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Sports Then and Now



Hawkeye Football Success Story: A Dozen Years of Kirk Ferentz and Staff 3

Posted on August 10, 2010 by JA Allen

Kirk Ferentz and Ken O'Keefe survey action on the field.

No doubt about it—you get more hype, more scrutiny, and media exposure playing for Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, or Notre Dame in football then you do playing for the University of Iowa.

That is because Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, and Notre Dame have reputations of being esteemed, premier football programs, fielding the best teams with the best athletes year after year.

The most talented players ready to enter college desire to play for top-flight football programs because it means a chance to excel, playing with or against the very best in the country.  It also means a higher likelihood of being drafted by the NFL and signing lucrative pro contracts.

In the past decade of college football, however, the Iowa Hawkeyes finished No. 8 in 2002, 2003, and 2004, No. 20 in 2008, and No. 7 in 2009 in both the Associate Press and USA Today polls.

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University of Iowa Defense Will Dominate in 2010 0

Posted on July 29, 2010 by JA Allen

Iowa Football begins in September, until then fans only speculate about how good the Hawks will be in 2010.

Are you ready for some Hawkeye football?  It is not for the faint of heart or fair-weather fans.  You are either a rock or you are not.  There is no fence riding or “boohooing.”  You gotta wear a snarl and be ready for a blow to the gut––as disappointment can hit at any moment.

What you must understand from the outset is that Iowa is all about defense.  While lack of “Big D” can undermine most college football programs, defense remains the heart and soul of the University of Iowa’s recent favorable football fortunes.

Just look at last year. You had to have a strong heart and nerves of steel to weather the tsunami peaks and valleys that characterized an Iowa victory in 2009.  The Hawkeyes eked by week after week, securing four wins by three points or less. Herald the defense!

Penn State's offense was smothered by a swarming Iowa defense in 2009 in Happy Valley.

The Hawkeyes also came back in the second half in their games against Penn State and Wisconsin to secure wins.

Another heart-stopper came on the last minute touchdown pass to steal the game away at Michigan State as time expired.

Finally, what about holding on until Iowa scored four touchdowns in the last quarter to suffocate the Hoosier’s hopes for an upset?

Sedatives du jour became the cocktail before each Iowa kickoff.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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