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Hawk Talk

1989... that was the last time Michigan State defeated Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.
Hayden Fry was the football coach, Tom Davis the men’s basketball coach, Vivian Stringer the women’s basketball coach and a guy named Dan Gable ran the wrestling program… what a lineup.
I was at that game the Spartans won 17-14 in ‘89.
The Hawks opened the 1989 season with a 44-6 loss to Oregon at home and ended losing three out of the last four, the last one to Minnesota at Kinnick, 43-7. I remember fans booing at the end of the game.
Matt Rogers was quarterback and Iowa finished 5-6 and didn’t go to a bowl game for the first time in eight years.
1990 was a different story as the Hawks went to the Rose Bowl with an 8-4 record, 6-2 in the Big Ten. They beat Michigan State 12-7 that year and Matt Rogers was the All-Big Ten quarterback.
Last weekend, Iowa did about everything it could to put itself in a hole against the Spartans.
Penalties, giving up big plays on defense, lack of execution on offense plus turnovers and the Hawkeyes were down 31-7 at half.
They didn’t gave up, but couldn’t do the miracle comeback again losing 37-21.
It’s time for some good, bad and ugly.

The Good
If Marvin McNutt isn’t first team All-Big Ten and doesn’t make some all-American teams then someone doesn‘t have a clue.
The opposing teams are trying to double-team him as much as possible and with Keenan Davis not at full speed they always know where Marvin is.
All he did Saturday was catch eight passes for 130 yards and one great touchdown. Marvin was triple-teamed on the three-yard catch, caught it on the one and plowed over.
Marvin is now the Hawkeyes’ career and single season leader in receiving yards and he still has possibly three games left.
There is only one Hawkeye player that has caught more than Marvin’s 65 in a single season. Kevin Kasper had 82 catches in 2000.
The one-handed catch he made across the middle with the ball thrown behind him was voted the fourth best play of the day on ESPN.
It was good to see C. J. Fiedorowicz, the Hawkeyes’ 6-7, 260-pound tight end, catch his first touchdown pass. He is blocking a lot better, so he’s going to get a lot of playing time.
I was on the sideline and C.J. was coming right at me before he caught the ball and stretched out for the score. All I could think was “that dude blocks out the sun.”
Eric Guthrie had seven punts averaging 41 yards with two inside the 20.

The Bad
You have to start with the Spartans averaging 3.9 yards per carry for 155 yards on the ground. Iowa only had a 2.9 average and 87 total rushing yards.
State also controlled the clock, holding the ball for 33:24; the Hawks 26:36.
James Vandenberg struggled, going 22-47 for 262 yards, two touchdown passes, one pick and three sacks.
The Hawkeyes lost two fumbles and an interception which resulted in two touchdowns. The Spartans had no turnovers.
Marcus Coker was hit and then hit again as he had only 57 yards rushing and averaged 2.7 yards per carry.
Kirk Ferentz said before the game the Spartan defense was very good and he was right.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, after catching his first touchdown pass, left the game injured with a possible concussion and was in street clothes in the second half.
There was a buzz going around that Michigan State defensive players were dropping and faking injury when Iowa was in its hurry-up offense. If this is true, it’s not only bad but sad and I lose respect for their head coach, Mark Dantonio.

The Ugly
How about State blocking Mike Meyer’s 50-yard field goal in the second half. That’s the first time that happened this year.
I thought when Iowa moved Micah Hyde back to corner and Jordan Bernstine to safety the Hawkeye defensive backs would be a strength.
Iowa gave up a 67-yard pass play, a 45-yard pass play and a 28-yard pass play.
The Hawks also gave up three touchdown passes, one for 22 yards and Kirk Cousins finished 18-31 for 260 yards.
How about the 31-7 halftime score? That was as ugly as it gets.
The Spartans converted a fake field goal and a double-reverse pass for a first down.
Now the Hawkeyes know how Michigan State felt last year when Iowa crushed the Spartans 37-6. That was their first loss of the season.
Iowa is sitting at 6-4, 3-3 in the Big Ten. They are out of the race for the first Big Ten championship game but they have two games left. The bad news is both are on the road and Iowa hasn’t won a game on the road… yet.
Purdue, Iowa’s next opponent, knocked off Ohio State Saturday at home in overtime, 26-23, so the Hawks have their work cut out for them.