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Hawkeyes rank No. 6 nationally in important category

[ 0 ] October 15, 2013 |
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens breaks up a pass during Iowa's 28-14 win vs. Missouri State on Sept. 7. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Linebacker Anthony Hitchens breaks up a pass during Iowa’s 28-14 win vs. Missouri State on Sept. 7. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Saturday’s Iowa-Ohio State football game will feature two stout defenses – especially on third downs.

The Buckeyes are holding opponents to a 25.3 percent conversion rate, which ranks fourth nationally.

The Hawkeyes are sixth nationally, holding opponents to 26.7 percent.

“It’s like anything, you’re going to have a percentage of times when you just have to find a way to make a stop and you make it,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “You know, we’re certainly doing a little bit better. We’re a better defensive team than we were a year ago. … It’s everybody kind of working together, just having a little better concept of what has to be done.”

Last season, opponents converted 43 percent of their third downs against the Hawkeyes.

“I think (it’s) communication,” linebacker Anthony Hitchens said, “We kind of lacked that two weeks ago (against) Michigan State.

“We’ve just got to keep talking, and getting pressure on the quarterback, so we can make it uncomfortable for him.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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