2010 Orange Bowl rewind: A defense loaded with talent

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Iowa's 2009 defense is one of the best in program history

We’ve got a special broadcast of the 2010 Orange Bowl this Saturday on the Quad Cities CW (Channel 26.1). All week long, we’re taking a trip down memory lane with that team. In the second of our five-part series, Hawkeye Headquarters reporter Adam Rossow highlights the talented, menacing defense that stole the show in Miami.

The Orange Bowl was an exclamation point for one of the best defenses in Iowa history.

“The first few series, it was punt, after punt, after punt. I think the biggest thing that year was just doing your job. That’s it. Simple. If you’re supposed to be in this gap, when the ball hikes, you need to get there,” said former Iowa defensive lineman Broderick Binns.

That philosophy translated perfectly against Georgia Tech in Miami.

“It definitely wasn’t a surprise. The guys we had up front. I mean, the guys had behind us, the guys beside me. We had a good group,” said former Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer. “Our scout team was on point. Our scheme was very simple. I think we only ran one or two defenses. And we had Adrian Clayborn which helped out quite a bit.”

Clayborn earned the game’s MVP with a nine-tackle, two-sack performance.

“I remember hearing Adrian’s name a few times that night,” Binns said with a laugh.

The Hawks held Georgia Tech to its lowest offensive output of the season. The domination surprised some people nationally.

It didn’t surprise the guys who went against that defense every single day in practice.

“That made us better. Often times, they’d have to sit down, Adrian and [Christian] Ballard, because they would just wreck stuff,” said former Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi. “They would just cause, create so much havoc.”

A disruptive unit that kept improving throughout their time in the program. Eight of the 11 defensive starters from the Orange Bowl would be drafted into the National Football League.

That still stands as the most from any single-season unit in the Kirk Ferentz era.

“We always had the feeling that that defense was going to be something special,” said former Iowa offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde. “You can see guys develop as you go through a program. You get to have a feeling for the guys that you know that take everything a step beyond. That whole defense was like that.”

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