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. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Nov. 10.
How good is good?
The Iowa football team isn’t prone to hyperbole. Coach Kirk Ferentz probably doesn’t allow it in his program.
That’s why it stood out when the Hawkeyes spoke as highly of No. 3 Michigan as they did this week.
“It doesn’t look like they have a weakness,” Iowa LB Ben Niemann said.
No, there isn’t a glaring one.
Traditional stats love the Wolverines. They are top three nationally in points scored and points allowed.
So do more advanced stats. Michigan is No. 1 in the S&P+ rankings.
The Hawkeyes don’t impress easily and they walked away from film sessions with a level of respect not given to most opponents.
“(Michigan is) the best defense I’ve seen on film,” Iowa OL Ike Boettger said. “We see it as a great opportunity and great challenge.”
Yes, beating Michigan is going to be a challenge. Iowa is a 20-point underdog for a reason and the Hawkeyes know what they are getting into. Will realizing the task at hand help them pull off the upset? Who knows, but it’s not every day Ferentz speaks this glowingly about an opponent.
“It’s really hard to find many cracks or weaknesses,” Ferentz said. “It’s all deserved … They’re really veteran, got a lot of key veteran players, a lot of seniors that play very well, not only talented, they’re well-coached, and they play consistently well. That’s the thing that really to me jumps out.”
Stretching the field
Former Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz is in the midst of his best season in the NFL. What’s his key? Downward dog.
Yoga is a big key to Fiedorowicz becoming a passing game threat for the Houston Texans, as Aaron Wilson, of the Houston Chronicle, reports.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) November 9, 2016
Yoga is an underappreciated training device for athletes. Athletes across all sports are singing the benefits of it. Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta considers it a key reason he started pitching like an ace.
Don’t be surprised if yoga and stretching becomes a bigger part of college athletics in the coming years.
Warner is the No. 1 195-pound wrestler. He is a two-time state champion and won a bronze medal at the Cadet World Championships this past summer. Warner is the wrestling equivalent of a 5-star prospect.
Old-school Iowa signing day
Iowa men’s basketball signed forward Luka Garza, from Washington D.C., on Wednesday.
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) November 9, 2016
What was the most interesting part of the Garza signing? The comparison coach Fran McCaffery used.
“He reminds me a little bit of Kevin McHale,” McCaffery said.
Yep, the former Boston Celtics great.
“You don’t see that combination of inside and out,” McCaffery said. “He can pass it too. You can run your offense through him, either in the high post or low post.”
Now, I don’t think McCaffery expects Garza to turn into a hall of fame-level power forward, but big men like McHale, versatile threats with passing skills, don’t arrive on campus every day.
If the 3-star prospect can maximize his potential it would be a unique weapon for Iowa to roll out in Big Ten contests.
The trip to No. 10 Penn State wasn’t an enjoyable experience for Iowa. It turns out it wasn’t a horrible day for center James Daniels. Pro Football Focus rated him the best center in the Big Ten last week.
This is nothing more than a moral victory coming out of a 41-14 defeat, but it’s proof someone played well in Happy Valley.
Lots of links
- A look at how Iowa plans to contain Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers. Hint: it’s nothing special.
- Michigan football coming to town creates a unique situation for Iowa basketball guard Peter Jok. One of his best friends is Michigan WR Amara Darboh.
- Can Iowa beat No. 3 Michigan? Marc Morehouse, of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, looks into it.