Wine Online: Credit to the Defense - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
Football hawkeyesports.com
Wine Online: Credit to the Defense
On a day when the Hawkeyes struggled offensively, Iowa's defense plays big
Iowa's defense enjoyed another solid day aganist the Hoosiers.
Iowa's defense enjoyed another solid day aganist the Hoosiers.
Football Home

HEADLINES
Media Days Indicate Camp is Near

Scherff Twitter Q-and-A Recap

Spielman Says Rudock Is Key

RELATED LINKS
Follow all of the college football action at CollegeSports.com

Email this to a friend


Nov. 7, 2010


IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Damarlo Belcher is an athletic 6-5 wide receiver on the Indiana football team. A junior, he has already caught 151 passes, 11 for touchdowns, in less than three seasons. This year he leads the Big Ten with 65 receptions.


In the closing seconds of Iowa's game at Indiana Saturday, Belcher attempted to make a leaping catch while falling backwards in the end zone. He failed to do so, and Iowa escaped Bloomington with an 18-13 victory.

Most news accounts make it sound like Belcher dropped the ball. He did not. You must hold a ball before you drop it, and Belcher never held the ball. An official, standing to Belcher's right, immediately ruled the pass incomplete. A video review upheld the ruling.

This was far from a routine catch, but Belcher has no doubt made more difficult receptions in his career. His failure to handle this one can be credited to Iowa's defensive front four, and the rush they put on Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell.

Under heavy pressure, Chappell hurriedly threw the pass off his back foot. The ball was delivered high, which forced Belcher to leap in trying to make the catch. A lower trajectory would have likely given Belcher his 12th career touchdown.

Ricky Stanzi put it best when he told the Big Ten Network that Iowa's defense saved the day. Hard to disagree with that. The Hoosiers do not have a good record but they do have a good offense, which came into this game averaging 29.4 points and 410 yards. Iowa's defense held them to one touchdown, 13 points and 313 yards.





Iowa had trouble crossing the goal line but it had no problems moving the football, totaling 445 yards. Freshman Marcus Coker got his first start at tailback and produced 129 yards on 22 carries. He also secured the football as Iowa played its fifth straight game without a fumble.

Three other freshmen played important roles for Iowa. James Morris and Shane DiBona were starting linebackers (Morris had nine tackles and broke up two passes), and Mike Meyer booted four field goals, one from 42 yards.



This game was supposed to feature scoring on both sides. But Iowa was held to its lowest point total of the season, getting no touchdowns out of four trips inside the 10-yard line. This was out of character for a unit that was crossing the goal line 76 percent of the time after entering the red zone.

Late in the game Iowa was 88 yards from the end zone and still looking for a touchdown. They got it in three plays, two on Stanzi's passes to Darrell Johnson-Koulianos, the third on a 52-yard bomb to Marvin McNutt.

For the game, DJK had six catches for 72 yards, and he is now Iowa's career leader in both receptions and receiving yards. McNutt also had a big day with six catches for 126 yards and Iowa's only TD.

Iowa had trouble crossing the goal line but it had no problems moving the football, totaling 445 yards. Freshman Marcus Coker got his first start at tailback and produced 129 yards on 22 carries. He also secured the football as Iowa played its fifth straight game without a fumble.

Three other freshmen played important roles for Iowa. James Morris and Shane DiBona were starting linebackers (Morris had nine tackles and broke up two passes), and Mike Meyer booted four field goals, one from 42 yards.

Iowa's first six victories of the season were by an average of 27.5 points. There are surely more close games ahead, so a Big Ten victory on the road by a narrow margin might prove beneficial in the future.

The Hawkeyes got a win at Indiana even though they had breakdowns near the goal line, too many penalties (9 for 65 yards) and special team shortcomings (kickoff coverage and a missed field goal). They can't have those problems at Northwestern this Saturday and expect to stay in the Big Ten race.

Iowa used to own this series, but not anymore. The Wildcats have won four of the last five games between the two schools. The Hawkeyes will have to be on top of their game to come home a winner.



Twitter
  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago