The Iowa defense hopes for a better performance in Saturday night’s 64th meeting against Iowa State. In a 45-21 victory over Miami of Ohio the Hawkeye defense gave up three long scoring drives, 424 yards of total offense and 158 yards on the ground.
“In our opinion we gave up too many yards on the ground”, said sophomore defensive end Matt Nelson. “The defensive line took that really personally and we are trying to make corrections.”
Nelson may be counted on to go the distance if Parker Hesse does not return from injury. The Hawks will try to bottle up Iowa State sophomore running back Mike Warren, who was held to just 30 yards in a 25-20 loss to Northern Iowa. The Cyclones’ advantage may be their receiving corps against the Hawkeye secondary. With Miami of Ohio trying to avoid All American Desmond King, senior corner Greg Mabin was repeatedly targeted in the opener. He says better communication will be the key on Saturday.
“That is what we have been working on is different hand signals because it is definitely going to be hard to hear in Kinnick this week”, said Mabin. “We have to make sure everybody gets the call.”
Mabin says they will use a variety of coverages against ISU junior receiver Allen Lazard. Lazard’s father played at Iowa State and he has grown up watching the rivalry. Saturday will be his third chance to play in the game.
“The experience as a fan and a player is two different sides”, said Lazard. “Obviously I really enjoy the player part right now and it is an opportunity I won’t take for granted.”