Improvement for the Upper Iowa football team rests in the hands of its defense. The Peacocks averaged just over 30 points per game in 2009 but the defense gave up more than 40 points per contest and they finished with a 3-8 mark.

Coach Tom Shea says there’s no question they have to get better on that side of the ball and they have a mixture of old and new players they think can get it done. Upper Iowa gave up an average of 180 yards on the ground last season and Shea says that number will come down as the defense matures.

Shea says they are lacking now in experience, and says they don’t have the luxury of redshirting all of their freshmen at this point. Upper Iowa averaged 402 yards of offense in 2009 and Shea believes that unit will be productive, again, this season. He thinks the offense was good enough to put them in position for a winning record last year, but they need to be able to control the clock and produce when they need it.

Upper Iowa opens the season at Texas A@M-Commerce on September fourth.