Dec. 18, 2008
- Greene and the Iowa Hawkeyes
- Outback Bowl Central
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
- Iowa Football wallpaper
IOWA CITY, Iowa — By all preseason accounts, the prognosticators penned that the University of Iowa would possess a stingy defensive front with a second level that suffered a gaping hole with the graduation of middle linebackers Mike Humpal and Mike Klinkenborg.
Enter junior Pat Angerer (Bettendorf, Iowa) at Mike linebacker and sophomore Jeremiha Hunter (York, Pa.) at Will linebacker. Sophomore Jacody Coleman (Beaumont, Texas) pushes Angerer in practice and sophomore Jeff Tarpinian (Omaha, Neb.) spells Hunter. It all adds up to a pretty impressive combination. Following the regular season, the Hawkeyes are tied for sixth in interceptions (20), eighth in scoring defense (13.3 points per game), 10th in rushing defense (98.3 yards per game) and 12th in total defense (289.5 yards per game).
“A position that was a question mark at the beginning of the season is one of the more solid positions for us,” Edds said. “What Pat’s done speaks for itself. We all knew he had the talent, we were hoping he could catch a break and stay healthy for awhile. The same for Jeremiha — he made a lot of plays throughout the season for us.”
Angerer and Hunter finished 1-2 for Iowa in tackles. Angerer posted a team-high 101 (40 solo, 61 assist) with 5 ½ tackles for loss and five pass interceptions. Hunter was in on 76 stops (19 solo, 57 assists) with three tackles for loss and one interception.
Edds was named honorable mention all-Big Ten after starting 12 games and finishing fifth on the team with 58 tackles (17 solo, 41 assists). He compiled 4 ½ tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two sacks and one interception (for 38 yards).
“A position that was a question mark at the beginning of the season is one of the more solid positions for us. What Pat’s done speaks for itself. We all knew he had the talent, we were hoping he could catch a break and stay healthy for awhile. The same for Jeremiha — he made a lot of plays throughout the season for us.”
UI junior linebacker
The season highlight for Edds was not only finishing with an 8-4 record and qualifying for a New Year’s Day bowl, but the manner in which the Hawkeyes regrouped prior to the seventh week of the season.
“The fact we were sitting 3-3 and ended up 8-4 shows a determination and fortitude to stick with it,” he said. “To still come out on top like we did speaks about the character of our team, the coaches and the whole program.”
Iowa passed its final three competitive tests of the season with flying colors — a 24-23 win against No. 3 Penn State, a 22-17 win against Purdue and a 55-0 shellacking at Minnesota. Now South Carolina waits in the Outback Bowl.
“We’re looking to improve as much as we can throughout the course of the month so we can hit the ground running when we get down to Tampa,” Edds said. “South Carolina has the talent it takes to win and we need a good month of December to get us ready for the game.”
The Gamecocks are third in the nation in pass defense, allowing 160.25 yards through the air per outing. They are 11th in total defense, allowing 0.58 fewer yards per game than Iowa.
“I think it will be a similar kind of game with two physical defenses playing against two offenses that are getting better as they play,” Edds said.
It has been three years since Edds roamed the playing field for Greenwood High School in Indiana, where he was named All-American by PrepStar and Street & Smith. The Outback Bowl is no high school game, but Edds compares bowl week to an iconic high school phenomenon.
“It’s kind of like homecoming in high school,” Edds said. “Let everybody else have fun with the whole week and let them have a good time with everything. Our job is to go out and play the game. I’m excited and I’ve heard great things about the Outback Bowl. We’ll have a lot of fans and a lot of support down there. It will be fun and we’re looking forward to it, but our job is to go down there and play a football game.”
To view a photo gallery from Thursday’s practice — available exclusively on hawkeyesports.com — CLICK HERE.
Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes who live in the Heartland or in the Sunshine State or in all points between should note that the UI Athletics Ticket Office is accepting ticket orders for the 2009 Outback Bowl. Click here to purchase your tickets online. Fans can also purchase over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or over-the-counter at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.