Daniels, Binns Lead a Stout Defense

Nov. 20, 2011

WEST LAFEYETTE, Ind. — Bad: When the top two tacklers on your football team are defensive backs; Good: When the top two tacklers on your football team are defensive linemen.

If you’re looking for a storyline to the University of Iowa’s 31-21 victory at Purdue on Nov. 19, that is it. Purdue was led in tackles by cornerbacks Ricardo Allen (11) and Josh Johnson (10); Iowa was led by defensive tackle Mike Daniels (eight) and end Broderick Binns (seven).

You would turn many pages of postgame box scores to find the last time the Hawkeyes were led in tackles by two players among their front four. Daniels had six solo tackles and two assists. Among that total were four tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. Binns had five solo stops and two assists with a sack.

“Coach tells us that our most experienced players — our fifth-year seniors and the leaders of the team — have to come up and play their best football,” Binns said. “It seemed like (Saturday) things were going our way.”

The Hawkeyes limited Purdue to 282 yards on 70 plays. The yardage total was a season-best effort for Iowa, which held Tennessee Tech to 296 yards on 73 plays during an opening 34-7 victory on Sept. 3.

“I’m just happy with the win,” Binns said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help out my team any way I can. If I went out there and only had one tackle I would be happy as long as we won.”

Daniels tipped his helmet to the Boilermaker offense that entered Saturday’s game averaging 366.7 yards. Purdue quarterbacks Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve had been sacked a combined 17 times in 10 games. Iowa compiled nine tackles for loss and five sacks.

“That’s a very good team,” Daniels said. “Their offensive line played very tough and they played very hard. We executed some things we haven’t executed in the past.”

The productivity of Daniels equaled career-highs in tackles (he also had eight at Penn State on Oct. 8), solo tackles (at Iowa State on Sept. 10), and tackles for loss (Ball State on Sept. 25, 2010). Two sacks in a game is a new career best.

“I thought our defense played well overall,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Those are two veteran players we’re counting on. Both guys had good weeks of practice and brought a lot of energy out there.”

Daniels said he has been lining up next to Binns for five years and there is a sense of pride when he sees his teammate succeed.

“We’re constantly building each other up,” Daniels said. “I’m for him when I see him do something great.”

After 11 games (the Hawkeyes are 7-4 overall), Binns and Daniels are tied for seventh on the team with 52 tackles. Binns is tops with 11 ½ tackles for loss; Daniels leads with six sacks.

On Saturday, Iowa’s defensive yardage total was 105.8 yards less than its average per game. And it took the entire group.

“It’s a team effort, it wasn’t one individual,” Binns said. “The whole team stepped up and played well.”

The Hawkeyes conclude the regular season Friday, Nov. 25, at Nebraska (8-3, 4-3) in the first-ever Heroes Game.

“We know it’s going to be a dogfight and obviously Nebraska has a good team,” Binns said. “We have to be ready.”