IOWA CITY, Iowa – Micah Hyde has a lot of roles on the Iowa football team. He's a senior captain. He's arguably the defense's top player. He's also a standout on special teams.
Tuesday he showed off yet another: team mom.
"Keenan was napping and I banged on his door, and when Keenan is napping, he's like a bear, he doesn't wake up for anybody," Hyde said. "So finally he came out of his room and I told him he better go vote because his mom was saying a while ago you better go vote. I was just trying to do the mom duty of the day and get him out there."
The duo made their way to the polls soon after and voted for the first time.
"It's very fun, you feel accomplished after it, so it's a good feeling," Davis said. "This being a big state in the election, it's pretty fun. Honestly, growing up, I didn't know how serious it was here. It's pretty serious. Everybody's about it. Everybody's happy, get out there and vote. No matter who you're voting for it's just an important thing you vote."
When talking about the process the Iowa senior wide receiver had a smile that stretched from ear to ear. Davis took advantage of being able to register on election day.
In his rookie ballot, Hyde didn't realize there was a back to the ballot. For the most part though, Davis and Hyde's were successful in casting their first ballot.
"It was a quick process, it took a couple of minutes," Hyde said. "I didn't know what to expect. I've never done it before but it was easy."
Special unis for special day
When the Hawkeyes take the field Saturday against Purdue, they won't be wearing the customary black and gold. Iowa will wear special Nike Pro Combat uniforms to honor the U.S. military with Veterans Day falling on Sunday.
"I thought it was a good idea. I think it's a really nice way to honor a special group of people," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "...Any recognition that we give to the vets, and today's a great example. We all have the right to go vote. You can't say that about a lot of places. If we're doing something positive, that's a good thing."
Purdue has been honoring one of its fallen heroes all season. The Boilermakers' helmets display a sticker of an astronaut holding a flag with a 'P' on it to remember Purdue grad Neil Armstrong who died in August.
Iowa's uniforms will be unveiled Saturday.
"We know it's very small but we hope it just shows the service men and women of this country how thankful and grateful we are for them for putting their lives on the line for our freedom day to day and that that doesn't go unnoticed," senior James Ferentz said.
Where's the defense?
Before Iowa's recent three game losing streak, fans could hang their hats on the Hawkeyes' defense. Opponents scored more than 17 points once against Iowa. The Hawkeyes also held teams to less than 300 yards total offense twice. Central Michigan was the only team to amass more than 350 total yards.
The last three games, the defense has been as much of a problem as any personnel group.
"I think we just been, we're close, you know what I mean? But close isn't good enough," senior defensive lineman Steve Bigach said. "There's times when we're doing a lot of good things. We're doing a good job, all 11 guys are in the right position and we're stopping them for no gain or making plays in the backfield. And then we'll blow an assignment. It's frustrating because we are close, closer than the scoreboards have indicated."
The boxscores are even uglier than the score. Penn State gained more than 500 yards of total offense. The defense managed only slightly better outcomes against Northwestern and Indiana, allowing 433 and 473 respectively.
Saturday the defense receives a breather in Purdue, but only in formation. The Boilermakers run a more conventional offense, similar to Iowa, and not the hurry up display by each of the Hawkeye's opponents in the last three games. Still Purdue averages 28.4 points per game, .2 less than Penn State.
"It's real frustrating once you see how hard you're working as a defense and you're just not getting nothing from it," linebacker Chris Kirksey said. "It gets frustrating at times but also you see the potential you have in your defense and the willing to getting better. We just have to make sure we use that as a factor for this week."
Hyde regains captain title
On a day Micah Hyde voted for the first time, his teammates cast their ballots to allow the senior to regain his captainship. Hyde lost the title a month ago when he was arrested for public intoxication and interference with official acts.
"The question is what did he do to lose it? I think we all know what that is, so that is one of the penalties he faced. He had several," Kirk Ferentz said. "So that part has been paid, now he's eligible again. It's kind of a no-brainer. Micah is a tremendous young guy, a tremendous football player."
Hyde was a captain for the first five games of the season, along with quarterback James Vandenberg, James Ferentz and linebacker James Morris. The last four weeks Chris Kirksey replaced Hyde among the quartet.
"It's an honor to be a captain on this team. Obviously you're doing something right. The players vote and the coaches have a say in it too. Like I said it's an honor," Hyde said. "Especially after what happened, now I can keep working hard and everybody can put it past them."