The postgame pig pile, the Hawkeyes free-and-loose approach and the work of former Hawkeyes in the NFL are all part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
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Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley spent time last week talking about the need for the Hawkeyes to play free and loose in Saturday’s game against Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes responded, earning the 23-19 win.
“We knew playing tight wasn’t going to help us at all so everybody was loose and ready to go,’’ Stanley said. “Everybody had great focus. You could tell on the bus ride over, that everybody was ready, everybody felt confident. Really the whole week, the whole week led up to how we were ready.’’
2. Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa was named this morning as the Big Ten defensive player of the week.
The junior recorded 2.5 sacks to help lead the Hawkeye defensive effort in Saturday’s 23-19 victory over Minnesota, which was held to a season-low 63 rushing yards and a season-low point total by Iowa.
Epenesa finished with four tackles in the win, forced a fumble and recorded a quarterback hurry in the win over the previously unbeaten Golden Gophers.
3. Iowa’s four-point lead allowed the Hawkeyes to move A.J. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston from end positions to the interior of the defensive line for the final series of the game, positioning Joe Evans and Daviyon Nixon on the edge.
“Having a four-point lead was pivotal,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It exposes their line. No knock on their guys, but it just gives you a chance to have a little more wiggle room inside or even on the edges.’’
4. Getting off the field following the game was almost as challenging as the dealing with the Minnesota defense for Iowa players.
With thousands of fans streaming onto the turf to celebrate Iowa’s first win of the season against a ranked opponent, Hawkeyes found it a challenge to cart Floyd of Rosedale back to the locker room.
“Levi Paulsen was helping out, trying to push people and I was like, ‘move, move,’ just trying to get to the locker room,’’ offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs said. “I got a lot of people yelling my name, so I kind of feel bad now that I didn’t recognize anybody. I got in a couple of selfies, though. Maybe somebody will send me something.’’
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz wasn’t among those posing for pics with the pig.
“No, that would be weird,’’ Ferentz said. “I sure like looking at him, though.’’
5. Tyrone Tracy continues to pile up receptions.
The redshirt freshman caught a career-high six passes for 77 yards in the Hawkeyes’ win over Minnesota.
Tracy has 16 receptions for 323 yards in his last four games after catching 12 passes for 190 yards in his first six games of the season.
6. With his 27-year field goal last weekend against Minnesota, Keith Duncan has passed Marshall Koehn and Miguel Recinos and matched Daniel Murray on Iowa’s career field goal charts in the past two weeks.
The junior has 32 for his career and shares seventh with Murray, sitting two behind Jeff Skillett, a United Township grad who sits in sixth on the all-time list with 34 career field goals.
7. Adrian Clayborn and Jaleel Johnson spent time in opposing backfields Sunday, highlighting the work of former Hawkeyes in the NFL.
Clayborn recorded a pair of sacks among two tackles and one assist for Atlanta in a win over Carolina and Johnson totaled four tackles and two assists in addition to a sack for Minnesota as it rallied past Denver.
Elsewhere on defense, Micah Hyde had two tackles and one assist for Buffalo in a win over Miami.
On offense, Noah Fant had four receptions for 60 yards for the Broncos in their loss to the Vikings and T.J. Hockenson caught one ball for the Lions in a loss to the Cowboys.
8. The view from the back end of the defense is a good one as an opposing quarterback is being sacked, something Iowa accomplished six times on Saturday against the Gophers.
“I turn around and see a quarterback on the ground, I just stop where I’m at and start celebrating,’’ cornerback Matt Hankins said. “I look into the crowd and just bring it all in and enjoy the moment.’’
9. It came in a losing effort, but former Hawkeye Angelo Garbutt of Missouri State turned in a strong effort in a 17-13 setback to Illinois State.
Garbutt finished with seven tackles, including a pair of tackles for a loss, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in the game.
For the Redbirds, Romeo McKnight had six tackles and one tackle for a loss, Brandon Simon had three tackles including one for a loss and Aaron Mends finished with one tackle.
Cedric Boswell returned to action for Miami (Ohio) in its win over Bowling Green and matched three tackles recorded by Manny Rugamba in the game.
10. Expect another decent late November day for Iowa’s home finale against Illinois on Saturday.
The current National Weather Service forecast for Iowa City on Saturday calls for mostly sunny conditions and a high of 41 degrees.