Dec. 19, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The hugs, laughs and tears will come after the University of Iowa plays No. 19 Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30. According to Hawkeye senior defensive end Broderick Binns, now is the time for preparation and conditioning.
“We have to do the things we can control and hopefully we’ll come out on top as winners,” Binns said.
On Saturday Binns was named co-recipient of the Roy J. Carver Most Valuable Player Award at the team’s annual banquet at the Marriott Coralville Hotel and Conference Center. In 12 regular season games this season, Binns compiled 59 tackles, including a team-high 12 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups and six quarterback hurries. His five sacks is second to the seven by Mike Daniels.
In the Insight Bowl, Binns’ mission is to sack and hurry Sooner quarterback Landry Jones, who has completed 63 percent of his passes this season for 4,302 yards and 28 touchdowns. Oklahoma averages 532.1 yards and 40.2 points a game.
“(The Sooners) are an all-around great group of guys. Great athletes and an excellent team,” Binns said. “Everybody on the offensive side is able to make big plays — that’s one thing we have to account for. We have to make sure that we cover guys, wrap up, and put pressure on Landry.”
The defensive blueprint will be the final one drafted by Hawkeye coordinator Norm Parker, who will retire following the 2011 Insight Bowl, capping a coaching career that began in 1965. Parker has been defensive coordinator at the UI for 13 seasons.
“It’s bittersweet because Norm is a great guy and a great coach,” Binns said. “The Hawkeye nation is going to miss his presence, but he finally gets to relax, retire a little bit, sit back at home and enjoy being with his family. That’s why I say it’s bittersweet.”
This is the fourth consecutive bowl trip for the Hawkeyes, who won the 2009 Outback Bowl (31-10 against South Carolina), the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl (24-14 against No. 9 Georgia Tech) and the 2010 Insight Bowl (27-24 against No. 12 Missouri).
“It’s been awesome winning three years in a row, but at the same time, that’s something we can worry about after the game,” Binns said. “We need to worry about preparing for Oklahoma — making sure we get our fundamentals down and make sure we’re conditioned. It’s a different type of environment in Arizona.”
The Hawkeyes completed a spirited practice Sunday and Binns says the extra energy is because the hours are “counting down fast” before kickoff Dec. 30.
“Everyone’s eager so things are picking up,” Binns said. “I’m sure Oklahoma is having tough practices now as well. Game time is approaching so guys have to pick it up and keep going.”
Binns is flattered to be named a team MVP, joining the likes of former teammates Ricky Stanzi and Karl Klug. He is grateful for the award and he is grateful for the opportunity to play for the Hawkeyes. The Insight Bowl marks his final game in a UI football uniform.
“It’s been a long road for me and it’s been a good experience all the way through,” Binns said. “There is a great group of guys behind me and a great group of guys I just graduated with. It’s an honor to be here and play here.”
Iowa and Oklahoma play Friday, Dec. 30, with a 9:05 p.m. (CT) kickoff from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The Hawkeyes depart for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Dec. 22.