It’s hate week. Most times, some of that leaks out of the Hawkeye headquarters.
The old Jacobson Building used to be more open. The place was there before Kirk Ferentz. It wasn’t really buttoned down, and so not quite his place.
The Hansen has a whole back end that the world can’t see. Certainly, it’s all bulletin board material and all of the little motivators that spike players’ pulses.
Or maybe not.
Not a lot of rah coming out of the Hawkeyes on Tuesday ahead of Iowa State.
Running back Mekhi Sargent said some crowd noise is being pumped into practice. QB Nate Stanley did talk about not knowing really what loud is until he heard it in a visitor’s locker room at places like Camp Randall and Beaver Stadium.
No visible Cy-Hawk ... what would be the word ... flair. No visible Cy-Hawk flair.
— You guys know I love hockey. Lacrosse is almost hockey. I like to call it grass hockey. I’m totally fascinated by it, so I finally got to ask Iowa WR Nico Ragaini about his prep lacrosse career in Connecticut.
Ragaini holds the Notre Dame High School record for assists (108) and points (180).
“Lacrosse translates to football,” Ragaini said. “It’s a really physical sport. I played midfielder, so I played defense and offense and sprinted up the field. It kept me in shape over the summer. It’s also another team sport, so communication with your teammates is important.”
Now, listen to the language. I’m going to let Nico use the term “dodge” and I’m going to pretend I know what it means.
“I translate football to lacrosse, so when I make dodge on a defender, I would almost think about it like I was running post. So, I’d give them a little head fake and put it in my left hand like I’m running a post route, spin the guy around and then switch it back. When I’m running a post, I think about the dodge I’m making.”
Yes, he was asked about the New England WR who was a lacrosse player, Chris Hogan. The skills do translate.
— I started my interview with LB Nick Niemann “You’re seeing a QB this week who’s one of those Baker Mayfield types ...”
He started laughing and nodding his head, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Brock Purdy didn’t play QB against the Hawkeyes last year. He jumped in the fifth week and threw four TD passes at Oklahoma State and didn’t let up after that.
He completed 66 percent of his passes and finished the season with a 170 pass efficiency. Purdy isn’t a burner with his feet, but he does damage, rushing for 308 yards and five TDs last season.
“He can do both,” Niemann said. “You have to be your best in coverage and you have to work to contain the QB and match routes if he’s scrambling around.”
Purdy’s scrambling could extend drives and really work for Iowa State.
You heard the word “contain” from a lot of Iowa defenders.
“Contain, basically,” corner Michael Ojemudia said. “When you have a QB like that, once they get out of the pocket, once this start scrambling, everybody on our defense has a job.”
— OK, some passing stuff.
In their first two weeks of the season, the Hawkeyes have drawn six pass interference or holding penalties on routes.
Is there a difference between a fade and a go route? Iowa favored the go route last year, but would you have called any of those fades? I’m guessing no. I think of a fade as more of a jump ball, trying to go to your tall, physical receiver. In this case, that’s Brandon Smith.
As it turns out, Iowa has thrown more fades this year.
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“I think Coach Brian (offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz) is allowing us to throw that a little bit more,” Stanley said. “We have play calls and positions where we are able to throw that a little bit more. He’s a very physical receiver.”
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