As the Iowa defense prepares for next week’s Outback Bowl against LSU the game plan has been a bit of a guessing game. LSU senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger was injured in the regular season finale and will be replace by freshman Anthony Jennings, who in limited action appears to be more of a dual threat under center. It is a style the Hawks faced several times this season.
Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker says it started with the season opener at Northern Illinois and then quarterbacks at Northwestern, Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan, “you see those types of athletes back there, I think it will be pretty easy to adjust.”
Parker is concerned about the LSU receiving tandem of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. “They are probably the most talented receivers I’ve seen in a long time,” Parker says. He says they not only catch the ball, they are also good blockers.
Iowa senior linebacker James Morris says the Hawks are preparing for a number of different looks as Jennings is probably a little different than Mettenberger, so they have to adjust to that. Morris agrees they have seen enough different quarterbacks that they will figure out how to adjust to his style.
Morris says overall LSU has a very talented offense. “This quarterback is a dangerous kid — got a strong arm — their receivers are incredibly experienced, made a lot of plays for them. And then they have runningback after runningback…a lot of the guys who carry the ball are capable who have made plays in their own right. It’s going to challenge us on a lot of fronts and we need to be at our best,” Morris says.