Hawkeye Defense Looks to Improve with Experience

Sept. 11, 2014

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa – With a number of new starters among the linebackers and defensive backs, Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker knew going into the 2014 season that the Hawkeye defense would need to improve from game to game. As the Hawkeyes prepare for Iowa State and the third game of the season, Parker feels his defense is moving in the right direction.

    “From game one to game two, I feel we showed a lot of improvement,” said Parker. “Our communication has improved on the back end, on the second level; the guys are getting more comfortable. We have a lot of first time guys out there playing. Our biggest goal from game one was to cut down on the big plays, and we went from eight to two. But, we need to cut that down even more. The biggest thing is being consistent and improving in all areas, from the defensive line, to the linebackers to the secondary.


    The Hawkeyes are 2-0 on the season with wins over Northern Iowa and Ball State. After allowing a number of big plays and 23 points in the opening win, the defense was a bright spot in the win over Ball State. The Cardinal offense scored just two field goals in Iowa’s 17-13 win and totaled just 219 yards total offense. And, the Cardinals had just two offensive plays of over 20 yards.

    “I think its both preparation and experience,” said Parker. “They are on the field working together as a group in a game for the first time. The film study and prep during the week has picked up, but that’s all about football. If you are well prepared and know what to expect, you see things faster and the game slows down a little for you the more you prepare.

    While senior safety John Lowdermilk started every game a year ago, Desmond King played as a true freshman a year ago, starting 12 games. Sophomore Greg Mabin is new to the line-up this season and Jordan Lomax made the more from cornerback to safety.

    “Like Desmond last year, the first couple of games he started, it was new to him,” said Parker. “He picked up on it quickly and moved on. I think that is what everyone else is doing. Greg had done a good job in two games. Jordan is playing well in a new position. I think its all carry over, it’s like building files in your computer, having the memory and recall when you see the different things. We need everybody to improve their level of play, their intensity and effort as we move forward. We have to continue to do that, and hopefully finish our preparation in the next 48 hours.”

    Game time is 2:35 p.m. Saturday in Kinnick Stadium, which is sold out. ESPN will televise the game to a national audience as the Hawkeyes and Cyclones battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy as part of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.

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