Football’s defense is prepared for a quarterback challenge

A lot of preparation going into facing Indiana has been on containing quarterback Peyton Ramsey and the skills he presents.


Lily Smith

Iowa defensive back Jake Gervase tackles Northwestern running back Justin Jackson during the game between Iowa and Northwestern at Ryan Field in Evanston on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. The Wildcats defeated the Hawkeyes, 17-10, in overtime.

Anna Kayser, Assistant Sports Editor

Facing a versatile quarterback, Iowa’s defense will have to take a step up from last week to protect both the run and the pass.

Last week against No. 3 Ohio State, Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey had a career game. The offense put up 26 points to challenge the Buckeyes’ 49, and he completed 53 percent of his passes for 322 yards and 3 passing touchdowns.

Ramsey also ran the ball, putting up the most carries for his team (10) and the second-most yards (10).

“He’s a dual-threat guy. He’s definitely the motor of that offense, he can beat you on both the running and the passing game, so he’s going to be a challenge for us,” safety Jake Gervase said.

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As for Indiana’s running backs, Stevie Scott took most of the snaps against Ohio State, carrying the ball for 64 yards on 9 carries. Reese Taylor and Mike Majette also got in on the mix, each carrying the ball once.

With Ramsey as mobile as he is and bringing the ability to do many different things, Iowa will have to be strong up front and adjust its game from last week.

“Especially as a defensive line, [Ramsey] is a guy who can get out of the pocket and create plays with his legs,” defensive end Parker Hesse said. “It’s going to be on us to try to contain him both in the running game and then you have the scramble as well.”

Against Minnesota, Iowa’s defensive line had to step up because of the inexperience in the backfield with two freshmen playing.

The Hawkeye secondary was burned as Minnesota started to put together longer drives and consistently keep a rhythm, making the game closer than the Hawkeyes cared for. Like the Gophers, the Hoosiers take most of their yards through the air when they can be stopped hard at the line. However, all bases need to be covered to avoid last week’s mistakes.

“I think this is going to be our biggest challenge on the running and the passing game from a quarterback standpoint with what he brings to the table,” Gervase said. “We’ve got to do a good job of reading our keys, making plays in the run and the pass game, and be ready for that from kickoff come Saturday.”

Indiana is 4-2, 1-2 in the Big Ten after facing Michigan State and Rutgers before Ohio State.

Against Michigan State on Sept. 22, Indiana’s secondary gave up 219 passing yards and 135 rushing in the 35-21 loss.

Indiana’s defensive line stepped up against the Spartan quarterback with 3 sacks, something that Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley will have to look out for. If he does get sacked, holding onto the ball is going to be the most important thing.

“Obviously, [they’ve had] two close games with Michigan State and Ohio State this year,” Stanley said. “We expect them to play very physical and extremely downhill, so I mean nothing different than any other Big Ten team, they’re going to play extremely physical and make us earn everything.”