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The magic continues, 40-10

Iowa wide receiver Matt VandeBerg (89) picks up a first down during the second half against the Indiana Hoosiers Saturday, Nov. 7, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

Isn’t it fun to wake up Sunday morning after Iowa wins, like they did at Indiana, 35-27, last Saturday?
Sunday, I got up around 6:30 a.m., watched the Big Ten Channel and The Final Drive.
I can’t believe Nebraska beat Michigan State 39-38 on a controversial call at the end.
I read the Gazette, got online around 7:30 a.m. and went to Hawk Central.
I like to read three or four stories about the Iowa game before I start writing.
I stated writing the story around 8 a.m. and I try to finish up before noon so I can watch NFL football, but last Sunday I went to watch the Hawkeye women open the season with a 95-41 exhibition win over Upper Iowa.
The four freshmen combined for 39 points.

Back to the Hawkeyes’ 9-0 start.
Indiana might be the best 4-5 team in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers have a solid quarterback and a really good running back.
If they tightened up their defense, they could be pretty good.
Indiana did play Ohio State tough, losing only 34-27.
Iowa has a pretty good quarterback also.
The Hawks also have some really good running backs and, oh yeah, the Hawkeyes can play some defense.
“A lot of great efforts out there by a bunch of individuals and a lot of great responses,” said Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. “When things started swinging one way, we brought it back to the other.”

Iowa Offense

I’m starting with the offense this week, even though the defense stepped up big time in the second half.
What more can you say about C. J. Beathard?
One of my homeboys from the Lodge, Mike Evans, even said after the game that he thought C. J. was the best quarterback he has ever seen play for the Hawks.
Mike goes back to the late ‘60s when he was a student at Iowa so he includes my favorite that I’ve seen, Chuck Long.
I’m not sure if I’d rate C. J. over Chuck, but as of right now, C. J. is having one of the greatest seasons as Iowa’s starting quarterback.
There are three plays that show C. J.’s talent.
The first came right before half.
Iowa had the ball on the Indiana 7-yard-line with 17 seconds left when Beathard scrambled around left end on a quarterback draw, went airborne at the 2 and scored to give Iowa a 21-17 halftime lead.
That was a huge momentum swing, and even though C. J. was hurting, he took one for the team.
The second C. J. moment came in the fourth quarter with 12 minutes left and Iowa leading 21-20.
The Hawks had a third and 11 on their own 44.
C. J. rolled to his left, saw Matt VandeBerg open and he threw across his body for a 12 yard gain and a first down.
That’s a tough throw for a quarterback to make.
Iowa would drive to the Indiana 1 where LeShun Daniels, Jr., would score his second touchdown.
The final C. J. highlight came with 1:34 left in the game.
The Hawks had a second and nine on the Indiana 48.
C. J. faked to LeShun up the middle, scrambled around left end and picked up 11 yards.
First down… game over, as Iowa ran out the clock.
For the season, Beathard is completing 60 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Beathard had a lot of help and it all starts up front.
Boone Myers, Sean Welsh, Austin Blythe, Jordan Walsh, James Daniels and Cole Croston didn’t give up a sack.
They did have a couple of holding penalties, but with the risk of Beathard being hurt, those flags might be better than C. J. getting hit.
Akrum Wadley blasted up the middle and down the sideline for a 65-yard score on the second play from scrimmage.
It’s such a great thing to have explosive plays and explosive players like Akrum, who finished with 120 yards on 10 carries (10 per carry).
Akrum didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but LeShun Daniels, Jr., had 23 carries and 78 yards for the game, the most since Illinois State.
What makes Iowa so tough to defend is its balance.
Against the Hoosiers the Hawks ran for 234 yards and passed for 233.
For the season, Iowa has run for 1,845 yards and passed for 1,863.
Iowa had five receivers catch at least two passes, led by Matt VandeBerg with five, Tevaun Smith and Jacob Hillyer had four, Henry Krieger Coble and George Kittle caught two.
That was a career high for Jacob and George scored a touchdown on a high-flying leap in the end zone in the fourth quarter to give Iowa a 35-20 lead.
George has caught nine passes, four have gone for touchdowns.
The Hawks also controlled the clock, having the ball for 34:30 minutes to Indiana’s 25:30.

Iowa Defense

Indiana came into the game averaging 33.1 points, 467 yards total offense and 287 yards passing.
The Hawks held Indiana to 27 points, 407 total yards and 180 yards passing.
Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld finished 16-37 with one touchdown and one interception.
There has been a lot of praise for how well the Hawkeye linebackers have improved, and they have.
Josey Jewell was all over the field with 15 tackles, including 11 solo.
“He’s been playing really well all season long and just a tremendous leader,” said coach Ferentz. “A tough young guy that has a nose for the ball which is a good combination.”
Ferentz moved LeVar Woods, who coached the outside linebackers, to tight end coach. Ferentz also had Jim Reid coach all three linebackers and both positions have excelled.
The linebackers are all playing fast and the tight ends continue to come up with big plays.
The Hawks came up with two sacks by linebackers Ben Niemann and Bo Bower.
You can’t talk about the Iowa defense without mentioning Desmond King, who picked off his eighth pass of the year.
That pick tied Nile Kinnick and Lou King for the most in a single season.
Nile set the record in 1939 playing in only eight games.
Desmond picked off eight in nine games while Lou played 12.
“That’s pretty good company and I was here in 1981 when Lou did that,” said Captain Kirk. “Lou couldn’t run that well but he had great football instincts and he was a tough competitor.”

Iowa Special Teams

Dillon Kid had four punts for a 40.8-yard average while Marshall punted once for 45 yards.
Marshall had six kickoffs with four touchbacks but the biggest special teams play came with 2:24 left in the game.
The Hoosiers had just score and trailed 35-27.
Indiana tried a second onside kick, the ball changed hands a couple of times before Henry Krieger-Coble secured it for the Hawks.
I don’t know about you but when the ball was rolling around and a big pile up happened I was more then a little nervous.

This weekend is going to be a full slate for Hawkeye fans.
The men and women basketball team play a double header Friday night and Sunday afternoon at Carver.
Saturday at 11 a.m. the “Grapple on the Gridiron” features Oklahoma State, ranked No. 1, wrestling Iowa who is ranked third.
Saturday night Iowa tries to get back the pig from Minnesota at 7 p.m.
To me the Minnesota 51-14 beat down by the Gophers was the worst game Iowa played all last season. Iowa trailed 35-0 at half!
It could be a great weekend for the Hawkeyes.
Can they go 6-0?