Iowa Football

Video: University of Iowa neuroanatomist breaks down a Hawkeye touchdown play

Football and neuroscience, not necessarily in that order

Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson (38) celebrates a touchdown catch he had against Ohio State at Kinnick Stadium in 2017 in the Hawkeyes’ 55-24 victory. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson (38) celebrates a touchdown catch he had against Ohio State at Kinnick Stadium in 2017 in the Hawkeyes’ 55-24 victory. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

This is the kind of breakdown of a college football play you’ll never get from Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN or Joel Klatt of Fox Sports.

For one thing, it’s not in a 10-second capsule. For another, it’s over the heads of most people starting with me.

But I found this interesting (it came to my attention on Twitter via Brian Ray, University of Iowa athletics and former Gazette photographer). Dr. Justin Sipla, a neuroanatomist at the UI’s Carver College of Medicine recently gave an on-campus lecture on what enters the mind of an athlete during the performance of a critical play, focusing on a T.J. Hockenson touchdown catch thrown by Nate Stanley in Iowa’s 55-24 win over Ohio State last year.

This is, forgive the pun, heady stuff.

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