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Don Lund

Nightmare on Elm (Gopher) Street

Hawk Talk

One of the many things I have wondered about in sports is how does a team, that’s made of the same players, look so good one week and then look like somebody else the next?
That’s what happened Saturday at Gopherland as the Hawkeyes got smoked by Minnesota, 51-14.
The week before, the headlines in the Gazette read “A NEAR PERFECT EFFORT” in Iowa’s 48-7 win over Indiana.
This week the headline read “A whipping up north.”
After the Indiana win, there were hardly any negative messages on almost all of the Hawkeye message boards.

Hawkeye women open strong

I know Iowa’s 119-57 win last Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was against St. Ambrose, an NAIA school, but there are a lot of good things to like about the victory.
I was a little surprised when Whitney Jennings started in place of Melissa Dixon, but Lisa Bluder, Iowa’s head coach, said Melissa was injured early on and is just starting to get back on track.
Melissa came off the bench and had 19 points in 19 minutes including five 3-pointers.
I really liked what the four freshmen brought to the game.

Iowa wrestlers ranked No. 1 in preseason poll

Could this be the year the Hawkeyes break out with an NCAA championship?
It’s been four years since Iowa stood on top of the college wrestling world.
Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) plus redshirt freshman Matt McDonough (125) each won titles that year.
The Hawks have nine wrestlers ranked in the top 10 according to Intermat.
It starts at 125 with Thomas Gilman ranked fourth.
Thomas was 16-3 last year but gave way to Cory Clark, who moved up to 133.
Thomas is more of a technical wrestler while Cory reminds me of Tony Ramos, who won the title last year at 133.

Bowl Committee

Hawk Talk

I had a good feeling last week before Iowa hosted Northwestern Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
After Iowa played one of its worst games in a couple of years against Maryland and lost 38-31 two weeks ago, I thought Iowa would bounce back against the Wildcats.
Why?
Kirk Ferentz might not be the best coach ever, but he is a stand-up guy and the players respect him.
Also Iowa has some great leaders, especially the four captains.
You start with All American Brandon Scherff, who led the offensive line to its best day... no sacks and the Hawkeye running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

Hawkeye women think big

The Iowa Hawkeye women won 27 games last year, which tied for the second-most in school history.
The Hawks finished second in the Big Ten Tournament and return four starters, including all-world point guard Samantha Logic.
Iowa led the Big Ten in scoring and assists, plus the Hawks set a school record for scoring offense in 2013-2014, averaging 78.2 points per game.
The Hawkeyes are ranked 19th in the preseason AP top-25 poll.
So when I say there was excitement and optimism at media day last Thursday, you can see why.

A little short

Hawk Talk

When I did the preseason schedule and Maryland was on it, I have to admit I don’t ever remember seeing the Terrapins play football.
The preseason magazines said they had some great wide receivers, a good quarterback and a great kicking game. They were right!
I thought Maryland would score against the Hawks, but I also thought Iowa could score against them.
I was kind of right as the Maryland offense scored 31 points, Iowa scored 31 but a pick-six by the Terrapins ended up being the difference in the game; Maryland 38, Iowa 31.
Dropped passes, penalties and poor tackling.

Now we’re talking

I don’t know about you, but I was getting tired of hearing about who should start... Jake Rudock or C.J. Beathard.
Jake has been out for a game and a half but looked sharp in the Hawkeyes’ 45-29 Homecoming win last Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
If Indiana had two quarterbacks, like Iowa, they might have made it a closer game, but when starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld went out with a shoulder injury in the first half, the Hoosiers were toast.
Jake came out strong, going 9-11 for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.

Iowa Hawkeye men reload

Hawk Talk

By Don Lund
Sports Writer
The Iowa Hawkeye men’s basketball team lost two starters from last year, Devyn Marble and Melsahn Basabe. Devyn was the leading scorer and Mel did a great job defensively as well as hitting the boards.
Zach McCabe also had some starts and did a great job of coming off the bench.
The cupboard isn’t bare with three starters back and three other players that have started.
Throw in junior college All-American Trey Dickerson and I like Iowa’s chances.
Media day was last Thursday, Oct. 2, and there was a good vibe in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Hawks get defensive

Hawk Talk

All the Hawkeye fans, including my home boys from the Lodge, got their wish last Saturday as C. J. Beathard got to start against Purdue.
Jake Rudock was still injured, so C.J. got the first start of his career.
With 11 minutes left in the second quarter, I wondered if the C.J. fans were still happy.
Iowa trailed 10-0, C.J. had thrown a pick-six, and the Hawkeyes didn’t have a first down.
I’ve got to give C.J. credit. He didn’t get down on himself, started making plays and the Hawks outscored the Boilermakers 24-0 and won their fourth straight road game, 24-10.

Hello C.J.

Hawk Talk

Some of my homeboys from the Lodge have been telling me C.J. Beathard should be the starting quarterback for the Hawkeyes.
I like C.J., but when your starting quarterback, Jake Rudock, is completing 67 percent of his passes, has five touchdown passes and two interceptions it’s hard to pull the switch.
Jake injured his leg before halftime of Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh with Iowa trailing 17-7.
C.J. played the whole second half and Iowa came back for a wonderful 24-20 win over Pittsburgh.
What if C.J. doesn’t get hurt? Does he still go in?

Too close for comfort

Hawk Talk

One of the biggest knocks on Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is that his teams play up or down to the opponent.
That works well when you’re playing up to a good team but can get a little nerve wracking when you play down to a team that you are big time favorites against... like Ball State.
Remember Hawk fans, this isn’t the same Ball State Cardinal team that Iowa beat 56-0 (2005) and 45-0 (2010).
These Cardinals won 17 of the last 19 games and have knocked off two Big Ten schools along the way.
Iowa’s come from behind 17-13 win over Ball State last Saturday was anything but pretty.

A Win is a win

Hawk Talk

I’m sure plenty of Hawkeye fans out there are somewhat disappointed with Iowa’s 31-23 victory over the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) last Saturday.
Why was it so close?
Why didn’t we blow them out?
The simple answer is the UNI Panthers are pretty good.
They beat Iowa State last year.
Two years ago, they opened with Wisconsin and lost, 26-21.
UNI returned most of its defense, including three pretty good defensive backs.