A young front seven on the Iowa State defense will try to be more stout against the run on Saturday when the Cyclones host the Iowa Hawkeyes. ISU was bowled over by UNI running back David Johnson, who amassed 199 yards on the ground in a 28-20 Panther win.
The challenge on Saturday will be slowing down Mark Weisman and his 140 yards per game. ISU junior nose tackle Brandon Jensen says the challenge is to control the line of scrimmage, not stopping a back, but holding up the linemen so the linebackers can make tackles. He says the Cyclones have been working on gap control and tackling since the loss to UNI.
“Mostly we have to get off the ball and establish the line of scrimmage,” Jensen says. He says they also have to go back to the fundamentals in tackling and he thinks the bye week helped with that.
Jensen says the Cyclones have enjoyed the challenge of getting ready for Iowa’s run game. “Our team likes to work. We like to look at challenges. And a lot of people I think are saying we had a loss and we are going to start heading down. We need to elevate,” Jensen says. He says if they get that momentum moving back up in this game then things will only get better the rest of the season.