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Wrinkle from Norm Parker era boosts Iowa defense

[ 0 ] October 26, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. – This was not a new wrinkle.

What the Iowa defense showed Saturday – having the linemen stand up, rushing three and dropping eight into coverage – was actually an old-school approach.

“That’s something we’ve had since Norm Parker was the defensive coordinator,” senior linebacker James Morris said. “Coaches made a decision to sort of re-institute that this week.”

The intent was to keep Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter off balance.

The setup had junior linebacker Quinton Alston and true freshman linebacker Reggie Spearman some extra work.

It all worked, for a while.

More after the videos

Colter had 59 total yards in the first half (23 passing, 36 rushing), but accounted for 77 yards in an 81-yard, eight-play touchdown drive in the third quarter.

“Somewhat of a cat-and-mouse game,” Morris said. “From that package, we have different plays we call, so that might have something to do with (Northwestern’s success), as well.”

The Hawkeyes punctuated their performance by not allowing the Wildcats to get a first down in overtime.

Holding Northwestern to 10 points came a week after Iowa failed to force a turnover or a punt in a 34-24 loss at Ohio State.

“Everybody was rallying to the ball,” defensive tackle Carl Davis said. “We knew we had to get it together.

“We knew they had made some plays before, and we knew we couldn’t let them get out. Everybody was hustling.”

So with promising results against Northwestern, could we see this alignment again?

“I think it can help us out in the long run,” linebacker Anthony Hitchens said. “It’s always good to have stuff like that in the back of your pocket.

“We’re going to try and build on that.”

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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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