IOWA CITY, Iowa – For the third Monday in a row, Don Patterson was happy to talk about an Iowa victory on the Hawk Fanatic radio show and podcast.
The Iowa football team defeated Wisconsin 24-10 this past Saturday for its third victory in a row.
Iowa (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) is now in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten West Division and will play Minnesota (7-3, 4-3) on Saturday in Minnesapolis. The Gophers are also one of the four teams tied for first place in the West Division.
Patterson, who served as an assistant coach under Hayden Fry for 20 seasons at Iowa, compared the current Iowa defense to the legendary 1981 Iowa defense that paved the way to a Big Ten title and to a berth in the Rose Bowl.
He also sees some similarities between current Iowa punter Tory Taylor and former All-America Hawkeye punter Reggie Roby, who was a force for the 1981 team.
Patterson said Monday that he likes Iowa’s chances of defending its Big Ten West Division title.
For that to happen, Iowa would have to defeat Minnesota and Nebraska in the final two regular season games, while Illinois would have to lose to either Michigan on Saturday or against Northwestern in the fina regular-season game.
“It’s going to be real tough for Illinois to win at Michigan,” Patterson said.
Patterson also told an interesting story about Iowa’s decision to offer Marv Cook a scholarship coming out of West Branch High School in 1984.
Former Iowa defensive coordinator Bill Brashier, who passed away earlier this month, was all for giving Cook a scholarship and then deciding what position he would play for the Hawkeyes.
Cook played quarterback in high school, but Patterson wanted him to play tight end for Iowa, and Hayden Fry agreed with Patterson.
The rest is history as Cook would go on to become a consensus All-American in 1988 before playing seven seasons in the NFL, where he twice made All-Pro.
“I think that was one of my better suggestions, making Marv Cook a tight end,” Patterson said Monday. “I think it worked out very well.”