The Rob Report

As he does each and every week, Senior Writer Rob Howe adds a few of his thoughts an observations from his viewpoint in the press box. Rob made the trip to soggy Madison and weathered the rain storm en route back to Iowa City and he provides an injury update, freshman dress list and what was taking place on the Iowa sideline during the course of the game that could not be seen on television.


Derreck Robinson:Dressed for Saturday's game but did not see any action after spraining his ankle against Minnesota. Should be ready to go for the bowl.

Matt Neubauer:Dressed and got in for only one play Saturday after coming down with a virus the week of the Minnesota game. Should be ready to roll for the bowl.

Ed Hinkel:Was questionable before the Wisconsin game, but got the third most snaps among Hawkeye wideouts Saturday behind Ochoa and Brown. Appears like he's over groin problems.

David Walker:Still seems to have some stiffness in that right knee. Rides the stationary bike while Jones is in the game and can be seen stretching on the sideline. Still saw plenty of action against Wisky and should be better than ever for bowl game.

Mike Follett:Was in the same boat as Neubauer in terms of the virus. He dressed Saturday and was used only on field goal protection. Likely will be healthy and ready to go for postseason.


Start me up:Mike Jones (left guard), Tyler Luebke (defensive tackle) and Jermelle Lewis started Saturday for Iowa. It was Luebke's first start for the Hawkeyes. Lewis started for the first time this season.

True Freshmen:Iowa brought five true freshmen on the trip to Madison - Jones, Champ Davis, Scott Chandler, A.J. Johnson and Drew Tate. Jones was the only one to see action. Chandler has not played the last two weeks.

Three-man rotation:That was primarily what the Hawkeyes employed at wide receiver. Hinkel, Mo Brown and Ramon Ochoa got most of the wide out reps. Matt Melloy was the fourth receiver. And Calvin Davis only saw a handful of plays. He was jumping up and down on the sideline trying to stay loose. Not sure if he had an injury.

Backup linemen:Iowa brought a lot of reserve offensive linemen on the trip. Chris Felder, Lee Gray, Kory Borchers, Blake Larsen, C.J. Barkema, Mike Elgin and Brian Meidlinger all were dressed.

Mountain Tops:LT Robert Gallery threw some incredible blocks Saturday and really opened space for the running game. He had a picture-perfect kick out block on Fred Russell's long run that set up Iowa's first touchdown. He also came up with a touchdown saving tackle on the second interception thrown by Nathan Chandler.

Slippery When Wet:Iowa DE Howard Hodges appeared to have Badger RB Anthony Davis wrapped up on his four-yard TD run, but Hodges could not complete the play. Hodges came back to make a huge tackle on a fourth and one attempt by Wisconsin in the third quarter.

Holding Things Together:Offensive Coordinator Ken O'Keefe and Assistant Quarterbacks Coach David Raih raced over to Nathan Chandler after his fumble. They were both up in the QB's face in what appeared to be an attempt to encourage the senior. Raih then got into a conversation with Ochoa. The wide out appeared to be defending himself against a possible accusation that he ran the wrong route.

Tackling Machine:Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway had seven tackles in the first quarter.

Upset:Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz was upset that the referees did not allow him to go check on injured IA SS Bob Sanders. The coach hollered that the officials' stance was male cow feces (although he used a different word).

Shaking it Up:The Hawkeyes used an unusual alignment on a second and short midway through the second quarter. Russell ran out to the slot. Mo Brown lined up at halfback. And Jermelle Lewis was at fullback. Brown then went in motion to the opposite side slot. The play ended up being an incomplete deep pass to Brown.

Hawkeyes in the House:Before Sean Considine came up with his interception, the Badgers were treated to some serious fan noise in the south end zone. That area of the stadium was noticeably overrun with Iowa fans decked out in Black and Gold.

Full House:The 79,931 fans made up the third largest crowd in Wisconsin history.


Ferentz evaluating the season:

To sit back and look at what this team has achieved under the circumstances that they've achieved it, it just speaks volumes about the kind of guys we get to work with every day. I'd include our assistant coaches in there and our staff. It's a total team effort, and that's the only way we could have won nine games this year. We had a shot at a couple of others, but we couldn't get it done. In light of all that has gone on, to be sitting here with nine wins today, we all should be feeling pretty good about ourselves.

Iowa DT Jared Clauss on fellow DT Tyler Luebke, who has come out of nowhere to contribute:

He might not have had all of the scholarship offers, but he's taught the same way as everybody else. He's got heart. He wants to be out there. And he's a tough kid. You can't teach toughness and you can't teach how much a kid wants to play. He has both of those. The technique is something that you guys don't see. He's getting the same teaching as everybody else.

Gallery on the team overcoming many obstacles to finish the regular season at 9-3:

Everybody wrote us off before the year. We knew we had a good team. The thing is that there was room for us to have a better year. We kind of gave some things away in some of those losses. But that's life. We dealt with it. We went through a lot of things. The one thing that shows the character of this team is all the things that we've been through; all injuries, ailments, not starting out fast, it just says a lot about this team.

Hawkeye K Nate Kaeding on it not mattering where Iowa goes bowling:

You look at our season in its entirety and you could say, 'Yeah, we could have been undefeated.' But we exceeded expectations. We didn't have any regrets. Being in that locker room after our 12th game today, just knowing that you played up to your ability. That's what you try to do in anything in life. So, whatever bowl we go to, so be it. We did our best.

Sanders about coming back into the game after getting shaken up pretty bad:

I thought that I had like a slight concussion. I got a knot over the top of my left eye. It sort of went away. My vision was a little blurred a little bit after the play. But it went away. I knew I had to get back in there and keep playing.

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