Three cool things:
1. Next time you go to a road game that the Hawkeyes happen to win (Iowa’s first road game in 2018 is at Minnesota), watch how long and where and how many times the “Swarm” stops and starts.
My read is the team’s first instinct is put together the Swarm (another Hayden Fry-era signature, the man was miles ahead of his time), shower, grab a Chik-Fil-A and sleep on the charter. The urge is charter and go.
On the road, the Hawkeyes like to get with you guys and celebrate. A lot of times, the Hawkeye road crowd is more intimate. It’s players’ parents and families and then some fervent true-believing streak keepers and then partyers. Truth be told, probably a bigger percentage of partyers than true believers, but that kind of goes hand-in-hand.
So, a lot of times, they Swarm up and then, oh yeah, let’s go sing the school fight song with the people. They do it in one corner. Some captain guy looks up and sees another clump of Hawkeye fans in another corner.
The players don’t dwell. They’re drilled. They know someone somewhere, probably Chris Doyle, is tapping his foot and timing this.
It’s just funny. Sometimes the celebration takes more out of them.
2. Garbage time is a thing, you guys.
I’m not sure if deep football analytics will take hold with the majority of fans. The deep stats have been around for a while. If you really wanted them, there would be a Rivals.com except for hardcore football analytics. I had that going a little bit with Pro Football Focus, but they ship their content somewhere else.
Analytics people do factor in situation. If it’s 49-14 Iowa in the fourth quarter, you clip those stats out. Or you weigh those numbers differently.
Iowa led 49-14 in this one. This might’ve been the most garbage time in an Iowa game since those early 2000s beatdowns against MAC schools.
3. So, now what do you do with Purdue?
Iowa could’ve walked out of Ross-Ade in the third quarter and still won. Then, the very next year in Kinnick Stadium, a QB with a torn ACL (Elijah Sindelar) tosses two TD passes in the third quarter and the Boilers stunned the Hawkeyes.
As long as Purdue hangs on to Jeff Brohm — and Tennessee came looking this year — the Boilers are going to be a thing. This year? I have to study Purdue more closely, but for now, it’s 50-50. Iowa’s games with Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota will have a say in whether or not 2018 is a success.
Quote: There aren’t many people who could use “jokers” instead of a cuss word and really make it work.
There’s Lee Marvin and Akrum Wadley and that’s probably it.
“We did what Iowa’s known for, which is bully football. They went out there and pushed a few jokers around and definitely lightened the load up for me and LeShun Daniels.” — Akrum Wadley
Note: Hey, this was TE Noah Fant’s first TD reception. He had 11 last season and goes into 2018 with 12.
Why No. 92? — This was the career-ender for Darrell Hazell. He was fired the next day. We also know that Ferentz Iowa turned out the lights on Pelini at Nebraska. I do not have all of the coaches that Ferentz has Highlander’d over the years, but if someone does that for me and is accurate, I will buy you a case of beer.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2016
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Things were a little cartoonish late in the afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Hawkeyes had just vanquished Purdue and got in their “swarm” and were all ready to shower, grab a meal and hit the charter.
Then, someone reminded them to turn around and trot to the opposite corner of the field and high-five all of the Hawkeye fans and do the school fight song.
So, after having disposed of Purdue with a massive attack in the first half and then having to redispose Purdue after allowing the Boilermakers to make it kind of a game in the bleech of fourth-quarter garbage time and then having to re-re-dispose of Purdue with Desmond King’s 41-yard interception return for a TD late in the game, the Hawkeyes were finally able to swarm up and out of Ross-Ade with a 49-35 victory before 40,239 fans.
Garbage time made this kind of gross for the Hawkeyes (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten). It made their school-record ninth straight road victory kind of drag out to the point where everyone was sort of looking at their watch. Everyone except Purdue (3-3, 1-2), which did pull within 42-28 with 5:36 left.
“It was,” defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson said when asked if Saturday felt like a long day (the game was nearly four hours). “The defense, I’d say we played close to ...”
It was 82 plays, the defense played 82 plays.
“It was something like that, it felt like it,” Johnson said. “I think overall our defense played extremely well today.”
When it mattered, before the listlessness of garbage time sucked the life out of this game, the Iowa defense did play well.
The Iowa offense was superb, rushing for 365 yards, tying for second most in the 18-year Kirk Ferentz era.
Running back Akrum Wadley’s 75-yard TD run with 1:18 left before halftime gave the Hawkeyes a 35-7 lead. And then, Ferentz and the Hawkeyes were kind of like a cat that didn’t quite know what to do with the mouse in its jaw. Was Purdue a meal or a plaything?
It was 42-14 after freshman tight end Noah Fant caught a 5-yard TD pass. The second-team defense went in. The Boilermakers put together back-to-back scoring drives — with QB David Blough’s 54-yard TD pass to DeAngelo Yancey capping a 54-second screamer of a drive — and pulled within two TDs.
Iowa’s second-team defense went back to the bench.
“It seemed like a land-speed record for a touchdown drive,” Ferentz said of the 54-second deal.
“The good thing for some of our backup guys is learning the tempo of the game. You can’t do that until you get out on the field.”
Iowa is really bad at garbage time, allowing TD drives of 80, 80 and 75 yards. Blough had 133 passing yards in the first half and finished with 458 and five TDs. Purdue’s 504 yards are the most against the Hawkeyes since Michigan piled on 513 yards in 2012.
“You’re never happy about it,” Ferentz said. “I’d be more unhappy if they were running the ball. That would make me really unhappy.”
With yet another version of the offensive line — changes driven this week by the fact that tackle Cole Croston (ankle) missed the game — Wadley rushed for 170 yards on 14 carries, including the 75-yarder that was his career-long, and senior running back LeShun Daniels went for 156 yards, with two TDs and a career-long rush of 67 yards in the third quarter.
Purdue defensive tackle Jake Replogle and middle linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley didn’t play and Iowa’s offensive line went to work, generating a season-high 520 yards of offense.
“We did what Iowa’s known for, which is bully football,” said Wadley, who’s given Iowa its longest plays of the season in back-to-back weeks.
“They went out there and pushed a few jokers around and definitely lightened the load up for me and LeShun Daniels.”
If empty-calorie yards and points against a team with a coach who was asked after the game about his confidence in continuing to lead the program — to which, Purdue coach Darrell Hazell answered, “Well, I’m doing everything right to help these guys become better” — has you building a fort in your living room, that is Wisconsin on the horizon this week.
Take heart in the fact that Iowa probably won’t see any garbage time this week. Check that off the list.