Football tour notebook: Tom Dienhart's fun takes from Iowa
The BTN bus just left Iowa practice, and now it’s time to share some fun nuggets I gathered while the Hawkeyes practiced Tuesday morning.
I love watching this staff work. No staff in the Big Ten is more demonstrative and vocal. O-line coach Brian Ferentz leads the charge. Wideout coach Bobby Kennedy has leather lungs. You could hear him chortling “Let’s be perfect!!!!” from across the field. And don’t be fooled by Kirk Ferentz’s cool calm on Saturdays. He gets after it on the practice field like a rookie coach.
Legendary Chuck Long attended practice. He likes what he sees in C.J. Beathard but thinks he’s a “high rep” guy. By that, Long thinks Beathard does better in practices the more reps he gets but needs better touch. “Hayden Fry used to always tell me ‘Never be late in the flat, Charlie.’ C.J. needs to be careful about that.” Long went on to note that he coached a Heisman winner in 2003 at Oklahoma in Jason White “and we kept things pretty basic for him.” Watch our Periscope interview with Long.
Got a tour of Iowa’s new $90-million football complex. In a word, it is palatial. Locker room, weight room, meeting rooms … it’s all there and was much-needed. This facility is on par with most I have seen in the Big Ten, including the new digs at Michigan State.
Iowa is making a radical change by practicing in the morning this season. O-line coach Brian Ferentz told me they talked to Oregon and UCLA, among others, about practicing in the A.M., a common thing in the Pac-12. “(Oregon coach) Scott Frost told me practicing in the morning gets the kids up out of bed. They aren’t gonna miss practice, but they may sleep through a class. This gets them going for the day.”
Iowa SID Steve Roe says the school will try to break a single-match wrestling attendance record of 15,996 set recently by Penn State. Iowa will play host to Oklahoma State on Nov. 14 in Kinnick Stadium after a football game vs. Minnesota. Roe thinks Iowa can get 25,000.
Ticket sales are down 15 percent, according to Roe, with roughly 39,000 sold already.
If C.J. Beathard gets hurt, things could get interesting. Backup Tyler Wiegers is a redshirt freshman. Behind him? Two true freshmen: Ryan Boyle and Drew Cook, the son of former Iowa TE Marv.
Kirk Ferentz told me he likes TE Jameer Outsey, a 6-3, 235-pound redshirt freshman who began his career at linebacker. Iowa needs help with senior Jake Duzey out for at least the non-conference, according to Ferentz. Iowa no longer will practice on Thursdays during the season but will be more active on Fridays than in previous years under Ferentz.
Scouts from the Jets and Seahawks attended practice.
Senior Marshall Koehn is locked up at kicker. He finished strongly in 2014. He also could be the punter, and also continue to kick off.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|