Controlling Tate will be critical to an ISU win

Last season the ISU defense was one of the best in the schools history. This week that defense will have to play that way as they face a daunting Iowa Hawkeye offense led by quarterback Drew Tate.

The Iowa offense put up 56 points on a struggling Ball State squad, while the ISU defense gave up 21 points to Illinois State, including touchdown throws of 56 and 80 yards.

 

"I don't think we can ever be satisfied with where we are," said defensive lineman Brent Curvey. "I still think we could have been better, maybe I'm speaking more from a personal standpoint. I think the line could have applied more pressure; maybe that will be a building block for us this week."

 

This week the line will look to put lots of pressure on Tate, who was named the Big Ten Pre-season Offensive Player of the Year and ranked as the "Best Player in the Big Ten" by cnnsi.com.

 

"I think putting pressure on any quarterback is critical to an offense that passes," Curvey said. "Putting pressure on Tate, yes, because he's the guy to stop as far as the passing game goes. We can't forget about that run either, because [if] we work so much on passing than the run will kill us."

 

A season ago Tate completed 233-of-375 passes for 2,786 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

 

"[He's got] more experience," Curvey said. "It's going to definitely make for a better player. I can't expect anything but a better player."

 

Illinois State had 311 yards of total offense last week, rushing for 89 yards, while 222 yards came through the air. Against Ball State the Hawkeyes produced over 400 yards of offense, running for 241, while passing for 200.

 

Iowa's three quarterbacks were a combined 19-of-20; the lone incompletion came on a deep pass from Tate to wide out Ed Hinkel on the first drive.

 

Curvey thought last week the Cyclones blitz was effective, as for this week we all will have to wait and see.

 

"I have no idea what the game plan is," he said. "I'm just there to follow what the coach says."


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