Hawkeyes defensive dominance explained

Hawkeye Headquarters

Defensive linemen A.J. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston, along with head coach Kirk Ferentz, discuss the secret to the unit’s success this season.

“The way we practice and the tempo we practice, I mean we’re tackling, we’re hitting, we’re flying around and playing hard,” said junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa. “That’s the mentality of our defense. Bend don’t break, you’ve heard that a million times. Don’t ask who started the fire, just put it out.

“This group it’s just more of a team effort,” added Ferentz. “These guys work at it. They’re really together. They prepare. And they just — all kind of know what to do and where to be, and then every now and then we’ll come up with some big plays. But it’s been spread around a little bit. It’s not just A.J. doing it all the time.”

Junior defensive end Chauncey Golston says it’s the defensive coordinator that’s had the biggest impact on the unit.

“All credit goes to Coach [Phil] Parker,” said Golston. “Coach Parker and the coaching staff, they prepare us well throughout the week. They make sure we don’t see anything that we haven’t saw during the week. Since we’re well-prepared, it just looks well when we’re out there on the field.”

For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and sign up for our HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.