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 Monday, Oct. 3.
Former Hawkeyes in the NFL
Those that no longer don the black and gold took the field on Sunday. Here’s a recap of the what those former Iowa players did on Sunday:
- Cleveland linebacker Christian Kirksey continues to put up stats as good, or better, than nearly any former Hawkeye on a weekly basis. He recorded 4 tackles and 3 assisted tackles as the Browns lost yet again. This time it was 31-20 to Washington.
- Anthony Hitchens, a linebacker, made 5 tackles and 1 assisted tackle as Dallas beat San Francisco 24-17.
- Tennessee defensive lineman Karl Klug came up with 2 tackles and 3 assisted tackles. The Titans lost 27-20 to Houston.
- Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn made three tackles and defensive lineman Justin Babineaux recorded one tackle as the Falcons beat Carolina 48-33.
- Also, it’s not the first time this season the Los Angeles Rams and offensive lineman Andrew Donnal came up with a big upset. The surprising Rams beat Arizona 17-13 and are now 3-1.
- Finally, Minnesota and linebacker Chad Greenway will face the New York Giants tonight on Monday Night Football.
Former Iowa tight end Fiedorowicz is fine
A good day for former Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz looked like it would end up being a bad one. The Houston Texan went down with a knee injury in a 27-20 win over Tennessee.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, having best game as a Texan, limps off with trainers. Hurt on failed FG attempt. #Texans
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) October 2, 2016
It turns out Fiedorowicz is fine, as he told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
He could be in line for a bigger role with the team going forward. Fiedorowicz told Wilson that Houston coach Bill O’Brien said to him more passes would be headed his way this week. This was the first time O’Brien took over play-calling duties this season. He very well could be calling more plays for Fiedorowicz the rest of the way.
Blythe shines in start
Austin Blythe started his first NFL game on Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts.
Austin Blythe starting at Guard for the Colts, cool #Hawkeyes
— Derek Bredeson (@derekbredeson) October 2, 2016
The Colts lost 30-27 to the Jaguars, but Blythe did put together a highlight reel-worthy block on this play.
— Robert Schepanski (@Rschepanski) October 2, 2016
Why kick it to him?
Iowa cornerback Desmond King put together a strong return day on Saturday. His returned four punts for 77 yards and three kickoffs for 85 yards. King wouldn’t say he figured this performance was coming, but he thought there was a chance it could happen.
“I saw an opportunity throughout the week watching film to watch the kicker, where he was kicking the ball,” King said. “We had an opportunity, we had guys blocking, doing the best they could to get open lanes for me and they seized the opportunity and we had success in our return game and it helped our offense out a lot.”
King having return success isn’t new. It’s begs the question. Why would teams kick to him?
Against Northwestern, it got to the point where the question should be why you would kick to any Hawkeye. Riley McCarron took one punt for 38 yards and one kickoff for 54 yards. McCarron’s emergence makes the Iowa return team scary good. On his return against the Wildcats, McCarron and King were both back for the punt. On Saturday, there was no good option for Northwestern to kick it to.
It may need to stay that way for Iowa. The Hawkeyes offense struggled moving the ball without wide receiver Matt VandeBerg and only scored one time without the help of a big return on Saturday. The return game is arguably the biggest strength of this team. Iowa is No. 15 nationally, averaging 27.85 yards per kick return and No. 22 nationally, averaging 13.82 yards per punt return.