It’s hard to do much better than the Hawkeyes have on the defensive side of the ball. In the season opener against South Dakota State, the self proclaimed “Dough Boyz” allowed just three points, and that one field goal was set up by a head-scratching interception that set the Jackrabbits up over midfield.
Speaking of the Dough Boyz, check out what Terry Roberts wore at today’s media session:
With “Dough Boyz” on the back, the clever nickname the Hawkeye secondary gave itself has turned into NIL money.
Getting back to Iowa’s defense: They’re good. Like, really good. Against a red-hot Iowa State Cyclones team they forced two turnovers inside the red zone and three overall. But in the second half a 99-yard, 21-play drive was the defining sequence for the unit. It ended up being the game winning score as the Cyclones marched out of Kinnick with a 10-7 win.
“The expectation, you know, it was to win the game,” team captain Riley Moss said. “If they didn’t score that touchdown, we would have won the game. That’s our mentality and that’s on us.
“In a sense we can always play better and we’re always chasing perfection and we’re never going to get perfection but we’re always going to chase perfection no matter how well or how bad we play.”
Safety Quinn Schulte agreed: “Our goal and our job is not to let them score at all.”
He also said after Saturday’s game that Iowa “gave up too many chunk plays.”
Yes, the longest play of the day was a 24-yard completion that wasn’t on the 99-yard touchdown drive. So technically one chunk play (unless you define a chunk play as 25+ yards).
That’s how lofty the expectations are for this defense.
“If we gave up a 20-yarder, that’s not too good,” linebacker Seth Benson said. “So we’ve just got to tighten things down and then communicate and we expect to get off the field three and out and play great defense. No big plays and get the ball back and I think we needed to do a better job of that.”
Regardless of how the Hawkeyes think they’ve been playing defensively, their 13 points allowed is good for second in the Big Ten. They’ve also given up a conference-best 4.2 YPA through the air. But as Moss said, the Hawkeyes are striving for perfection.
Either way, the “Dough Boyz” will be licking their chops this weekend against a Nevada team they’re heavy favorites against.