In three games, the Iowa Hawkeyes’ defense allows for just 133 passing yards per game, good enough for ninth place in the nation. They only allow 6.8 yards per completion, third in the country. And they also had three interceptions (four counting Terry Roberts’ pick-six, who was recalled for a penalty).
Those numbers are spectacular and come from a group that lost some talent to the NFL last year. The Hawkeyes not only replenished the talent, they didn’t miss a beat. Because of this, they are the third-best secondary in the country at this point in the season, according to Pro Football Focus.
According to the PFF, Georgia has the nation’s No. 1 secondary school with a grade of 91.4, Michigan has the No. 2 secondary school with a grade of 91.2, and Iowa has the No. 3 secondary school with a grade of 91.0.
A group that returned in preseason All-American Riley Moss might have his name as the least spoken. That’s probably because his cover makes it impossible to throw against him and teams choose to attack other areas.
These other areas did not show a crack in the armor. Performances by Quinn Schulte, Cooper DeJean, Terry Roberts and Kaevon Merriweather have all stood out at different times so far.
Each of them has been involved in turnovers and abandoned passes, and none are afraid to get in play on a tackle. The group started the season inexperienced but quickly formed another strength in an already outstanding Iowa Hawkeyes defense.
As a team, Iowa had a shutout against Nevada last week.
“Especially for us, we never seem to get shutouts. You start to use the reserves, the ball seems to go quickly across the field. It was good to see the backup guys playing well for a change. It’s not fair to these guys, but it was a tradition here for our backups to go in there.
“That was good. It’s gratifying. Every time you get a shutout, that’s great. It’s representative of the kind of work that guys did. They were aggressive tonight. They played well and a lot of good stuff You can always feel good about it,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz of the defensive performance against the Wolf Pack.
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