The euphoria of Cyclone week is over. Good. I’m ready for bigger and better things. I would say the Hawkeyes gave us a dominating performance, say for 3 quarters. I don’t need to rehash the game but, as you know, it ended up being way too close for comfort. The ‘Clones could’ve had (ahem) “stolen it” if that oblong ball would’ve bounced their way a few more times. And it could’ve happened, and you know it, because you’ve seen it happen before. But, more on that in a moment.
Now, we turn our attention to the final tune-up to the B1G season. Good news: it’s just a lowly MAC team. Wait. A directional Michigan lowly MAC team. Ugh. Sorry, let me rewind us to directional Michigan week last year. Central Michigan University to be exact. You know, that gut-wrenching, game-winning field goal celebrating Central Michigan. This one:
I’d like to think that game was the ultimate low point – the dam breaker – in our flood of a downhill slide. You wouldn’t have guessed it by the way the Hawks beat Minnesota the following week and then Michigan State the week after. But after that, it was a full force flood of sludge. And, you don’t have to harken too far back to recall the loss to the directional Western Michigan in 2000. I remember it. Head-shaking, face palm.
I wanted so badly to delete the shot above from my library and from my memory . But, I knew it would come in handy somehow. The Iowa Hawkeyes are not supposed to lose to “directional” Michigan schools no more than Michigan is supposed to lose against Akron. But, we did. Saturday, we get another shot at one – Western Michigan to be exact. The same Western Michigan that made us wonder what direction we were heading in 2000. Thankfully, we’ve been able to tell which direction we were heading. Nothing but straight up shortly after that time. An Orange Bowl berth the next season, the Capital One thriller in 2005, and on and on until the Orange Bowl win in 2010. But, you know, it’s been uphill since then.
Enough about the past. The future is now. Jake Rudock, Brandon Scherff, Mark Weisman, James Morris, Christian Kirksey, CJ Fiedorowicz, Kevonte Martin-Manley right through to up and comers Damond Powell, Tevaun Smith, and LeShun Daniels.
On Saturday, I fully expect a Hawkeye win. I want a dominating win, but I can’t go that far yet. I have yet to see the killer instinct that I’m looking for. I haven’t seen it from the players or the coaches. You know, that feeling you get when you know your team can bury the opponent. Frankly, I have sensed it more from the defense than the offense. But if the offense doesn’t have it, the bend-but-don’t-break defense doesn’t have much of a shot. Last week at Iowa State, Iowa turned in a dominating performance in the first half. The defense carried it on in the 3rd quarter, but the offense couldn’t put the game away and the defense nearly let it get away from them. Way too close for comfort.
Last year against Central Michigan, Iowa decided it was nap time in the 2nd quarter. They went to the locker room at the half down 23-14. Then, came back to take the lead in the 4th quarter only to let CMU win it on a recovered onside kick and a field goal providing us with the scene shown above. I should mention that CMU did have some good players. In fact, the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL, Eric Fisher, played in that game for CMU. Fisher was selected first overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.
But, this week it’s Western Michigan. The Broncos. Thankfully, these Broncos do not have Peyton Manning at the helm. The Hawkeyes need to come out of the locker room with their hair on fire and they should not stop or drop, but roll all over these guys.
I’m going to keep saying it until I see it: Killer Instinct.
Get a lead and build on it. Wind up a respectable 3-1 and head up to Kinnick North with Floyd on a short leash.
Drama not required.