The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. It is Cy-Hawk week after all. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Injury update: Scheel looking good, Hesse uncertain
The injury news for Iowa wide receiver Jay Scheel — and his “health issues,” as coach Kirk Ferentz called it after Saturday’s game — is positive.
It’s more uncertain for defensive end Parker Hesse, who injured his left hamstring in the season opener. Ferentz called his status day-to-day.
First, Scheel. Injuries have been a problem for the redshirt sophomore. This season alone he’s already dealt with a hamstring injury in camp and what Ferentz is labeling as general injuries right now. Scheel is practicing and seems to be trending the right way toward seeing his first action of the season against Iowa State on Saturday.
“Jay, I think, has a chance. He’s moving closer,” Ferentz said at his Tuesday press conference. “Hopefully he had a good day (Tuesday). Hopefully he’ll be able to make it by game day. We’re ncouraged on that front.”
Iowa fans have waited a long time to see what the former Union High School quarterback, who earned Iowa first-team all-state honors, could do at receiver. He is yet to make a collegiate catch, but was listed as a co-first team receiver following spring practice.
Iowa could use another playmaker in the passing game and Scheel may finally get his chance to show if he can be that guy this weekend.
Hesse may very well be a game-time decision, but Ferentz sounds as if he expects Hesse to suit up.
“It’s not maybe as bad; you know, you’re always curious coming out of it,” Ferentz said. “So it’s going to be day-by-day. He didn’t do a lot today. He worked with the trainers. He’ll have a chance, and I know the way Parker is wired, if he does have an opportunity, he’ll be out there competing.”
A team never wants to play without a starter, but the Hawkeyes shouldn’t be concerned if Hesse can’t play or is limited. Redshirt freshman Anthony Nelson showed he is more than capable of filling in.
Nelson recorded 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles against Miami of Ohio while being named the Big Ten freshman of the week. Nelson showed an ability to make plays and the Iowa State offensive line he’ll face this week isn’t a strength for the Cyclones. Iowa State broke in five new starters in the opener and the performance of the unit was underwhelming.
Getting Hesse to play is preferable, but Nelson should be able to do more than hold his own if needed.
Yes, this is a rivalry
Downplaying the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry is common. It’s almost the preferred way to handle this week. The Hawkeyes do it all the time. The Cyclones do it as well.
This game does mean something. You can tell it by the electricity in the crowd and the way the players act on game day. That’s why it was so refreshing for Iowa running back LeShun Daniels to come clean about the game.
“No one will show it, really, but there are a handful of in-state guys that want to go and kick the crap out of Iowa State obviously, because they are from Iowa they know it’s a big deal,” Daniels said.
The fact both teams are full of in-state players — it’s 51 for Iowa and 42 for Iowa State — helps fuel the rivalry. That passion spills out to their teammates, like Daniels.
“Everybody knows it’s a big deal,” Daniels said. “It’s a big game. You are playing for a trophy. You are playing for state bragging rights. So, yeah, there are plenty of people that get hyped up. It’s not the in-state kids. It’s the out of state kids as well.”
Kudos to Daniels for being honest about one of the best sporting events in Iowa each year.
What to wear?
The Iowa State game is a black-and-gold spirit game. That means it’s time to dress accordingly.
— kinnickstadium (@kinnickstadium) September 5, 2016
Basically, Iowa is asking those attending the game to wear a specific color based on their seat assignment. For the most part, every other section alternates between black and gold.
Black shirt sections are 101, 103, 105, 107, 109, 111, 113, 115, 116, 117, 119, 121, 122, 123, 125, 127, 129, 131, 133, 135, 137, 211, 213, 215, 217, 218,1219, 220 and 221.
Gold shirt sections are 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 124, 126, 128, 130, 212, 214 and 216.
Next coach up?
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta made it very clear on how he views the contract extension Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz signed on Tuesday.
“By giving Kirk a 10-year contract, what I am saying is I don’t intend to change coaches,” Barta said. “I intend for Kirk at some point — as he said, no one can predict the future — at some point, when the time is right for him to retire here.”
So if that’s the case, is there a succession plan in place?
“We’ve had no discussion about a succession plan right now,” Barta said. “The conversation has been the upcoming season and more currently about our next game.”
Barta doesn’t need to say it, but all eyes are on offensive line coach Brian Ferentz as the replacement whenever his father decides to call it a career. Ferentz has the look of a future head coach. Until evidence to the contrary emerges — and yes it’s likely a ways off — the safe bet is to think that one Ferentz will likely replace another with the Hawkeyes.
Ferentz and Stoops, Stoops and Ferentz
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Ferentz are the two longest-tenured coaches in college football. They are both in their 18th season at their respective schools.
For the moment, Ferentz appears to be the one in position to coach his team the longest. Ferentz’s new deal runs through the end of the 2025 season. Stoops, who also signed a contract extension this offseason, has a deal that ends in 2021.
Stoops and Ferentz have always been compared — and for good reason. Both were key parts of Iowa football and both found themselves working for the Hawkeyes in 1983, which was one heck of a coaching staff.