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IOWA vs. OHIO STATE
Ohio State's Marcus Hall, left, Jon Thoma, Reid Fragel and Jake Ballard celebrate, with kicker Devin Barclay-who is behind Fragel #88, as the ball goes through the uprights on Barclay's 39 yard game winning field goal in the Buckeyes' 27-24 win over Iowa in overtime at Ohio Stadium, Saturday, November 14, 2009. The victory assured the Buckeyes of their 5th consecutive Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl to face the winner of the Pac 10 Conference on New Year's Day. (Source: Morning Journal/Nate Parsons)
Highlights from Ohio State's 27-24OT Win Over Iowa (Source: Big Ten Network)
Buckeyes Win Fifth-Straight Big Ten Title on Devin Barclay's Overtime Field Goal November 14, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "An Ohio State walk-on punched the Buckeyes' ticket to Pasadena. In overtime, junior placekicker Devin Barclay sent a 39-yard field goal through the uprights to help the Buckeyes clinch at least a share of the 2009 Big Ten championship with a 27-24 overtime win in Ohio Stadium. With the victory, Ohio State earns its first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1996 campaign. "On behalf of all our guys and coaches that play so hard and our seniors and fans, we are so excited and proud to represent Ohio State in the Rose Bowl as best we can," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, who heads to his first Rose Bowl at the helm of the Buckeyes, said. Led by two seniors in their final home game at the 'Shoe, the Ohio State defense dominated the Hawkeyes to begin the overtime. After Doug Worthington sacked freshman quarterback James Vandenberg for 10 yards on third and long, free safety Anderson Russell picked off a deep pass in the end zone for a touchback. The defensive stop would then set up the game-winning field goal..."
IT WAS OVER WHEN: Backup kicker Devin Barclay kicked a 39-yard field goal to give Ohio State the win in OT.
THE PLAY: Doug Worthington's sack of Iowa QB James Vandenberg on third down in overtime that resulted in a 10-yard loss. It was the Buckeyes only sack of the game.
GAMEBALL GOES TO: Devin Barclay and Doug Worthington
THE MISMATCH: So much for a nervous Iowa redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg against a ferocious Ohio State defense. His poise in his first start made it a game to remember.
THE STRATEGY: Jim Tressel and Kirk Ferentz were reluctant to go all-in offensively and risk blowing the pot. Then Iowa's Derrell Johnson-Koulianos flipped the table with a 99-yard kickoff return.
THE REPERCUSSION: Ohio State is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1996 season. Holding at least a share of a fifth straight Big Ten title, OSU can clinch it outright with a win at Michigan. Who says The Game doesn't matter?
BEST HIT: Junior outside linebacker Ross Homan, entering the game as Ohio State's second-leading tackler, flattened Iowa fullback Brett Morse on a short third-down dump pass over the middle, timing the strike perfectly to force a punt late in the second quarter. The Buckeyes scored the game's first touchdown on the next series to break a sluggish 3-3 tie. Homan provided another wake-up call in the fourth quarter, stopping an Iowa drive with a third-down interception to set up Saine's long dash.
WHO'S HOT?: Outside linebacker Ross Homan. He has been rocking and socking for several weeks. Though he didn't have a definitive play in overtime like Austin Spitler (tackle for loss), Doug Worthington (sack) and Anderson Russell (interception), he did grab an interception (team-leading fourth) in regulation and he led the team in tackles (8). And if his flattening of receiver Brett Morse doesn't win the Jack Tatum hit-of-the-week award, he should demand a recount.
WHAT'S NOT?: Letting a team take a kickoff back 99 yards for a touchdown. Somebody started smelling the Rose way too early, even if OSU enjoyed a 24-10 lead at the time. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos' return turned the place into Uh-Ohio Stadium. Then a couple of errors by the defense allowed the game-tying touchdown drive to survive and the fight was on. It didn't have to be that way.
WORST FIZZLE: Iowa was primed to tie it at 10 on its first series of the second half after a perfect 55-yard, play-action strike from Vandenberg to Johnson-Koulianos to the Ohio State 7. But after two stuffed runs, the Hawkeye quarterback and Stross missed connections on third down. Then kicker Daniel Murray wasted the opportunity by somehow missing a 22-yard field goal to the right.
THE STAT: Each kicker was one 1 of 2 on field-goal attempts in regulation. In OT, Barclay got a shot, and Iowa's Daniel Murray did not.
THE STAT II: Iowa hasn't won in Ohio Stadium since a 16-9 victory in 1991, 18 years. The Hawkeyes have won only one other game against the Buckeyes in that span (33-7 in 2004). Ohio State has won 11 of the last 12 meetings with Iowa.
THE STAT III: Yesterday's win over Iowa was quarterback Terrelle Pryor's 20th career start for the Buckeyes. He is 17-3 (85.0 winning percentage) as a starter.
THE STAT IV: Ohio State came into the game averaging a nation's best 6.0 three-and-outs per game and recorded two more today. They have totaled 62 through 11 games.
THE STAT V: The announced crowd of 105,455 was the eighth-largest at Ohio Stadium
THE STAT VI: The Buckeyes have totaled seven team rushing performances for at least 200 yards this season. They had seven in 2008, the most under Jim Tressel.
THE STAT VII: Nineteen (19) Ohio State seniors played their final game in Ohio Stadium Saturday.
THE STAT VIII: Ohio Stadium is the only stadium Kirk Ferentz hasn't won in as coach of the Hawkeyes
THE STAT VIIII: OSU racked up 229 yards on the ground; Brandon Saine had 103 yards on 11 carries and Dan Heron had 97 yards on 32 carries.
NOTEWORTHY: Terrelle Pryor went over 3,000 yards passing. He entered the game with 2,979 yards and finished with 93 on the day. He passed Todd Boeckman (3,085 yards) for 10th on the all-time list.
NOTEWORTHY II: True freshman offensive lineman Marcus Hall made his first career start right tackle. He alternated with regular J.B. Shugarts, who had limped from the field with a knee injury the week before at Penn State.
COACH TRESSEL SAID IT: "You guys look dumbfounded. It’s like you’re shocked that we [won]." -staring into a throng of reporters postgame when no one said anything
COACH TRESSEL SAID IT II: "None of our kids have gone to the Rose Bowl. I haven't been there in 25 years (since) I was an assistant coach in the 1985 Rose Bowl. There's nothing like it. It's a great feeling."
JIM CORDLE, SR OL, SAID IT: "I'm bruised. I'm battered. But we're victorious, man. We did it, baby! We got five rings and we did it! We’re going to the Rose Bowl!" -following the game as he poured a bottle of water over his own head.
COACH FERENTZ SAID IT: "We didn't quite do it," he said. "Maybe if we had, we might have won. This was a heck of a challenge."
James Vandenberg, IOWA RSFr QB, SAID IT II: "It was just a brain cramp by me. They went to a coverage we hadn't seen all night. We didn't have anybody open. I was thinking, 'Just get it off,' but it's like (Doug Worthington) appeared out of nowhere." -on the OT sack
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES: 1985: Last time Tressel attended the Rose Bowl. He was an Ohio State assistant.
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES II: 2,215: Distance in miles between the Rose Bowl and Capital One Bowl, where Iowa likely is headed
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES III: 5: Tressel is 5-1 in overtime games at Ohio State. His only loss was to Northwestern in 2004. The last overtime game in Ohio Stadium was Sept. 13, 2003 in a win over North Carolina State.
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES IV: 5: Consecutive Big Ten won by the Buckeyes
NUMBERS FOR DUMMIES VI: 27,000: Ohio State will receive 27,000 tickets for the Rose Bowl. "It will look like a home game for them," Rose Bowl President Jim Throop said. "They always travel well, and I have no doubt they’ll be out in full force."
What went right?: The OSU running game. The Buckeyes topped 200 yards rushing for the fourth straight game (all wins) and Brandon Saine (103, two TDs) and Daniel Herron (97 yards and a TD on a career-high 32 carries) often found room to roam behind the offensive line, and Saine's 49-yard sprint to his second TD was a cannon shot provided by Justin Boren, Jim Cordle and Jake Ballard.
Back to the drawing board: The two-minute offense, or whatever the Buckeyes call it. Or do they even have one? Similar to the losses to Southern California and Purdue this year, they got the ball back with plenty of time to do something in regulation but seemed to have no scripted or practiced approach to the situation.
THE VIEW: How the team sees it: Cry "Uncle?" Not quite. Try "Granddaddy ... of them all.
How the pollsters will see it: Our L.A. Confidential? We didn't think they could get there.
How Buckeye Nation will see it: It wasn't pretty, but it's still pretty special.
TRANSLATING TRESS: What he said: "You guys are dumbfounded." -- at what he sensed was a shocked media."
What he meant: "I'm tempted to drop the -founded."
AS HEARD IN THE PRESS BOX: One Barkley (USC QB) beats them. Another Barclay brings them roses.
ONE-LINER: Hard for TBDBITL to take the field afterward with 10,000 fans dotting the "i."
AS HEARD ON TV: He's a cucumber out there...as cool as you can be," -Matt Millen said after Vandenberg fired a strike between to OSU defenders to find McNutt, who ran a perfect slant route.
AS HEARD ON TV II: "This kid looks like a fifth-year senior," - Matt Millen during Iowa's game-tying drive, an 8-play, 70-yard march
AS HEARD ON TV III: When the highlight (lowlight?) is Holly Rowe running to keep up with Kirk Ferentz at halftime, well, enough said.
AS HEARD FROM AN OSU FAN: "We have the best player on the field (Pryor), and all he's doing is handing the ball to someone else."
AS HEARD FROM AN OHIO STATE CHEERLEADER: "We're off to Pasadena."
JUST WONDERING: How happy is Anderson Russell? After his missed tackle cost Ohio State a Fiesta Bowl win over Texas last season, the fifth-year senior safety intercepted the Hawkeyes' fourth-down pass in overtime. He immediately went from starring in The Men Who Stare at Goats to a feature role in Some Kind of Wonderful.
THE $63 QUESTION: Tough economy or not, the history-minded fan would have been willing to dig even deeper into the pocket -- $75 or more -- to catch a glimpse of the Buckeyes earning their first Rose Bowl trip since 1996. Not to mention the 60-degree temperatures were worth $25 alone.
Tweethearts: Throwback unis next week but throwback game plan this week.
(Sources: ESPN/Cleveland Plain Dealer/Columbus Dispatch/Associated Press/The Webmaster)
Source: Columbus Dispatch
Who says coach Tressel is emotionless?
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel celebrates a missed field goal by Iowa's Daniel Murray in the third quarter of the Buckeyes 27-24 win over Iowa in overtime at Ohio Stadium, November 14, 2009.
(Source: Morning Journal/Nate Parsons)
Barclay's OT kick puts Ohio St in Rose Bowl, 27-24 November 15, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "The oldest of the Buckeyes sent Ohio State back to the Granddaddy of all bowls. Devin Barclay, a 26-year-old former pro soccer player, kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime to give No. 10 Ohio State a 27-24 victory Saturday over No. 15 Iowa and send the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowlfor the first time in 13 years. "None of our kids have gone to the Rose Bowl. I haven't been there in 25 years (since) I was an assistant coach in the 1985 Rose Bowl," coach Jim Tressel said. "There's nothing like it. It's a great feeling."..."
Rose to the occasion November 15, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Buckeyes sweat out wild fourth quarter before winning in OT-Jim Cordle listened as first his coach and then his fellow Ohio State captains spoke of their win over Iowa in measured, almost reverent tones. They described the victory as "a blessing" and "an honor" and "fun to be a part of." As he sat there, Cordle, a soft-talking, low-key offensive lineman, decided it was time to get this party started. When it was his turn to speak, Cordle leaped up, flung a cup of water on his head and whooped: "We did it, baby! We won! These guys up here, we've got five rings now. We did it!" Cordle's mood fit that of the crowd in Ohio Stadium after Ohio State defeated Iowa 27-24 in overtime, clinching a piece of the Big Ten championship, its fifth straight, and a spot in the Rose Bowl, its first in 13 years. The Buckeyes (9-2, 6-1) can claim an outright title with a win at Michigan on Saturday..."
There were many plays we could have selected from the Ohio State Iowa game that were worthy...but these two may have defined the season (at least to date) for the Buckeyes.
In overtime, on 3rd and 16 from the OSU 31, after Austin Spitler had dropped Iowa RB Adam Robinson for a six yard loss on the previous play, senior defensive tackle Doug Worthington crashed through the offensive line and sacked Iowa QB James Vandenberg for a 10-yard loss. It was the Buckeyes first and only sack of the game. Out of field goal range on fourth-and-26, Vandenberg then lofted a long pass into the end zone that was picked off by Anderson Russell. Next up, Buckeyes!
"It’s a blessing, it feels spectacular," Worthington, a team captain, said of clinching a Rose Bowl bid. "We had good preparation because we knew how hard Iowa would play because they wanted it just as bad as us. It was a great battle and I’m glad we came out on top."
Vandenberg, commenting on the play, said: "It was just a brain cramp by me. They went to a coverage we hadn't seen all night. We didn't have anybody open. I was thinking, 'Just get it off,' but it's like (Doug Worthington) appeared out of nowhere."
On the Buckeyes overtime possession on 4th and 7 from the 22, after 'Boom Herron' had run the ball three times for only three yards, backup kicker Devin Barclay kicked a 39-yard field goal to give Ohio State the win in OT. The kick clinched at a least a share of the Buckeyes 5th straight Big Ten Title and a trip to the Rose Bowl, Ohio State's first since 1996.
Barclay, a junior walk-on and former Major League Soccer player, making his second career start after the injury to Aaron Pettrey, said after the game: "It's unbelievable. I'm pretty speechless. The fourth quarter definitely made it interesting. I'm just glad that we came out and now we're going to the Rose Bowl. I'm really excited. It's a really great feeling." He went on: "I was nervous, but I had Aaron (Pettrey) there in my ear. He was saying you can do this. Honestly, he is a great friend and a team player. He was there telling me to swing easy and that I was very capable of this."
As heard in press box: One Barkley (USC QB) beats them. Another Barclay brings them roses.
Dane Sanzenbacher said of the kick, "I think I was more nervous than he was."
Each kicker missed a FG in the game: Barclay, was two of three, hitting a 30 yarder in the 2nd quarter and missing a 47 yarder in the 4th before the game winning FG in OT. Iowa's Daniel Murray was one of two, hitting a 32 yard FG in 1st quarter and missing one from 22 yards in the 3rd quarter.
8. Conservatism still wins…in the Big Ten. What do Jim Tressel, Joe Paterno and Kirk Ferentz have in common? Besides being three of the most successful coaches in the country, they are also three of the most conservative. Tressel in particular takes a tremendous amount of heat for "playing things close to the vest," but it could be argued that Ohio State beat Penn State and Iowa in back-to-back weeks by simply winning the battle of conservatism.
7. Buckeye fever is back...There was a change; a new sense of excitement and energy that seems to come from finally winning a big game after so many times coming up short over the past three seasons...
6. Special teams can be a fickle mistress...Not only did they get a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Buckeyes missed a 47-yarder that would have made it a two-score game (also in the fourth quarter). They also got horrendous day from punter Jon Thoma...his first one against Iowa 48 yards, but followed it up with punts of 26, 31 and 36 yards (two of which led to Iowa’s first two scores), giving the Hawkeyes excellent field position each time.
5. Pigs can fly. Or at least that’s what I was told would happen on the day a tight end led Ohio State in receiving. Yet that was the case Saturday as Jake Ballard caught three passes for a game-high 24 yards against Iowa.
4. The Buckeyes have figured out their run game. Call in boring, call it bland, call it old-fashioned, just don’t call it unsuccessful...
3. Brandon Saine still has that extra gear...Saine took a handoff running left and blasted through the hole and down the left sideline, 49 yards into the end zone, showing the kind of afterburners people expected to see from him when he got to Ohio State.
2. Homan is the most consistent performer on the defense...The junior out of Coldwater finished with a team-high eight tackles Saturday, which vaults him ahead of Rolle for the team lead with 84 tackles this season. He also had a key interception in the fourth quarter that set up the long Saine touchdown run, and simply seems to be developing that James Laurinaitis knack for being around the football.
1. Pryor is now a facilitator. He might be the most athletic player on the roster, but right now Terrelle Pryor’s primary role is to simply facilitate the offense. Since turning the ball over four times at Purdue, Pryor has been much more efficient with the football (14-17 passing against Iowa), in big part because he’s been asked to do less...Certainly he is still capable of the big play, especially once he has time to rest his ankle for the bowl game, but right now his most impactful play seems to be the handoff. At least until he gets his burst back..."
Terrelle Pryor: 'We really didn't have to pass the ball' November 14, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "College start No. 21 for Terrelle Pryor delivered Big Ten championship No. 2. And Ohio State's sophomore quarterback says that's all that matter, despite all the hoopla surrounding his career. Pryor, who was 14-of-17 passing for 93 yards in OSU's 27-24 overtime win over Iowa, discussed the day and his season with reporters after the game:..
Q: Do you get tired of hearing about turnovers?
TP: Sometimes, you hear it so much that it's bounding in your head. I will not throw a bad ball. I will not throw the ball unless I know it's going to be there and the timing's right. I will not turn the ball over...
Q: Did Tressel say anything like that to you before OT?
TP: It was really on the running backs. He was on the running backs. I'm sure he was getting on the backs, "Hold that ball." Going down, even when there two minutes left and we had the ball, he was sitting there saying, "Don't turn it over."..."
Instant Analysis - Ohio St. Beats Iowa In OT November 14, 2009 Source: College Football News - Pete Fiutak: Remember this, Ohio State fans. Remember how cool it is that you get to go to the BCS yet again, while other big names like Oklahoma and USC are crashing and burning in their rebuilding seasons. Remember that all that matters is whether the team wins or loses, and remember how cool it is to be in the spotlight yet again as the Big Ten champion. Remember all of this the next time Ohio State suffers an ugly and bizarre loss like it did against Purdue earlier this year, and remember that there’s no need to overreact and blowup the program when there’s a slight blip in the road. The program is a monster, and because of the steadiness and even keel attitude of the Jim Tressel, it’s going to stay that way … with or without the style points.
Richard Cirminiello: Isn’t it finally time to recognize just how good Jim Tressel has been at Ohio State over the last nine seasons? Tressel has had a knack for getting overlooked in recent years...Raise your hand if you thought Ohio State was going to win the Big Ten after stumbling to Purdue on Oct. 17. You’re not alone. Yet, the Buckeyes have rallied over the past month, including back-to-back wins over Penn State and Iowa. Kudos to a defense that’s been the backbone of the run and kudos to Tressel, who just keeps doing what he was hired to do, even if that’s not sexy enough for folks outside the Midwest.
Matt Zemek: 1) Ohio State fans: Jim Tressel isn’t a perfect coach. He hasn’t won two national titles in three years the way Urban Meyer has. He hasn’t coached Terrelle Pryor as well as he could have, to put it charitably. Mister Sweater Vest plays awfully close to that vest on a number of occasions. We get it. But the man has now won three Big Ten titles in the past four years (no, 2008 doesn’t count; if you lose a head-to-head and are tied in the standings, the other team – Penn State – should receive sole credit for the conference championship). Tressel has reached a BCS bowl in seven of the last eight seasons, and in each of the past five years. You might not want to boo the man when he’s just going about his business and winning the Big Ten again. Just sayin’.
Michael Bradley: Give the kid (Vandenberg) credit...but the Hawkeyes just couldn’t finish the job. Ohio State had a little to do with that, most notably its defense in overtime and its ground game...in the end, Ohio State gets the Roses, because it can run the ball...But as long as OSU gets to play handicapped Big Ten teams (wait until it gets a load of defensively-challenged Michigan next week), it will prevail because of its strong ground game and defense, Jim Tressel’s calling cards. Saturday against the Hawks...it survived to reach Pasadena and remain the bully of a neighborhood that ain’t close to what it used to be..."
Doug Lesmerises' report card for OSU-Penn State November 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "B+ — Iowa: You need to win to earn an A, but that was one of the best losses a team could ask for. By adding to their comeback reputation, the Hawkeyes kept themselves in the hunt for an at-large BCS bid.
B — Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor: Just like last week, Pryor, for the most part, wasn't asked to win the game, just not to lose it..."No one is worrying about stats," Pryor said. "I'm not worrying about stats. As long as we got that W. I'm happy for three reasons. We got the W. For the seniors. And for Coach Tressel. And I'll keep on saying that."
C+ — Ohio State's defense: The Buckeyes got some pressure, but sacked Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg just once. Giving up a 70-yard, eight-play, game-tying drive in the final six minutes? That was reminiscent of the Navy and USC games early in the year, when Ohio State couldn't make a stop at the end. The Navy game was won on a foiled 2-point conversion. The USC game was lost. This game was forced into overtime. The Fiesta Bowl last season was lost on a last-minute drive. Yes, the Buckeyes held Iowa to 300 yards, and limited the Hawkeyes to 2.8 yards per carry on 24 rushes. And yes, Iowa had Vandenberg get rid of the ball quickly, before the OSU line pressure could get there. But those late-game breakdowns is what might keep the 2009 Ohio State defense from being remembered as a truly, truly dominant group. Of course, the overtime, when the Buckeyes pushed the Hawkeyes back 16 yards on their three offensive plays, made up for a lot.
C- — The Michigan game: With the Rose Bowl already in hand, the Michigan game might have an odd feel for the Buckeyes. Of course, Ohio State would love to make Jim Tressel 8-1 in that game. And send Rich Rodriguez to a second straight losing season. And keep Michigan out of a bowl game. Why will the Buckeyes not let down? "It's easy," senior offensive lineman Jim Cordle said. "It's Ohio State-Michigan. That's all I have to say."..."
The Bottom Line November 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Offense (3 leaves): Players run what coaches call, so it probably wasn't their idea to shrink into turtle-shell mode. Fist-bumps around for another mistake-free effort, but it could have been a spectacle with a little imagination sprinkled in. Daniel Herron (thunder) and Brandon Saine (lightning) caught Iowa in a storm.
Defense (3 leaves): After the Purdue debacle, the unit looked like it had perfected all the moves to Boom Boom Pow. Not so against the Hawkeyes -- until the game was on the line, at least. Regulation was notable for its lack of sacks, some missed tackles and shaky pass defense. In OT, though, "D" was for domination.
Special teams (2 leaves): Since a winning field goal in overtime is worth three leaves, that makes for a negative performance until then. Jon Thoma's last four punts averaged a mere 32.7 yards, Devin Barclay missed badly from 47, and the Buckeyes allowed a back-in-it kickoff return for a TD. Barclay's winner made the pain go away.
Coaching (2 leaves): Nothing wrong with winning an overtime nail-biter with a BCS bid on the line. Something wrong when Iowa should have been locked in the box midway through the fourth quarter. Conservative offense and a glacier-like two-minute offense -- it was like Tress was determined to not let Pryor beat the Hawkeyes...
Opponent (4 leaves): Herky Hawkeye is all heart, and it would have been hard to grouse if Iowa had taken its valiant comeback all the way to Pasadena. Pinch-hit QB James Vandenberg was expected to crash like the Hindenburg, but he kept Iowa in it with his clutch throws. Says here you could find worse BCS at-large teams.
Officiating (2 leaves): Team Zebra chose not to award early Christmas gifts like what refs gave Penn State last week and UC the other night, but this crew still had issues, especially with some bizarre spots. In one case, Iowa was penalized 6 yards for a false start. Other times, they missed by a foot or more..."
Ohio State win defines Tressel, Big Ten November 14, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Here's some simple logic for you. Jim Tressel is the face of Ohio State football. Ohio State has dominated the Big Ten under his watch. Therefore, Jim Tressel is the face of Big Ten football...
He's an amazingly successful Big Ten coach and a conservative playcaller who drives many people nuts -- even a lot of Buckeyes fans. If Ohio State had fallen to Iowa, fans would have put the loss right in Tressel's lap for going conservative at the end of regulation and not putting the ball in quarterback Terrelle Pryor's hands very often. And they would have been right. But Tressel didn't lose. He almost never loses, especially in November and when the Big Ten title is at stake. But he has struggled in bowl games and marquee nonconference matchups in recent years. Does conservative coaching work outside the Big Ten footprint? We'll find out in January..."
Hyper-conservatism triumphed again in Columbus. Ohio State's painful-to-watch pragmatism was rewarded with roses. The Vest knew best, writes ESPN's Pat Forde: Buckeyes, The Vest do it their way
Ferentz defends decision to play for OT November 17, 2009 Source: Chicago Tribune - "Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says a pair of second-half interceptions thrown by freshman quarterback James Vandenberg were on his mind when he played it safe at the end of regulation in last week's loss at Ohio State. Iowa had the ball on its own 33 yard line with 52 seconds left. The Hawkeyes ran one play, a run for no gain, before letting the clock run out. The Buckeyes won the game in overtime, 27-24, and Ferentz's decision has been hotly debated. Ferentz recalled Tuesday he was hoping for a shanked punt, a strong punt return or a big play on first down. He didn't like Iowa's odds after none of those happened. Vandenberg threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter, though one was called back because of an Ohio State penalty..."
Ferentz Was Right: Vandenberg was Better, Much Better November 14, 2009 Source: Iowa Official Site - " Kirk Ferentz said his red-shirt freshman was going to be better in Game 2 than he was in Game 1. The Hawkeyes' veteran head coach was right. Boy, was he right. James Vandenberg, a red-shirt freshman from Keokuk, Iowa - a city, er, town, whose population is about one-tenth of the capacity of Ohio Stadium, took command of an 18-point underdog Iowa team and passed it into overtime, an overtime that it lost by a field goal but made a statement, a big-time statement. Vandenberg completed 20 of 33 passes for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He connected with nine different receivers. He was sharp from the opening snap until the game's end. The college football critics - and there are many, including one national television pundit who gave Iowa two chances to win in Saturday Columbus: "slim" and "none" - will focus on his three interceptions and a sack in overtime that probably took Iowa out of field goal range. Let the record show, however, that the red-shirt freshman was the real deal..."
Four Downs: Doug Lesmerises' take on what to watch November 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "First down - Trey Stross, Iowa receiver: The senior from Avon Lake takes a sports psychology class with Hawkeyes' freshman quarterback James Vandenberg and Stross said the new guy has the smarts to handle himself in his first career start, replacing the injured Ricky Stanzi...Stross, the Hawkeyes' second-leading receiver with 25 catches. He's the wideout best suited in Iowa's offense to catch some quick, short passes in the soft spots in the Ohio State defense. Iowa can't expect to contain Ohio State's pass rush, so the plan must be to get the ball out of Vandenberg's hands quickly on some three-step drops or roll him out of the pocket...
Second down - Zach Boren, Ohio State fullback:...the Buckeyes are back to a more balanced mix of run and pass, and the improvement of this freshman fullback is one of the major reasons for that success. Early on, you could see what happened when Boren missed a linebacker as the lead blocker. Now he's making those blocks more often than not, and that allowed the Buckeyes to grind down Penn State with their run game last week. I expect more of the same today. With Terrelle Pryor still nursing a left ankle injury, the Buckeyes should be under center with the fullback in the game a lot of the time...
Third down - Adrian Clayborn, Iowa defensive end: He ranks third in the Big Ten with 7.5 sacks and fifth with 13.5 tackles for loss and has also forced three fumbles...Jim Bollman said, "He's a big guy, and he has exceptional quickness and athleticism for his size. He's listed at 280 pounds, but he plays like a 240-pound guy...Wisconsin defensive O'Brien Schofield gave the Buckeyes a ton of problems earlier this season, and Iowa needs Clayborn to be that disruptive...Led by Clayborn and linebacker Pat Angerer, the Iowa defense has forced 26 turnovers this season, tied for second in the country.
Fourth down - Lawrence Wilson, Ohio State defensive end:...The story has been told: a broken leg in the first game of the year that ended his 2007 season, then a torn ACL midway through last year that brought another season to a premature close...the defensive line, the strength of the team, includes four seniors in Wilson, Doug Worthington, Todd Denlinger and Rob Rose. Combined, those seniors have contributed 69 tackles and 13 tackles for loss.
Five Key Factors November 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "1) PRYOR RESTRAINT: ...It certainly looked as if a gimpy ankle forced the sophomore QB to play within himself last week, and he turned in his most effective game. He was less jittery in the pocket, less apt to try to force the big play and showed less frustration and emotion on the sideline.
2) IOWA’S FRONT: The Hawkeyes’ biggest challenge will be trying to neutralize the Ohio State defensive line...
3) IOWA’S BRAVE FRONT: Mentally, where are the Hawkeyes? They suffered not only a loss last week that shattered their national title dreams, but also the loss of QB Ricky Stanzi. How will they respond?...
4) TURNOVER TREND: Each defense has been good at forcing turnovers...The difference has been in giveaways: Ohio State has coughed up 16, compared with Iowa’s 21...After a rough two months, Pryor has been turnover-free in his past two games...Iowa has been going in the opposite direction...having committed 10 turnovers in the past two weeks.
5) WRINKLES REMAIN: The Buckeyes ran the ball 49 times last week out of 66 plays (74 percent), but partly because of Pryor’s injury, the old run-game dog showed some new tricks. Rather than repeatedly slamming tailbacks between the tackles, OSU used some quick laterals to receivers, a bit of the Wildcat and a new formation with Pryor in the shotgun flanked by two backs. Those added freshness to a stale plan and should stay in the playbook..."
On the edge: Dispatch beat writers Ken Gordon and Tim May predict which team has the edge in this week's game. See if you agree..."
Heyward not taking Rose for granted November 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The media kept trying to shove a Rose into Cameron Heyward's hand, figuratively speaking, and the Ohio State defensive tackle wanted nothing to do with it. To him, it was like counting on a flower before it bloomed...all that bowl talk was a distraction for Heyward. "I don't really know that much about the Rose Bowl, but we're trying to just take one game at a time," Heyward said. "We can only worry about Iowa." It's funny, though, how a spot in the Rose Bowl has become almost a consolation prize since the start of the BCS in 1998. Ohio State would have played in three Rose Bowls -- after the 2002, 2006 and 2007 seasons -- had it not qualified for national championship games..."I think Coach said it well: It's going to be a battle in November. Whoever wins November is going to win the Big Ten championship," Heyward said. "You can kind of look at it as a boxing fight. You can't just win one (round) and win it. It's going to be critical for us to go out there and bring it every game."..."
Virtues of Tressel Ball on display last week November 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Laws are like sausages, the saying goes -- it is better not to see them being made. Add "Tressel Ball" to that list. The process is hardly pretty, but the results can be effective. Ohio State's victory last week at Penn State perhaps was the perfect example of how coach Jim Tressel wants to play...It was a signature win for OSU, and it validated Tressel's approach. The Buckeyes ran 49 times in 66 plays (74.2 percent). They had as many punts as completed passes (eight) and paired a stifling defense with what Tressel likes to call "opportunistic" offense. And then there was the ultimate Tressel dream -- no turnovers...Expect to see more of the same style today, from both schools.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz shares many of Tressel's beliefs and builds his teams around solid defense and special teams. He, too, has been highly successful. "You can see that special teams are very important to them; they're very important to us," Tressel said. "You can see that they want to be a balanced team on offense; we'd like to be a balanced team. You can see that they want to put pressure on the quarterback, and so would we."..."
At his final Thursday press conference of the year, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel discussed a wide range of topics. A sophomore is redshirting at OSU this year and not because of injury. The Buckeyes are finally getting healthy heading into their big game against visiting Iowa this Saturday...and much more. (Source: Bucknuts.com)
Top eight blockers cleared to play: Ohio State will have its top eight offensive linemen available for its game Saturday against Iowa, even if some aren't 100 percent healthy. For the first time in four weeks, tackles Andrew Miller, Jim Cordle, Mike Adams, J.B. Shugarts and Marcus Hall will be ready, along with guards Justin Boren and Bryant Browning and center Michael Brewster. It's as healthy as the Buckeyes have been up front in a while. "The degree of their health, it would be hard for me to judge, because I'm not the one whose foot hurts or ankle hurts, or whatever," coach Jim Tressel said yesterday. "But they're available." Adams has been out for three games because of a knee injury. Shugarts limped out of the win at Penn State last week because of an apparent knee injury, but he has practiced this week, Tressel said. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
This week's challenge: Not much needs to be said. If the Buckeyes beat Iowa, they're headed to the Rose Bowl because they will clinch the Big Ten's automatic qualifier berth in the BCS. If the Hawkeyes win, they gain the automatic qualifer. If Ohio State closes with wins over Iowa and at Michigan next week, it earns the Big Ten title outright. Who would have thought that was possible after the stunning loss at Purdue three weeks ago? Major college football -- you blink, you lose. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
STILL NEEDS WORK: Ohio State ran on first down nine straight series before QB Terrelle Pryor unloaded a 62-yard touchdown strike to DeVier Posey to begin a drive late in the third quarter. Lulling them to sleep certainly worked, but a little more creativity in the future might be helpful. (Source: USA Today)
SERIES RECORD • This is the 62nd meeting in the series; OSU leads 44-14-3
• Last Meeting: The Buckeyes won 38-17, in Iowa City during the 2006 campaign.
• Saturday’s game will mark the 19th time the teams have met when both have
been in the national rankings. Ohio State has won 14 of the 18 games in which both teams were ranked. Iowa held the top spot in the rankings in 1985 when it lost 22-13 at Ohio Stadium.
ROSE BOWL BOUND?:
• Ohio State hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since the 1996 season. Pasadena hasn't seen Iowa since 1990. The winner of Saturday's game, in all probability, will be going in 2010.
• In home finales, Ohio State has a 72-44-3 alltime record.
THE SENIOR CLASS:
• Before the game, 19 members of the senior class, along with their parents, will be honored for
their contributions to Ohio State football. This class enters its final game at Ohio Stadium with a 41-8 record, three Big Ten titles, three wins
over Michigan, two trips to the BCS title game and three BCS bowl appearances to its credit since
2006. The most wins by an Ohio State senior class? 43, in 1995-98, 2002-05 and 2005-08.
• Ohio State’s defense has allowed just eight touchdowns over its past 35 quarters of play
• The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in total defense, rushing defense and turnover margin
• Penn State gained only 76 yards in the second half last week and had just three first downs and two of those came after it was already 24-7.
• Ohio State has allowed only 11.2 points per game in conference play this season -- the lowest average in the Big Ten and third lowest in the nation.
THREE AND OUT:
• The Ohio State defense is averaging 6.0 threeand-outs per contest this season, leading the nation in that statistic.
• Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring at 29.0 ppg and is second in rushing at 184.8 ypg in Big Ten games.
• Terrelle Pryor has rushed for a touchdown in each of the last four games and leads the team with seven rushing touchdowns this season.
• DeVier Posey's six receiving touchdowns in Big Ten play are the most among all Big Ten receivers.
• Kurt Coleman is one of 20 quarter-finalists for the annual Lott Trophy. Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott
Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.
DID YOU KNOW:
Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel and Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi are from Mentor,
4th CAPTAIN & HONORARY CAPTAIN • Ohio State's fourth captain senior offensive lineman Jim Cordle.
• Ohio State's honorary captain former Ohio State All-American offensive tackle, No. 74, John Hicks (1970-72-73).
TV: ABC • Sean McDonough (P-by-P) and Matt Millen (analyst) in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.
IOWA AT A GLANCE:
• The Hawkeyes (9-1, 5-1) fell from the ranks
of the unbeaten Saturday losing 17-10 at home to Northwestern. In the process, Iowa also lost
its starting quarterback, junior Ricky Stanzi, to an ankle injury. Redshirt freshman James Vandenberg will get the nod this week.
Despite the loss, Iowa remains in the hunt for
the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
IOWA STREAK SNAPPED:
• Iowa won 13 straight games before a loss to Northwestern. The Iowa
win streak was its longest since a 20-game streak between 1920 and 1923.
SUCCESS ON THE ROAD:
• Dating back to 2008, Iowa has won its last six games away from Iowa City. That includes wins at Minnesota, Iowa State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State, along with a victory over South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl. In those wins Iowa allowed just 46 points.
• Iowa has collected 26 turnovers in 10 games, including 19 pass interceptions.
Iowa is tied for the national lead in interceptions, is tied for second in total turnovers. Iowa has just five turnovers in four road games.
• Iowa committed four turnovers last week and 10 in the last two games. The Hawkeyes had a +11 turnover ratio in their first eight games, but they have a -6 ratio in the last two games
• Seven of Iowa’s opponents have scored 17 points or less. Two of three opponents
who scored over 20 points were aided by a defensive touchdown.
• Defensively, sophomore Tyler Sash leads the conference in interceptions with six, including one for a touchdown. Senior Pat Angerer is second
in the league with 106 total tackles. As a team, the Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense (94.3) and third in total defense,
giving up just 291.7 yards per game.
• Marvin McNutt leads the Big Ten with an average of 23.8 yards per reception
Iowa has 13 players on its roster from the state of Ohio, including regular starters in QB Ricky Stanzi (Mentor), WR Trey Stross (Avon Lake) and WR Derrell
Johnson-Koulianos (Campbell). Others include Steve Bigach, Lebron Daniel, Bruce Davis and William Lowe from Cleveland, Tyler Harrell (Dublin), Micah Hyde (Fostoria), Joe Gaglione (Novelty), Brad Rogers (Toledo), Chris Rowell (Warrensville Heights) and Zach Furlong (Xenia). • There are no Iowans on the Ohio State roster.
• Kirk Ferentz is in his 11th season in Iowa City with a 79-54 record and a 91-75 mark overall in 14 seasons as a head coach. He has guided the Hawkeyes to seven bowl games, including one BCS appearance -- the 2003 Orange Bowl. Against ranked teams under Ferentz the Hawkeyes are 16-22. Columbus is the only Big Ten town Ferentz has not won in.
Get Brandon Saine's take on this weekend's highly anticipated Iowa-Ohio State game from Wednesday night's "Big Ten Sites & Sounds."
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor met with reporters on Wednesday and talked about the upcoming game against Iowa.
QB Terrelle Pryor says Buckeyes must avoid letdown November 11, 2009 Source: Associated Press - "Terrelle Pryor has a warning for his Ohio State teammates: Forget last week and take Iowa seriously. Pryor said Wednesday night that the 10th-ranked Buckeyes must be careful not to follow last week's big victory over Penn State with a letdown in the winner-take-all Rose Bowl battle against No. 15 Iowa on Saturday. The sophomore quarterback said coach Jim Tressel had illustrated the pitfalls of resting on week-old laurels. "Coach Tres showed a statistic how all these teams go and beat a big team and then come in the next game (and lose)," Pryor said after practice.
He cited the Buckeyes' loss to Purdue, which was just 1-5 at the time, earlier this season. He said Ohio State was coming off an emotional victory against Wisconsin and didn't see the Boilermakers waiting to ambush them. Pryor also used Oregon as an example. The Ducks walloped Southern California two weeks ago and then turned around and lost to Stanford last week. "Maybe sometimes there's a mindset where you think you accomplished something," he said. "It happens a lot, I'm sure, and we can't let that happen to us. Because we have a goal that we want to reach and we have places that we want to go and if we do that, we're definitely getting knocked off by this (Iowa) team because this team is pretty good. They're the real deal on defense. We have to come in focused."...
Pryor's teammates think he has found a calmness that has helped him handle the pressures and problems of being in the spotlight so early in his college career. DeVier Posey has become Pryor's No. 1 target as a receiver — and one of his best friends. He said the players surrounding Pryor have helped ease the burden on him. "We've taken some pressure off of him. We've been trying to focus on team concepts and let Terrelle know that he's our guy, that he really doesn't have to get into too much what the media's saying about him and the criticism," Posey said. "I feel like he's playing with no pressure now. You can see him a lot more comfortable in the pocket and he's actually running the offense now. He's just being more of a leader and he's getting better and better every week. You can see what kind of player he's going to be in the future."..."
Members of the Buckeyes met with OhioStateBuckeyes.com and the local media Tuesday evening after practice to talk about last week's win over Penn State and to preview Saturday's Big Ten showdown against Iowa. Players included DeVier Posey, Brandon Saine and Kurt Coleman
Posey has pocketful of catches November 12, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Receiver comfortable after last year's discomfort on bench... Headed into a game Saturday against Iowa with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line, Posey probably sits atop the Hawkeyes' pass-defense tip sheet. "Whatever happens, I feel like I'll be ready," Posey said. "If it's double coverage, then I'll have to be ready for that. If it is normal single coverage, I'll have to beat that. If it's helping somebody else get open, I'm ready for that." Just as long as he's playing, he's fine. Having to sit out most of last season was not his idea of a good time.
"It was probably the second-hardest thing in my life as far as playing football," Posey said. (The hardest was not getting to play with the varsity his sophomore season at Cincinnati LaSalle.) "But I felt like I paid my dues and learned a lot last year." Some recruiting analysts thought that Posey had a chance to excel as a freshman, much as A.J. Green at Georgia and Julio Jones at Alabama did...Look at the statistics this season for Posey, Green and Jones. Posey has 45 catches for 672 yards and seven touchdowns; Green has 44 for 732 yards and six TDs, and Jones has only 24 catches for 331 yards and two TDs. Posey even has passed Robiskie's team-leading total for catches from last season (42 for 535 yards) with two regular-season games and a bowl game to play...
"This year, I was thrown into the fire in the spring. Coach Hazell named me the No. 1 receiver, and I really didn't know if I was ready for it," Posey said. "But he had the confidence in me, and I felt if I really tried, buckled down and matured, it could be a possibility for me in the future to be the No. 1 guy here. And I feel like, as I'm getting more comfortable, I am coming into that role, and the guys around me feel a lot more comfortable, too.".."
Updates: J.B. Shugarts exited early with a left knee injury and did not return. He is questionable this week against Iowa, although Tressel expects to have the sophomore back at some point this week. "The report I got this morning on the medical report was that they thought he was coming along good that the best plan might be not to overdo today and perhaps get lots of work beginning tomorrow, " Tressel said. Left tackle Mike Adams, who had been sidelined after minor knee surgery, is expected to return and play on a limited basis. Adams has been practicing and Shugarts practiced Wednesday. Both should play Saturday. According to Jim Bollman on Wednesday everyone is practicing, including J.B. Shugarts (foot) and Mike Adams (coming back from a knee scope). It sounds like both will be available Saturday, but it's uncertain how much action everyone will get. That's five tackles available, though, counting Marcus Hall, Jim Cordle and Andrew Miller. "I don’t know if he’s (Adams) ready to play 60 plays," Tressel said (Thursday). "I would say this: he’ll play. I’m not exactly sure how we’ll do the rotation, but I would guess probably two or more guys will play each of the tackle spots. I would think a guy like Andrew Miller could help inside and out. So, I’d like to think we’ll play eight linemen in this game."
Defensive tackle Dexter Larimore, who played just a few snaps against Penn State after missing a month with a knee injury, is expected to play more against Iowa. He got in on a few plays against Penn State for the first time since suffering a knee sprain in the fifth game. "Dexter Larimore got in a play or two Saturday and should be a lot further along this weekend," Tressel said.
Tressel said Tuesday: "I haven’t seen Terrelle do anything because we haven’t practiced yet since Saturday," Pryor said. "In talking to him (Sunday), it seemed like he was doing great. J.B. Shugarts, the report I got (Tuesday) morning on the medical report was that they thought he was coming along good, but the best plan might be to not overdo it on (Tuesday) and perhaps get a lot of work beginning (Wednesday). That’s the plan; I can’t promise you that will happen. Dexter Larimore got in a play or two Saturday. He should be a lot further around this weekend. (Herron) did not start off on the medical report this week as a guy that has an injury. He is on that long list of guys that are nursing things, because we get constant rehab and constant treatment on things even if they don’t keep you from the game."
Jermale Hines continues to battle a nagging elbow injury. That's the reason Anderson Russell has been starting the past few games. Paul Haynes, safeties coach, said it saves Hines about 20 plays a game, anything they can do to try and reduce the wear and tear.
Tressel was asked (Thursday) if Hines’ elbow is in fact injured and if that is what is keeping him from playing more. "I think he’s banged up in general," Tressel said. "But he’ll be ready to go. He won’t be limited."
(Sources: Cleveland Plain Dealer/OSU Official Site/Bucknuts/Columbus Dispatch)
Stanzi undergoes surgery, out for Ohio State November 10, 2009 Source: Daily Iowan - "Iowa junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi underwent ankle surgery on Monday and will miss Saturday’s game against Ohio State, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz revealed on Tuesday. Ferentz said it is possible Stanzi could play in the Hawkeyes’ final game against Minnesota on Nov. 20. Stanzi suffered a severely sprained ankle during the second quarter of Iowa’s game against Northwestern on Nov. 6."(Source: Daily Iowan) Vandenburg looked like the rusty, inexperienced freshman he is. He completed 9 of 27 passes, averaged three yards per attempt and threw an interception. He hadn't played since the second game of the season and it showed. Ferentz was asked if it was like asking a relief pitcher to close out a perfect game. "A relief pitcher that hasn't been in the majors long enough," he said. "That's the only problem. That's his first time out there, basically. It's a tough circumstance." (Source: USA Today)
With Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi out, some analysts are saying the Hawkeyes need to take chances and pull out all the stops to win. Even with redshirt freshman James Vandenberg getting the start, some people think that Iowa will try and surprise the Buckeyes with some deep passes early in the game. Does Tressel agree? "I think they’ll do what they do," he said. "I don’t think they’ll change. But they’ll be some things that quarterback maybe a little better than the other one. Maybe some of the things that the other one did significantly better than him. So, you might not see (the exact same thing). But you aren’t going to turn on the film after the game and say, ‘Oh, this was all different because of this different quarterback.’ They throw it down the field. They play action, they misdirect. They won’t change." (Source: Bucknuts.com)
Paul Haynes, safeties coach, said Wednesday that OSU is preparing for the Iowa offense, regardless of who is at QB. They don't expect major changes. They are, however, aware of the possibility that former QB Marvin McNutt, now a receiver, may be behind center in some fashion, at some point. (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Who is QB James Vandenberg: Vandenberg, who is 6-3 205lbs, redshirted in 2008 - - High school honors - - EA Sports third team all-American... Iowa class 3A Player of the Year as a senior... Iowa High School Offensive Player of the Year as a senior...Career - - Most prolific passer in Iowa high school history... holds 12 different Iowa high school passing records, including career passing yards (7,709), touchdown passes (93), single season passing yards (3,729 as a senior) and single season touchdown passes (49 as a senior)... ranks sixth all-time nationally in single-season completion percentage (70%) and 10th nationally in career completion percentage (64.6%)... passed for 1,325 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore... threw for 2,655 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior... intercepted only seven times in 372 attempts as a senior...(Source: Iowa Official Site)
The Same Old James: "I've received a lot of support, otherwise I'm the same old James," Vandenberg said. "... I got some random text messages from people I didn't know. I still had class today, I had class yesterday - which was rough. I've received a lot of support, but besides that, I'm pretty-much the same."..."It will be a different stage (at Ohio State)," Vandenberg said. "But I've been in Kinnick enough and just going on the road, you get used to how hostile it is in the Big Ten. No one is a push-over." ...During his brief college career, Vandenberg has already convened with some of the fiercest defenders in the league.and one was his teammate. "Last summer as a true freshman coming in I would go over to (Pat Angerer's) house and hang out," Vandenberg said. "We've had some wrestling matches and they were a little lopsided. I don't think he's ever put me unconscious, but he's come pretty close." (Source: Iowa Official Site)
Iowa's Vandenberg ready for major mental test November 12, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Iowa wide receiver Trey Stross has no doubt that James Vandenberg will be mentally prepared for the biggest game of his life. "He's in some of my classes," Stross said. "I can tell he's a smart kid." Which classes? "Sports psychology," Stross replied. "We compare grades and he kicks my butt." Vandenberg's first career start for Iowa could serve as a case study in sports psychology as he leads the 10th-ranked Hawkeyes into Ohio Stadium..."
What to watch in the Big Ten: Week 11: 1. Vandenberg vs. Silver Bullets: Ohio State's defense has been the single most dominating unit in the Big Ten this season, boasting three shutouts and nearly notching a fourth last week against Penn State. The Buckeyes pose a major challenge for a seasoned quarterback, much less a signal caller making his first career start like Iowa redshirt freshman James Vandenberg will on Saturday (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET). Vandenberg had some expected struggles last week against Northwestern, and he'll need a heroic performance and plenty of help against the Buckeyes. If he pulls it off, he'll go down as a hero as Iowa will be heading to the Rose Bowl. (Source: ESPN)
Iowa QB James Vandenberg vs Ohio State's defensive line. All season long, DTs Doug Worthington and Todd Denlinger and DEs Thaddeus Gibson and Cameron Heyward have applied heat. Freshman Vandenberg will be making his first career start in relief of injured Ricky Stanzi (ankle). How the youngster and his line handle the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe will determine the outcome. (Source: Associated Press)
Bucks Looking To Prevent Vandenberg From Giving Them Varsity Blues November 13, 2009 Source: Bucknuts.com - "This defensive notebook is stockpiled with a look at Iowa's new starting quarterback and much more. Do the Hawkeyes have much of a chance at moving the ball and scoring points against one of the nation's best defenses?"..."
Versatility equals victory for Buckeyes D-line November 12, 2009 Source: ESPN - "It's not unusual that Ohio State coaches ask their defensive linemen to play multiple positions. Almost every successful team makes similar requests. But rarely do you get a defensive line where each interchangeable part functions at or near All-Big Ten level. The Buckeyes' defense is nicknamed "The Silver Bullets." And this season, the bullets are flying from every angle. "Playing different positions, there's nothing like it," Buckeyes defensive lineman and co-captain Doug Worthington said. "[Ohio State] always had a lot of versatile guys, but this defensive line is showing how versatile it really can get."..."
Defensive line stacks up well against OSU's top units of past November 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Pride runs deep among former Ohio State football players, which is why Matt Finkes was unwilling to anoint this year's defensive line as superior to his 1996 unit. "I'm a little biased; I think we were still the best ones," said Finkes, who that year played alongside Mike Vrabel, Luke Fickell and Winfield Garnett. But he conceded that the 2009 bunch is starting to command the same sort of attention that he and his teammates did. "That 2002 and 2003 line was pretty dominant, but you heard a lot of talk about the linebackers and secondary those years, too," Finkes said. "It may be the first time since '96 that we've talked about the D-line as being the arrowhead of the team." It's a good description, because this year's defensive front has been holding opposing runners at the point of the spear. The front four are the catalyst for a defense that is ranked sixth nationally overall and third against the run..."
OSU's Terrelle Pryor has a sore ankle and the RBs can help heal it November 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "It's almost unfair to Iowa to talk about quarterback ankle injuries. The Hawkeyes' Ricky Stanzi is out for this game after having surgery on his injured right ankle. Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is just taking fewer practice snaps with lingering pain in his left ankle from the New Mexico State game two weeks ago. "It's hurting, but there's always something in the back of your head saying keep going," Pryor said Wednesday. "It hurts today, it's still hurting, but there's nothing I can do about it."
There's something the rest of the Buckeyes can do, though. There's no reason to expect the Buckeyes will rely on their running backs any less Saturday than they did in last week's 24-7 win over Penn State. "The run game is the quarterback's best friend," OSU quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano said Wednesday. "Once your running game gets going, your play-action stuff opens up, you've got linebackers biting on run fakes and when they're up in the box, there are things opening up and the field looks entirely bigger than it did when you're not running the ball very well."..."
Iowa defensive linemen are into one-upmanship November 12, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "All season, Adrian Clayborn and Broderick Binns have staged a competition within Iowa games. "We just try to compete to see who can get to the ball first," Clayborn said of his fellow defensive end. "It's a friendly competition with all the defensive linemen, (tackles) Christian (Ballard) and Karl (Klug), too." Usually, that means a fierce fight for sacks. Clayborn has 7, three more than Binns. Ballard and Klug have three apiece.
But with Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor the elusive target Saturday, the Hawkeyes know they must be more concerned with containing him than sacking him. "That's more of an emphasis than getting to him because if he scrambles, all hell breaks loose," Clayborn said. "He's unique." Clayborn is more than capable of being a game-changer, as well. Against Penn State, he blocked a punt and returned it 53 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter...As an end, Clayborn can be dominating. In addition to the sacks, the junior has six more tackles for loss and has forced three fumbles...Linebacker A.J. Edds said Clayborn has matured since last season, when he seemed content to let seniors Mitch King and Matt Kroul occupy the spotlight..."We just need to step up our game a little bit more now that everybody's gone -- not just the defense, but the offense, special teams and the people on the sideline," Clayborn said..."
HOME GAME IN CAPS * Night Game ^ Neutral Site OT Overtime Game
Last Time Out... November 10, 2009 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "It has been several years since the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes have met on the gridiron. Ohio State silenced a fired-up crowd at Kinnick Stadium in a primetime beatdown. Relive Ohio State's 38-17 victory in this edition of "Last Time Out..."
Flashback: Ohio State vs. Iowa, 1985 November 9, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - "It’s not often these days that a Big Ten team is ranked #1 in the nation. When it does happen, it’s usually Ohio State. But there was a time when Hayden Fry had the Iowa program on top of the rankings and his quarterback, Chuck Long, was at the top of the list of Heisman Trophy hopefuls. But on a rainy November evening in Columbus in 1985, Long and the Hawkeyes came down to earth in a big way thanks to a ferocious Ohio State defense..."
Why Iowa might win: The team has had a week to process the loss of Stanzi. Everything seemed to go wrong last week after the starting QB got hurt, but now the Hawkeyes have a major advantage in the "no one respects us" category. A 17-point underdog?! The team has allowed more than 17 points just three times this year and has the defense that has found a way to rise up, especially on the road, and make shaky offenses look really, really bad...The key will be getting a lead. Ohio State is a killer when the momentum is going its way and it has the early advantage, but if Iowa can keep this close, and if it can put a few early scores on the board, while the Buckeye collar get tighter, and tighter, and tighter … you want Pryor to have to throw the ball to win.
Why Ohio State might win: ...Ohio State’s defense eats up young, inexperienced quarterbacks alive. The D has taken its game to another level at the perfect time, allowing just 14 points in the last three games and boosting the run defense numbers up to third in the country. Iowa has to win on takeaways, but Ohio State leads the league in turnover margin. Iowa has to win by running the ball, but Ohio State is third in the nation against the run. Basically, the Buckeyes might have to melt down Penn State-Indiana-style to lose.
Who to watch: Alright, James Vandenberg, your table is ready. The 6-3, 195-pound redshirt freshman was the 2007 Iowa High School Player of the Year setting several state records throwing for 7,709 yards and 93 touchdown passes. He's smart, has a live arm, and has big-time upside. He’s going to be a tremendous player for Iowa, and the legend needs to start now. He was awful against Northwestern, looking like a deer caught in the headlights...It’s vital that Vandenberg hits on a few early throws just to show the Buckeye defense that he can. Otherwise, Iowa will be lucky to net 75 yards rushing and this could get really ugly, really quickly.
What will happen: Iowa is better than you think, but it’s not good enough to win this game unless Vandenberg is terrific. He’ll have a surprisingly good game, but his three interceptions will prove to be too much to overcome. The Iowa defense will do its part to keep this close, but it won’t be able to do enough to get past an offense that comes up with 200 yards. This isn’t going to be pretty in any way. CFN Prediction: Ohio State 19 … Iowa 10 ... ... "
Game of the Week: Iowa battles Ohio State for the Big Ten crown November 13, 2009 Source: SI.com - "...Iowa's getting no respect. The Hawkeyes fell out of favor after losing to Northwestern and losing Stanzi, both with the pollsters -- who dropped them from eighth to 13th in the AP and sixth to 13th in the coaches' poll -- and in Vegas. Iowa opened as a 15-point underdog to Ohio State, and that number has swelled to 17 at some sportsbooks. Caesars bookie Mark Tutino, who boasts 20-plus years in the business, said he can't remember a top 10 team giving up two-plus touchdowns -- and said most bettors believe Ohio State will cover. But as one Big Ten defensive coordinator told me, "Iowa's got a great defense. They're rough, physical. There's no way they'll lose by 17."..."
Ohio State vs. Iowa Preview November 13, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Tony Gerdeman's preview of the Iowa game ...The Buckeye offense will be facing one of the most consistent and persistent defenses in the nation on Saturday. The Hawkeyes have started the same front seven in every single game this season and they’ve been in control much of the way. Currently, the Hawkeyes are allowing 118.7 yards rushing, which is only sixth-best in the conference, but they have a defensive line that has a knack for making timely plays in the backfield. Though they only average two sacks per game, the Iowa defense leads the conference in pass efficiency defense. Their 19 interceptions leads the nation and seemingly every single defender on the field excels in pass defense. If a defensive lineman isn’t getting any penetration on a pass rush, they do a tremendous job of knocking passes down at the line of scrimmage (defensive end Broderick Binns leads the team in PBUs with eight). And when passes are batted into the air, more often than not, a Hawkeye defender will come down with the ball..."
Preview: #12 Ohio State vs #13 Iowa November 13, 2009 Source: Eleven Warriors - "...Red-Shirt Freshman James Vandenberg will get his first career start and had some trouble in relief work against Northwestern last week. He threw for just 82 yards on 9/27 passing... look for Ferentz to employ RB Brandon Wegher into the game plan more to control the clock and limit any mistakes the young quarterback might make...Ferentz will try and utilize recivers Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Marvin McNutt (McNutt also has experience taking snaps, so don’t be surprised…) and Trey Stross in short passing routes. Look for Iowa’s biggest weapon in the passing game, TE Tony Moeaki to try and use his size and athleticism to his advantage against the OSU linebackers and safeties. ..."
- Scout Show - Ohio State/Iowa Preview November 13, 2009 Source: Scout.com - "Rob Howe of HawkeyeInsider.com and Adam Jardy of BuckeyeSports.com join the Scout Show to preview the big matchup in the Big Ten this Saturday. Can Iowa bounce back from a devastating loss of its quarterback and BCS Championship hopes? Can Ohio State stay focused to secure the Big Ten Championship after a huge road win in Happy Valley? The Scout Show has your answers..."
2009 Iowa Hawkeyes Game Preview November 12, 2009 Source: Buckeye Planet - Analysis and more, including: "...While Ohio State enjoys statistical advantages in virtually every category above, Iowa's defense is still quite solid overall. Coming into the 2009 season the chief concern on this side of the ball was up front, as the Hawkeyes lost both interior linemen (Mitch King and Matt Kroul). Bearing out that concern, the Hawkeyes give up nearly 120 a game on the ground. That said, the Hawkeyes line has also been decent at getting in to opposing backfields and can force a QB to make some errant throws. A lot of those bad throws end up in the hands of Iowa personnel. While the Hawkeyes have faced 8 more Red Zone opportunities than the Buckeyes, they have done a good job at limiting those chances to field goals instead of touchdowns...Iowa Offensive Preview...Defensive Preview..Special Teams Preview..."
Iowa-Ohio St. Preview November 11, 2009 Source: ESPNU - "...AccuScore average score: Ohio State 23.6 Iowa 10.1; AccuScore has powered more than 10,000 simulations for every College Football game on ESPN.com, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions and opponent's abilities. Each game is simulated and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages..."
ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg writes: "Ohio State 21, Iowa 10: The Hawkeyes keep this one close for a while as their opportunistic defense generates a turnover or two to set up the offense in good field position. But Ohio State's dominating defense proves to be the difference as Iowa redshirt freshman quarterback James Vandenberg struggles to move the ball in his first career start. Terrelle Pryor scores two second-half rushing touchdowns as the Buckeyes win to reach their first Rose Bowl since 1997."
Preview: Iowa's Defense vs. Ohio State's Offense November 12, 2009 Source: Buckeye Football Analysis - "I wanted to focus first and foremost on what I see as the key matchup in this game: Ohio State's offense versus Iowa's defense. If Ohio State is able to control the ball and play mistake free like they did against Penn State, they will put their defense in a position to dominate the undermanned Iowa offense. SCHEMES: Iowa very much epitomizes a 4-3, cover 2, bend but don't break defense. FRONT: Up front, the Hawkeyes mix between a 4-3 under and 4-3 over defense. On 'run downs,' such as 1st and 10 and 3d and short, or against base personnel,' such as the I formation. The 4-3 under is shown below:..."
A Closer Look: No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes November 12, 2009 Source: Buckeye Sports - "No. 10 Ohio State and No. 15 Iowa will battle for a Rose Bowl berth Saturday in Ohio Stadium, so now's the time to become a little more familiar with the Black and Gold. The Hawkeyes started the year 9-0 before a loss Saturday, but even a spate of injuries can't hide the fact that Iowa has lots of talent, especially on the defensive side of the football...Nine of Iowa’s 11 starting defenders have started every game, and the Hawkeyes have had little reason to change considering they have one of the best defensive units in the Big Ten. Iowa enters Ohio Stadium ranked third in the Big Ten in both yardage allowed at 291.7 and points allowed at 15..."
5 Reasons Why Ohio State Or Iowa Will Win Saturday November 12, 2009 Source: The Bleacher Report - "...5 REASONS THE HAWKEYES WILL WIN: 1. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE: ...talented Iowa defense will need to use the same recipe that Purdue used in pressuring Terrelle and Ohio State into multiple turn overs and mistakes, stalling drives and giving short fields to the IA offense. This Iowa Defense may be the best unit that Ohio State has faced all year...2. KIRK FERENTZ: Iowa's coach will use whatever means to keep his team in this game and give them a chance to win late in the game...3. ROAD WARRIORS:...the Hawkeyes have...played much better on the road...4. THE LINES: Iowa's line can compete with Ohio State's lines on both sides of the ball...5. HOPES and DREAMS: The Hawkeyes realize what's at stake, and what they've accomplished this year...
5 REASONS OHIO STATE WILL WIN: 1. MOMENTUM: ...most talented team in the Big Ten...peaking at the right time...2. THE DEFENSE RESTS: Ohio State gives up only 85 rushing yards a game and proved their worth last week keeping the Lions rushing attack to only 76 yards. Their DL kept PSU and their pass attack under wraps punishing Clark all day...3. NOVEMBER IS FOR CONTENDERS: The Buckeyes under Tressell are 12-1 in November, which explains their frequent trips to BCS games...4. OFFENSIVE SURGING: ...often ridiculed OL gave up 0 sacks to PSU and allowed Pryor and a host of Ohio State Buckeyes to have a nearly 10 minute Time of Possession advantage last week...5. HONESTY: Can a Freshmen running back and red shirt freshmen really go into a hostile stadium and run over one of the best DL's and Defenses in the land?..."
Weekend Forecast: Ohio State vs. Iowa November 13, 2009 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com - "Noon: You hate to see a game decided on an injury and if Ricky Stanzi was healthy I would have felt that this game would be a lot closer...ultimately it will come down to the fact that Ohio State has more athletes...the Buckeyes are playing at home on senior day and it will be a charged atmosphere around the 'Shoe with the Buckeyes having the chance to clinch a Rose Bowl berth at home for the first time in more than a generation. Ohio State 35 Iowa 7...Wasserman: ...I don't think they stand a chance against the Buckeyes this weekend, and I think that is evident in the 17-point spread...Ohio State 31 Iowa 10...Snow: Ohio State's defense should be able to tee off on Iowa...OSU is simply too talented for the Hawkeyes, and with the game being at home, it is almost impossible to see them losing. Ohio State 24 Iowa 6...McLachlan: ...Even though...James Vandenberg was less than stellar against Northwestern, the second year freshman put up some nice numbers during his senior year (completed nearly 70% of his passes for 3,729 yards and 49 touchdowns) so he could be a secret weapon the Buckeyes are not ready for...Calm, cool and collective. That is what Terrelle Pryor demonstrated last week and that is what he needs to do again...Call me crazy, call me psychotic but I see a lack of focus from Pryor this weekend. The Hawkeyes came up big in State College and they will do it again in Columbus. Iowa 20 Ohio State 17
Spotlight game: No. 15 Iowa at No. 10 Ohio State November 13, 2009 Source: Sporting News - "Three reasons Iowa will win - 1. Playing Pryor: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel went the physiological route when raving about the Hawkeyes' defensive ends...2. One more miracle: Last week's loss to Northwestern doesn't erase the litany of crazy plays that have left the Hawkeyes in position to win a conference championship...3. ...it's up to Iowa's veteran receivers to support the freshman backups in the backfield. Marvin McNutt might be the best athlete of the bunch, and he finally looks like a complete receiver after his conversion from quarterback. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos seems to play best in big games. Tight end Tony Moeaki, shut out against the Wildcats, needs to be a factor in Columbus...
Three reasons Ohio State will win -
1. Cam and Thad: Ohio State's defensive ends have emerged as far and away the strength of this squad...2. Offense clicking: After sputtering through the first half of the season, Ohio State has built an offense that at least has been productive over its past three games...3. Winning experience: A win Saturday would end any discussion about the Big Ten's most dominant team this decade...The Buckeyes know about winning big games down the stretch of a season, and they'd relish the chance to clinch the outright conference crown next weekend at archrival Michigan..." (Curtis picks OSU-see below)
J. Darin Darst, Producer: If Ricky Stanzi was playing, I would have a tough time picking a winner here, but that's not the case. Ohio State's defense is playing really well and if Penn State couldn't move the ball against the Buckeyes last week, how can anybody expect the Hawkeyes to score points with James Vandenberg at quarterback? Prediction: Ohio State 27, Iowa 13
Dennis Dodd, Senior Writer: We had enough trouble figuring out how Iowa was staying undefeated. Now after being exposed by Northwestern, we're trying to figure out how the Hawks are going to win in The Shoe without their starting quarterback and tailback. Ohio State has to be thrilled about getting mulligan for the Rose Bowl. Prediction: Ohio State 33, Iowa 17
Jason Horowitz, On-Air Talent: James Vandenberg was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Iowa high school history. He very well may help the Hawkeyes win a lot of games in the future, but without the team's starting back, and against a defense that just pasted Daryll Clark on the road, I wouldn't count on this one as being his first. The Hawkeyes defense will keep them in it, but not enough to overcome an inexperienced offense. Prediction: Ohio State 23, Iowa 10
Johnny Rosenstein, Editor: It's too bad Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi injured his ankle last week, because this should have been the best Big Ten matchup of this season. With freshman James Vandenberg filling in, the Buckeyes defense will have a field day. Iowa hasn't won in Columbus since 1991. That won't change. Bucks win and smell Roses. Prediction: Ohio State 31, Iowa 13
Ohio State has been a thorn in Hawkeyes' side November 13, 2009 Source: Desmoines Register - "...No Big Ten Conference venue haunts the Hawkeyes more than Ohio State's famed "Horseshoe...The Hawkeyes (9-1) have managed just two wins in their previous 20 trips to Ohio State (8-2), and it's the only Big Ten setting in which current coach Kirk Ferentz has never earned a victory...In 1985, one of most storied seasons in Iowa history suffered it first blemish in Columbus. The Hawkeyes were perched atop the Associated Press poll for five straight weeks, but Ohio State toppled the nation's No. 1 team 22-13. "It was all a blur to me," former Iowa quarterback Chuck Long says. "It was one of those games I'd like to forget..."
HawkeyeNation.com Publisher Jon Miller has this week’s video prediction and takes on the question: can Iowa beat Ohio State?
Stross ready to face Buckeyes November 12, 2009 Source: The Morning Journal - "Avon Lake graduate Trey Stross hopes things turn out a lot differently this time. The last time Stross pulled on the jersey of a team that locked horns with a Columbus-based school was in 2004, when his Shoremen suffered a 42-21 loss to Columbus Brookhaven in the Division II state championship game. This loss was a disappointing end to an otherwise brilliant high school career. In his three years playing on the varsity for coach Dave Dlugoz' Shoremen, Stross re-wrote the Avon Lake receiving record books. He caught 100 passes for 2,257 yards and 28 touchdowns during his high school career. The 100 receptions were 38 more than anyone else in Shoremen history. His 2,257 receiving yards was 1,021 more than Andrew Means, who is second in school history. Means is also second on the career touchdown receptions list with 13, 15 less than Stross. Stross also won the 2005 Golden Helmet Award and was named Division II All-Ohio after his junior and senior seasons. When his high school career ended, Stross decided to continue his football career at the University of Iowa. Saturday, when the Hawkeyes invade Ohio Stadium, the winner will have the inside track to the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl bid — and things will have come full-circle for Stross. Again he will be playing against a team from Columbus with a lot on the line..."
Underdogs and Liking It November 10, 2009 Source: Iowa Official Site - "..."I don't know that we've been underdogs by this much, but that seems to be our lot in life at least when we go on the road," UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said at his weekly chat with media Tuesday..."We're underdogs. We've got them right where we want them. That's the way I'm looking at it, so it's perfect." Two of the top 14 defenses in the nation will be on display. Ohio State leads the Big Ten and is sixth in the country in total defense, allowing 254.1 yards per game. The Hawkeyes are 14th in the land in the same category, surrendering 291.7 yards per game. Ohio State is third in the nation in rushing defense (85.4), fourth in scoring defense (11.2 points per game) and 11th in pass defense (168.7). "It's pretty simple. They're an excellent football team," Ferentz said. "They are very, very talented and they're really playing well the last three games. They seem to have hit their stride and hit a rhythm. It will be a great challenge for our football team."...
UI redshirt freshman James Vandenberg will make his first collegiate start after throwing for 82 yards in three quarters against Northwestern on Nov. 7....Ferentz has confidence in his young quarterback. "The guy's a good quarterback," Ferentz said. "He throws the ball well. Probably the biggest flaw he had when he came in here...when we recruited him he weighed about 170 pounds. That scared me a little bit the first time I saw him. But Chuck Long looked like that when he got here and James has worked really hard physically. The biggest issue now is getting him experience, getting him caught up to speed and brining him along."..."
QB Vandenberg hopes to keep Hawks in hunt November 10, 2009 Source: Quad City Times - "...The kid from Keokuk, Iowa, got his first real taste of college football in that game, and it was a bit rough. He completed nine of 27 passes for 82 yards after replacing injured Ricky Stanzi and the Hawkeyes went down to their first loss of the season, 17-10. Vandenberg will make the first start of his college career this Saturday in about the most daunting circumstances imaginable. The BCS' 10th-ranked team takes on No. 11 Ohio State and one of the nation's elite defenses in front of 102,000 unruly fans and a national TV audience with a berth in the Rose Bowl hanging in the balance. "What more could I ask for?" Vandenberg said. "I'll never be in this situation again. I plan to make the most of it." Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz understands how much pressure Vandenberg will be under, and he said the kid understands, too. "He's walking into a tough, excellent defense," Ferentz said. "It might as well be an NFL defense we're playing. It's going to be a tough order there. The crowd noise is going to be hard ... You couldn't ask for a tougher starting contest for him."..."
#43 Pat Angerer POSITION: LB
Angerer leads the team, and ranks 2nd in the Big Ten, in tackles with 106. He also has 4 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 1 interception. He also led the team in tackles in 2008 with 107 stops, including 45 solo tackles and 62 assists.He is one of 16 semi-finalist for the 2009 Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the top defensive player in the nation. After leading the team in tackles a year ago, Angerer has led Iowa in tackles in the last seven games. Angerer had 12 tackles in wins over Indiana and Michigan and nine at Michigan State. He collected a career-high 17 tackles in the loss to Northwestern. He is tied for 46th in career stops with 219. One of 3 Iowa players named to the CBSSports.com Midseason all-America team released Oct. 22. Named pre-season first team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football and Lindy's College Football.
Clayborn ranks 3rd in the Big Ten in sacks with 7.5 and 5th with 13.5 tackles for a loss. He also ranks 7th in the conference in fumbles forced. In 2008 he recorded 50 tackles, including 15 solo tackles and 35 assists . . . ranked second on the team with eight tackles for loss. He was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his play against Penn State. Clayborn also earned the AT&T All-America Player
of the Week award vs. Penn State and was named ESPN.com’s Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week. He had two tackles and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown against fifth-ranked Penn State. His 53-yard touchdown return gave Iowa an 11-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Clayborn was also named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week against Michigan State. In the 15-13 win at
Michigan State, Clayborn had four tackles, two sacks for a minus 19 yards and three tackles for losses totaling 21 yards. He also forced a fumble.
Sash has started every game this season and 21 overall in his two seasons. He leads the Big Ten in interceptions and ranks among national leaders with six pass interceptions this season. Sash has 11 career interceptions (the career record is 18). He has already established a career record with 350 interception return yards and he ranks third on the team with 70 tackles.
He had an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win over Indiana. Sash was the Big Ten’s co-Defensive Player of the Week for his play at Iowa State. Sash was also named the national Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Award committee. He tied Iowa’s school record with three interceptions (63 return yards). He also caused a fumble and recorded eight solo tackles and two assists, including two tackles for loss. Sash was also named national Defensive Performer of the Week for his play vs. Indiana, as he had an 86-yard interception return and seven tackles. Set Iowa bowl records for longest interception return (48 yards) and interception return yards in a game (74) in 2009 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina, along with tying Iowa bowl record with two interceptions. One of 3 Iowa players named to the CBSSports.com Midseason all-America team released Oct. 22.