Coordinator Chat: Thursday, Sept. 27

Sept. 27, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — In preparation for its Big Ten Conference football opener, University of Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker said the Hawkeyes focused on details of technique, getting in proper position, and doing a better job of tackling.

Parker — and UI offensive coordinator Greg Davis — spent a few minutes with following Thursday’s practice inside Kinnick Stadium. Iowa (2-2) hosts Minnesota (4-0) Saturday, with the traveling trophy Floyd of Rosedale at stake.

“A lot of guys have worked hard this week,” Parker said. “James (Morris) is doing a very good job, as is (Christian) Kirksey. The upfront guys have been practicing hard, and the secondary is improving.”

Davis says the key to combatting Minnesota’s aggressive blitz pressure is to “stay ahead of the chains.”

“You need to be productive on first down,” Davis said. “Any time you get into third-and-long, you allow a defense to do different things schematically, and you allow them to rush differently.”

Iowa’s offense could feature a 1-2 punch in the backfield with Mark Weisman (53 carries, 338 yards, six touchdowns) and Greg Garmon (9-26-0). Garmon is returning from an elbow injury suffered during a 27-16 win against Northern Iowa on Sept. 15.

“(Garmon) brings another healthy tailback,” Davis said. “He is a great receiver and he can get out and run.”

Weisman is a pounder; Garmon has the ability to bounce around for a big play, Davis added.

Start time for Saturday’s game is 11:01 a.m. (CT). It will be televised live on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Lewis Johnson calling the action.

To watch the entire interviews with Parker and Davis, click HERE.