruits.

If it happens, be happy for a guy who came to your school, thrilled you and now is getting a chance for generational wealth for his family. It’s the American dream.

 

Ifs, ifs, ifs.

I’ll go one. The 2002 team. No turnovers against ISU would’ve put the Hawkeyes solidly in the BCS convo. The Orange Bowl still would’ve been troublesome, but that offensive efficiency would’ve been better than what Iowa put out that night against a fantastic team.

 

Better this week.

But seriously, how pumped must OL coach Tim Polasek have been Saturday night? His guys had been a season-long target for defenses and for media (or, really, anyone who’s tried to dissect the Hawkeyes) and they came through massively when no one bet on them.

WR coach Kelton Copeland has been at the steering wheel for a complete and total rebuild of his group. Progress? Iowa needs 17 yards this week against the Badgers to surpass its total passing yardage output for 2016 (1,965 right now, 1,991 last year).

 

At some point, the “polecat” is going to be investigated for its authenticity. Like the first moon landing, did that really happen or was that staged (I’m kidding, I really do believe we landed on the moon, at some point)?

Yes, this is great.

 

The world is waiting — well, the college football world — is waiting to see if the Hawkeyes can make it more than one in a row on offense.

But, Chris, you’re right. It was better execution. Iowa was still Iowa. Now, I did ask Stanley this question after the game: This game plan, was this stuff you practiced and hadn’t used? Or was this stuff you hadn’t used very often? Or did you want to go aggressively pass?

(Yes, I probably should’ve shut up after the first part.)

Stanley thought about it and said, “I think we wanted to be balanced all game. We came out and did that pretty well (I’m not sure if Stanley had seen a stat sheet at this point, but it was 244 pass and 243 rush). It comes back to how well the offensive line prepared all week.”

The big question is were there changes in routes? I don’t think so. Talking with Akrum Wadley this week, he was adamant the offense hasn’t changed a great deal this season.

So yeah, execution. Let’s not overthink it.

 

I think yes in execution and pace. Iowa found its tempo sweet spot. When the Hawkeyes take forever to snap it, it makes those first steps so important. That fits Iowa better than no huddle.

But in formation, no. Iowa split out the TE last year. It also ran that bunched TE set and did a ton out of that (you might remember George Kittle and a few crushing trap blocks).

I tweeted after the game that I thought this was the most “Brian Ferentz” production of the year. It was relentless. Then again, I’m not sure he called the fake field goal (“polecat”) that set up TE T.J. Hockenson’s 2-yard catch for a 38-17 lead with 2:30 left in the third quarter.

That was the throat punch. One of the throat punches. But really, think about that. That wasn’t kindly, earnest, aw shucks Iowa. That was a pirate stealing your prized Woodshed, IA 52242 T-shirt.

 

The OSU game was all Stanley. Stanley’s development is all Brian Ferentz.

Kidding, kidding. I don’t know how you peel these apart. We probably should start considering the possibility that Stanley is a special player. We also should start considering the possibility Brian Ferentz is really good at this.

I see a degree of detail in this offense that was there in spurts under Greg Davis. That’s the coordinator. The job is way more than calling plays.

 

A. I Love This Bar — Toby Keith

B. Wagon Wheel — Old Crow Med Show

C. One Busch Light — The Wallflowers

I wouldn’t sign off on A, but I think a lot of Iowans would.

B isn’t playing. I’ve been in many a social media melee over OCMS vs. Hootie “Wagon Wheel.” Iowa is a Hootie state when it comes to the Wheel.

C isn’t real.

I know it wouldn’t play in because we’re all a bit squeamish, but The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” would be a tremendous fourth-quarter stomp song.

 

I think Paul Chryst probably wins it. If I had a vote, I’d consider Purdue’s Jeff Brohm. He literally inherited a sinkhole and made things fun, at moments, this season.

If Iowa wins out, Ferentz will pass Hayden Fry for victories at Iowa. That’s a big deal, in my mind. Statue worthy? Probably, but that’s not my call and I feel weird talking about it.

 

This question is killing me.

Sigh, OK then.

1. Dallas Clark — He did a ton for one of the best offenses in Iowa history. He gave the offense an air of confidence. Kind of like, “Guys, don’t worry. Dallas is going to do something here.”

2. Scott Chandler — Totally underrated. Second most productive TE in Iowa history with 117 catches for 1,467 yards and 10 TDs.

3. C.J. Fiedorowicz — He had 91 career receptions playing on some chunky offenses.

 

Could be why there’s a Ken O’Keefe sequel, but I don’t think this is the case. KF is big on chain of command and people doing their jobs. BF wants this and everything that goes along with it. You have to want it like that or you’re a bystander and then fired.

 

Nebraska at Kinnick in 2012, I think. The Huskers clinched the Legends Division with that win. I remember seeing the divisional championship hats.

 

A firestorm? I like that, Feldy. Filing it away.

This will be Iowa’s fourth shot at Bucky’s 3-4. Iowa has scored 24 (bombs away, Jake Rudock in 2014), 10 and 9. Iowa has averaged 3.5 yards a rush on 95 carries. Also, 8.0 sacks in those three games for UW.

There very well could be some regression to the mean for 2017.

 

1) I would, but I don’t know how to do that.

2) Trap game for Iowa? No. Let’s read it this way: The Hawkeyes got a taste of what they can be when they execute like ninjas. Like the best pizza, you’d think they’re going to be hungry for more of that. That doesn’t guarantee anything, but feeling how it’s supposed to work probably did feel good and that’s probably like a pizza for an O-linemen.

 

Yes.

1) Joe Moore Award last year with Ike Boettger and Boone Myers at OT. (We can argue Iowa’s worthiness on this, but it won’t change the fact that it won.)

2) Two 1,000-yard rushers last year for the first time in school history. Wadley should get there. Butler won’t, but that also isn’t his fault. He missed four games with the elbow.

3) To me, quality Iowa rushing offenses start at 2,000 yards. This team is at 1,289 with four games left. Maybe it gets there and this is a heavier debate, but that’s a stretch right now.

 

I slightly go with Jewell (probably recency effect), but c’mon, all of these guys are Hawkeye Porsches. Just different years.

 

Not as a fan, not at all. You guys don’t want me cheering for, you want me being a critical eye and an open mind (and to tweet stuff you can’t see on TV).

But if any sportswriter tells you they sit there stone-faced the whole game, they’re full of press box popcorn.

I see a major play, I react. One thing that’s struck me this year is how beautiful this game is. I re-watched that Ihmir Smith-Marsette catch on the end line at Iowa State like 20 times. The speed and body control that went into that? Work of art.

I don’t know how someone can watch something like that and not appreciate it.

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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