Aug. 7, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The give-and-take back-and-forth tug-o-war between the University of Iowa offensive and defensive lines is making both sides stronger according to Hawkeye senior Dominic Alvis.
Like most of the players in the Kenyon Football Practice Facility, Alvis, a two-time letterman at defensive end, enjoyed Wednesday's practice because of four letters: P-A-D-S.
"Today was very different from the first two by the fact we had pads on," said Alvis, a native of Logan, Iowa. "There was a higher tempo in practice; people were popping their pads. It's good to be out here in full pads finally."
When Alvis popped his pads, most times the recipient was 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive left tackle Brandon Scherff. An injury sidelined Scherff for the final five games of the 2012 season, but he is back -- and thanks to guys on defense like Alvis -- better than ever.
"We make each other better every day," Alvis said. "It would be a shame if we didn't, because our D-line and O-line are very good this year. He is making me better and as a result I'm making him better because I have to step up my game; it's back-and-forth."
While the season-opener against Northern Illinois is 24 days away, Hawkeye fans are curious about the progress of the defensive line that returns Alvis and letterwinners Mike Hardy, Carl Davis, Louis Trinca-Pasat, and Darian Cooper. Alvis is the only senior listed on the two-deep for the front four.
Last season Alvis compiled 31 tackles (five for loss) with three sacks and three pass break-ups. He also forced and recovered a fumble.
"We're a more cohesive unit and everyone is on key," Alvis said. "We haven't had guys messing up and that's solid. The goal is to be as consistent as possible."
The Hawkeyes return to the practice field Thursday morning; coach Kirk Ferentz will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. (CT) kicking off media day activities. For Alvis, the fun has already begun.
"It's finally time to be a football player and force your will on the other guy," Alvis said.
Single-game tickets for all seven Hawkeye home contests inside Kinnick Stadium are available on hawkeyesports.com. Iowa opens the season Aug. 31, hosting Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. (CT).