Hawkeyes have defensive holes to fill as well

2013-08-08T19:03:00Z 2013-08-08T22:03:05Z Hawkeyes have defensive holes to fill as well The Quad-City Times

HOLES ON DEFENSE: The offensive side of the ball isn’t the only place where the Iowa football team is seeking solutions four days into fall camp.

There are defensive openings to be filled as well surrounding a core of senior linebackers Anthony Hitchens, Christian Kirksey and James Morris.

From two starting spots on the line to a cornerback position in the secondary, the Hawkeyes are competing for playing time.

“It’s been competitive and I think it will stay that way,’’ said defensive end Drew Ott, who has added 20 pounds to the 245 he played at a year ago as a true freshman. “As a group, we’re stronger and we’re hungry. We didn’t like what happened last year any more than anybody else.’’

Dominic Alvis and Louis Trinca-Pasat are returning starters on the defensive line, where assistant coach Reese Morgan anticipates continuing a rotation of as many as eight players.

On the back end, Jordan Lomax is penciled in at right cornerback as Iowa looks for a replacement for Micah Hyde to go with returning starters Nico Law, B.J. Lowery and Tanner Miller.

“Things are coming together for us,’’ Lowery said. “Everybody has come ready to work every day and that’s big if we want to turn our record around. We need to take that approach.’’

FAST FORWARD: Stomaching a 4-8 record last season has left a lingering taste with Hawkeye coaches and players.

Most talked about the need to move forward, comments echoed by coach Kirk Ferentz during his media day news conference.

“I’m more interested in solutions than observations,’’ Ferentz said.

Toward that objective, Ferentz believes his 15th Hawkeye team is taking on its own identity through the way it has worked since the end of the 2012 season.

“Every team has got some personality, regardless of what the season the year before was because it’s a new team,’’ Ferentz said. “We graduated guys from last year and we’ve got new guys in the front of the room. Guys emerge. They change in the course of month, let alone 10 months.’’

PLENTY OF OPTIONS: Ferentz believes Iowa’s depth at tight end and running back can provide the team with options in the passing game as a relatively inexperienced group of wide receivers grows into its roles.

“We’re counting on that,’’ Ferentz said. “We need for our top playmakers to make plays, regardless of what position they are at.’’

 MEASURED WORDS: Morris has always shown a tendency to think before he speaks when responding to reporter’s questions, and the senior linebacker doesn’t expect that to change.

“If people are looking for bulletin board material, they’ll have to look for it from somebody else,’’ Morris said. “That’s not who I am.’’

 TICKETS AVAILABLE: Iowa announced Thursday it has sold roughly 59,000 season tickets, including the student allotment of 10,000 tickets. Tickets purchased by the general public will be mailed to fans and should be in their possession by Aug. 24.

KIDS DAY PLANNED: Iowa hosts its annual Kids at Kinnick event on Saturday, Aug. 17, with a 5 p.m. open practice followed by an autograph session at Kinnick Stadium. Gates will open at 4 p.m.

-- Steve Batterson

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Football schedule

2014 Hawkeyes (7-6)

Date Opponent Time/result
8/30/2014 Northern Iowa W 31-23
9/6/2014 Ball State W 17-13
9/13/2014 Iowa State L 20-17
9/20/2014 at Pittsburgh W 24-20
9/27/2014 at Purdue W 24-10
10/11/2014 Indiana W 45-29
10/18/2014 at Maryland L 38-31
11/1/2014 Northwestern W 48-7
11/8/2014 at Minnesota L 51-14
11/15/2014 at Illinois W 30-14
11/22/2014 Wisconsin  L 26-24
11/28/2014 Nebraska L 37-34
1/2/2015 Tennessee L 45-28

Future schedules

2015 Hawkeyes (0-0)

Date Opponent Time/result
9/5/2015 Illinois State TBA
9/12/2015 at Iowa State TBA
9/19/2015 Pittsburgh TBA
9/26/2015 North Texas TBA
10/3/2015 at Wisconsin TBA
10/10/2015 Illinois TBA
10/17/2015 at Northwestern TBA
10/31/2015 Maryland TBA
11/7/2015 at Indiana TBA
11/14/2015 Minnesota TBA
11/21/2015 Purdue TBA
11/27/2015 at Nebraska TBA

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Hawkeyes bowl history

1957 Rose   Oregon State W 35-19
1959 Rose   California W 38-12
1982 Rose   Washington L 28-0
1982 Peach   Tennessee W 28-22
1983 Gator   Florida L 14-6
1984 Freedom   Texas W 55-17
1986 Rose   UCLA L 45-28
1986 Holiday   SDSU W 39-38
1987 Holiday   Wyoming W 20-19
1988 Peach   NC State L 28-23
1991 Rose   Washington L 46-34
1991 Holiday   BYU T 13-13
1993 Alamo   California L 37-3
1995 Sun   Washington W 38-18
1996 Alamo   Texas Tech W 27-0
1997 Sun   Arizona State L 17-7
2001 Alamo   Texas Tech W 19-16
2003 Orange   USC L 38-17
2004 Outback   Florida W 37-17
2005 Capital One LSU W 30-25
2006 Outback   Florida L 31-24
2006 Alamo   Texas L 26-24
2009 Outback   South Carolina W 31-10
2010 Orange   Georgia Tech W 24-14
2010 Insight   Missouri W 27-24
2011 Insight   Oklahoma L 31-14
2014 Outback   LSU L 21-14
2015 TaxSlayer   Tennessee L 45-28