Aug. 22, 2104
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fall camp broke this afternoon for the University of Iowa football team, signaling the beginning of Game Week phase.
The Hawkeyes completed their 24th preseason practice Friday inside Kinnick Stadium. Now they turn their attention to the season opener against Northern Iowa on Aug. 30.
"The team has to refocus going into a different stage," UI defensive coordinator Phil Parker said. "One (stage) you're playing each other, now you are playing your opponent. It's game planning, studying your opponent, and playing a different team. You're not going to be so familiar with the (opponent), so it's going to be a little bit tougher."
Parker's luxury heading into the first game is an experienced defensive front of seniors Carl Davis (tackle), Louis Trinca-Pasat (tackle), and Mike Hardy (end), and juniors Nate Meier (end) and Drew Ott (end). Davis, Hardy, Ott, and Trinca-Pasat had a combined 44 starts last season.
All three linebacker positions will feature rookie starters against Northern Iowa. In the secondary, senior John Lowdermilk has 13 starts at strong safety, and sophomore Desmond King has 12 starts at cornerback. Junior free safety Jordan Lomax started one game in 2013 at cornerback.
"We lost three linebackers to go to the NFL, so we're trying to figure out who our guys are inside and outside," Parker said. "(Freshman) Bo Bower is doing a good job on the outside. On the inside we're experimenting: (sophomore Reggie) Spearman is doing a good job and (freshman) Josey Jewell is backing him up at Will (weakside linebacker)."
Parker said camp went well as he and the rest of the staff worked to get the right pieces to the defense in place.
"Guys are working hard," Parker said. "They're improving every day."
Iowa and Northern Iowa are set to kick off Aug. 30 at 11:01 a.m. (CT) from Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes were 8-5 last season, Northern Iowa was 7-5 and is ranked No. 15 in the Football Championship Series poll.
The teams have met five times since 1995 with the Hawkeyes winning all five. Iowa prevailed 27-16 in the most recent meeting in 2012.