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 Wednesday, Sept. 21.
The New Jersey Buckeyes at Rutgers
When Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz looks at Rutgers, he sees another Big Ten team, for obvious reasons. That team? The one that just dismantled Oklahoma and is ranked No. 2 in the country. Not necessarily in talent level, but in concepts.
“There’s a lot of Ohio State influence or resemblance, for logical reasons,” Ferentz said. “(Rutgers coach) Chris (Ash) did a great job as the defensive coordinator there, so what he did defensively, I think you’re seeing a lot of carryover for obvious reasons.”
The Buckeyes comment shouldn’t be a surprise. Ash spent the last two years working at Ohio State under Urban Meyer. He likely learned a lot there.
The Ohio State connection that might surprise the casual fan is with the offense. Ash hired offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer from Houston. Mehringer worked under Cougars head coach Tom Herman, a former Ohio State offensive coordinator.
“I’m not saying it’s carbon copy of what they’re doing offensively (at Houston),” Ferentz said, “but there’s a lot of influence there, too, and we have three games of film, which helps a lot, too. At least now we’re not projecting, and you’re seeing the players you’re going to play against running those schemes, so that does help.”
A critical response
During Saturday’s broadcast, ESPN’s Todd McShay said Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard should have done a better job feeling blindside pressure against North Dakota State. Beathard threw an interception that went for a touchdown after being hit from behind on a first-half pass, a critical play in the surprising 23-21 Hawkeyes loss.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 17, 2016
Beathard was asked about what McShay said during media availability on Tuesday.
“That is a blitz that should have been picked up by the offensive line,” Beathard said. “It’s a thing they see all the time. For whatever reason, it didn’t get picked up. It’s hard to see. They come off your backside. I didn’t see it at all. I know when certain blitzes are coming, they should get picked up. I shouldn’t have to worry about it.”
Beathard said the truth. The offensive line should have picked up the blitz, but that’s probably not the best thing for an NFL prospect to say. It’s not what a general manager or scout wants to hear when evaluating a player.
Fair or not, quarterbacks aren’t allowed to pass on blame like that. It’s doesn’t play well in NFL front offices. It’s probably doesn’t play well in the Hawkeyes’ offensive line room, either.
The mid-week injury report was about as good as it could get for the Hawkeyes. First, C.J. Beathard repeated what he said after the North Dakota State game. He’s OK. Beathard underwent an X-ray on his left shoulder on Sunday and it didn’t reveal any damage. Now, Beathard is just trying to manage the shoulder he said is still sore.
“Icing it,” Beathard said. “It’s all you can do.”
Running back Akrum Wadley said he was doing much better. He’s dealing with a knee injury and only had four carries last week.
“It’s just a bruise,” Wadley said. “I am going to keep icing it. Keep doing rehab.”
Ferentz reiterated that Iowa could very well be in position to get starting offensive linemen James Daniels and Sean Welsh, who both missed the North Dakota State game, back for Rutgers. Ferentz added that third-string running back Derrick Mitchell is at least a week away from returning.
Still the favorite
Iowa may have lost to North Dakota State on Saturday, but it’s still the team to beat in the Big Ten West. At least for one Big Ten Network analyst.
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) September 20, 2016
It appears the Iowa basketball team has made an offer to a 2018 guard.
Beyond blessed to have received an offer from Iowa University!!!! pic.twitter.com/R3He6IEZyM
— Cj Fredrick (@cj_fredrick) September 21, 2016
C.J. Fredrick is a 2018 shooting guard. Scout.com rates him as a three-star prospect.