Iowa-ISU just another game? Perish the thought
|By BRIAN CAMPBELL|
Hawkeysportsnews.com Senior Writer
Running off at the typewriter while wondering why the Cy-Hawk trophy wasn't named the Cyowa trophy or the HawkCy trophy….
Sixty games have been played in the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry dating to 1894. Probably 600 reporters have asked players and coaches probably 60,000 questions about the rivalry since then, all looking to hype the game into something it’s not. It’s a non-conference game played early in the year between two teams normally not in the hunt for a conference title. Sure, the game is all about the fans and bragging rights, but almost to a man, coaches and players on both sides downplayed it as just another game. No matter how hard the media tries to spin the rivalry game, the answers all seem to come out the same:
“It’s just another game on the schedule.”
“I don’t think it really means anything for recruiting.”
“A win is a win.”
“It’s always going to be a tough game.”
“This week is no different than any other week.”
A look ahead at a Big 10 schedule that includes Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska should give Iowa fans a clear picture of where Iowa players and coaches rank the Iowa State game in importance. Maybe at some point most reporters will see the same picture.
When can a Hawkeye player be seen but not heard?
When the player is a freshman and makes his way onto the field.
Cornerback Desmond King and running back LeShun Daniels both played significant minutes against Missouri State. King was thrust into the lineup in place of injured Jordan Lomax and performed well. Daniels, meanwhile, is a heralded freshman from Warren, Ohio, and got into the rotation and rushed for 30 yards. But neither player were around to talk before practice on Tuesday because of a team policy that prohibits freshman from talking to the media. That made for some interesting conversations with some of the players that were available to evaluate King.
“He (King) was my roommate in fall camp so we really get along pretty well,” cornerback B.J. Lowery said. “As soon as he got here he started making plays. That’s one thing that we try and capitalize on.”
Lowery got the biggest laugh when this reporter suggested after the 20th question about King that Lowery could double as King’s official spokesperson.
“I was just walked into the locker room and (defensive lineman) Carl Davis said something about that,” Lowery said after chuckling. “He’s like, ‘I’m a D lineman, why are they asking me about Desmond King?’”
Probably because no one can ask King himself.
Safety Tanner Miller helped preserve the team’s first victory of season against Missouri State by stepping in front of a pass in the endzone. Miller is a senior from Kalona and has five career interceptions. He went to Mid-Prairie High School and sounds like the classic case of local kid makes good. But, incredibly, Miller said he is not related to any of the hundreds of Millers in the Kalona-Wellman area.
“I didn’t move here until right before I started high school,” Miller said. “I’m not related to any of them, actually. My mom’s side of the family is from Burlington. She got a new job here and they thought Mid-Prairie was a good school.”
Miller was part of the secondary that gave up big plays to Northern Illinois and which has been victimized in past seasons by Cyclone quarterbacks. He said he expects to be a big target of Iowa State’s game plan on offense.
“The film speaks for itself,” Miller said of the wide-open touchdown passes by Northern Illinois. “The film is out there for everyone to see, so they are going to see it and probably test us early and probably test us often.”
Stay tuned to see if the secondary and the team pass or fail those tests.