We will get to the time I went bowling with former Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer. There’s a lot to unpack there.
So, 2009 Arkansas State I’m pretty sure was Angerer’s “brother’s dog’s thumbs” one-liner. I knew I wrote something compiling some of Angerer’s one-liners during his time at Iowa.
That’s a huge part of Pat’s story at Iowa, but let’s also say this: The guy was a magnificent football player. He wasn’t into it early in his Iowa career. He probably led the league in Coors Light and flannel at that point.
He brushed past “the life” and finished his Iowa career with two brilliant seasons. When Josey Jewell burst on the scene in 2015, Angerer, who wore No. 43 as a Hawkeye, right away joked and said “best 43 ever at Iowa.” I think Jewell would stop him right there and point out a multitude of plays Angerer made at Iowa for a counterpoint.
Pat was a lot of fun. Still is. Someone get that guy his own podcast, “Tales from the Dog’s Thumbs.”
Quote: “It’s a good week in the bank. It wasn’t pretty or smooth, but it was a good week in the bank.” — head coach Kirk Ferentz, saying the first part of what he was thinking. The second part probably was more about football and probably had bleeps.
Note: For what it’s worth, Ferentz is 3-0 against the Sun Belt. Can you name them? I’d post them upside down, but I have no idea how to do that, so here you go: 2008 Florida International, this game and 2011 Louisiana-Monroe.
Why No. 94? — I think you kind of have to be flexible with Iowa’s scheduling. The second Power Five game is over. Let it go. The mega neutral site game isn’t happening, at least not with a Power Five team. You might get a neutral site game against Northern Illinois.
I really think this: Iowa doesn’t want to schedule Sun Belt schools. Sometimes, things get pinched, plans deflate and you’re stuck. I know, I just listed things you don’t want your team to do. I just think that’s the reality of Iowa’s non-conference scheduling.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME
Game story from 2009
IOWA CITY — Maybe it was complacency. Maybe it was the specter of Michigan. Or maybe, just maybe, it really was Arkansas State.
Probably all of the above.
The No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes couldn’t shake complacency or that big Michigan thingie next week, but in the end, they did shake Arkansas State, 24-21, before 67,989 fans Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw three TD passes, including 43- and 41-yarders to wide receiver Marvin McNutt, and the Hawkeyes moved to 5-0 for the first time under Coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes ran their winning streak to nine games, Iowa’s third nine-game winning streak under Ferentz (2002 and 2003-04).
If this were “American Idol” or figure skating, Iowa loses. Football doesn’t come with sequins or judges, so the Hawkeyes held up their end of next Saturday’s mega-matchup with No. 22 Michigan (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten), a primetime ABC showdown. The Wolverines fell, 26-20, in overtime at Michigan State.
So Iowa, which needed to recover an onside kick with 1:59 left against Arkansas State, is the headliner. It probably doesn’t feel like it after Saturday’s sluggish, constipated, herky-jerky effort, but hey, no sequins, no judges. Win and be thankful the style points didn’t matter.
“It’s a good week in the bank,” Ferentz said. “It wasn’t pretty or smooth, but it was a good week in the bank.”
Ferentz didn’t see any “look ahead” in his team this week, calling it Iowa’s best week of practice this season.
“Nobody said a word about it in our building, unless guys are having these little secret meetings wherever they go,” Ferentz joked.
Let’s take a look at that complacency theory.
On their first two drives, the Hawkeyes resembled the well-oiled “Terminator” they’re going to have to be to butt up against Michigan. In 12 plays and about six minutes, Stanzi found wide receiver Trey Stross for a 33-yard score and then hit McNutt for a 41-yarder and a 14-0 lead with 6:55 left in the first quarter.
Then, it was dial tone.
“Honestly, we got a little bit complacent,” Stanzi said. “We’ve got to execute and not play complacent and not think that everything is going to come easy.”
After the 14-0 lead, Iowa went punt, punt, punt and half. During that stretch, Iowa failed to convert third-and-3, third-and-1 and third-and-8. Meanwhile, Arkansas State quarterback Corey Leonard played like the experienced senior he is, connecting with receiver Brandon Thompkins to pull the Red Wolves (1-3) within 14-7 with 44 seconds left before halftime.
The TD pass capped a nine-play, 89-yard drive against a defense that put a lid on Penn State last weekend.
Penn State last week. Michigan next week. Phoning it in this week.
“Next time, we need to not think that we have the game in the bag,” said McNutt, whose career day included four catches for 121 yards and the two TDs.
Stanzi-to-McNutt gave Iowa a 21-7 lead with 13:16 left in the third quarter. Then Stanzi gave it right back, throwing a late pass into the flat that ASU linebacker Demario Davis intercepted and returned 75 yards to pull the Wolves within 21-14.
“They made some plays,” said sophomore safety Tyler Sash, whose third-quarter interception — his fifth this year and 10th career — led to McNutt’s 43-yarder. “They’re a good team. This wasn’t a letdown on our end. Their backs were to the wall and they made some plays.”
Davis did a front flip into the end zone and was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct. The Wolves were penalized on the kickoff, and the Hawkeyes took advantage of the field position, with Daniel Murray booting a 20-yard field goal with 14:35 left in the fourth for a 24-14 lead.
On to Michigan ... or not.
Leonard wasn’t finished. He directed a 17-play, 68-yard drive that drained 7:59 off the clock and ended with Leonard making a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to tight end Trevor Gillott, making it 24-21 with 2:01 left.
“We said all week, they were a good team, it was going to be 60 minutes,” said linebacker Pat Angerer, whose right thumb was in a brace for a torn ligament after the game. “That quarterback can play for any school in the country. He was really, really good.”
With 1:59 left, McNutt made a perfect play on the onside kick.
OK, let’s talk Michigan. But wait.
The Hawkeyes couldn’t convert a third-and-4. Running back Adam Robinson ran to the left for no gain, kind of the story. With left tackle Bryan Bulaga on the field for the first time in three weeks, Arkansas State held the Hawkeyes to 3.8 yards on 33 carries. After combining for 161 at Penn State last week, Robinson and Brandon Wegher were held to 87 yards on 25 carries.
This wasn’t over until it was over, when the clock struck zeros on a Leonard desperation heave near the Iowa 30 and the Wolves were on the charter back to Jonesboro.
Yes on complacency. They said it was there. Definite yes on Arkansas State, representing the Sun Belt with oomph.
Now, on to Michigan.
Pat Angerer feature from 2009
Pat Angerer unplugged
IOWA CITY — The dog’s name is “Cash,” as in “Johnny Cash.” Cash is an English bulldog and he’s Pat Angerer’s best friend.
We got to know Cash, owned by one of Angerer’s three brothers, after the Iowa linebacker tore ligaments in his right thumb this season.
Cash does just fine without thumbs, so ...
“You don’t need thumbs,” he said. “My best friend is my brother’s dog. He doesn’t have any thumbs and he’s doing fine.”
Angerer has made nearly every media opportunity this season an open-mic night, even after the Hawkeyes’ undefeated season was sunk against Northwestern.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried ... OK, the only tears were tears of laughter.
Angerer is one of 17 seniors who will help the No. 15 Hawkeyes (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten) try to win their way to a BCS bowl Saturday against Minnesota (6-5, 3-4) in Kinnick Stadium.
Yes, Angerer has been hilarious and we’ll get to the hilarity, but let’s recognize a fabulous career.
After nearly quitting his sophomore season while enduring several nagging injuries, a bout with mononucleosis and being passed by a freshman on the depth chart, Angerer was second-team all-Big Ten last season, with an eye-popping five interceptions as a middle linebacker.
This year, he’s second in the Big Ten with 119 tackles and is among team leaders with five pass breakups. Against Penn State, Angerer earned the Bronko Nagurski national defensive player of the week award with a game-high 14 tackles and two key turnovers in Iowa’s 21-10 victory. His 38-yard interception return set up an Iowa touchdown.
This week, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz discussed the differences between Angerer, a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player, and A.J. Edds, a fellow senior linebacker.
“(Edds) is probably going after (Iowa athletics director) Gary Barta’s job as soon as he gets out of football,” Ferentz said. “Fortunately, he wants to go into administration, not coaching, or maybe he’ll be president of a bank or something like that. That’s what he looks like.
“Pat might be after someone else’s job, WWA or whatever they call that stuff.
“So, a little different personality wise.”
Ferentz might have been referring to mixed martial arts or the World Wrestling Entertainment. You can’t really be sure with Angerer.
Angerer on how he occupies his time during the day before a night game: “I don’t really have enough friends who text me. They’re either in the Army or in jail. They can’t use their phones.”
Angerer on learning through Facebook of Iowa’s first appearance in the BCS rankings: “Go Hawks, No. 6, LOL! Who cares, you know?”
Angerer on stopping a fake field goal against Arizona: “I didn’t know what the hell was going on.”
Angerer on his dad, Cliff, and his threats if he would’ve gone anywhere but Iowa: “I used to tell him I was going to go to Michigan. He threatened to kick me out of the house a bunch of times.”
Angerer on what might’ve happened to him if he had followed through on thoughts of quitting football after his sophomore year: “I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. I’d probably be in jail or something. But I’m glad I’m not, because I don’t think I could last in jail.”
Angerer after one of Iowa’s close victories this season: “Somebody must’ve sold their soul to somebody.”
Angerer on how he really passes time before night kickoffs: “Hang out, drink coffee. call my girlfriends.”
Wait, you’ve dated the same woman (Mary Porter — now married and with children) since high school. “She’ll kick my ass for that.”
Angerer on the beard trend that kicked in with the Hawkeyes this season: “I’m trying to become more of a man, so I grew out my facial hair and I’m trying to eat hot sauce more.”
After Iowa’s victory at Penn State, Angerer was asked what the happy locker room was like. “Yeah it’s great, a bunch of naked guys walking around.”
Angerer on where his sense of humor came from: “Probably my brothers and my sister. I’ve stolen a lot of their jokes. Luckily, they don’t have copyrights on that.”
That one probably got a thumbs up from Cash.