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Iowa notebook: Scherff, Ott injured, ‘Hate Week’ underway

BY DANNY PAYNE | SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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Tuesday morning was strange. Numerous media reports said Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff had undergone knee surgery and would miss a few games.

Shortly thereafter, the news broke that Hawkeye defensive end Drew Ott had been in a moped accident Monday morning.

At his weekly Tuesday press conference, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz dodged every question regarding Scherff and refused to confirm any surgical procedure.

However, starting right tackle Andrew Donnal said Scherff did have a procedure following Ferentz’s time at the podium.

“I was with him last night after he got the news,” Donnal said. “Of course, he’s bummed, as anyone should be, but he has a great attitude toward everything. He handled it as well as anyone possibly could.

“He’s a strong-willed person, and he’ll get back fast, and he just wanted to get it over with.”

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported Scherff had meniscus surgery and will miss two to three weeks.

Regarding Ott, Ferentz said he fortunately walked away from his accident sore and received only a few stitches.

“Drew is a tough guy, I’m not surprised that he could just get up and walk away from something like that,” Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis said. “… I don’t have a moped. I have a car, but I know a lot of people the mopeds are what they have as a means of transportation. I like to stay safe in my car.”

Rivalry week

As fans across the state know, Iowa State is scheduled to come to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday to compete for the 2014 CyHawk Series Trophy.

As such, a noticeably different Quinton Alston talked with the media Tuesday. He usually keeps things relatively light during interviews, but Tuesday, he was focused and direct when speaking about the Cyclones.

“They don’t like us; we don’t like them. We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot,” Alston said. “… You watch their film, you see how they interact with the sideline, how they interact with our players. Then you get in the first game, and they talk so much so it doesn’t take that long to really get used to the rivalry and not like them.”

Alston is from New Jersey, but said that didn’t matter when it came to learning to hate the Cyclones. From Day One, the linebacker said, he realized how much the rivalry means.

One of his teammates, however, learned about the rivalry a different way.

“Being in there the first time, it was a big experience, a lot of people out there,” Iowa wide receiver Damond Powell said. “I didn’t know they hate us like that, and I got to be a part of that, so that was different.”

Stopping the run

Both quarterbacks Iowa has faced this season — Northern Iowa’s Sawyer Kollmorgen and Ball State’s Ozzie Mann — have been one-dimensional. They strictly passed and were never expected to make plays with their feet.

That will change this week. Just like the Hawkeyes, the Cyclones’ leading rusher is the quarterback, Sam Richardson, who has totaled 90 yards through two games and can hurt teams in more than one way.

Running backs Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy have each totaled fewer than 100 yards on the season.

That should play into Iowa’s strengths, as the defense has allowed an average of 57.5 rushing yards during the first two games.

“We want to be able to force teams to put the ball in the air, to get them off the ground,” Davis said. “They’re a good team. They competed well against Kansas State, and they have an explosive team. The quarterback is good. He can make plays. They’re going to come in ready to play.”

Jewell cleared

Josey Jewell was cleared to practice on Tuesday, according to Ferentz. The outside linebacker has been out with an injury since the end of fall camp.

“He’s been cleared. That doesn’t mean he’ll be able to play effectively,” Ferentz said. “… At the very least, he can help us on special teams. We’re not the deepest group right now at linebacker, so hopefully he’ll get involved in that.”

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


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