A week after people were praising Iowa’s defensive line for the pressure they constantly put on Tre Lamb, they disappeared. The losses of Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, and Karl Klug left big shoes to fill, and we thought we had the pieces to fill in for them. We were wrong.
While Mike Daniels had another strong performance constantly ending up in the face of Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz, the rest decided to take the day off, or so it seemed. Broderick Binns, Dominic Alvis, Joe Forgy, Lebron Daniel, and others never consistently showed up. The question we now must ask is is this defensive line as good as we once thought.
Wrapping up the quarterback may be the Hawkeyes biggest problem. In last week’s game and in today’s there were a ton of sack opportunities that they let slip away. The legs of Jantz extended numerous plays including a 3rd and 20 late in the 4th quarter that set up the Cyclones for the tying score. The Big Ten is filled with quarterbacks who can do the same in Dan Persa and Denard Robinson.
Carl Davis dressed for the first time today but was not a factor. It is crucial to develop a legitimate rotation for the future weeks. Binns and Daniels should be cemented as starters considering the are both seniors and returning starters. Whether Davis, Forgy, Alvis, Daniel, and others deserve a starting spot should be decided soon. The fact is Iowa’s cover 2 scheme, more so than other defensive schemes, relies specifically on the front 4’s ability to rush the passer. If Iowa will use James Morris and Christian Kirksey as blitzers all season, Iowa’s secondary will suffer because of it, and in a big way.