One thing particular: Iowa particular groups have useful palms, devoted ft towards Purdue

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IOWA CITY — Kirk Ferentz is from a sure technology.


The Iowa soccer coach continuously references previous Hawkeyes video games and gamers that youthful Iowa followers have solely heard about. In his postgame press convention right here Saturday, he used the phrase “Kodak second” for the umpteenth time since he’s been Iowa’s head soccer coach. He even nonetheless learn newspapers.


Which makes him extra trustworthy than the numerous coaches who declare they by no means have a look at them or their on-line variations.


“I glanced at a headline,” Ferentz stated final Tuesday within the aftermath of his staff’s 17-12 house loss to Penn State three days earlier than. “Two issues within the final 5 days within the papers that have been attention-grabbing. Received’t go into the one. Nothing particular, no matter.”


Let’s assume he was referring to “NOTHING SPECIAL,” the primary headline of last Sunday’s Gazette sports section. In full protection of the headline author, the sport was nothing particular from a Hawkeyes standpoint apart from Brandon Smith’s otherworldly landing catch late within the sport.


However an acceptable headline for Iowa’s 26-20 Kinnick Stadium win over Purdue Saturday can be “SOMETHING SPECIAL.” Not as a two-word prognosis of the victory, which gained’t be outlined by historians as particular. However the Hawkeyes’ particular groups have been.


The particular groups items weren’t good. Ferentz famous that in ruing a returnable kickoff Ihmir Smith-Marsette honest caught late within the first half, and an Iowa private foul penalty on a Purdue kickoff-return that permit the Boilermakers begin an early fourth-quarter drive at their 41.


The remainder, although, was successful stuff. When Iowa was stopped on downs at its 16 with a 19-10 fourth-quarter lead, Michael Sleep-Dalton punted the ball away from Purdue’s return man and hit a 63-yard subject flipper. The Hawkeyes’ new punt-return guys, Max Cooper and Geno Stone, didn’t let any kicks get away from them. That sore spot was healed for every week.

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Additionally important, Nico Ragaini and Nate Wieting each fielded and guarded an onside kick within the final three minutes. “They appeared ready,” Ferentz stated.


Then there was Keith Duncan, who made all 4 of his subject purpose tries, ranging between 30 and 44 yards. So, it was Fingers Workforce 2-for-2 and Ft Man Four-for-Four, which added as much as an enormous a part of the mathematics within the 6-point win.


We’ve lauded Duncan right here earlier than this season, with purpose. He went Four-for-Four in subject objectives in Iowa’s 18-17 win at Iowa State. His closing kick have been the sport’s closing factors. He’s 17 of 19 general, and owned the nation’s lead in made subject objectives when the sport ended.


“I truthfully didn’t know that,” Duncan stated. “I simply type of take what’s given to me.


“My job isn’t to maintain stats or something like that. I simply concentrate on making a kick and have a one-rep mindset.”


“I assumed he was actually wired in,” Ferentz stated.


Duncan’s subject purpose quantity is nice information, however not nice information. That Iowa has 18 touchdowns and 17 subject objectives via seven video games (three TDs to seven subject objectives during the last three video games) isn’t what a coach needs when he says he desires a balanced offense. The Hawkeyes received sufficient performed offensively to get a primary win in three video games towards Jeff Brohm’s first three Purdue groups, however not way more.


A brighter stat is that Iowa received factors in every of its 4 journeys to the purple zone Saturday and is 2 of 24 in that division this season. Getting into Saturday, LSU and Notre Dame have been the one different two groups within the nation good in red-zone effectivity.


“It’s all the time irritating,” Hawkeye large receiver Tyrone Tracy stated when requested about settling for thus many subject objectives. “After we get down there we’re all the time in search of six factors. That’s the purpose after we get within the purple zone.

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“I’m glad we’re scoring. The final couple weeks we couldn’t even get down there. We’re working our means up the ladder proper now.”


These rungs would really feel greased if not for reliable Duncan. Who stays a walk-on, by the way in which. Right here’s a headline we must be writing someday within the not-so-distant future:


DUNCAN GETS SCHOLARSHIP


Feedback: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com


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