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Senior Hyde feeling the urgency

[ 0 ] October 29, 2012 |

Micah Hyde’s Iowa football clock is ticking. He’s a senior cornerback, a team leader who last year thought about opting early for the NFL Draft.

Now he faces the possibility of staying home for the holidays. For the first time in his college career, his season could end in November.

The 4-4 Hawkeyes must go at least 2-2 during the remaining four regular-season games just to be in the bowl conversation after consecutive losses against Penn State and Northwestern. Otherwise, it’s no postseason for the first time since Iowa went 6-6 in 2007.

“It starts with Saturday,” Hyde said after last Saturday’s 28-17 loss at Northwestern. “It’s not about what happens the next four games. It’s about next Saturday.”

That’s when the Hawkeyes face Indiana at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. That’s when Iowa’s final bowl push begins.

“We’ll keep fighting,” Hyde said.

Iowa will fight without Mark Weisman, its top rusher who suffered an undisclosed injury with four plays remaining in the first half against Northwestern.

He wasn’t on Monday’s depth chart, therefore Damon Bullock will be the Hawkeyes’ primary rusher in the 2:30 p.m. game.

Indiana has records of 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten Conference after Saturday’s 31-17 victory against Illinois. That win stopped the Hoosiers’ five-game losing streak, a drought that included just a three-point loss against unbeaten Ohio State.

Much of Indiana’s record can be attributed to what happened in the second game against Massachusetts, when quarterback Tre Roberson suffered a season-ending broken leg.

The Hoosiers went on to win that game, but then lost against Ball State, Northwestern, Michigan State, Ohio State and Navy.

“Tre’s not the threat that Braxton (Miller) is,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said, comparing his fallen quarterback to the Ohio State star, “but that’s a part of our offense that’s kind of (gone) away since his injury.”

Roberson passed for 937 yards and rushed for 426 more while playing five games last season as a true freshman. With that versatility sidelined, Indiana has become the most prolific passing team in the conference.

Behind quarterbacks Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld, the Hoosiers average a league-leading 286.6 passing yards a game.

Statistically, that number plays into Iowa’s favor, considering the Hawkeyes allow 196.5 passing yards, and considering Iowa has five interceptions in four conference games.

“This is it,” Hyde said last week, meaning his career is winding to a close. “Gotta make plays. We’ve got to keep our heads up, run around, and have fun.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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