Quotebook: Defensive Players

IOWA CITY -- The Iowa defense put a dent in the Heisman hopes of Miami quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Read comments from several of the boys that stopped the RedHawks' high-flying offense and led the Hawkeyes to their 15th victory in the last 18 games.


You guys gave up 304 yards of offense, but only three points. You have to be happy with that?

We knew were going to give up some yards. He'll throw 50 or 60 times a game. So you're going to give up some yards. Just as long as they're not scoring touchdown after touchdown, long plays, we'd knew we'd be alright.

Did the secondary gain more confidence as the way went on?

It was the first game of the year. We knew we had to come in and prepare and we had to know what was going to happen before it actually happened. We knew we'd give up some yards today, but we had a lot of interceptions down in the red zone area, and that's exactly what we want.

Did you have them intimidated by the third or fourth quarter?

I don't think they were intimidated, but they started to respect our secondary a little more. He wasn't forcing passes like they were and they were going to shorter routes, but I wouldn't say that they were intimidated.

What makes their offense so tough to defend?

They have great wide receivers and obviously their quarterback Roethlisberger, he's amazing. He makes great reads. he's tough to prepare for. But you know we spent a lot of extra time in the film room as a unit, the secondary all together this week watching it. I think that helped us out in the end.

Can you talk about your interception?

It was just one of those things. He was expecting us to be doing probably the same thing that we were doing last year. And We had it changed up. So, I have to thank the coaches for that one. DE Howard Hodges:

Did you get tired out chasing Roethlisberger all day?

I had fun today. We kept getting back there to the quarterback, getting some kind of pressure. You would rather that the game is like that, especially when you've got guys getting interceptions. I mean, today I had fun. I really didn't get too tired. I'm going to fin dout tomorrow when I wake up.

What do you do different with a guy who works a lot out of the shotgun?

You've got to get back there quick. The way I see him as a quarterback, he's really not a scramble guy. He wants to throw the ball. He'll keep going back and move around, but he wants to throw the ball. It was very important that we keep contain on him because you don't ever want him to come outside. And I think he had some big gains coming in ever now and then.

Was he frustrating you guys at all?

He frustrated me the times where we had him and we didn't get him down. What also frustrated me was the third downs. We'd get them to third down and they'd get a big gain. But we stuck with it and kept them out of the end zone. That's what was a plus

Do you feel like you guys wore them down as time went on?

That's kind of hard to say because they fought the whole game. The tackles kept playing just as hard. They really wanted to win. We knew from the get-go that Miami of Ohio, they really want Iowa. DE MATT ROTH:

Did you guys figure things out as the game went on?

Yeah, we started to use moves that worked more effectively. We started to get comfortable.

You missed a couple of sacks early, then it looked like you got benched.

I didn't get benched. I messed up my ankle. Coach was kind of babying me. I was fine. I was ready to go. But (Matt) Neubauer came in and did a great job. And when we get D-Rob back in a week, we'll have great depth.

Howard is already keeping track in the back of his head that you got a little jump on him today (with two sacks).

We keep track. We mess with each other, but it's all in good fun. We push each other. Everyone wants to get theirs. It's fun. It's competitive.

Missing a few sacks early, was that just being out of control?

Yeah, I should have broke down and made those plays. But I learned from it, and it's just mental errors. I'll get it taken care of.

How do you guys get better as a defense?

It starts in practice. But as the game goes on, I think we definitely have the advantage of wearing down our opponents because we go hard all of the time. We played well today, but we'll get better game by game.

Did it feel like you wore down their offensive line as the game went on?

Yeah, I think we always feel that because we're so well conditioned. When it comes down to the third and fourth quarter, I think we'll definitely have an advantage.

Were you guys especially motivated today with the hype that came with Roethlisberger?

We all want to get to the quarterback. We want to make big plays. But yeah, we wanted to get to that Heisman candidate and put a whooping on him. But he's a good quarterback. CB Antwan Allen:

What did you see that led to the big hit down by the goal line?

They had run a couple of those hitches before that. I saw him sitting down and I just broke on it. I saw the ball and decided to take the hit.

The defensive backs had four interceptions today. Evaluate your performance?

We're satisfied, but we know we can play a whole lot better. So, we're going to continue to work on that.

What do you have to do to get better?

We've just got to hit people and make them not want to catch the ball.

How can you tell that your hits are adding up?

Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. Guys will catch passes and get right down. Guys might try to catch balls.

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