November 27, 2015

Hawkeyes bid for perfect season

Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz

The fourth ranked Iowa Hawkeyes bid for their first ever unbeaten regular season when they visit Nebraska. A key matchup will be Iowa’s run game against a Husker front seven led by tackles Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine.

“Those guys are both excellent football players but they got a lot other guys too”, said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. “That is going to be a big matchup and a tough matchup for us because their ends are big and physical too and they have done a good job against the run. Something is going to have to give.”

Kickoff in Memorial Stadium is 2:30p.m. The Game will be televised by ABC.

UNI’s Jacobson reaches milestone

Ben Jacobson

Ben Jacobson

The Northern Iowa Panthers earned head coach Ben Jacobson his 200th career victory with an 83-63 triumph over the University of Dubuque at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls Wednesday night.

Jacobson becomes the ninth Missouri Valley Conference coach to win at least 200 games in the league. In his 10th season with the Panthers, UNI’s all-time leader in coaching victories now has a career record of 200-106.

Playing their first game since Saturday’s upset of top-ranked North Carolina, the Panthers struggled to put their Division-III Iowa Conference opponent away. UNI owned a 38-31 edge at halftime and twice built 12-point leads in the second-half, only to have the Spartans pull to within six each time. The Panthers eventually put the game away with a 23-9 run late in the second half.

Wes Washpun scored a game-high 22 points to lead four UNI players in double-figures, while Andre Norris led Dubuque with 20.

The victory improves UNI to 3-1, while Dubuque’s record stays at 2-1. The game was an exhibition on the Spartans’ schedule, so the loss doesn’t count against their overall mark.

Story by Elwin Huffman at KOEL

Iowa fans can expect lines, extra security at Nebraska game

tiger hawkHawkeye football fans who are headed to Nebraska for Friday’s final game of the regular season need to plan to leave early — due to the weather, the crowds and increased security measures.

Forecasters says icy roads could make travel a challenge, and once in Lincoln, up to 90,000 fans are expected to pack into Memorial Stadium.

University of Nebraska spokesman Steve Smith says there will lines at the entrance gates. “We do ask for fans’ patience while they’re waiting in line,” Smith says. “We know it’s going to be cold but we do expect the lines to move, with fans’ cooperation, fairly quickly.” Smith says additional security measures are being put in place for this big game. “People should rest assured, there’s no specific threat against Memorial Stadium or the game,” Smith says, “but these are consistent with adjustments being made at other sites around the country following the recent international events, including the attacks in Paris.”

High temperatures are only forecast in the upper 20s on Friday, so fans will be allowed to bring in blankets. “Be prepared to have permissible items, which are small-sized purses, camera bags, things like that which would be allowed on a normal day, to be searched like usual,” Smith says, “but also to have your outer garment, your coat, be open and ready to be subject of a quick visual search.”

Officials are asking fans to follow the “If You See Something, Say Something” approach at Friday’s game and to report any suspicious activity to authorities. The gates open at one P.M. with kick-off set for 2:30.

Iowa heads to Lincoln undefeated and ranked number-three in the country, while Nebraska is 5-6.


Hawkeyes move to 4th in football playoff rankings

Hawkeye players celebrate their win and share of Big 10 West title. Photo from @IowaFBLive.

Hawkeye players celebrate their Big 10 West title. Photo from @IowaFBLive.

The Iowa Hawkeyes moved up to number 4 in the new College Football Playoff Rankings announced Tuesday.

The 11-0 Hawkeyes were ranked fifth last week. They would be in the playoff for the national title if the season were over now.

Clemson remains in the top spot at 11-0, followed by Alabama at number 2, and Oklahoma jumped over Iowa into the number 3 spot. Both Alabama and Oklahoma have one loss.

Michigan State is in the number 5 spot and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth.

Iowa finishes the regular season at Nebraska Friday, and then will play in the Big 10 Title game on December 5th as the Big Ten West Division champion.

Hawkeyes seek to make it a rivalry

Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz

The Iowa-Nebraska series was renewed when the Huskers joined the Big Ten Conference and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it is up to the Hawkeyes to actually make it a rivalry.

Nebraska has won 29 of the 45 games played between the two schools, including three of the four Black Friday games that began in 2011.

“And really the chore for us is to get involved”, said Ferentz. “Our job is to be able to play with those guys and go out and compete with them. They recruit well and have had great teams in the past and have a really good team this year so our challenge is to be ready for them on Friday.”

Last year’s game in Kinnick Stadium was a microcosm of Iowa’s season. The Hawkeyes built a 17-point third quarter lead only to see the Huskers rally for a 37-34 victory in overtime.



ISU’s Pollard says firing of football coach about wins

ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard. (file photo)

ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard. (file photo)

Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard talked with the media today about his decision to fire head football coach Paul Rhoads.

“This is a decision that I certainly wish that (I) didn’t have to make. I wish we didn’t have to be in this spot because I know it disappoints a lot of people — especially coach Rhoads, his staff and our players,” Pollard says.

Pollard announced Sunday that Rhoads will coach the final regular season game at West Virginia, but will not continue as coach next season. “Sometimes you can want something more than it wants you,” Pollard says. “I wanted him to be our coach, he wanted to be our coach, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

The Cyclones blew a 21-point lead in a loss to Kansas State Saturday and that dropped Iowa State’s record to 3-8. “Paul was not let go because of what happened on Saturday. We have saying in the locker room, no one player, no one play costs a team a game. No one game costs a coach their job,” according to Pollard. “We made the decision to make a change because we simply didn’t win enough games.” Pollard says the team should be winning more than it has.

“I believe our team has got more talent in that locker room than we’ve had in my ten years that I have been here. We have unbelievable potential — but unfortunately they don’t keep score on the scoreboard for potential and talent — they keep score on results — and we just didn’t get the results that we need to get,” Pollard says.

Rhoads is ending his seventh season on the Iowa State sidelines and has compiled a 32-54 overall record His best season was his first one when the Cyclones finished 7-6 and beat Minnesota 14-13 in the Insight Bowl.


ISU fires football coach

Paul Rhoads

Paul Rhoads (file photo)

Iowa State’s Athletic Director Jamie Pollard says he is making a change at the end of the season and Paul Rhoads will coach his last game for the Cyclones football team Saturday at West Virginia.

A news release from Iowa State says Pollard told Rhoads of the decision this morning.

Rhoads is ending his seventh season on the Iowa State sidelines. The news comes on the heels of the last two games where the Cyclones blew leads, including a 21 point halftime lead Saturday against Kansas State,  and they are now 3-8.

Rhoads is 32-54 overall and took Iowa State to three bowl games in seven years.

Pollard will meet with the media Monday at noon to discuss his decision.