Three cool things:
1. Albert Young quotes. That guy never called a hamburger steak. This was a perfunctory exercise and Young stated that perfectly. “You guys didn’t see the good stuff yet,” Young said. “Maybe next week.”
2. QB Drew Tate said he wasn’t hurt. He was. It turned out to be an oblique injury. Was it caused by the hay bale toss at Solon Beef Days? That’s part of the lore. Hey, it’s only No. 142 and we’re invoking Solon Beef Days.
3. Maybe as many as five Hawkeyes had their helmets knocked off in this one. Albert Young quote: “You see the two lumps and my ear. I don’t wear it tight. I like to move. I like to be free. And you look tough.”
Quote: “Did it look like I played hurt? Didn’t I break my leg before the Capital One Bowl game? I wonder what’s going to happen next week.” — quarterback Drew Tate
Note: This game christened the new press box and the south end zone at Kinnick. Now, the north end zone is going to look cool and you’re going to want to rethink the south ... if you have an extra hundred mill.
And hello (and soon goodbye) Dominique Douglas. The freshman showed he belonged with three catches for 43 yards and score. And then he became the king of off-field difficulties at Iowa and probably left an indelible impression on the program in that regard. Unfortunately. Hopefully, he’s living life and happy.
Difference between newspapers then and now: Back then, I wrote the headlines for my posts/stories, and I would use what we in the newspaper business call “kickers.” It’s a big, bold headline that says it all. For this game, I came up with “Work in progress.” I abandoned kickers after The Gazette CEO made a comment in some meeting or something about SEO and finding things on the internet. I totally cop to stinking at SEO. Still.
Why No. 142?: Easy, this was an FCS school. Eighty-five scholarships vs. 63. Should Iowa schedule these games? Not with Montana, only with UNI and, oh man, North Dakota State.
Montana linebacker Tyler Joyce perfectly placed the struggle for FCS schools going into the slaughterhouse.
“We continued to play hard, but it’s tough when you have 700 pounds on you every play.”
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2006
IOWA CITY — The tight ends couldn’t hear the center. The running back couldn’t keep his helmet on. And just in case, they found a backup kicker.
This was all about punching in and doing a job for the No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa (1-0) rung in newly renovated Kinnick Stadium with what was, more or less, an intrasquad exercise, squeezing a 41-7 victory out of FCS Montana before 70,585 fans Saturday.
The Grizzlies (0-1) did enough to keep the Hawkeyes’ attention, pulling within 17-7 on Josh Swogger’s 7-yard TD pass to Eric Allen with 6:44 left in the third quarter.
Iowa then ripped off 24 unanswered points and was way into preparations for a road trip to Syracuse. Maybe they’ll have running back Albert Young’s helmet figured out next week. You see, running backs need helmets like stadium renovations need sugar daddy donors.
“You see the two lumps and my ear,” said Young, who lost his helmet three times. “I don’t wear it tight. I like to move. I like to be free.
“And you look tough.”
While Iowa’s offense went through a sluggish quarter and a half or so, Young propped it up with 93 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and four catches for 55 yards and another score.
“Albert kept working out there, all the guys kept working,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Our two new linemen (center Rafael Eubanks and tackle Dace Richardson) got into the flow. Obviously, we have a lot of rough edges, but I thought we improved as we moved along.”
Quarterback Drew Tate completed 15 of 28 for 223 yards and three TDs. Tight end Scott Chandler caught four passes for 44 yards.
Freshman wideout Dominique Douglas showed he belonged with three catches for 43 yards and a score. He sprung Young for a 35-yard reception with a pancake block on Montana cornerback Tuff Harris.
Iowa’s offense piled up 416 yards.
“A lot of our guys are hungry to make plays and do the right thing,” Tate said. “Y’all saw that.”
Iowa’s defense sat on the Griz, holding them to 144 yards of total offense. Montana rushed for just 10 yards on 25 carries. The Hawkeyes allowed one drive longer than 40 yards and just 11 first downs.
Tackle Mitch King had 1 1/2 sacks. End Bryan Mattison had three tackles for loss, including a sack. Linebacker Mike Humpal picked off a pass.
“This was a big-time quarterback,” Humpal said of Swogger, who transferred from Washington State. “He kept us on our toes and we responded.”
They don’t keep stats on flying helmets, but they might after five Hawkeyes helmets hit the turf Saturday. Hey, it’s Montana. You don’t notice the scoreboard. You make flying helmets a stat.
“That’s on my list of things to check on, that’s for sure,” Ferentz said. “It was really, obviously, in excess.”
The helmets they can fix. There were other issues that might call for more than just a screwdriver. Iowa receivers had four drops, including three by sophomore Andy Brodell, who salvaged his day with an acrobatic grab between three Montana defenders for a 44-yard gain. On their one series that worked, the Griz went after cornerback Charles Godfrey. Allen made two grabs in front of the junior, including the TD reception. Godfrey also picked up his second pass interference penalty during the drive. The Hawkeyes were called for eight penalties.
“We’re still working,” Mattison said. “None of us thinks we’re there yet. You think that, you’re going backward.”
Senior kicker Kyle Schlicher sat out with a leg strain. Ferentz said he should be back next week. Redshirt freshman Austin Signor filled in nicely, booting a pair of field goals (41 and 35).
Rumors percolated all week that Tate had some sort of upper-body injury. Before the Capital One Bowl in 2004, rumors surfaced on the internet that Tate broke his leg coming out of a class. This week, the rumor mill had Tate with everything from a strained oblique to a torn rotator cuff. Cross them all off the list, he said. Tate threw every route and overthrew two deep balls Saturday.
“Did it look like I played hurt?” said Tate, whose 46 TD passes moved him into second on Iowa’s career list, behind Chuck Long’s 74. “Didn’t I break my leg before the Capital One Bowl game?
“I wonder what’s going to happen next week.”
A lot of people are. The Hawkeyes will go into Syracuse’s Carrier Dome largely untested. After a day of matching muscle with FCS linemen, Griz linebacker Tyler Joyce was ready for someone his own size.
“We continued to play hard, but it’s tough when you have 700 pounds on you every play,” Joyce said. “It’s a different breed, I-A and I-AA.”
Everything Iowa did Saturday was elementary. The defense blitzed once or twice at the most. The front four ran a handful of loops. On offense, the Hawkeyes ran the stretch play and took what Montana’s secondary gave them, which more often than not was secondary routes. They’re saving themselves for the Orange, who played Wake Forest on Saturday, and beyond.
“You guys didn’t see the good stuff yet,” Young said. “Maybe next week.”