As always, only one number matters to Iowa defense

As always, only one number matters to Iowa defense
Bend but don’t break. It’s a mantra that’s been around so long some may not realize it’s not the official name of Iowa’s defense.
This year’s version of the Hawkeyes has been a shining example of that philosophy. By most numbers, Iowa has been porous on defense, ranking 70th nationally in total yards allowed and 92nd in passing yards allowed.
But as is always the case for the Hawkeyes, the one number that matters is points. And Iowa ranks 25th in the country in that number.
“You’re never happy,” defensive coordinator Phil Parker says to his rating of the defense. “There’s not a game you go through and say, ‘Hey, we played well.’ There’s always issues on the field that you say we could have played this better, and I think you can look at that from the defensive line all the way to the linebackers and the secondary.
“We can play better. Everybody can play better. And we can coach better. We can make better calls, prepare our guys better.”
Parker obviously isn’t satisfied with the defense, saying they have to play cleaner. But with the low amount of points given up, he’s not ready for an overhaul, either.
Some criticism has fallen on Iowa’s pass rush but Parker doesn’t agree, saying he thinks the defensive line has been fine but the secondary needs to provide better coverage.
“We’re not a big pressure team,” Parker said. “We pressure when we have to, when we feel like it, and it’s selective and more of a feel thing than where we’re at. Our guys up front have done a good job of rotating in.”
The Hawkeyes are 4-2 overall, 1-2 in the Big Ten at the halfway point and on their bye week. They travel to Northwestern next week.
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Location : Iowa
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