One of the reasons I didn't write an Iowa Preview, was because everything can be said about the game was said or would be said throughout the course of the week. I had a joking one written but I detest pointless smack talk. I didn't really have anything in mind for a postgame either but I thought I'd write some impressions of certain events and players throughout the game because I was lucky enough to sit right behind the ISU bench.
Here is a photo I took with my camera phone from our seats:
Anyway, here are a few things I noticed:
- Kurtis Taylor is an intense dude. He was on a mission to keep people jacked up once the game momentum completely turned in the second half. I can't accurately put it into words, but when ISU got down 14 after the punt return he went around to any offensive player he could find and said, "You score, we stop 'em. You score, we stop 'em." Just imagine it with the voracity of Captain in 300 after he sees his son's head get cut off.
- I think Kennard Banks is my new favorite player. I really wish that guy wasn't hurt. He was totally into the game and he was walking around giving encouragement to players. I don't know what was said but he talked to Mahoney a couple of times. I saw him eating some sort of candy twice on the sideline. He absolutely laughed his butt off when Singleton ran over Brodell on the punt. Basically he just seemed like a guy that is hilarious and that would be a fun dude to hang out with.
- Speaking of the Brodell early hit, I really believe it was an honest mistake by what he was saying to Banks and his body language. You can tell he felt terrible about the field position switch.
- Regarding the helmet-to-helmet hit, it really changed the demeanor of the team on the sideline. With a young team I thought that kind of big play or call could get guys down a little bit and I was really hoping it wouldn't happen.
- Also regarding the call, it happened about 20 yards from where I sat and I thought it might have been the call as soon as it happened. In live action coupled with the SOUND of the hit and the way the players both dropped like a sack of potatoes, I really felt the call could have gone either way. This is a big contention among Cyclone fans both at the game and on message boards but it wasn't as bad of a call as some are making it out to be.
- I'm really impressed with Austin Arnaud on the bench. As time was winding down he and Mahoney were alone on our side and he was smiling and patting him on the helmet while talking to him. I just feel like he's a team guy all the way and he really went out of his way to talk to him and help get his mind right.
- Any loss is disappointing - however in a coach's second year I can deal with losses as long as the team is competitive and gives itself a chance to win. If Mahoney makes those three other field goals and they stop Brodell on the return that's a whole different ballgame. It didn't happen though and I tip my cap to the Hawks.
- After the first field goal miss Mahoney came to the bench right in front of me and showed visible frustration - I immediately thought that he needed to flush it and get on with it. That's what he needs to do with the whole game at this point. Hopefully the guy has hundreds more kicks for us over the next 40+ games and he shouldn't let this one get him down. He's a good kicker with a strong leg and the team and fans are all behind him.
One last note, I had a very good time with the Iowa fans. There really wasn't a lot of heckling going on after the game other than from the people who were really drunk but that's to be expected. Good hosts and my first experience at Kinnick was very solid. Always sucks to do a walk of shame down a main drag like Melrose but I had a good time with the hecklers. UNLV next week, and then a month of big games for the program with KU, BU, NU, and A&M. I feel like if we can get three of the four that would be a great step forward to a bowl birth.