CEDAR RAPIDS - There were plenty of things to like Sunday about the Cedar Rapids Titans.
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Welcome to the Good Timey Radio Hour. This will be a stream-of-consciousness run from the Hawk Talk with Kirk Ferentz show, hosted by Iowa play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin. The show is broadcast from Applebee’s in Iowa City.
Dolph says 50 percent chance of rain Saturday in Piscataway, where the Hawkeyes will face Rutgers. He said it favors Rutgers. No wait, he said it favors Iowa and its running game.
What running game? Hahaha ha ha ...
[Someone is metaphorically pouring a pitcher of Applebee’s beer over my head.]
Jim from Paris, France, has gripes.
Jim goes over all the advantages Iowa has over an FCS team. North Dakota State outcoaches the Hawks, Jim exclaims.
Dolph challenges him to a duel.
[IT LIT EMOJI]
Actually, Dolph is cool here. Said he can’t disagree. Dolph is chilling with some wine and Ambien, I think.
Oh, Dolph is airing this out. The phones are hanging up. Calm people, calm. Let the soothing tones of Dolph lull you into contentment. Lull, lull, lull.
Filling air. No oxygen left in the room. This is the work of a pro, people. Airing this out. Longest answer to a call in call-in show history.
Filibuster level red.
Still going. This is marathon levels.
I’ve got to pack for New Jersey.
This is Kramer and that car salesman cruising along on “E.” The thrills, the thrill of nothingness.
I think this is what space feels like.
Time for a break.
Dean is in Rockwell Sam (you know, the dude from “Moon”), here’s his talking points.
Dean sounds like a nice dude. Boils it done to 5 seconds left. Credits the Des Moines Register for making a point.
Dean is clearly an idiot.
I kid, I kid. I love AGBRAI.
Anthony has thoughts and now he will share them. Anthony’s a regular caller now. He’s New Tommy as opposed to Old New Kirk.
Anthony asks about the World Series. Cubs, A Dawg. Let’s do this.
Dolph picks the Cubs. I’ve always loved Dolph. He’s way better than Dean.
Oh now, we have a Geronimo “scalping” reference.
Backing away ... no sudden movements ... no direct eye contact.
Jason from Sgt. Rock the comic.
Jason talks OL not grading out well. Hey, maybe an On Iowa reader? OK, maybe not.
Why the 177 yards per game (probably rushing yards). Believes LB and safety playing are out of position too often.
I’ll say this: You guys might’ve read the Pro Football Focus grades post. The safeties did not grade well. The linebackers weren’t bad. Josey Jewell was really good. Bo Bower scored neutral.
Brad from Cedar Rapids. He’s got a point.
Hammering the rush yards thing, for and against. Brad is making a good point. He hasn’t cited The Gazette.
[SAD EMOJI] [SQUIRT GUN EMOJI]
Dolph said not acceptable. Yeah, he’s right.
Dolph is going back into four corners.
This is where the ref calls stalling.
There’s the warning.
There’s a point.
There’s another point.
How many points can you get before a DQ?
Actually, Dolph is making some critical points here. It’s OK to be critical. Critical eye, open mind. That’s how this should work.
Way to leave me hanging Brad from Cedar Rapids.
Kevin from Sgt. Bluff.
He’s good with the coaches. Thought the players didn’t execute. Wonders about playcalls at the end. Wonders why schedule NDSU and why NDSU should be required to move up to FBS.
Scheduling NDSU is a lose-lose. It just is. Still, you schedule that game and you assume football takes care of the business.
KF says no regrets on playing NDSU. That’s a good answer. I’m a UNI grad. I should hate NDSU, but I don’t. I admire programs that are outposts and make good things about territory you wouldn’t expect.
— KF mentions the mental errors. CJB cited 17. I think KF is in the hundreds.
Break time. KF is drinking coffee after 7 p.m. I would need a gallon of Ambien Whiskey if I had coffee after 7 p.m.
— Rutgers won the first college football game and beat the Bears 6-4?
Sounds about right.
— KF mentions recruiting the NJ area. Lots of talent on the eastern seaboard.
KF likes Ash and I think Rutgers did do very well with this hire. I think this will work.
— Dolph is doing it again. Either there are no calls or he is being the professional radio bulldog that he is.
He’s asking KF questions. One here about missed tackles. KF says “details” and then pretends to disappear.
— Quinton in Cedar Rapids. This tone is ... ominous.
Former SD State player, but wouldn’t schedule an FCS. Pay $500k. “Buyer beware. Good luck, Hawks.”
KF says the polls don’t mean anything in September. I’m giving him a mental high five. It’s good to be in the polls, but it doesn’t matter until it matters.
— Dave from Bettendorf. He sounds like a former coach, I think.
Run, stop run.
NDSU disguised a lot of delayed blitzes, Dave says. How are the fullbacks coming around? Healthy? How’s their play? (FWIW, I think the FBs played 15 snaps on Saturday.)
KF on the blitzes: Executed better than we did and it was costly.
Yep. We’ve been over it.
PJKGLVW from Burlington asks about Iowa’s mechanics in scheduling. Kicking and punting question.
KF said kicking game was a bright spot last week. It was. Coluzzi has been terrific. Iowa has allowed just one returned punt this year. That kinda matters this week. Said Keith Duncan has done well, impressive in practice.
On scheduling: 5 to 7 years ago, thinking was two Power 5 schools and then MAC or FCS. The price tags are high. All schools want to play seven home games.
And the nine-game Big Ten schedule. That leaves Iowa with 10 Power 5 schools. With FCS market out for the Big Ten now, the market has shrunk, so it’s going to be a payday for MAC, Mountain West.
Dolph asks about playing Oklahoma at Arrowhead. KF said he didn’t know how the $$$ would work.
Dolph mentions Notre Dame. A home-and-home with ND, anyone? KF laughed and said that would be a great thought.
Randy is calling. The sun came up for him on ... Sunday.
No negative nellies. Mentions Keegan Render. KF said Render and Lucas LeGrand have improved. I agree with that. First steps for these guys. It’s not going to be perfectly smooth cement.
A lady, I spaced out on her name, asks about the last series, the 4-minute drill that went nowhere.
KF said they wanted yards. In retrospect, maybe you throw, he said. Answer didn’t change much from the postgame. The idea was getting two first downs. The key series, KF said, was the third-and-3 that died at Iowa’s 49. Iowa had first down at the 49 after CJB took a late hit on Iowa’s sideline and the drive burned out. That was a big opportunity dribbled away.
— KF said G Sean Welsh (ankle) and C James Daniels (knee) have had good weeks and are ready to go. Both were in uniform and went through warmups last week. They practiced last Friday, but weren’t ready. They’re starting this week.
— RB Derrick Mitchell (leg injury in practice last week) won’t make the trip to Jersey.
— Dan from Omaha wants a more developed fullback.
Quick, hang up.
Fullback isn’t a terribly productive position, as far as running or receiving, IN ALL OF FOOTBALL.
Bronko Nagurski is dead. Long live Bronko Nagurski.
— AJ from Clear Lake. I think this is the hog barn guy. Lots of bad weather in northern Iowa tonight. Said he got hailed on in practice.
Gives a hearty “Go Iowa.”
I like AJ. Sounds like a good dude.
— JJ from North Liberty. Asks about zone blocking. Seemed like NDSU did something different and clogged up Iowa’s holes. Asking about CJB and QB draw.
KF said Iowa never established anything to achieve balance or rhythm.
I spaced out. First time tonight. Pretty good for me.
— Tim from Clarion. It took him three days to get over it. Hated Iowa’s last series. Asks KF if he can override the playcall.
“Sure, I can override anybody in our program,” he said.
Tries not to make emotional decisions. Is in constant contact on the headphones.
It comes down to efficiency. Iowa wasn’t efficient. Said he wouldn’t have run those plays if he thought they were going nowhere. Said there should be an FBI investigation if he did.
Iowa really wasn’t efficient. That’s simply gaining yards and staying ahead of the chains and on schedule.
Here’s what I mean:
(50% of needed yards on first down, 70% of needed yards on second down, or 100% of needed yards on third or fourth down)
Iowa — 37 percent (18 efficient plays out of 49 total)
NDSU — 43 percent (29 of 68)
Tracking the Hawkeyes: Week 1 vs. Miami — 54 percent (off), 51.4 (def); Week 2 vs. ISU — 52 percent (off), 34 (def); Week 3 vs. NDSU — 37 percent (off), 43 (def);
The takeaway: Iowa had no efficient offensive plays in the fourth quarter and, thus, ran just seven plays and had no first downs. Meanwhile, on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took 8:39 off the clock and brought the Bison within one point, NDSU strung together eight efficient plays with just two plays of 10-plus yards sprinkled into the drive.
Iowa’s defense ran out of steam and the offense didn’t have its back with a drive of consequence.
— This is almost the end. Tonight got out of hand.
KF is clarifying the veto thing. They talk about what they want to do going into a particular series. It’s not just one person. They all talked about it. They wouldn’t have called those plays if they didn't think they would work.
— Dallas from Dallas Center. I don’t think that’s right.
Raider packages, sub patterns for RB and WRs.
On raider: Advantages and disadvantages. Depends on situation. NDSU is a running threat. It’s still part of what Iowa does and will be used. It’s not a cure-all, just FYI. I do think you’ll see more of it this week against a power spread.
Rotation: It’s discussed during the week and on Saturday.
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