Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says A.J. Derby will see more time on special teams as the season progresses.
The Iowa City native was the Hawks backup quarterback but he switched to linebacker last week and made one tackle on a kickoff in a victory over Indiana. He says Derby did something he has never had training for and did it better than those who have had the training.
Ferentz says it may take a while before Derby sees time at linebacker but he can make an impact on special teams. He says the goal is to get him going as soon as they can. Ferentz says the move to linebacker was made to strengthen the linebacking corps and get Derby on the field.
He says with quarterbacks, only one can play, and it’s not like runningbacks where you can rotate them through. Ferentz says with the need at linebacker, it seemed like a logical move.
Defense continues to be an issue. The Hawkeyes gave up 31 points two weeks ago and 24 in the win over the Hoosiers. Ferentz says the first thing that jumps out is that they need to do a better job on third down. Ferentz says they will continue to work hard to improve on defense but a drastic change in style at this point is not going to happen.
He says they will make adjustments that will help them, but can’t just change the defense because it means you have been wiped out at a position or are hitting the panic button. The Hawkeyes have had their troubles against dual threat quarterbacks and they will face another this week in Minnesota’s Marqueis Gray.
Ferentz says he’s a strong powerful runner when he takes off and has a strong arm.
Iowa is 5-2 while the Gophers are 1-6.