Yes, another Pelini: There are any number of MVPs of this game — Eric Martin, Rex Burkhead, Brett Maher — but none was bigger than Mark Pelini. No, not that Mark Pelini. This one is the sophomore center from Youngstown, Ohio, who was pressed into high-pressure duty when Justin Jackson left the game in the first quarter. Bo’s nephew masterfully handled the duty of shotgun snaps on a brutally cold day and was part of a yeoman offensive line effort. He was a big part of this win.
Wind limits passing game: Kenny Bell didn’t have a catch. So what? This was not a day to fling it around the yard. Tim Beck’s offense has lots of options, but it had better be able to button up and go sledding on days like this in the Big Ten. It just underscores the need for Beck to have a big bruiser, like Imani Cross, available, and hopefully Cross will grow into this role. Rex Burkhead was right on time. How did he make that 9-yard run underneath the pile? The legend grows.
Hats off to the fans: Here’s a shout-out to all the fans who showed up for this one. Iowa fans were particularly impressive, given their season and what they have to watch on offense every week. Yikes. Hawkeye fans showed their stuff on Friday, a great day to stay inside and watch on TV. Don’t know if this will become a full-fledged rivalry, but this one will not lack for passion, to be sure.