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Illinois Football: Preview of the Iowa Hawkeyes Defense

Defensive Line:

The Hawkeyes come into this game against the Illini with a 5-0 record.  Their defensive line has a lot to do with that great start.

Defensive ends Nate Meier and Drew Ott have been leading the way.  They have combined for 38 tackles and 9 sacks on the season.

This Iowa defensive line has been shutting down the opposing running game as well.  They rank 11th in the nation in rush defense only giving up 84.4 yards per game on the ground.  This is going to be a tough challenge for an Illinois team that has their starting running doubtful for the game.


The linebackers for Iowa are just about as good as the defensive line.  Cole Fisher leads the way for this squad.  He has 47 tackles along with 2.5 sacks on the season.  His leadership has really enabled the Hawkeyes to become one of the best defenses in the country.


Illini tickled pink to have shot at upset over Iowa : Sports

CHAMPAIGN, ILL. • The pink visitors’ locker room at Kinnick Stadium used to be a regular topic of discussion whenever Illinois would head to Iowa City, Iowa.

Pink apparently is an insulting and offensive color to the braveheart souls who play college football and countless words were spent wondering whether it emasculated mighty warriors in an environment that should prepare them to engage in some great physical struggle.

One year, Illinois brought bolts of brown paper and had managers cover the walls so the Illini players wouldn’t be subjected to such a debilitating sight.

And each year the discussion took place, Iowa had already won one of the psychological battles. Every minute spent talking about the pink locker room was one less minute spent game-planning for the Iowa football team.


Pheasant population back on rise in Iowa

When hunters take to the fields in Johnson County and across Iowa this month, they may hear more pheasants crowing than in recent years, but still far fewer than they did back in the bird's heyday.

Ring-neck pheasants, Iowa's most abundant upland game bird, are back on the rise in Iowa after seeing their populations decimated by a stretch of harsh winters and dwindling acres set aside for conservation, according to a new wildlife survey by the state's Department of Natural Resources.


Iowa looking for Uthoff to become a star in '15-16 - Yahoo Sports

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- From Matt Gatens to Devyn Marble to Aaron White, Iowa's best teams under Fran McCaffery have been led by a senior standout.

Is Jarrod Uthoff next in line?

The answer to that question could determine whether the Hawkeyes make it back to the NCAA Tournament.

Uthoff certainly seems like he's ready to step up after ranking second on the team with 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and just over one steal per game as a junior last year. Iowa, which went 22-12 in 2014-15, opens its sixth season under McCaffery on Nov. 13 against Gardner-Webb.

''He definitely has the potential to be the Big Ten Player of the Year,'' Iowa point guard Mike Gesell said. ''He's that type caliber of player...he's ready to make his mark.''


Sean Rodriguez attacks Gatorade jug in Pirates dugout, becomes glorious meme | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

It was another frustrating one-and-done in the MLB postseason for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were blanked by the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card game Wednesday night. The Pirates, the second best team in MLB this season, were sent home after one game in which they ran into the best pitcher in baseball in the second half.

The frustrations boiled over in the seventh inning, when Tony Watson plunked that Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta said something back and the benches cleared. Easily the angriest person on the field was Pirates utility man Sean Rodriguez, who had to be held back by three teammates. He was then ejected and took out his anger on a Gatorade jug in the dugout. 

[Related: Cubs fans celebrate wild-card win at Wrigley Field]

Rodriguez said after the game that Cubs catcher David Ross choked him. By that time, though, he'd already turned into an Internet meme. The online jokesters had a field day with Rodriguez's blow-up. Including yours truly, who mashed up the Rodriguez fight scene with LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out." (Pro tip: Turn the sound on).


Arrieta, Cubs silence Pirates 4-0 to win NL wild-card game - Yahoo Sports

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Maybe it's time to stop treating the Chicago Cubs like they're too young to be here.

Pitching Details

The stage they seemingly weren't ready for now seems hardly big enough to contain them. Not with Jake Arrieta dealing. Not with a group of 20-somethings in the field that play with swagger and confidence. Not with a manager adept at keeping the minds of his rapidly maturing team decidedly clutter-free.


Illinois-Iowa Preview - Yahoo Sports

(AP) -- - On the surface, it appears as though No. 22 Iowa's resurgence has been fueled by the so-called ''New Kirk Ferentz.''

In reality, the Hawkeyes are better because their defense is better - and knocking opponents around has been the foundation of every good team coached by Ferentz.

Iowa (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) surged back into the Top 25 for the first time in five years this week following one of the best defensive performances in Ferentz's 17-year run in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes forced four turnovers and held then-No. 19 Wisconsin out of the end zone in a 10-6 win in Madison, cementing Iowa's status as a legitimate contender in the Big Ten West.


Wisconsin Fan Assaulted a 15-Year Old Iowa Fan After the Hawkeyes Upset the Badgers | The Big Lead

Iowa upset ranked B1G opponent Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday, 10-6. It was a thrilling B1G contest that featured three field goals and a 1-yard touchdown pass. It basically had everything people in Middle America ask of their college football. Including the assault of a random teenager by a fan of the losing team. Via WKOW:

[Police] say around 2:30 p.m., the boy, wearing Iowa Hawkeyes gear, was exiting the stadium with friends when an unidentified man punched him in the face. The teen victim says he was mildly teasing his friend, who is a Badgers fan, about the Iowa win. That’s when the suspect approached him, striking him in the face. The attack was unprovoked and the suspect then fled into the crowd.

This really sucks for the 15-year old who had one of the few football-related joys of his life ruined by yet another idiot fan wearing red. Speaking of which, police are literally trying to find a man in his early-20’s who was wearing red at a Wisconsin football game. Talk about casting a wide net.


Josh Ferguson of Illinois Fighting Illini doubtful vs. No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Interim Illinois coach Bill Cubit says he doubts injured running back Josh Ferguson will be able to play Saturday against No. 22 Iowa.

Cubit said Monday that the starting back was due to see a doctor later Monday. But Cubit said that he wasn't optimistic the right-shoulder injury would allow Ferguson to play.

Illinois (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) lost Ferguson in the first quarter of last Saturday's 14-13 win over Nebraska. The senior has 397 yards and three touchdowns on 71 carries.

Freshman Ke'Shawn Vaughn took over for him Saturday and was the only other Illini back to carry the ball. Vaughn had 98 yards on 24 carries.


Busting Brackets Season Preview: Iowa Hawkeyes

Welcome back basketball fans!  We are only two months away from the time when many college teams will be kicking off their season and so we begin with team previews here at Busting Brackets.  First up for this guy is the Iowa Hawkeyes of B1G.

Last season was respectable for Iowa as they finished 4th in the competitive Big Ten behind only Wisconsin, Maryland, and Michigan State.  The conference didn’t get any weaker coming into 2015-2016 with several schools listed in at least one way-too-early poll.  The Hawks will look to remain competitive behind a roster that didn’t have tons of departures or graduations from ’14-15 while also continuing to develop under Fran McCaffery.