The Rob Report: Penn State

HawkeyeNation gives premium members an inside view as Senior Writer Rob Howe brings you into the press box for news, views and observations from Iowa's 26-14 victory against Penn State on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.


GRANT STEEN AND JARED CLAUSS - Both guys left the game in the second half with what looked like injuries to their lower left legs, probably ankles. Steen headed to the locker room under his own power with ice on his lower left leg late in the fourth quarter. It was announced in the press box that Clauss could return to the game if needed, but he didn't. Coach Ferentz described the medical report that he got on his two senior defenders as "so-so" and that he would know more in a couple of days. He did not sound very optimistic.

JERMELLE LEWIS - According to Coach Ferentz, the junior running back pulled his hamstring during the week. He was given medical clearance to play and was jumping up and down on the sideline most of the game, but Ferentz said that he did not want to take the chance of losing Lewis for the rest of the season if he did more damage to the hamstring.

MO BROWN - Coach Ferentz said that Mo started to "look like a receiver" again on Thursday and Friday, and the coaches plan to give him a hard workout on Sunday. Kirk seemed real optimistic that Mo will be able to go if only for a limited amount of plays against Illinois.

ED HINKEL - The sophomore WR still is bothered by the injured groin and did not dress Saturday, although he was on the sidelines. He is at best questionable right now for the Illini game.

GEORGE LEWIS - The linebacker was in street clothes on the sidelines on Saturday. We did not get a report on his injury. We'll try to find out more on Tuesday.

CALVIN DAVIS - Practiced just one day this week, but was able to go throughout Saturday's game. Looks like he'll tough it out.

ERIK JENSEN AND MIKE FOLLETT - Iowa's top two tight ends were among the walking wounded on Saturday. Both dressed. Follett played here and there. Jensen never left the sideline. Coach Ferentz said that he hopes both will be in better shape for Illinois.

JAMES TOWNSEND - The WR's injury was not discussed in any greater detail Saturday. He was not on the sideline.


Representatives from four bowls were in attendance Saturday - Outback, Capital One, Sugar and Alamo. I'd love to see New Orleans, but the Outback would also be nice.

Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson was entertaining recruits Octavious Darby and Stevie Williams on the Kinnick field after the game.

Warren Holloway replaced the dinged-up Calvin Davis on kick returns.

Iowa was forced to dress C.J. Barkema as a tight end on Saturday. He wore No. 88 without his name on it, but the back of his helmet still had the No. 73 sticker he wears as an offensive lineman. Barkema started his career as a TE.

True freshmen (scholarship) that dressed: Chris Brevi, Tom Busch, Scott Chandler, Champ Davis, George Eshareturi, Tyler Fanucchi, Kenny Iwebema, A.J. Johnson, Mike Jones, Mike Klinkenborg, Bryan Mattison, Eric McCollom and Drew Tate.

Speaking of McCollom. He did not take a snap on Saturday. He spent pregame and halftime warmups working out with the quarterbacks. At Ohio State, he worked out with the WRs. Not real sure what is going on there.

David Walker and Mike Jones rotated at LG similar to the way Ben Sobieksi and Andy Lightfoot shared the RG position last year. Walker saw more action on Saturday. Walker said that it might be something they continue to use.

Iowa ran more three wide-receiver sets than it had all season. Of course, that happens when all of your tight ends get hurt.

Scott Chandler and Matt Melloy were in on a lot of the two-tight end sets. Calvin Davis, Ramon Ohcoa and Warren Holloway were inserted in most 3-receiver packages.

Fred Russell and Robert Gallery looked like they were discussing something on the sideline that they saw in the Penn State defense early in the second half. Things kind of opened up after that.

The Iowa coaches were jumping up and down screaming for a timeout just before Nathan Chandler sneaked the ball into the end zone late in the third quarter.

Gallery was visibly yelling at several of his offensive teammates after Chandler flipped the ball at Fred Russell as the QB was falling to the ground because a lineman stepped on his foot. Coach Ferentz said in the postgame that Robert has really stepped up his leadership role.

ST Coach Darrell Wilson cornered P David Bradley on the sideline after another in a series of shaky punts. Wilson looked to be talking about technique, specifically the ball drop.


Coach Ferentz on if he sensed a damaged psyche on his team after the Ohio State loss:

I worry about that. Yeah, I always worry about that with all of the hardships we've been through. It's been an unusual year in certain regards. So, I thought today if we couldn't come out (with a win), it was going to be really tough next week.

QB Nathan Chandler on if he and new center Eric Rothwell worked on the exhange this week:

Yeah. You didn't see any of that stuff did you? (laughter) It's one of those things you really work to make it kind of a second nature thing. That was our goal this week in practice. Getting another week in practice for the game I thought really helped us out a lot. Plus, being in Kinnick, where the fans like you a little bit more, it helps.

RB Fred Russell on the responsibility the offense felt about taking some of the load off of the defense and special teams:

That was the thing. We didn't want to put everything on the defense and special teams. We wanted to try to put some points on the board.

DE Howard Hodges on memories of last year's game in Happy Valley when Penn State came back Saturday:

I did have that for a split second. I was like, "I know this is not going to overtime again." I was a little nervous. I was like, "I hope we don't go into overtime." Then, we got control of the ballgame again.

LG David Walker on the play of the offensive line:

We knew that we had to come out and it was up to us, the line, to pull us through. We tried our best all week to practice hard on everything. We knew we were going to have to come in and run the ball. That's one of our goals we accomplished, but we still have a long way to go. There were a lot of missed IDs and everything, a lot of missed blocks. We still have a long way to go.

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