1. While some Hawk fans have grown bitter about the departure of Aaron Greving, do not believe for one second that Coach Ferentz has also written him off. The staff still very much believes Aaron could be a big part of the Hawkeye offense in 03' and will try to do their best to gain him back in the program this spring. In fact, there are still strong winds in Iowa City gusting about the potential Greving could have as a senior fullback.
2. Jermelle Lewis had a very big game last Saturday in Ann Arbor, but any mention of making him the starting running back is not warranted at this time. After viewing the game tape as a team on Sunday, there was no question that the holes being opened in the 2nd half were huge as Iowa physically wore down Michigan's front seven. Jermelle Lewis is the better back when being faced against a stacking of the box by the opposing defense, but Fred Russell will still be getting the majority of carries. However, this Saturday injuries may shelve Fred and give Jermelle his first start.
3. When is Andy Lightfoot going to start to receive some much due credit? Many have asked across Hawkeye forums why Ben Sobieski has yet to be named a starter, but the fact is Lightfoot is grading out as well as any lineman on the squad. The future Doctor Lightfoot has been ‘operating' at high efficiency. In fact, Andy may be one of the biggest surprises on this offense this fall as he has kept his starting position. Andy has a bright future ahead of him in the medical field, but do not be surprised to hear some NFL scouts asking about Andy Lightfoot during the off-season.
4. You think Wisconsin is a big game for the Hawkeyes? The Shadow says you better check yourself if you don't agree. One coach on staff really loves the rivalry between the Badgers and Hawkeyes. That would be Coach Doyle, as he coached in Madison. So look for Coach Doyle to do a tremendous job this week in getting players re-grouped and fired up for this weekend. In addition, you better believe Coach Wilson will also be looking for some revenge against his old team. Remember, Wisconsin is the team Coach Ferentz decided to model this Hawkeye team on when he entered Iowa City.
5. One very big recruiting battle this season between the Badgers and Hawkeyes will be for OL Luke Knauf. Luke is facing a very tough decision in whether he should leave his home state or not. Luke received his first offer from the Hawkeyes, and has been very loyal. However, it's hard for any kid growing up in Wisconsin to depart to another state in the Big Ten Conference. However, a Hawkeye victory this weekend could ease Luke's mind as he heads into his official visit on the November 23rd weekend.
6. One reason for the improved production by Iowa's defensive line over the past few weeks has been the shuffling and adjustments that Coach Parker has made during games. This was shown to an even greater degree this past weekend in Ann Arbor. Facing a very big and talented Wisconsin offensive line this weekend could result in the same action. Howard Hodges will face a much bigger test this weekend as he will be facing Ben Johnson, one of the best-left tackles in the Big Ten. Coaches Parker and Aiken will be reminding Howard and Matt Roth of this fact all week long, and it'll be interesting to see if both are up to the test!
7. On the basketball front, it was very encouraging around Iowa City to see Coach Alford stand strongly behind Pierre Pierce. There has not been a lot of good news this fall, but certainly Coach Alford and staff are doing all they can to let the fact be known that Pierre is still considered to be a Hawkeye unless the legal system becomes his downfall. The staff views Pierre as a huge intangible for this season. The Shadow hears that mediation will resolve this case. One of the stipulations may be that Pierce will red shirt this year and will still have three years eligibility remaining next season. This would be great news for Hawk fans, as Pierce, Dewitz, Horner, Worley, Brunner, Reiner and Hansen would present a formidable lineup next year.
8. Also, the Hawkeyes are not yet done hosting official visitors this season. Lance Harris and Jerrah Young have both completed visits, and Maurice Shaw and Dorrell Wright could be the next two in line. The staff is keeping their options open in case of the need to sign a prospect this spring. Lance Harris has committed to wait until the spring to sign, and you very well may see the same situation with all three others listed above.
9. Everyone knows about the offers extended to Alex Thompson and Carlton Reed for the class of 03', but the Hawks also will have their eyes out for an intriguing guard prospect in A.J Ratliff, from Indianapolis North Central High School. A.J. is a 6-2 pure shooter that has the whole package. He is very quick, has great hops and can drain the three. Ratliff explodes to the hole and would be a great addition to the up-tempo Iowa attack.
10. The Shadow has known Barry Alvarez and Kirk Ferentz for many years. His great respect for both men makes it very difficult to forecast the game on Saturday. Both teams have quarterbacks very adept at both passing and running. In addition, both QB's have alliterated names starting with the letter B. Bollinger normally saves his best game of the year for Iowa. Although Wisconsin is known for their outstanding offensive lines, this year's edition has disappointed a little due to the 35 sacks they have allowed. Iowa's offensive line looks like it may be the best in the country. Iowa has been the Big Ten's best big play team as Michigan was the first team that the Hawks out first-downed. Wisconsin's mediocre rushing defense will be tested on Saturday with the powerful running of Jermelle Lewis. Barry always has his team ready for Iowa. The Iowa staff will be challenged in keeping the players focused on this game rather than the Michigan blowout and bowl aspirations. However, Captain Kirk will direct the winning drive as the Hawks prevail!
HAWKS 33 BADGERS 30
If the Hawks don't win then you can just beam me up, Scotty!