A collaborative effort on defense, honors for Matt Hankins and pushing toward Purdue all have a spot in today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Nine Hawkeyes have contributed to Iowa’s interception total of 16 this season.
All but two have been recorded by players listed as defensive backs on the Iowa roster.
Linebackers Seth Benson and Jestin Jacobs each have recorded one while the rest have been the result of work by Dane Belton, Matt Hankins, Jack Koerner, Kaevon Merriweather, Riley Moss, Terry Roberts and Quinn Schulte.
“We’re not surprised by it,’’ Hankins said. “It’s the work we put in during the week. Playing our own defense, having our eyes on the quarterback, seeing where the ball’s being thrown, being able to break on the ball is just repetitive.’’
Hankins said there is some internal competition taking place.
“We’re just challenging each other to make plays and get better,’’ he said.
2. The only changes on the Iowa depth chart this week are at cornerback, where 21-game starter Riley Moss is not listed after suffering an injury late in the second quarter of the Penn State game.
Terry Roberts, who replaced Moss on Saturday, is listed as the Hawkeyes’ starting cornerback for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game against Purdue.
UNI graduate transfer Xavior Williams makes his first appearance on the Iowa depth chart as the back-up to Matt Hankins at left cornerback, the spot Roberts had filled up this points.
3. Iowa free safety Jack Koerner said fundamentals fuel the success the Hawkeye defense has had this season.
“It goes back to our alignment keys and responsibilities,’’ Koerner said. “All the coaches, they prepare us really well for what the offense is going to be trying to do to us. If everybody is playing their keys, jamming in synch on receivers, the ball will eventually find you if you’re doing your job.’’
4. The Hawkeyes’ Matt Hankins was named Monday by the Big Ten as the league’s co-defensive player of the week.
The senior cornerback finished with five tackles in Iowa’s 23-20 win over Penn State, including a solo stop on a fourth-and-3 play at the Iowa 45-yard with 3 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the game.
Hankins finished the Nittany Lions’ next drive as well, intercepting a fourth-down pass.
The interception was the third of season for Hankins, the third Hawkeye defender to earn defensive player of the week honors in the seven weeks it has been presented.
Riley Moss won the award following Iowa’s season-opening win over Indiana and Jack Campbell received it following a victory over Colorado State.
Hankins shared the award with Michigan defensive back Brad Hawkins.
5. In addition to Iowa’s Matt Hankins being named as the Big Ten co-defensive player of the week, the conference presented weekly honors to players from Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State on Monday.
The Wolverines’ Brad Hawkins shared defensive player of the week honors after forcing an Adrian Martinez fumble with less than five minutes left in the game and returning it 19 yards to set up Michigan’s game-winning field goal in a 32-29 victory at Nebraska.
Michigan State wide receiver Jalen Nailor and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud shared Big Ten offensive player of the week honors.
Nailor had five catches for a career-high 231 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans’ 31-12 win over Rutgers.
Stroud, who was also named the Big Ten freshman of the week, completed 23-of-33 passes for 406 yards and five touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 66-17 rout of Maryland.
Michigan’s Jacob Moody was named the Big Ten special teams player of the week.
He connected on four field goal attempts in the Wolverines’ win at Nebraska, hitting from 31 and 39 yards in the final three minutes of the game to give Michigan its game-tying and go-ahead points.
6. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz believes he has a team that will have no problem turning the page from Penn State success to this week’s Purdue preparation.
“It’s just kind of been next one up to this point,’’ Ferentz said following Saturday’s win.
He believes his team understands that the Boilermakers are a capable team, earning wins over the Hawkeyes in three of the last four seasons.
“Each and every week – and unlike some games in the ‘80s when it would be tough to figure out how to lose this one – but the last 23 years to me, they’re usually all tough,’’ Ferentz said. “As soon as you start thinking it might be a little bit easy, that’s when the door slams in your face.’’
Ferentz sees significance in a team believing that.
“That’s the trick. You’ve got to get everybody else to understand that,’’ he said. “We’ve been there. We’ve had games right out here not that long ago that were really disappointing so it’s not ancient history.’’
7. Iowa redshirt freshman receiver Quavon Matthews announced his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal on social media on Sunday.
He thanked Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and receivers coach Kelton Copeland and the rest of the Hawkeye staff for “taking a chance on me, believing in me, bettering me and opening my eyes beyond football.’’
He went on thank his teammates “for being there every step of the way and lending an ear to me when needed.’’
Matthews had not seen any game action during his one-and-a-half seasons at Iowa and had fallen behind true freshmen Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV in the receiver rotation.
8. With Saturday’s win, the second-ranked Hawkeyes have won 12 consecutive games, the longest string of victories for Iowa since winning 12 straight games to open the 2015 season.
Iowa has outscored its opponents 403-161 during that stretch, averaging 33.6 points offensively while allowing an average of 13.4 points per game.
9. Tight end commitment Addison Ostrenga caught three passes for 48 yards and one touchdown last weekend, helping Sun Prairie (Wis.) remain unbeaten with a 26-21 win over Middleton.
His work was among the highlights of Iowa’s 2022 recruits at the high school level last week.
Elsewhere, quarterback Carson May completed 50 percent of his 30 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 58 yards for Jones (Okla.).
On defense, end Aaron Graves totaled five tackles and one sack for Southeast Valley in its Iowa district win over Pocahontas and Caden Crawford had 20 tackles, including four for a loss, for Lansing (Kan.) in a loss to Pittsburg.
10. Former Hawkeye George Kittle has been placed on the injured reserve by the San Francisco 49ers.
Kittle will sit out at least three games with a calf injury, an injury he has been dealing with since the opening week of the season.
He currently ranks second among 49ers with 19 receptions for 227 yards this season.