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 Tuesday, Nov. 15.
The Iowa MVP is?
Iowa took home weekly awards like way “Game of Thrones” sweeps the Emmys. The Hawkeyes won seemingly all of them on Monday.
Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, kicker Keith Duncan and cornerback Manny Rugamba each took home Big Ten honors. Running back Akrum Wadley was named the Rose Bowl Game Player of the Week.
— Rose Bowl Game (@rosebowlgame) November 14, 2016
Several Hawkeyes put up exceptional performances in the upset of No. 3 Michigan Saturday night, but who was the MVP?
Those receiving weekly accolades are good spot to start. Let’s break down the candidates:
DT Jaleel Johnson: He took home Big 12 defensive player of the week honors after leading Iowa with 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 sack. His second-quarter safety was arguably the biggest play of the game. He helped Iowa control the line of scrimmage and neutralize Michigan’s offensive line, one of its biggest strengths. Landof10.com already broke down his impact in the game in the film review.
Jaleel Johnson also played as well as any Iowa defensive tackle I've seen over the last 25 years, and that's saying something.
— Pat Harty (@PatHarty) November 13, 2016
K Keith Duncan: All he did was hit the game-winning field goal. That very well could be enough, especially when it causes this after the game.
Keith Duncan….. you the man !!!!
— Tevaun Smith (@TevaunSmith) November 13, 2016
CB Manny Rugamba: All the true freshman did was play like a senior in his first start. Rugamba’s game film is a series of big plays. He recorded 4 tackles, 3 pass breakups and picked off one pass. Michigan wanted to exploit Rugamba, and the Wolverines repeatedly tried to pick on him but never connected on a deep pass against him. In a game where Michigan probably only needed one more big play to secure the win, the play of Rugamba stands out.
I think we saw what will be the passing of the torch last night: Desmond King to Manny Rugamba.
— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) November 13, 2016
RB Akrum Wadley: Wadley was essentially the entire offense. It’s not hyperbole.
Akrum Wadley was a beast on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/z9WN7dlLgp
— Matt Benson (@mbenson6) November 14, 2016
Wadley rushed for 115 yards. On a day where the receivers couldn’t get open, he became the passing game, with 5 receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.
He played a hand in every Iowa scoring drive. He is Iowa’s best offensive playmaker this season. Wadley played like it on Saturday.
Akrum Wadley out here making people look foolish
— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) November 13, 2016
All four are good options. There are other deserving candidates. The Wake-Up Call leans toward Johnson. His sack changed the momentum. Michigan was up 10-0 before the safety. Iowa doesn’t hold a team that averaged 48.0 points per game to 13 points without him.
What do you think?
On to the Fighting Illini
The 24-hour rule is long gone. It’s time for Iowa to go from celebrating the Michigan win to getting ready for Illinois.
The Hawkeyes must prepare for quarterback Wes Lunt. Illinois coach Lovie Smith announced that Lunt will start on Saturday (12 p.m., ET, BTN).
Lovie: Wes Lunt will start Saturday on senior day #Illini
— Michal Dwojak (@mdwojak94) November 14, 2016
Lunt will be starting over Jeff George Jr. Lunt is a former 4-star prospect whose career is as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet’s romance. He originally went to Oklahoma State before transferring to Illinois after his freshman season. Injuries limited him throughout his career. He missed time this season with a leg injury and is a career 59.4 percent passer with 40 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Iowa must be prepared for Lunt because he’s capable of putting points on the board. Scoring doesn’t come easy to these Hawkeyes and they can’t afford to see Lunt throwing multiple touchdowns if they want to get their seventh victory of the season.
Packing a punch
Iowa didn’t just beat Michigan. It reportedly ended the regular season of starting quarterback Wilton Speight.
That’s a tough blow for a team still in the thick of the College Football Playoff picture — and not to mention the Big Ten title race. Iowa beat Michigan once.
The Hawkeyes could indirectly do it again if backup quarterback John O’Korn can’t pick up where Speight left off and it costs the Wolverines.
Lots of links
- Kirk Herbstreit liked Iowa’s performance on Saturday.
- Is the Holiday Bowl now in play for Iowa?
- Breaking down the Iowa football depth chart changes.
- Iowa’s Megan Gustafson is the Big Ten Player of the Week in women’s basketball.
- Michigan was the biggest upset in program history, writes the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Mike Hlas.