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Iowa Notebook: Bower enjoys spotlight

BY CODY GOODWIN | SEPTEMBER 03, 2014 5:00 AM

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Bo Bower played pretty well during the Aug. 30 game. He had just two tackles but picked off a pass in the third quarter and recorded a big-time sack when Northern Iowa was in the red zone early in the fourth quarter.

A redshirt freshman, Bower earned a co-starting spot at outside linebacker after impressing coaches in during camp in August. He became the first graduate of West Branch High to start a football game for Iowa since Marv Cook, who played tight end from 1984-88.

West Branch is a very small town, with a population of slightly more than 2,000 people, and it is fewer than 12 miles from Iowa City. It makes sense, then, that when Bower made his big plays against Northern Iowa, seemingly everybody from his hometown took to Twitter to express varying kinds of support.

Just searching “Bo Bower” on Twitter returns some pretty interesting results. Most members of the media raved about his contributions on the field, while friends and family from back home tweeted different jokes and words of encouragement.

“We can’t use Twitter, but my sister said some stuff,” Bower said. “I didn’t even want to look.”

Bower said it was nice to hear that most his entire hometown rallied behind him during Iowa’s 31-23 victory. He called it “unreal,” and noted that it’s nice to get recognition from around the state, too.

“It’s awesome. You don’t get that anywhere else,” he said. “We have the best fans. It’s going to be like that forever, hopefully.”

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said he thought Bower played well on Aug. 30, and that he maybe should have given Bower a scholarship before this past fall.

“I’m not ready to ordain Bo, but those were two really nice plays,” Ferentz said. “The interception was a really good play, and those are the things you need to do if you’re going to have a good defensive team, so it was a good start for him.”

UNI film revealed fixable moments

It’s no secret that Northern Iowa running back David Johnson torched the Hawkeye defense with 5 catches for 203 yards. But postgame, linebacker Quinton Alston believed the mistakes that led to Johnson’s big day were correctable.

Alston said Tuesday that, after watching film on the game, most of those mistakes stemmed more from communication.

“There was a lot of bad on there, but there was a lot of good, too,” he said. “There are a lot of brand-new guys out there. It’s just growing pains. It’s all easily fixable.”

Most members of the defense who spoke Tuesday agreed that the mistakes that led to Northern Iowa’s big plays were fixable, and that, as Alston said, communication would be the key.

“We have the 24-hour rule, whether we win or lose,” strong safety John Lowdermilk said. “You have to learn from it, then just flush it and get ready for next week.”

Running backs not worried about carries

Mark Weisman led all of Iowa’s running backs on Aug. 30 with just 10 carries. This was slightly different for him after averaging more than 17 per game a year ago — and that includes five games with 20-plus carries (the most: 35 for 145 yards against Iowa State).

“It felt great,” Weisman said about being fresh in the fourth quarter. “It felt great whenever I was out there. It’s always great to have a bunch of backs out there.”

Still, there’s the notion that when carries are divided as much as they were Aug.30 — after Weisman’s 10, LeShun Daniels Jr., had 8, Jordan Canzeri had 7, Damon Bullock had 3, Jonathan Parker had 1 — there isn’t any chance that a running back will establish a rhythm during the game.

Each Iowa running back who spoke on Tuesday dismissed that idea and said it’s a good thing that more running backs are getting carries.

“We don’t really think of it in that sort of way,” Canzeri said. “Even if that is on our mind, it’s not like it’s a huge deal to us. We’re just happy for whoever’s in, and whoever is in will get the job done.”

Jewell still hurt

Linebacker Josey Jewell suffered a broken hand last week before the Iowa-Northern Iowa game. He was expected to miss the first few games of the season.

On Tuesday, Ferentz said Jewell could return for Iowa’s game against Iowa State on Sept. 13.

“Hopefully, we’ll get him back a week from now,” Ferentz said. “We’ll see how that goes.”

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa football team.


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