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 Friday, Nov. 4.
Checking in on Brett Greenwood
Pat Angerer remembers hearing the diagnosis. Brett Greenwood would be bedridden for the rest of his life.
He never believed it. He’s certain Greenwood never believed it. And now, five years after Greenwood suffered a brain injury, Angerer is certain of something else.
“I think within the next year he’s going to be walking by himself,” Angerer said.
This is Angerer’s opinion. It’s not a doctor’s, but Angerer can’t help but think that’s the case after seeing all the progress Greenwood has made in the recent years.
“From the doctor saying, ‘Hey, he’s going to be a vegetable’ to in a year he’s going to be walking by himself,” Angerer said. “He works hard. He is inspiring every day, and it’s good to be around people like that.”
Greenwood, a former Iowa safety, collapsed because of a heart arrhythmia in 2011. It caused serious neurological issues, and he’s been in therapy ever since. Here’s an ESPN video on Greenwood’s recovery.
Since retiring from the NFL in 2014, Angerer started accompanying Greenwood to his rehab sessions. He stops in twice a week to provide moral support, and Greenwood is always quick to make a crack about Angerer new profession.
“I work at a bank now,” Angerer said. “I come in all dressed up, and he goes, ‘What in the hell are you doing now, Pat? You work at a bank.’ He’ll make fun of me.”
Angerer is still holding out hope that Greenwood will be able to walk on his own onto Kinnick Stadium.
“He is as driven as a guy can be,” Angerer said.
Countering the rush
The Penn State pass rush should be a concern for Iowa this weekend. The Nittany Lions are second in the Big Ten with 23 sacks.
The Iowa pass blocking improved before the bye and the offensive line appears to be healthy, but quarterback C.J. Beathard is still aware of the problems the Nittany Lions pose.
“I’m not going to be able to sit back there all day,” Beathard said. “It’s a matter of getting the ball out of my hands quicker and throwing some route schemes in there that will allow us to get it out quicker.”
Sure, he probably gave a glimpse into Iowa’s strategy, but it isn’t a state secret. The Hawkeyes started relying on short, quick passes once Matt VandeBerg was lost for the season. Beathard just confirmed it will be a sizeable part of the passing game plan at Penn State.
Key to the turnaround
Penn State is probably playing its best football under third-year coach James Franklin right now. The 12th-ranked Nittany Lions are 6-2, riding a four-game winning streak, and knocked off No. 6 Ohio State last month.
What’s different with Penn State? Start with the guys up front.
“We scouted them a while back, and they seemed to be having some trouble there,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Now they’re a lot more veteran. The young guys they do have playing are playing pretty well.”
It’s no shock to see the former offensive line coach hone in on the offensive line. It’s also no surprise the play of the big boys is part of the recent winning streak. The offensive line play for Penn State was not great in recent years. The Nittany Lions weren’t going to turn things around until it solved its offensive line problems.
Hold off on the paperwork
Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery said during a teleconference that his son won’t sign with the Hawkeyes during the early signing period next week.
The move makes sense, and there is no harm in doing it. Connor McCaffery is not just a basketball prospect, but a baseball one too. His future is still up in the air. There is a chance he could get drafted in the MLB draft, and if he chooses to go down that road, it would take playing for the Hawkeyes in both sports off the table.
Lots of links
- A look at Penn State’s defense by Jeremiah Davis of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
- Mark Emmert, of the Des Moines Register, takes a stab at how many minutes each Iowa men’s basketball player will get.
- Landof10.com’s Scott Dochterman and the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Marc Morehouse talked the Chicago Cubs’ World Series championship on the On Iowa podcast.