What went wrong on defense for the Hawkeyes

Hawkeye Headquarters

For the first time in 2019, the Hawkeyes’ defense had no answer for an opponent.

“We just weren’t quite up to the task today,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

“We let that happen to ourselves, so we just gotta go back to the drawing board,” Cedrick Lattimore said.

The Badgers rolled up 473 yards and 24 first downs — doing nearly everything they wanted offensively.

“It wasn’t difficult plays that they were running,” Iowa sophomore linebacker Djimon Colbert said. “It was simple, downhill plays. We were trying to switch it up, but at the end of the day, we just have to be in the right spot. I don’t think we were as a defense.”

The tackling wasn’t up to Iowa’s defensive standards, either. A lot of that had to do with Jonathan Taylor.

“He was patient,” Iowa junior defensive end Chanucey Golston said. “He was running hard and we just weren’t tackling good enough to get it done. We weren’t taking him to the ground and not letting him get those extra yards.”

Whether it’s his first carry or 20th carry, he’s the same guy every run.

“He’s just a strong, patient — really does a great job there,” Ferentz said. “He’s a tough guy to get out and it’s a credit to him and a credit to the whole offense.”

Taylor finished with 250 yards rushing, including 130 in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.

Iowa junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa said Taylor’s vision made the difference at Camp Randall.

“He doesn’t run into gaps foolishly,” Epenesa said. “He’s able to see things happen before they happen and make smart decisions. That’s what he did all night and we knew that’s what was gonna happen.”

The black-and-gold allowed a season-high in both points and yards to the Badgers. It doesn’t get any easier next week at Kinnick Stadium when the Golden Gophers come to town to play for Floyd of Rosedale.

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