Tory Taylor’s leg, David Bell’s hands and Tyler Linderbaum’s latest accomplishment are all part of today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Tory Taylor’s ability to consistently deliver when needed impresses even his teammates.
“I’ve never been a punter, but if I tried to do something like that, I’m not going to be able to do it,’’ Iowa kicker Caleb Shudak said. “It’s amazing how consistently he can do it.’’
The Hawkeye punter left Penn State trying to figure out how to dig its way out of possessions that started at its own 3, 1, 8 and 8 yard lines after Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford exited last week’s game with an injury.
That put Penn State in a no-win situation, with offensive linemen unable to hear the snap counts of back-up quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson over the roar of the crowd. That factored into eight false starts by the Nittany Lions.
2. The abilities of Purdue receiver David Bell have the attention of Iowa defenders.
Bell scored all three touchdowns Purdue collected in the Boilermakers’ 24-20 win over Iowa last season at Ross-Ade Stadium and has riddled the Hawkeyes in each of the two games he has played vs. Iowa.
“I don’t want to depress myself and look back at how many catches he’s had the last two years, but it’s a lot,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
For the record, Bell has caught 26 balls for 318 yards and four touchdowns in two career games against the Hawkeyes.
3. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said he was pleased to see Matt Hankins being recognized as the national defensive player of the week, recognition that followed the senior cornerback opting to return for a fifth year with COVID-19 relief providing players an additional year of eligibility.
“The fact he chose to come back to me showed a lot of wisdom and maturity there,’’ Ferentz said. “I think he was really excited about coming back and not only be a good player on the team, but be a really strong team leader.’’
Ferentz said Hankins is highly respected by his teammates and is usually one of the top vote getters when weekly captains are selected.
“It’s the way he does things. He’s really been team oriented in everything he does, especially with those DBs and the guys on defense,’’ Ferentz said.
4. Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum was named Wednesday as one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award.
The honor is presented annually by the Rotary Club of Houston to the top offensive or defensive lineman or linebacker in college football and a group of four finalists will be announced on Nov. 9.
Linderbaum has started 27 consecutive games for the Hawkeyes at center after beginning his career as a defensive lineman as a freshman and Iowa is 22-5 in games the Solon, Iowa, native has started.
The list of semifinalists for the honor also includes Penn State defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, Ohio State offensive lineman Thayer Munford, Michigan offensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson and Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose.
Mustipher was injured during the game against Iowa last weekend and Penn State coach James Franklin announced Wednesday he will miss the remainder of the season.
Other semifinalists include Will Anderson, Christian Harris and Evan Neal of Alabama, James Empey of BYU, Kenyon Green of Texas A&M, Jermaine Johnson of Florida State and Darian Kinnard of Kentucky.
Five Hawkeyes have previously been named semifinalists for the Lombardi Award and one, defensive end Adrian Clayborn in 2010, has been selected as a finalist.
5. As impressive as Iowa’s overall 12-game win streak has been, the Hawkeyes have an even rarer ongoing string of victories going on heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game against Purdue.
Iowa has won nine consecutive games against Big Ten opponents for just the second time in the program’s history.
The only longer streak is a 10-game run of success in conference play during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
6. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm sees changes in the Iowa defense from those he has prepared for while leading the Boilermakers to wins over the Hawkeyes in three of the last four seasons.
“They’ve adapted and adjusted to a certain degree where they’re not giving up big plays over their heads,’’ Brohm said. “The first couple of years we were able to hit a couple of those on them, but they do not give those up anymore.’’
Brohm said the Hawkeyes seem to have found a balance defensively.
“They do a really good job playing tight enough yet far enough off that you’re not going to throw it over their head,’’ Brohm said.
“They don’t allow you down the middle of the field very much, do a really good job with their safeties of cheating that to a certain degree to make sure that you’re not going to get a cheap pass down the middle, which is extremely smart.’
7. Iowa free safety Jack Koerner gives himself a little time each week to step back and enjoy the moment.
It’s usually on a Saturday night or Sunday morning within the confines of Iowa’s 24-hour rule.
“That lets the Hawkeye fan in me come out, the part I enjoyed as a kid growing up, and it’s pretty cool what we’ve been able to do,’’ Koerner said. “I’ll check out social media, see what people are saying, enjoy it all.’’
“By Sunday, it’s back to work and time to get ready for the next one,’’ Koerner said.
8. Iowa’s defense passes the eye test, one of the major concerns Purdue coach Jeff Brohm has heading into Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game at Iowa.
“Their defenders are going to have their eyes strapped on the quarterback, break on the ball and make plays and they’ve done that against every single opponent they’ve had,’’ Brohm said. “We have to figure out a way to not allow that to happen but yet still be aggressive.’’
9. The consistency in the play of Iowa cornerbacks Riley Moss and Matt Hankins has been noticed.
Pro Football Focus grades Moss and Hankins as the top two cornerbacks in the nation through the first six weeks of competition this season.
It gives Moss a 90.2 and Hankins an 89.6 grade using its metrics.
10. Homecoming festivities at Iowa are scheduled for the next two days leading up to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game against Purdue.
The annual Iowa Shout! event is scheduled to be held today on the Pentacrest beginning at 7 p.m.
Former Hawkeye football player Quinn Early is scheduled to be grand marshal for the homecoming parade, which is scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. on Friday in downtown Iowa City.
A free concert featuring tobi lou with Berhana will be held beginning around 8 p.m. on Pentacrest on Friday night and is open to the public.