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Iowa O line coach happy to have center back


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s offensive line returns four of five starters from last season’s 8-5 bowl team, but line coach Brian Ferentz says that doesn’t mean all but one spot is locked up as they open fall practice. “There’s spots that are open, things can move, nothing is set in stone. Every position is open,” Ferentz says. He says he doesn’t expect senior left tackle Brandon Scherf or junior center Austin Blythe to be displaced and he says there are others he also doesn’t expect to lose their starting spots. “What’s important for us over the next 25 days or so is to really nail down who is going to be playing for us. And it may be more than five guys, it may only be five guys, but I know we’d better find at least five.” Ferentz says filling out the offensive line is much easier with Blythe back at the center spot.

“Anytime you have to break in a new center, it’s like breaking in a new quarterback, that’s no fun. When you have to break in a new quarterback and a new center, that’s a little bit difficult and certainly we had to do that last year — which wasn’t always fun,” Ferentz says. “The benefit is — because we did that last year — we should be looking at two more seasons of continuity there.” He says the center is key because of the philosophy they have for the offense.

“I think you’ve got to start with the idea that all of our centers have to be intelligent guys. We put a little bit more on their plate than we do on any of the other positions,” according to Ferentz. “We kid around and say you only have to count to two to play on the offensive line here. And to some extent that is true.” Ferentz says the other lineman only have to count to two because the center points out all the offensive calls and passes them on. There’s another reason the center position is so key.

“If it was just a matter of intelligence, we’ve had a lot of guys who could probably play center. The second thing is, we are always going to ask that guy to be the bell cow for our offensive line,” Ferentz explains. He says the center has to lead the others no only by pointing out assignments, but by effort and poise as well. Ferentz says Blythe has grown into that role in the last two years.

Iowa opens the season on August 30th at home against Northern Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Jay lifts Cardinals to 3-2 win over Red Sox


August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jon Jay hit an RBI single with two out in the eighth inning to break a tie and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. The Cardinals won their third in a row and fourth in the last five. Boston has lost three in a row.

Jay, who missed the previous five games with a wrist injury, blooped a hit to left off reliever Junichi Tazawa to bring in former Red Sox A.J. Pierzynski with the winning run. Reliever Pat Neshek picked up the win by striking out the side in the eighth.

St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal recorded his NL-leading 35th save in 39 chances. Boston beat St. Louis in six games in last year’s World Series.

Rhoads happy with early practice


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Cyclones opened fall practice Monday and afterward, coach Paul Rhoads said it was what you expect from the first day. “There’s some good, there’s some bad, and there’s a lot of inbetween and there’s nothing to be overly excited about at the same time,” according to Rhoads. He says getting back into shape for the daily workouts is one of the first issues they face. “You’ve got rust, you’ve got a little conditioning fall off and that shows. Playing football is always different than working out and training and so there was some conditioning football from play-to-pay wise that we will continue to address on a daily basis, that’s one of the primary things you’ve got to get accomplished during training camp,” Rhoads said. He liked the attitude of the team.

He says the players were intent and had good enthusiasm for the first day. Rhoads says he will stick to his timeline of picking a starting quarterback by the end of next week. Richardson, sophomore Grant Rohach, and redshirt freshman Joel Lanning are vying for the starting Q-B spot. Iowa State will hold their fall media day on August 10th.

(Radio Iowa)

Hawkeye Scherf gains lots of attention for a lineman


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Offensive linemen often get overlooked in football with the focus the quarterback, runningbacks and receivers. But University of Iowa senior Brandon Scherf, of Denison, is getting a lot of notice after deciding not to leave early for the N-F-L. A lot of the attention came from a weightroom video that went viral showing him doing what’s called the “hang clean” of 443 pounds three times. The left tackle says it was just something that happened while working with strength coach Chris Doyle.

Scherf says Doyle asked him what he wanted to do that day and he says he wanted to do something different after lifting 437 pounds two times. “I was just trying to get one, and three popped out. I was happy with it, all those teammates pushing me was a great environment and it’s a memory I will never forget,” Scherf says. Scherf didn’t know that Doyle posted the video until he started hearing about it. “Everbody just texted me, I didn’t know what they were talking about. We were fishing and everybody texted me and I was ‘aw jeeze, so,” Scherf explains. Scherf is 6-5 and 320 pounds, and while he is soft spoken off the field, he tries to send a message during the game.

“We want to be know as the most physical unit on the field, that’s what we are trying to play for,” Scherf says. “Attack, compete, finish that’s our motto and we are just trying to impose our will on other people. We just want to get the last hit in.” The offense has a lot of experience returning along with Scherf and he says that can lead to being good unit. “We can be as good as we want to be,” Scherf says. He says they have four returning linemen, as well as a returning starter at quarterback and receivers, which he says will make a difference. “Like I said, we can be as good as we want to be, we’ve just got to put everything together.” Scherf says the enter fall camp looking to end up on top of the conference.

“Our goal is to win the Big 10 Championship game and to get into that four-team playoff. That’s everybody’s goal and the team that comes the most ready and they do the little details right, they are going to win the game,” Scherf says. Scherf is on several pre-season watch lists and has been named to several pre-season All-Big 10 teams, to go along with the attention he’s received for his weight lifting prowess.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa Hawkeye wrestling schedule released


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The University of Iowa wrestling team’s 2014-15 schedule was released today (Tuesday). The Hawkeyes will meet Iowa State in Iowa City at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. Other highlights on the home schedule include duals with Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, and Michigan. Carver-Hawkeye Arena will also serve as a host for two rounds of the Cliff Keen National Duals on February 15 and 22. The Hawkeyes’ road dates include meetings with Oklahoma State on January 11, Minnesota on February 1, and four-time defending NCAA champions Penn State on February 6.
2014-15 Iowa Wrestling Schedule

Nov. 21 (Friday) Iowa City Duals Iowa City, Iowa
(Baker, Cornell, Iowa CC)

Nov. 28 (Friday) Iowa State Iowa City, Iowa

Dec. 6 (Saturday) Michigan State Iowa City, Iowa

Dec. 29 (Monday) at Midlands Evanston, Ill.
Dec. 30 (Tuesday) at Midlands
Jan. 2 (Friday) at Rutgers Piscataway, N.J.

Jan. 4 (Sunday) at Ohio State Columbus, Ohio

Jan. 11 (Sunday) at Oklahoma State Stillwater, Okla.

Jan. 16 (Friday) Illinois Iowa City, Iowa

Jan. 23 (Friday) Northwestern Iowa City, Iowa

Feb. 1 (Sunday) at Minnesota Minneapolis

Feb. 6 (Friday) at Penn State State College, Pa.

Feb. 8 (Sunday) at Maryland College Park, Md.

Feb. 13 (Friday) Michigan Iowa City, Iowa

Feb. 15 (Sunday) Cliff Keen National Duals Iowa City, Iowa
Feb. 22 (Sunday) Cliff Keen National Duals Iowa City, Iowa

Mar. 7 (Saturday) at Big Ten Championships Columbus, Ohio
Mar. 8 (Sunday) at Big Ten Championships Columbus, Ohio

Mar. 19 (Thursday) at NCAA Championships St. Louis
Mar. 20 (Friday) at NCAA Championships St. Louis
Mar. 21 (Saturday) at NCAA Championships St. Louis

Michigan St. girding for Ohio St. in Big Ten East


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Michigan State has played in two of the three Big Ten title games, is the defending Rose Bowl champion and on the best run in program history with 42 wins in four years. Yet the Spartans cling to an underdog mentality. It’s the product of being overshadowed historically by Michigan and Ohio State. Coach Mark Dantonio never wants his team to stop playing with that edge.

The Spartans likely will have to beat the Buckeyes to win the East Division. They also have a major September test with a road game against Oregon. Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin are the top contenders in the West.

Rudock excited to head into fall with QB job in hand


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

University of Iowa junior quarterback Jake Rudock is excited to get back to practice, and says it’s a whole new start. “Summer is a long time, it’s a long time before we start to play again, but I mean you can’t really build off of what you did last year, because last year is over, it’s done,” Rudock says. He says the momentum of the season stops at the end and it is up to the team to get it going and get back on track. Rudock comes in this year as the starter. He says that makes a big difference.

“To put a specific thing on it is kind of hard, but game planning is a little bit different when you know you are the guy instead of trying to be like the guy, being a second-string guy,” Rudock says. He says having another year, whether starting or not, you come into the fall with more experience in the system. Rudock has some key things he will continue working on heading into the first game.

“Obviously timing with receivers, that’s a big one, protection checks, all that good stuff. Decision making is always a big thing, you can never stop working on that. Decision making is always really pivotal for quarterbacks,” Rudock says. Coach Kirk Ferentz says Rudock is the solid starter coming in and he’ll be back up again by sophomore C-J Beathard

(Radio Iowa)

KC Chiefs news


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith brushed aside any notion that the deal reached between the Bengals and Andy Dalton could affect negotiations on his own long-term contract. Dalton and Smith are considered on a similar tier of quarterbacks, and many believe that they would receive comparable deals. Dalton signed a six-year extension that is reportedly worth up to $115 million, and now the wait is on to see what kind of deal Smith will receive.

The Chiefs have been negotiating with his representatives on a long-term deal for several months, though the sides remain far apart. Smith would be a free agent after this season. Smith said after Monday’s practice that he is focused on the season rather than his contract status, and that “I haven’t given that stuff much thought.”


ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — At some point this season, likely within the first couple of games, Jamaal Charles will slide past Larry Johnson and breeze past Priest Holmes to become the Chiefs’ career rushing leader. It’s a goal, sure. But it’s only a rest-stop on the way to loftier expectations.

After arguably the best season of his career and now armed with a new contract extension, Charles has his sights set on the Hall of Fame. The two-time All-Pro running back wants his name to be mentioned in the same breath as Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, players he grew up idolizing in Port Arthur, Texas, and who will forever be considered some of the best to play the game.

“It’s all about staying consistent,” Charles said. “I want to be in the Hall of Fame when I retire. I want to win a championship. That’s what it’s all about.”

Cardinals’ Rosenthal leads majors with 34 saves


August 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals say they have found a perfect fit for closer in Trevor Rosenthal. The 24-year-old right-hander leads the major leagues with 34 saves in his first season as the closer. The former 21st-round draft pick out of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, took charge last September when Edward Mujica faltered. He has been a key piece ever since for the defending National League champions, who were a game back in the Central after taking two of three from first-place Milwaukee over the weekend.

Rosenthal has been durable, leading the team with 51 appearances. He has also calmly taken responsibility after some infrequent tough outings.

Cubs prospect Baez set to join team in Colorado


August 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DENVER (AP) — Touted prospect Javier Baez will join the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Colorado and could make his major league debut in the three-game series against the Rockies. The 21-year-old Baez got off to a slow start this year in the minors, but has been playing well of late. The middle infielder, who is known for his tremendous bat speed, hit .300 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 32 games for Triple-A Iowa.

Baez will have his contract purchased from the minors before the series opener against Colorado. There was no word Monday on a corresponding roster move. Baez is part of a loaded minor league system for Chicago that Cubs fans are hoping will lead the team back to respectability after a string of down years. The Cubs are 47-63 this season and in last in the NL Central.