The “Dough Boyz,” “Ball Hawks” or whatever you’d like to call Iowa’s defense loves making the big play. And the big plays have come in recent weeks, starting with these two highlights in Columbus.

Last week, Iowa notched seven sacks and Kaevon Merriweather grabbed his second interception of the season to close the first half.

He may have a few shots at getting his third against Purdue, who throws the ball a whole lot.

“You’re going into a game and playing a team that likes to pass, you definitely know that you’re going to get your opportunities to get your hands on the ball and that’s exciting,” Merriweather said. “As DBs, we pride ourselves on getting our hands on the ball and getting those interceptions and making those game-changing plays. When you understand those chances are going to come you want to make sure that you’re prepared and in position to make those plays that may come your way.”

For linebacker Seth Benson, this week has reminded him of playing a different (future) Big Ten opponent:

“We played USC a couple of years ago and they had their air raid offense,” Benson said. “You’ve just got to execute gameplan and responsibilities, and they can run the ball too. We have to be able to shut that down as well.”

The top receiver on this high powered offense? Former Iowa Hawkeye Charlie Jones. Surely Hawks fans have handled his departure well, right?

More about that soon.

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