Wednesday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on December 29, 2010 at 6:00a
The Manzi was shaky, but his teammates stepped up.The Manzi was shaky, but his teammates delivered.

If you went to bed early last night, shame on you because you missed an incredible finish to the Big Ten's first bowl game of the season. Behind reserve freshman running back Marcus Coker's 113 first half yards and two touchdowns (he'd finish with an Iowa bowl record 219 yards on 33 attempts), the Hawkeyes took a 17-10 lead to the locker room.

And then Missouri's Blaine Gabbert caught fire, leading the Tigers to a 24-20 edge heading into the final stanza. Compounding Iowa's troubles, quarterback Ricky Stanzi looked downright awful for much of the second half against the veteran Missouri secondary, throwing two interceptions (and what nearly turned into two more) as he watched the Tigers seize control of the game late.

With all of the game's momentum, Missouri was driving late in the fourth when Gabbert scrambled to his left and forced a throw in the flat that landed in corner Micah Hyde's chest and Hyde promptly returned the pick 72 yards with just over five minutes remaining to ice the game for Iowa, 27-24. Missouri staged a late rally, but a fourth down completion at the Iowa 33 was overruled after a review and the Hawkeyes ran out the clock.

The defense surrendered 512 yards to Gabbert through the air and things looked bleak for most of the second half, but in the end, an 7-5 Big Ten team proved to be better than a 10-2 Big 12 squad and the Hawkeyes got the conference off to a crucial 1-0 start to bowl season, turmoil and all.

For the record. After the player suspensions were announced for Tatgate last week, former Buckeye Thaddeus Gibson spoke to The Lantern and said administrators preached not selling personal items to players while he was in Columbus. This contradicted what Gene Smith had said a day earlier and, as you can imagine, caused a bit of a stir. Well, Gibson would like to clear things up and did so via a statement to the National Football Post:

"As a team we were made aware on multiple occasions that obtaining any extra benefits as a student- athlete was a violation of NCAA rules and could lead to punishment for the player as well as for the team. At the time of the interview, I was simply commenting on having been made aware of rules regarding extra benefits for student athletes, not on selling any personal items.”

Got that? He was referring to extra benefits, not necessarily the selling of personal items. Oh, and if you're in the media, make sure Gibson is the last person you talk to when another scandal hits.

Bring on UGA. Georgia and Ohio State have signed a "memorandum of understanding" for a home-and-home series to be played in 2020 and 2021, athletic directors from each school confirmed yesterday. The meetings will be the first between the two schools since Garrison Hearst ran wild for 163 yards in a 24-14 Bulldog victory in the 1993 Citrus Bowl and Georgia AD Greg McGarity (the guy that replaced the guy caught with the undies) hopes to schedule a "big-time, traditional opponent" for a home-and-home "every 8-10 years". How adventurous! The Buckeyes, meanwhile, will play Colorado next season, Cal in 2012-13, Virginia Tech in 2014-15, Oklahoma in 2016-17 and Tennessee in 2018-19 before taking on Georgia.

WHAT'S THAT, YOU SAY?!. Rumors had been flying all week that Joe Paterno was a) retiring or b) being forced out, but the 84-year-old stepped out of his living room just long enough to shoot down any of that nonsense, taking particular aim at social media:

“It drives me nuts. I get in a bus and I gotta tell a bunch of kids, ‘Take that thing sticking in your ears and shove it.’ I don’t particularly like the idea of people having that much access to anything.”

The coach went on to say:

People think I’m gonna quit this year or next year, I haven’t even thought of it. The situation around me is very stable. The athletic director was a kid I recruited as a walk on.

So there you have it. Penn State's dance with mediocrity will continue for the foreseeable future.

LIKE! West Virginia put up seven whole points against North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl and as you'd imagine, that wasn't enough to win the game. The anemic outing was of no concern to reserve running back, who admitted to posting Facebook status updates at halftime. I guess when you finish with two carries for six yards, you might have time for social networking at the intermission.


Comments Show All Comments

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

To be fair to Thad the paper doesnt quote what they asked him and he only said they "talk about it" which could just be improper benefits.

blazers34's picture

Of course they told the players about that stuff.  The biggest compliance dept. in the NCAA isnt THAT inept.  I just took it as the university trying to take some heat off of the kids.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Congrats to Iowa.  Why does it seem like they can run over whoever they need to in bowl games?

And sounds like 'the man' got to Thad.

Poe McKnoe's picture

And another thing.  Hang it up, JoePa.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Congrats to Iowa (especially given the BT's recent slide against the B12 in bowl games)! However, I'd reserve "game balls" strictly to Coker and Iowa's OL (their special teams weren't bad, either), while the rest of their squad was more rough than smooth. Of course, credit Mizz for some good offensive execution and occasional grittiness on defense. 

Jeff @ Fox Sports Ohio's picture

Minor correction - Iowa was 7-5, not 8-4.

btalbert25's picture

So, who still thinks Stanzi is a great passer?  I've never watched a game where I thought, man Stanzi is a great QB.  Last night Iowa won in spite of him.

yrro's picture

He looked pretty awesome against Georgia Tech last year.

I saw somewhere that last year, his passer rating through three quarters was well below average, but his fourth quarter passing stats put him in superman territory. This year he was practically the reverse.

tomcollins's picture

Looking good against Georgia Tech while passing is like being able to break 100 in mini-golf.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I think that is the first time Iowa has won west of the Mississippi sincce the mid-80's. And Micah Hyde is a farking beast. How did we miss out on him? He would have been awesome for our secondary. Especially this season w/the injury bug that hit us....

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Kansas City Buckeye's picture

The entire state of Iowa is located west of the Mississippi.

Leanenaud's picture

Must have meant west of the Rockies.

Codeezy's picture

Pwned. And I watched Micah Hyde play in high school. He was the best athlete on the team, but that isnt saying much. He was D1 material surely but Iowa was on him way early. Iowa turns athletes into systematic playmakers. We seem to lose sight of kids in D4 hs football.

RoweTrain's picture

Just states that with Pryor not being reinstated until he pays back the $ to charity (since he said it was for family hardship so he shouldn't have the $ to pay it back) that it gives all the more reason to watch Brax in the Under Armour game.  Basically a plug for themselves.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

Buckeye Black's picture

Should have known, considering it was ESPN...

marvorama's picture

I actually recall Coker being more effective against OSU this year compared to Adam Robinson.  When Robinson proved ineffective in the second half against OSU, I was afraid that Coker would get more touches and tear us up again.

Check out the box score confirms what my eyes saw: same number of carries, but Coker got 7.8/carry (about the same as last night) vs. Robinson's 3.0/carry.

If nothing else, Iowa always seems to be able to plug in the next RB in the depth chart and have him produce.

ToledoBuckeye's picture

I thought we should have offered Hyde a scholarship.  He was a great player at Fostoria in Northwest, OH.  He even made player of the year.

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes

buckeyedude's picture

Glad to see Iowa win their bowl for the BigTen. I really think Missouri would have made a good addition to the BigTen and a natural rival with Iowa, as the history is much like OSU/UM that goes back generations.

Nice to see an SEC team leave the south to come play in C-bus! Finally!



Bucksfan's picture

Heck of a game, and embarrassing for Mizzou.  If a 12th-ranked 10-win Big Ten team went out there and lost to a 7-5 Big Twelve team that was missing 3 of their starters, it'd be a major indictment right off the bat.

The Lantern could have interviewed any athlete at Ohio State, and they would have told you the same thing, that the administrators constantly hammered that home.  Maybe they slipped up in 2008 for some odd reason, but I'm married to a former OSU athlete, her brother was an athlete at another Big Ten school, her best friend played a sport at Ohio State...all of them said everyone's made very clear on the rules concerning selling of items.  You're not even allowed to keep the gym shoes they give you to play with no matter how beat up they were.

This is common knowledge.  Actually, Thad Gibson's comments could be viewed in another light - that maybe this isn't as wide-spread as it would seem.  Maybe the football team is very aware of what they're not supposed to do, and they don't do it.  So, if more football players can come out and say, "Hey, these guys did their own thing, but the other 90% keep it clean," that's great.

RoweTrain's picture

Apparently they don't allow you to keep the shoes because they are hoping they can get a little money from them on the school's offical website (which I'm sure the NCAA sees) a la Ryan Kerrigan's game worn and signed cleats that were for sale on the Purdue website.

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

jack's picture

Go BigTen!  I cheer for all the bigten teams in their bowl games.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Bwuhahahahah. Oops. I meant on the west coast. I don't know why I typed that. MEH!

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

nickma71's picture

I watched the Missouri game, living in St Louis and all. Iowa tried to find a way to lose again. I am glad they didn't.