Hawkeyes hope to restart 2013 campaign with a win against Missouri State
Coming off a demoralizing loss suffered in the waning seconds of the season-opener against Northern Illinois on Aug. 31, the Iowa football team will attempt to restart the 2013 campaign in a matchup against the Bears of Missouri State.
Iowa will enter the game as a heavy favorite, mostly because of Missouri State’s standing as a Football Championship Subdivision program. But last week, eight such teams came away with wins against Football Bowl Subdivision schools, which is a record for a single weekend.
The Hawkeyes took notice of the those teams’ success, and they are sure they won’t overlook their incoming opponent.
“It’s pretty awakening for everybody, if you’re not paying attention, that’s a good thing to be mindful of,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We have played FCS teams before, and there’s nothing easy about winning at any level.”
The Iowa defense will see a similar style of play from the opponent’s quarterback as they did in the first week. Kierra Harris, a junior from Texarkana, Ark., was the Bears’ leading passer and rusher in its loss to Northwestern State this past weekend. In addition to his two rushing touchdowns, Harris accounted for nearly 80 percent of his team’s total yards.
Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis was pleased with the Hawkeyes’ ability to contain Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch on the ground. But in game two, Davis said, the Hawkeye defensive line is zeroing in on recording sacks; they were unable to come up with one in the opener.
“That’s my goal; I want to be able to get a rush,” Davis said. “We want to rush this guy and get in his face and play physical, Iowa football.
“As a defensive line unit, even in practice, when we get a sack, we’re celebrating. We want to be a great defensive line, and that’s what great defensive lines do as a unit, work together to get sacks.”
The Hawkeye offense looked strong in the first half against Northern Illinois and especially in the second quarter when quarterback Jake Rudock ran and threw for a score.
The second half did not go so smoothly for the Rudock and the rest of the offense, and they were only able to muster 3 points in the final two quarters.
A late interception thrown by the Weston, Fla., native eventually led to the game-winning field goal for Northern Illinois. A loss in such fashion was tough for Rudock, especially because it was his first college start.
But the regrettable throw did not stay in Rudock’s mind for long. Shortly after the game concluded, the first-year starter forgot about the ill-advised decision and shifted his focus to the next opportunity.
“In the back of my head it made me upset; you don’t want to do that to your team, especially with all the effort and all the hard work we put in,” Rudock said. “After the fact, I couldn’t give you a timeframe, but when it finally sunk in you go, ‘All right, it’s over, keep the head up, keep the shoulders back, be ready to go,’ because the next week’s already here.
“Towards the end of Saturday night, I was thinking Missouri State. That’s the only game that matters right now.”
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