Is it 1939 all over again?

torbee

HR King
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Ha! Bet you thought this was going to be another lame "oh noes, we are going full fascist!" political post. NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND!

It is this week's Tuesdays With Torbee:

Tuesdays with Torbee​

The only joy sparked inside Kinnick Stadium Saturday was oblong ball blasting off Tory Taylor's foot.




Dear Iowa fans, I have two words for you: Embrace the punt.

The only joy sparked inside Kinnick Stadium for three hours beginning around 11 a.m. Saturday (although it felt more like something between six hours and a stint in purgatory) was an oblong ball blasting off the right foot of Australian wunderkind Tory Taylor.

Not since the glory days of Reggie Roby has the Iowa fan base been blessed to see the usually boring-but-necessary punting position not only provide jaw-dropping highlights, but be a critical weapon for Iowa victory.

Without Tory Taylor’s assortment of booming bombs, spinning sideway helicopter out-of-bound kicks and perfectly placed pooches downed inside the five-yard line, Iowa in all likelihood loses last Saturday. Taylor’s transcendent talent led directly to the two safeties that provided the scoring differential in Iowa’s ugly, offensively offensive win over South Dakota State.

Of course, the defense was also elite. Despite the rain of boos cascading down every time the impotent offense failed to take advantage of stellar field position, it never felt like the ultimate outcome was ever in doubt. Iowa’s defense and punting were so dominant it was clear the Jackrabbits wouldn’t score unless via pick-six or other disaster.

I will have more to say about the, well I guess you can call it “offense,” later in the column. Nevertheless, for now, I implore you, gentle Iowa fan, to lean into what is great. The Hawkeyes have a generational talent at punter and a shutdown defense with an assassin’s attitude.

Keep in mind, the 1939 Nile Kinnick-headed Hawkeyes put up the best record in the Big 10 despite scoring 13 points or less in 5 of its 8 contests. To close the season, Iowa squeaked past Purdue 4-0 behind two safeties and no other scores in West Lafayette, a 7-6 white knuckler against Notre Dame, a 13-9 thriller against the Gophers and a bit of a letdown 7-7 tie in Evanston against Northwestern.
And that is considered one of the all-time great Iowa teams.

I think I might start wearing a straw hat, suspenders and tie to Iowa games, so my attire matches Kirk Ferentz football style. Part of me wonders if Ferentz takes some sick satisfaction in testing how long he can keep winning despite a fierce refusal to field a competent offense. Maybe you get bored after 20-plus years coaching the same team, so you start inventing new obstacles?
I can already hear the critics howling. How can I defend the abject failure to fix an already ailing offense? Where is the outrage at not replacing a quarterback with a passer rating that would
put you on academic probation if it were a grade point average? How, in 2022, can you advocate for a defense-first approach to winning college football games?

Well, I can’t and I don’t.

What I am suggesting, however, is that for sheer psychological protection, fans might try focusing on what Iowa does well while hoping it can eventually crawl its way to respectability on the other side of the ball. And what Iowa does well, it actually does at an elite level. Despite the dearth of points, I think that is worth celebrating.

Do not embrace the suck; embrace the punt!

As for the offense, last week in this space I wrote, “Iowa doesn’t need a stellar offense to win, but it has to be efficient and complementary if the Hawkeyes are going to repeat as division champions.”
Clearly, as of early September, the offense is neither and appears to have regressed. The only good news is there is little room at this point for it to get anything but better. The truly crazy thing to think about is if Iowa had an offense even as basically competent as Northwestern’s paired with this defense and punting attack, Iowa would absolutely be a Big 10 title contender.

Call me crazy and a Kool-Aid drinker, but I think that could still happen. It will require much work by the offensive coaches and getting some playmakers back and healthy, but I refuse to believe last Saturday’s effort is the best Iowa can muster.

The coming contest against Iowa State should shed light on whether last week’s offensive disaster was an outlier or a harbinger of horrors to come. No one is expecting the Hawkeyes to have a high-flying offense, but one that can put up a touchdown or two after being gifted ideal field position over and over and over again shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

Consider us asking.
 

jamesvanderwulf

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Nov 27, 2015
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People's Republic of Johnson County
Semi-related, I'm totally stealing your 2004 Drew Tate in Arizona story for the Lounge. Gonna blow some minds!

Yeah, flew into Phoenix a couple days early and drove up to Vegas. I'm the farthest thing from a real gambler, but we were in a small frozen drink bar on Frontier Street ( it was 103 in the shade ) and I was putting money in a slot when the jackpot buzzer went off. The Keno girl came over immediately and said ( in a Philippino accent ) Oh! You win thousand dollar! Oh, only bet quarter. So sorry! Too bad! It was this massive 200.00 win that I let ride on the under, still ready to collect with 14 seconds on the clock right up until Higsby/Grigsby's one and only highlight cost me and taught me a valuable lesson...always bet the max on the slots...:)
 
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torbee

HR King
Gold Member
Yeah, flew into Phoenix a couple days early and drove up to Vegas. I'm the farthest thing from a real gambler, but we were in a small frozen drink bar on Frontier Street ( it was 103 in the shade ) and I was putting money in a slot when the jackpot buzzer went off. The Keno girl came over immediately and said ( in a Philippino accent ) Oh! You win thousand dollar! Oh, only bet quarter. So sorry! Too bad! It was this massive 200.00 win that I let ride on the under, still ready to collect with 14 seconds on the clock right up until Higsby/Grigsby's one and only highlight cost me and taught me a valuable lesson...always bet the max on the slots...:)
Me and @bladel went to that game. It sucked so hard. We had the meanest old lady behind us, just a total trashy trailer grandma cussing and mocking Iowa the entire first half. We bailed at halftime and I totally don't regret it.

We then got so shit-faced at an Irish bar with a live band later that night, we were actually singing in Gaelic and missed our morning flight.
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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In 1939, Nile Kinnick received 1st Team All-American
honors, was awarded the Heisman Trophy, and voted
The Outstanding Male Athlete Of 1939.

Kinnick finished 1st for Male Athlete of the year, Joe
DiMaggio of the New York Yankees finished second,
and boxer Joe Louis finished third.

Of course, in 1972, the University of Iowa named the
football field, Kinnick Stadium.
 

ping72

HR Legend
Jan 14, 2009
33,296
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In 1939, Nile Kinnick received 1st Team All-American
honors, was awarded the Heisman Trophy, and voted
The Outstanding Male Athlete Of 1939.

Kinnick finished 1st for Male Athlete of the year, Joe
DiMaggio of the New York Yankees finished second,
and boxer Joe Louis finished third.

Of course, in 1972, the University of Iowa named the
football field, Kinnick Stadium.

Didn’t you say once you and your wife and kids attended his baptism?
 

bladel

HR Heisman
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Feb 5, 2003
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AZ<-LeClaire<-Iowa City<-The Dirty D
Me and @bladel went to that game. It sucked so hard. We had the meanest old lady behind us, just a total trashy trailer grandma cussing and mocking Iowa the entire first half. We bailed at halftime and I totally don't regret it.

We then got so shit-faced at an Irish bar with a live band later that night, we were actually singing in Gaelic and missed our morning flight.

With enough whiskey and repetition, anybody can sing in Gaelic.

I've been traveling professionally for over 20 years, and that is the only time I missed a flight due to being hungover (or technically, still, drunk) from the night before.

And don't forget the 4 or 5 or 6 hour delay to the start of the game due to a monsoon ripping thru Tempe, all while we're watching the lightning storm sitting on metal bleachers on the exposed side of a hilltop stadium.
 

ThorneStockton

HR Legend
Oct 2, 2009
24,981
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I agree with the theme of the column. I am a fan predominately for fun. I'll generally avoid all Iowa media and especially the boards after a loss. The shear negativity is a downer, that said, I had to observe the boards after this past week, like looking at a car crash. It had to be observed.

While I can be pessimistic and predict the worst on offense, that's predominately a defense mechanism against hope followed by disappointment!

It's more fun to appreciate the elite defense and special teams while acknowledging the offensive challenges and remaining hopeful for a win.

I'm way past getting angry over football game results. That said, I can understand that people have fatigue or different priorities and that getting geared up and attending Iowa games can take an effort in time and financial resources and maybe they'd rather do something else based on the offense.
 
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JRHawk2003

HR Legend
Jul 9, 2003
45,574
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Montrose
I agree with the theme of the column. I am a fan predominately for fun. I'll generally avoid all Iowa media and especially the boards after a loss. The shear negativity is a downer, that said, I had to observe the boards after this past week, like looking at a car crash. It had to be observed.

While I can be pessimistic and predict the worst on offense, that's predominately a defense mechanism against hope followed by disappointment!

It's more fun to appreciate the elite defense and special teams while acknowledging the offensive challenges and remaining hopeful for a win.

I'm way past getting angry over football game results. That said, I can understand that people have fatigue or different priorities and that getting geared up and attending Iowa games can take an effort in time and financial resources and maybe they'd rather do something else based on the offense.

It was fun for me too, until the Big Ten title game last year.
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
24,981
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It was fun for me too, until the Big Ten title game last year.

I'd bet that you probably hated the fun you were having prior. I will say, your state of perpetual depression and anger would have been welcomed in a Sox thread this year. The most disappointing season I can remember, yet somehow, there's still a shot at a playoff bid that will be ended 3 games later.
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
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I started wondering if any team had ever had their defense outscore their offense, when the offense had scored, but without scoring a touchdown?

I see that Iowa is favored this week be 3.5. Are the oddsmakers predicting a shutout by the defense? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

FSU will still be 2-0 on Sunday. It's been such a long time.....
 

JRHawk2003

HR Legend
Jul 9, 2003
45,574
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Montrose
I'd bet that you probably hated the fun you were having prior. I will say, your state of perpetual depression and anger would have been welcomed in a Sox thread this year. The most disappointing season I can remember, yet somehow, there's still a shot at a playoff bid that will be ended 3 games later.

If you read Twitter, you will find that I am a reasonable Sox fan.
 

torbee

HR King
Gold Member
I started wondering if any team had ever had their defense outscore their offense, when the offense had scored, but without scoring a touchdown?

I see that Iowa is favored this week be 3.5. Are the oddsmakers predicting a shutout by the defense? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

FSU will still be 2-0 on Sunday. It's been such a long time.....
I guess I'll make my "official" prediction here, since I'm sick of the bitching and moaning in the Lounge.

I think Iowa will find a semblance of offense. Ferentz teams have a habit of doing the unexpected just when you think you have them figured out.

I don't see how Iowa State does much against Iowa's offense, either, especially with a new QB experiencing a full-throated, drunken Kinnick stadium in a rivalry game for the first time.

I see a nerve-wracking Iowa victory of around 17-13.
 

CJBauer

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Dec 21, 2001
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Newtown, PA
I started wondering if any team had ever had their defense outscore their offense, when the offense had scored, but without scoring a touchdown?

I see that Iowa is favored this week be 3.5. Are the oddsmakers predicting a shutout by the defense? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

FSU will still be 2-0 on Sunday. It's been such a long time.....

Iowa 11 (the hard way)*
isu 3**

* field goal, pick 6, missed PAT, safety
** isu recovers a strip sack at the 15 yard line, Iowa pushes them back to the 25 and they make a 42 yrd field goal
 

Finance85

HR Legend
Oct 22, 2003
18,325
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I guess I'll make my "official" prediction here, since I'm sick of the bitching and moaning in the Lounge.

I think Iowa will find a semblance of offense. Ferentz teams have a habit of doing the unexpected just when you think you have them figured out.

I don't see how Iowa State does much against Iowa's offense, either, especially with a new QB experiencing a full-throated, drunken Kinnick stadium in a rivalry game for the first time.

I see a nerve-wracking Iowa victory of around 17-13.
Nice!
 

JRHawk2003

HR Legend
Jul 9, 2003
45,574
16,413
113
Montrose
I'd bet that you probably hated the fun you were having prior. I will say, your state of perpetual depression and anger would have been welcomed in a Sox thread this year. The most disappointing season I can remember, yet somehow, there's still a shot at a playoff bid that will be ended 3 games later.

I am not even going this weekend. I am going to maybe half the games this year. Just gotta let it go.