Three cool things:
1. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels was really starting to take off at this point. That worked out, even with Iowa already having a D-line that included Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug, Christian Ballard and Broderick Binns.
Daniels is a hurricane at just more than 6 feet. I’m not sure he ever plateaued in the weight room. He just kept coming his last two seasons at Iowa.
Daniels piled up four tackles for loss in this one. I wanted to see how rare that was and, yeah, it’s like a four-goal game in hockey.
Since the 2010 season, only two Hawkeyes have recorded 4.0 tackles for loss in a game. Daniels did it twice, here and 2011 against Purdue. Linebacker James Morris did it in 2013 at Nebraska.
2. The Hawkeyes wore throwback uniforms from the Forest Evashevski era (1958-60).
I never do this, but I’m going to play uniform critic for a second and rank the Hawkeyes’ throwbacks.
The winner is 2004 Kent State. Classic, minimalist and they repped Nile Kinnick. These are No. 2. A lot of you guys liked them and they’re cool, just not as cool as the gold helmet and white pants. Last place is 2012 throwbacks vs. Iowa State. Not third place, last place.
3. There’s a Tyler Sash quote in this that I’m sure we both ended up laughing about. I hate that he’s gone and I’m so sorry.
Quote: “Big Ten play starts, the preseason schedule is over, it’s time to play Big Ten football. I honestly didn’t even think about Penn State this week ... Honestly.” — Strong safety Tyler Sash.
Note: Here’s QB Ricky Stanzi’s first four games of 2010 — 66 of 99 for 999 yards, nine TDs and one interception. Not surprisingly, those numbers would’ve made a full house in poker. Talked roulette with Stanzi after another win. You don’t get gambling references from the fellas very often.
Why No. 135? — This was a putrid Ball State team. Seriously. I’ll bet David Letterman didn’t even watch them in 2010.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2010
IOWA CITY — Sometimes there’s something to be said for punching in and doing the job.
Iowa did that Saturday.
On a rainy, chilly day, quarterback Ricky Stanzi completed 19 of 25 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, running back Adam Robinson rushed for 115 yards and a pair of scores and the No. 18 Hawkeyes’ defense handed Ball State its first shutout in 61 games, 45-0, before 70,585 at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa punched in with Robinson, whose role has been elevated with the season-ending injury to sophomore Jewel Hampton. Stanzi and wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos punched in with four connections for 87 yards and two TDs, including a 45-yarder.
Defensive tackle Mike Daniels punched and punched and punched in with four tackles for loss and a sack.
The Hawkeyes (3-1) wiped off last week’s disappointment in the desert, a 34-27 loss at No. 14 Arizona, with a complete dismissal of Ball State (1-3), a Mid-American Conference school from Muncie, Ind.
“It was good to get through the week,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Now we move into conference play.”
And with that, the fast forwarding begins.
The Hawkeyes play host to No. 23 Penn State (3-1) next Saturday night at Kinnick. The Nittany Lions survived a knock-down-drag-out with “others receiving votes” Temple, 22-13.
And now it matters. It really matters.
“Big Ten play starts, the preseason schedule is over, it’s time to play Big Ten football,” strong safety Tyler Sash said. “I honestly didn’t even think about Penn State this week ... Honestly.”
Iowa didn’t vacuum all the sand out of its game from last week.
Stanzi and center James Ferentz lost their second fumbled snap this season. The Hawkeyes dropped four passes. Freshman Mike Meyer took over for Trent Mossbrucker as field-goal kicker and left his first attempt, a 37-yarder, wide left. Iowa’s first drive had drops from Johnson-Koulianos, tight end Allen Reisner and a delay-of-game penalty on a fourth-and-inches.
That won’t get it done against Penn State. Ball State wasn’t Penn State. It was barely a state.
“I think defensively they’re the best team that I’ve seen and we’ve played since the Michigan team of 2006,” BSU Coach Stan Parrish said. “Their front four just ran us over.”
The Hawkeyes held the Cardinals to 112 yards offense, the fewest they’ve allowed since holding Syracuse to 103 in a 35-0 victory in 2007. Iowa allowed just 56 passing yards, the second fewest of the Ferentz era. Ball State’s eight completions were the fifth fewest under Ferentz.
Ball State center Kreg Hunter was suspended for Saturday’s game after an arrest last Sunday morning. Junior Jerrod Gray stood in and Daniels ran around and through the middle of BSU’s O-line all day.
“If I get back there, I get back there,” said the junior. “If not, then I don’t get back there.”
If that didn’t make sense, it’s OK. Daniels’ best talking has been done on the field. It’s Daniels, who was headed to FCS Villanova before a phone call from Iowa, who leads the Hawkeyes with 7.5 tackles for loss.
“I’m not afraid to say it, Mike has probably been our best defensive lineman,” defensive tackle Christian Ballard said. “He’s shown up to play every game. He’s making plays and that’s exactly what we want him to do.”
After Iowa’s offense worked out some kinks, it buzzed and clipped like the veteran group it is.
The Hawkeyes punted on their first possession of the second quarter and then scored touchdowns on five of their next seven possessions and scored on six of those seven, with Meyer connecting on a 25-yard field goal, first of his career and first of Iowa’s season, for a 45-0 lead with 5:09 left in the game.
Robinson was long gone before that. His last carry was a 1-yard TD with 10:25 left in the third quarter. By that time, he had his third 100-yard game this season and his sixth TD this year, surpassing the five he scored in 2009.
Robinson is Iowa’s lone experienced running back, a fact certainly not lost on him. He and Hampton, who underwent ACL surgery Thursday, are friends and roommates. A fact that didn’t drift far from Robinson’s mind Saturday.
“Not having Jewel there is kind of a bummer,” Robinson said. “He’s one of my good friends. Not having him on the sideline is really different. I think I did OK providing a spark for the offense, but couldn’t have done it with everyone as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Stanzi’s numbers through four games are otherworldly. It’s a massive about-face after throwing 15 interceptions in 2009.
Stanzi has completed 66 of 99 for 999 yards, nine TDs and one interception. His pass efficiency of 179.41 will likely land him in the top 10 in the nation.
“He just seems more comfortable in all regards,” Coach Ferentz said. “He’s throwing better deep balls. We’re doing a better job in that area. It was something we wanted to do coming into the season.”
And now it matters. It really matters.