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IOWA CITY — When you’ve been going hard in practice for weeks on end, and it’s all been work on team vs. team scenarios, the monotony can set in.
Finding motivation is rarely hard for college football players, but it’s how that motivation manifests itself that matters. For the Iowa football team, there are a variety of things that push these guys as they hit full stride on preparation for Miami (Ohio) and their 2016 opener at Kinnick Stadium.
Internal or external, there’s plenty for the Hawkeyes to draw from.
“We’ve been grinding all through the summer and offseason, and it’s nice to finally have a game in front of us this week,” said starting left tackle Cole Croston. “We came up with (the mantra 95/5) in the offseason, it’s the 95 percent and the 5 percent. We strive to be the 5 percent who do the daily disciplines, and try to separate ourselves from the 5 percent, which is, say, the guys who do things right but get complacent and lose that edge.
“We’ve really taken off with it. We mention the 5 percent when we do something right one play and we bring the play up down the road and say we can’t be that 95 percent.”
Those “daily disciplines” Croston mentioned clearly permeate throughout the locker room, because a guy on the other side of the ball, linebacker Josey Jewell, echoed that same sentiment when asked about finding motivation.
He defined the “daily disciplines” as going to class, coming in early for treatment, staying after practice for individual work and “small things that little people won’t do, but increase your worth.”
“There’s always motivation from everything. There’s motivation anywhere you can find,” Jewell said. “Looking at game footage, that’s where most of my motivation from this year has come so far. As we get into more games, it’ll switch to this year, but so far it’s been from last year and how I can improve as an individual, hone in on those small details and try to get better.”
For many players, getting out on the field for the first time, period, has been motivation enough. Defensive end Anthony Nelson — a redshirt freshman who’s penciled into a starting role in the first depth chart — needs nothing more than the fact it’s game week to get his mind right every day in film and in practice. Starting kicker Keith Duncan, a true freshman, fits that bill, too. Same goes for guys like wide receiver Devonte Young, defensive end Brady Reiff and running back Toks Akinribade, who aren’t set to start Week 1, but could very well see their first action as Hawkeyes.
For other players, it’s about getting back on the field. More specifically, C.J. Beathard acknowledged there’s a lot of motivation in getting on the field and erasing what happened in the Rose Bowl against Stanford.
“I think (the Rose Bowl) and the Big Ten Championship (are motivation). We’re a hungry team, and those games helped us to be hungrier this season and in the offseason,” Beathard said. “I think we’ve used that throughout he offseason program. Ever since that last game, we’ve had that taste in our mouth, and we’re ready to get on the field for this season.
“It’s my last go at it. I want to make the most out of my senior year, and I’m going to do everything I can do to make it the best season we can make it.”
IOWA REITERATES GAMEDAY POLICIES
Iowa sent out a news release Tuesday reiterating policies for fans on game days at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa adopted a clear bag policy last season, as well as for the Back Porch Revival concert, and will stick with it for football. Only clear bags 12” x 6” x 12” will be allowed into Kinnick Stadium. Clutch bags no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” will also be allowed. A complimentary bag check will once again be available in the Recreation Building for items not allowed inside the stadium. A full list of items allowed inside Kinnick Stadium is available at hawkeyesports.com/gameday.
There’s also been a change in traffic routes, specifically with Dubuque Street. From the release:
“Hawkeye Fans will see changes to access into Iowa City via Dubuque Street as the City of Iowa City’s Gateway Project is completed over the next two years. Historically, Dubuque Street has offered four lanes of traffic — two lanes in both northbound and southbound directions. During the 2016 Iowa football season, fans will see only two lanes of available traffic between Foster Road and Park Road.
“Pregame, Dubuque Street will remain as is under the current Gateway Project configuration, with one lane of traffic in each direction. Fans should be prepared for delays on their way to Kinnick Stadium and plan to arrive earlier this season. Fans entering Iowa City from Interstate 80 are encouraged to use alternate routes, such as Dodge Street (Exit 246) and Coral Ridge Ave/Hwy 6 (Exit 240), as well as ride the Hawkeye Express train, which departs from the Fount Plaza (2441 James Street) in Coralville. First Avenue in Coralville (Exit 242) will continue to experience heavy traffic on home Football game days.
“Postgame, Dubuque Street will temporarily convert to a one-way road between Park Road and Foster Road, with two lanes of outbound traffic to accommodate heavy traffic leaving Iowa City. The two lanes of northbound traffic postgame represent no change from previous seasons.”
Additionally, the news release said postgame tailgating will be allowed for all home games except those that start after 6 p.m.
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