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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.
After Saturday’s blowout some of the messages on Hawkeye Report were: “No Effort, No Hustle, No Energy, No Heart,” “Why don’t Iowa fans just quit going to games” and of course “Will Iowa fire Ferentz after a six win season.”
The sky is falling, dogs and cats are living together and the world will end soon.
What it comes down to is that it’s ONE loss and Iowa still has a chance to make some noise.
I know that might be a huge hill to climb, but it’s still possible.
Minnesota has to play Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin to end the season. Good luck with that, Gophers.
One of the reasons I do the Good, Bad and Ugly after a loss is that there is usually some good that comes out of a loss.
Saturday the only real good I saw was Iowa’s first and last drives. Both resulted in touchdowns.
You would also have to add Akrum Wadley, who had 69 yards on nine carries which is a 7.6 average, but when you throw in his fumble it wasn’t as good.
The bad and ugly would include the Iowa defense not being able to stop the run.
It’s not like the Hawkeyes haven’t seen the read-option like the Gophers run.
I was stunned that Iowa couldn’t stop them as Minnesota racked up 291 yards on the ground and had five players average more than 4.4 yards per carry.
Also, Minnesota comes into the game with Mitch Leidner, the Gopher quarterback, completing around 50 percent of his passes and he had thrown six touchdown passes all year.
Against the Hawks, Mitch looked like Peyton Manning, going 10-13 for 138 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 77 yards in 11 carries. That’s a 7.0 average... are you serious?
The offensive line gave up four sacks and there was a tipped punt by Minnesota that led to a Gopher score.
“We got outplayed and outcoached in all three phases,” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.
Minnesota did a good job on their bye week, like Iowa did the week before.
The Gophers worked on stopping Mark Weisman. They held Mark to 21 yards with 14 carries. They also improved their passing game and defense.
One of the good things about covering Iowa football, men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling is that I got to see the Hawkeye women play last Sunday and I’d rather talk about the women’s first win than beating this loss into the ground.
I’ll let the big boy newspapers do that.