Iowa Secondary Will Be Tested Again

Nov. 5, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A week after intercepting three passes against the third-ranked passing offense in the Big Ten Conference, the University of Iowa turns around tomorrow to face Indiana and the most proficient air game in the league. UI defensive backs coach Phil Parker said the Hawkeye secondary had a good week of practice.

“Preparation went pretty well,” Parker said Friday during a walk around Memorial Stadium. “We’re going from our last two games when we played teams with basically a running philosophy and now we play Indiana, which is more of a throwing team. It will be a challenge. They spread the field, they can run the ball and obviously they have a great quarterback who is very accurate.”

It will be the final home game for Hoosier quarterback Ben Chappell, who is fifth in the nation averaging 305.6 passing yards per game. Last season during a 42-24 loss in Kinnick Stadium, Chappell completed 23 of 41 tosses for 227 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

“They’re going to do what they do. They’re going to spread the field a little bit and also run it,” Parker said. “I don’t think they’re going to change their philosophy right now. The quarterback has been with the program three or four years now. What they try to do is spread it out and try to get it to the receivers they have that are very talented and make you miss a tackle.”

On the receiving end of the Chappell tosses are Damarlo Belcher (58 catches-656 yards-4 touchdowns), Tandon Doss (40-503-2) and Terrance Turner (42-418-2). That trio ranks 1-2-3 in the league in receptions per game.

The Hawkeyes are second in the nation in turnover margin (+1.50 per game), a figure that includes 13 interceptions — tied for second in the Big Ten. Last week during a 37-6 win against Michigan State, Iowa returned interceptions by Tyler Sash, Shaun Prater and Brett Greenwood for 122 yards and a touchdown. The Spartans put the ball in the air 39 times, giving the Hawkeye defensive backs a nice run-through before facing Chappell, who averages more than 41 pass attempts per game.

“It does help a little bit (playing Michigan State last week), but obviously this is a different team that has been (passing) the whole year,” Parker said.

No. 15 Iowa (6-2 overall, 3-1 Big Ten) and Indiana (4-4, 0-4) kick off at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday, Nov. 6, from Memorial Stadium. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series, 40-27-4.