Oct. 24, 2013
- Thursday Interview with G. Davis
- 2013 Game Day Central
- 2013 Fall Camp Central
- Read the October issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- 2013 Signing Day Central
- Hawkeyes in the NFL
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/iPad app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Continued improvement from all areas of the offense and the ability to convert a solid percentage on third down have been two of the main ingredients for the University of Iowa’s offensive improvement over a year ago, according to UI offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
“I think we are getting better, I don’t think there is any question about that,” said Davis, following Iowa’s Thursday afternoon practice in Kinnick Stadium. “We have stayed healthy, and that is important, and I think the kids have totally bought into what we are trying to do. Jake Rudock is playing at a high level, but we’ve had a lot of guys step up. Last week Jake Duzey stepped up. The play of our tight ends as a group has given us the ability to play from some different personal groupings, and we have the ability to play fast. I think those are the reasons we have continued to play better.”
Duzey, a sophomore, led Iowa receivers at Ohio State with six receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. His 85-yard scoring reception in the third period tied the score at 24-all. In addition, senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz extended his streak to 25 consecutive games with at least one reception, including a two-yard scoring catch in the first period.
“As a group, they have played well, they are the heart and soul of what we are trying to do,” said Davis. “They allow us to play with three tight ends on the field, and play empty; we did that two or three times last week. They have the ability to play in line, and the ability to flex, that is a tough match up for defenses.”
Iowa has also improved its third down percentage through seven games, as the Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and tied for 14th nationally in converting 50 percent of third down opportunities.
“We’re doing a really good job on third down and obviously, a bunch of people contribute to that,” said Davis. “The protection has to be there, and the receivers are doing a good job. But Jake is a big part of it. Not only with his decisions, but several times he had pulled the ball down and given us a new set of downs with his feet.”
In Northwestern, Davis says the Hawkeyes will face a solid defense that doesn’t make many mistakes and keeps the offense guessing.
“Northwestern is a very good, disciplined defensive team,” said Davis. “They make very few mistakes that allow you to make big plays. They do some subtle things within their packages that can cause some big problems. They always do something different within each game plan; they always have a twist that you have to adjust to on the sidelines.”
Iowa and the Wildcats kick off at 11:01 a.m. Saturday in Kinnick Stadium (BTN).