Forcing turnovers

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Iowa hasn’t been the team fans have come to know and love this season.

The Hawkeyes have ranked in the top 10 in the nation in interceptions in three of the past four seasons.

After finishing tied for 10th in picks in 2015, Iowa led the FBS with 21 in 2017 before ending 2018 tied for second with 20 interceptions.

Right now, the Hawkeyes sit tied for 72nd in the country with four picks.

Iowa’s rosters in those strong days boasted some players who will go down in Hawkeye history such as Desmond King, Josh Jackson, and Amani Hooker.

While all of those players are gone, it’s not like Iowa doesn’t have players who can step up.

Despite the secondary getting nicked up for a good chunk of the season, cornerback Michael Ojemudia and safety Geno Stone have been anchors for the defensive-back group.

Ojemudia has racked up two picks this season, and Stone added another against Michigan on Oct. 5. Outside of those two players, only linebacker Djimon Colbert has intercepted a pass.

At this point last season, Iowa had forced eight interceptions — double what it has in 2019.

While the Hawkeyes have recovered three fumbles this season — including two clutch scoops against Iowa State on Sept. 14 — there needs to be more.

Iowa’s defense still ranks fourth in the conference, giving up only 10.2 points per game, but if the Hawkeyes find a way to force more turnovers, it’ll give their offense more opportunities to put points on the board, something it has struggled with as of late.

-Pete Ruden

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