The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

September 19, 2013

Hawkeyes improving on defense in 2013

IOWA CITY — It is way too early to compare Iowa’s defense this season to some of the best of the Kirk Ferentz era.

So far, though, the Hawkeyes haven’t been half bad.

Iowa (2-1) is 52nd nationally at 21.7 points allowed per game heading into Saturday’s non-conference finale against Western Michigan (0-3). The Hawkeyes’ defense has given up just four touchdowns the past two games, both wins.

Iowa did allow Iowa State to score 14 points in the final five minutes of Saturday’s 27-21 victory. But it could be worse: It could be 2012, when the defense was a big reason the Hawkeyes finished with six straight losses.

“We’re just smarter. We took a lot of time in the offseason to become more football smart,” Iowa safety Tanner Miller said. “I just think all 11 guys have a lot more football IQ than we did last year. I think the game just slowed down for everybody.”

Without question, Iowa’s strength has been its rush defense.

The most yards a single player has run for against Iowa this season were the 56 picked up by Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. The Hawkeyes gave up just 70 yards rushing to Missouri State in a 28-14 win on Sept. 7, and last week the Cyclones gained just 59 yards on the ground in 24 tries.

Iowa is fifth in the Big Ten and 16th in the country with 97.3 yards rushing allowed per game. The Big Ten schedule will bring tougher challenges, but the Hawkeyes are expected to be tough against the run all season.

“As a defense, we want to stop the run. To do that, you need to be fundamentally sound. You need to be physical. I think we’ve done that to an extent,” Iowa linebacker James Morris said. “We still have a lot of room to improve.”

Text Only
Sports
  • Clinton football River Kings break out cleats at camp

    Now that the 2013-14 high school athletic year is over, it’s time to set focus on the next year, and this week, Clinton’s football team is doing just that.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blake Holovach Holovach converting back to a starting pitcher

    When Blake Holovach takes the mound tonight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, it’ll be in the first inning, which he wasn’t accustomed to in the past.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior game RVC North claims win

    Much like Northeast softball pitcher Addie Oberman did on Monday night for the River Valley Conference North squad, Tevin Stoecker came in to pitch in relief, and quieted the opposition.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LumberKings get first win in a week

    Bring out the rally...opossum?

    After a delay that involved the opossum making itself at home at Modern Woodmen Park, the LumberKings (14-24, 44-62) found a new rally animal to drive its first win in a week. It took a ninth inning foul out sacrifice fly by left fielder Chantz Mack to defeat the hometown Quad Cities River Bandits 6-5.

    The win snapped a six game losing streak for Clinton and a four game winning streak for Quad Cities.

    July 31, 2014

  • David Johnson Clinton grad, NDSU picked to lead MVC

     David Johnson, the former Clinton High standout now entering his senior season at the University of Northern Iowa, was named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first team that was announced Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomas Smith Clinton's Smith to join Leathernecks

    Coming off a junior year in which he missed part of the football season because of injury, Clinton’s Thomas Smith figured he’d have to impress college recruiters with a big senior season for the River Kings.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • L'Kings offensive drought continues

    Shutout for the second time in two nights Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Bend, the Clinton LumberKings' offense was limited again Sunday, managing just one run in a 4-1 Midwest League baseball loss to the Silver Hawks at Ashford University Field.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-28-14 1B-Photo, Hall of Fame Thomas, Maddux enter Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.Thomas, pitchers T

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

    Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

    Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

High School Sports