I may sound like a broken record, but the contrast between Iowa’s performance offensively and defensively is the complete opposite of “complimentary football.”

There are plenty of reasons Iowa is 3-3 and 1-2 in conference play. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker is not one of them. But the above statistic is not all he cares about.

“My thought about the way we coach on defense is we’re looking for perfection on every play, so I don’t care what the score is.” Parker said. “Hey, did you win or did you lose? That’s what it comes down to.”

His players have recited this notion as well. It’s not hard to see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. With that being said, Parker is satisfied (as he should be) with his defense’s stellar performance through the first six games.

“Our job is to go out there and play the best that we can play to our ability. I think they’ve done that,” Parker said. “I’m still going to preach to these guys that, hey, we need to play well, and our standard keeps on going up every time you become a better football player, a better game. I want you to play your best game always on the next time.”

How is Parker updating the standard? What could the Hawkeyes defense that has kept opponents out of the end zone in half of their games do better?

“The biggest thing I look at is a lot of the explosive plays, how many we’re giving up. I think it’s a total of five. I think big plays that we’re giving up, we gave up 18 as a total, and that’s a 20-yard pass or a 15-yard run.” said Parker, who’s coordinated the defense since 2012. “Then, obviously, I think there’s 24 chunk plays, which I call in between 10 and 14. You try to evaluate that and see is it the defense? Is it a guy? Are we in the right defense, or are we losing — some of it’s just basic leverage, football leverage that I always talk about that is so simple.”

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