Three cool things:
1. RIP Milo Hamilton.
Hamilton was a University of Iowa grad who called baseball games for seven major-league teams over 60 years. He showed up to a few Iowa football games. He was a proud alum. Iowa was proud of him and showed it.
Hamilton called Houston Astros games for 28 years. So on this day in October 2006, Hamilton found himself meeting and greeting a fan of his. Iowa QB Drew Tate was from Baytown, Texas, near Houston, and was a fan of the Astros.
“Everyone here is a Cubs fan. I’m just not into that,” Tate said after the game and shaking Hamilton’s hand. (Yes, the Illinois-ness or Chicago-ness of Iowa City is pretty apparent. It works out. Sunday isn’t much of a football day for Chicagoans.)
Hamilton died in 2015 at the age of 88. He called Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. Hamilton grew up in Fairfield listening to baseball on the radio.
“It’s plain and simple: Baseball is a radio game,” he wrote in his autobiography, “Making Airwaves: 60 Years at Milo’s Microphone” (2006). “Fans use their imagination while listening to the broadcast to recreate the game.”
At 51, I can totally grok that.
2. Reeling things into the present a little bit, if you’re not at least kind of nervous (or maybe “aware”) of Iowa running back 2018, then I’m glad. You’re living a sound and happy summer. Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin are intriguing, but they’re only two dudes. Mekhi Sargent, a first-team all-American running back at Iowa Western Community College last season, has enrolled at Iowa and likely will be in the mix.
This was 2006. By the end of this season, Shonn Greene was a safety, so you know it can get weird. In this game, Albert Young was injured and Iowa used Greene and Damian Sims.
So, bottom line, Iowa needs four RBs it can trust. There’s an outline for that in 2018, but there’s still some sorting to do.
3. Adam Shada had a 98-yard interception return. That’s still tied for the school’s longest interception return for a TD. Tanner Miller also did it in 2011. He did it to Dan Persa. We’ll get to him, but that’s probably enough for you to list Miller first.
Quote: “I don’t know what they rushed for — around 900 or so. It seemed to me like they did anyway. I was surprised at the way they ran the ball and the ease at which they ran the ball.” — Purdue Coach Joe Tiller
Note: Greene finished the 2006 season with 205 rushing yards. Remember when Akrum Wadley was a cornerback for a week? Greene did actually practice at safety during the Alamo Bowl against Texas. Iowa really only got one season with Greene. That went OK.
Why No. 103? — I’m not sure why or how, but Purdue played 14 games in 2006, with nonconference matchups against Notre Dame, Hawaii, Indiana State, Miami (Ohio) and Ball State. The Boilers finished 8-6.
You don’t see too many coaches doing the Hawaii trip anymore. Iowa fans can relate to bad things happening in paradise.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2006
IOWA CITY — Last week, it was consistent nuisance. Today, the needle points to actual contender.
Where the needle sticks has another six weeks to sort out. But today the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes are an actual contender in the Big Ten Conference.
The Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten) bellied up to a season-high buffet in their 47-17 thrashing of Purdue before 70,585 fans Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa put up season bests in points, rushing yards (286), passing yards (253), total offense (539) and first downs (25). The defense picked off three passes, including cornerback Adam Shada’s 98-yard interception return for a touchdown and a school record.
It’s a good day when the defense talks about how well they blocked. It’s a good day when the quarterback takes a second to say hello to his hometown baseball team’s longtime play-by-play announcer. It’s a good day when a host of newbies get a hand in on a Big Ten beatdown.
“I was rootin’,” Iowa quarterback Drew Tate said as he shook hands with Milo Hamilton, an Iowa grad and radio voice for the Houston Astros. “Everyone here is a Cubs fan. I’m just not into that.”
Tate was into good health, finishing off his first complete week of practice since mid-August with 17 of 23 for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Iowa’s offense was into a rhythm, behind an offensive line hitting its stride and running backs Damian Sims and Shonn Greene.
Filling in for junior Albert Young, who sat out with a knee injury, Sims rushed 20 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns. On his fourth touch, Sims reeled off 36 yards, Iowa’s longest rush of the season. In the second quarter, he topped himself with a 44-yarder.
Greene, a 225-pound bull compared to Sims’ 185-pound dance machine, rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries.
“It seemed like everything we called worked,” said Sims, who averaged 7.8 yards in his first start. “How we drew everything up, it worked today.”
Iowa’s offensive line can take that “no 100-yard rusher” off the board.
“The whole 100-yard rusher thing is nice,” right tackle Marshal Yanda said. “That 286 is really nice. That really feels good. We really grew as a team today.”
Even in the face of seven defenders, Iowa ran the ball with scary ease against the Boilermakers (4-2, 1-1). When a team runs for 286 yards, every thing really does seem to work.
“I don’t know what they rushed for — around 900 or so. It seemed to me like they did anyway,” Purdue Coach Joe Tiller said. “I was surprised at the way they ran the ball and the ease at which they ran the ball.”
Young, who led the Big Ten in rushing for conference games last season, should be back next week, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Ferentz is fine with the notion of a running back controversy, even though everyone says there isn’t one. And really, there probably isn’t one, but you can kind of maybe sort of see where that might come up.
“It’s a great problem,” Ferentz said. “And the three of those guys, they’re easy to work with. All three guys have been great attitude guys, great practice guys.”
Sims and Greene were diplomatic. They say Young still is the man, still the starter.
“If it was a perfect world, we’d all get 300 carries a game,” said Sims, who fumbled twice. “Unfortunately, it’s not like that.”
Iowa’s offensive line looks settled with Mike Elgin in at center and Seth Olsen at guard. But Iowa’s line didn’t look settled when Elgin went out after a nasty eye poking, freshman replacement Rafael Eubanks went out with an ankle injury and No. 3 Rob Bruggeman went in.
The group didn’t flinch and continued to herd Boilermakers around the field.
“They’re probably one of the most physical teams in the Big Ten (in) the offensive line,” Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer said. “It was very hard out there.”
Iowa’s defense made it hard on Purdue’s wide-open spread offense. The Hawkeyes picked off Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter twice.
They played a lot of nickel-and-dime coverage, with sophomore Bradley Fletcher and freshman Justin Edwards rotating in on obvious passing downs.
Iowa’s defense threw a lot of unproven players on the field. Along with Fletcher and Edwards, freshman A.J. Edds started in place of junior Mike Humpal at outside linebacker. Humpal sat out with a shoulder stinger.
Redshirt freshman Marcus Wilson started in place of senior Marcus Paschal, who sat out with a hamstring injury. The Hawkeyes gave up 456 yards total offense, but allowed only 17 points.
“It means they’re taking what they’ve done in practice, not just this week but since August, and letting it work for them,” Ferentz said. “That’s good to see.”
Tate isn’t out of the woods with his abdominal strain. He spent some of his Saturday night wrapped in ice and went through the same treatment and stretching routines he’s been going through since August.
“I feel fine,” Tate said. “I took all the reps I needed to take this week.”
He looked better and the Hawkeyes looked better than last week, when they were bruised, 38-17, at the hands of No. 1 Ohio State.
“We didn’t lose and mope,” Tate said. “We’re hungry. We want to win.”
The Hawkeyes are running behind Ohio State, but the needle points to actual contender.