Dec. 29, 2009
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MIAMI — For the University of Iowa to have a successful outcome in the FedEx Orange Bowl, the Hawkeye defense will obviously have to play well. A major component to preparing the defense is the pregame efforts of sophomore wide receiver Kyle Steinbrecher and freshman tight end Dakota Getz.
Steinbrecher and Getz are the two scout team Hawkeyes who accepted the assignment of mimicking the play of Georgia Tech’s elusive quarterback Josh Nesbitt. So far this season, Nesbitt has thrown for 129.9 yards per game and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 991 yards and 18 scores.
“They’re doing a great job,” said UI defensive line coach Rick Kaczenzki following Tuesday’s practice at Barry University. “As soon as we found out we were playing Georgia Tech, the first thing we had to address was who was going to play quarterback.”
Steinbrecher is from Davenport (Iowa) Assumption and Getz is from Meridian High School in Macon, Ill. Both were option quarterbacks in high school before switching to receiver at the UI.
“We want to give the defense the best look possible, so all season the scout team has come out and tried to beat them,” Getz said. “Trying to get Georgia Tech’s offense down is a lot harder. It takes more time and more work in the film room.”
When practices resumed in “The Bubble” in Iowa City in early December, Steinbrecher and Getz rotated duties under center. Now that the Hawkeyes have begun practicing at Barry University in Miami Shore, Getz has received the bulk of the snaps and Steinbrecher has moved to the “A back” position, bringing more speed to the scout team perimeter.
“When we were out on the road recruiting (in early December), (graduate assistant coach) Charlie Bullen was holding tryouts for these guys so we could get a jump-start on finding a quarterback,” Kaczenski said. “It’s key because the quarterback makes their offense go. There’s still no way we can simulate the speed or the execution of (Nesbitt), but the guys are doing a heck of a job.”
The last time Steinbrecher played quarterback was three years ago. He said that since there aren’t many offenses like the triple option preferred by the Yellow Jackets, the scout team has spent more time in the film room. Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, they will have a month to prepare prior to the kickoff of the FedEx Orange Bowl on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“The more we do it, the better we’re going to be at running the offense,” Steinbrecher said. “Then our defense will get a better look.”
Georgia Tech’s 307.2 rushing yards per game ranks second in the Football Bowl Subdivision behind only Nevada (362.3). The Yellow Jackets are 11th in scoring offense, putting up 35.3 points per game. Iowa (10-2 overall), is 10th in scoring defense (15.5) and 11th in total defense (286.7).
The Hawkeyes will have their third practice in Florida on Wednesday, with the first 15 minutes open to media and photographers.