Iowa takeaways: Beathard learning to swim in fishbowl

Rick Brown

IOWA CITY, Ia. — C.J. Beathard knows that living in a fishbowl comes with playing quarterback at Iowa. Like Monday evening, when Twitter was alive with a rumor that Beathard had a sports hernia. Not true, Beathard said Tuesday.

Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard runs down field during the Hawkeyes' game against Illinois at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015.

“I had some friends contact me,” Beathard said. “I didn’t know where they heard it.”

Beathard is sore from last week’s 29-20 victory over Illinois.

“That’s just how it is,” Beathard said.

The pain is what he expected.

“It’s almost a good pain sometimes,” Beathard said. “Because for three years I really hadn’t got hit since high school.”

Beathard said that many times the crushing hits aren’t as bad as they look.

“Sometimes those big hits, you shake off easy,” Beathard said. “Sometimes it’s the smaller ones that hurt worse than you would expect.”

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Coal in his stocking

Villanova’s loss has been Iowa’s gain. Twice.

“If there’s one guy that I’m not on the Christmas card  list, it’s probably Andy Talley,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri, who had a school-record 43 carries for 256 yards against Illinois last week, was headed for Villanova to play for Talley until Iowa got involved late.

“It was the end of the recruiting season, and we were not having luck at the running back position, so we were looking for guys that we thought might be prospects,” Ferentz said.

Ferentz doesn’t remember how the staff heard about Canzeri, who is from Troy, N.Y.

“We looked at the film and thought he was under-recruited,” Ferentz said. “At that time he was all set to go to Villanova.”

Canzeri was not sold at first, but had a change of heart and signed with the Hawkeyes. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who lettered at Iowa in 2009, 2010 and 2011, was also headed for Villanova before Iowa sneaked in and got him.

“He’s doing pretty well for the (Green Bay) Packers,” Ferentz said. “You just never know.”

The Football Writers Association of America named Canzeri the AutoNation National Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.

“It’s great to see his efforts and persistence be rewarded,” Ferentz said of Canzeri, who had ACL surgery in 2012 and struggled with a series of injuries last season.

Perfect at home 

Iowa was just 10-11 at Kinnick Stadium for a three-year stretch starting in 2012, so this season’s 4-0 record is a positive step. So is Iowa’s 4-0 record in games that weren’t decided until the final  minutes.

“We still have a lot of football ahead of us, we know that,” Ferentz said. “But those are both positive things to see.”

Iowa was 2-3 in games decided by four points or less last season. This season, Iowa’s victories at Wisconsin and Iowa State and at home over Pittsburgh and Illinois all hung in the balance with less than 3 minutes to play.

Plenty of tickets remain for Iowa’s final three home games: 14,000 for Maryland on Oct. 31; 6,000 for Minnesota on Nov. 14; and 20,000 for Purdue on Nov. 21.

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Coaching departures

With last week’s firing of Dan McCarney by North Texas and Randy Edsall at Maryland, three of the 12 teams on Iowa’s schedule have seen head coaching changes. Illinois fired Tim Beckman a week before the season started.

“In a perfect world you’d rather see that not take place for everybody involved,” Ferentz said. “But all that being said, you’ve got to be realistic. The world we’re living in is changing daily. We see that in recruiting firsthand. It’s true, I think, on every level. That’s one more example, unfortunately.”

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Perfect storm

Northwestern is coming off a 38-0 loss at Michigan last week. A score that Ferentz chalked off to a bad day.

“I think anybody who has played or coached, we have days like that,” Ferentz said. “Sometimes it’s a perfect storm. And maybe not indicative of the way two teams are. Michigan had a great day. Northwestern didn’t. When you look at the other games, you see (Northwestern) is a really good football team.”

Iowa got a taste of that medicine last season. The Hawkeyes lost 51-14 at Minnesota. That came a week after the Hawkeyes blasted Northwestern 48-7 at Kinnick Stadium.

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