Monday Morning Quarterback with Jared Clauss

Former Iowa Hawkeye Jared Clauss was a part of some of the best defensive units in Iowa history during his days in Iowa City, so it's tough to really impress him. But he came away quite impressed with the Iowa defensive from Saturday's win against Indiana. In fact, most of the aspects of the game were impressive to Clauss, from a Hawkeye perspective. Read his thoughts here....

Q: Let's start with the defensive line. I just saw a whooping taking place out there, and King and Kroul were almost ‘unblockable'. What did you see?

Jared Clauss: I saw the same thing. By the end of the game, King wasn't even looking at his blocker. He wasn't concerned that the guy was going to block him; he was just getting in the backfield. Something I hadn't seen in a while; outside of trying to keep quarterback draws in the pocket, they hadn't been running the tackle-tackle games in run situations a lot and they did a few times today. The backside guard didn't see it, right into the run play a few times. On pass plays it was getting penetration. The interior of Indiana's offensive line was overmatched. When they tried cut blocking, it didn't work. When they double teamed, it didn't work. The only thing that was working for them is that King was almost getting too much penetration, because it opened up a seam on the back side, but you can't be upset about getting up field and making plays. Great job by the two tackles, probably their best game of the year

Q: On the other side, the offensive line continues to play excellent football, arguably the best in the Big Ten based on what I have seen and I have seen each team in this league play at least two times.

Clauss: Yes, they did a great job. I thought the inside zone was working well for them again. To start the game, I think they were not as effective, but they adjusted well. Whether or not Indiana ran a run blitz or not, the inside zone was working great for them. I thought the tight end blocking on the edge was great. When they went tight ends to the same side, they were chipping and helping each other out on Greene's TD run. ‘Power O' on the goal line, ‘Power O' on third down was working good. They were pulling that backside guard and they almost didn't need that a few times it was so open. I thought the play calling was great today. As a defensive lineman, when you are getting run on, if you can't stop it you can't get off the field so you are thinking run, run, run and Iowa did a great job of play action. Stanzi had all day to throw; he was sitting back there picking his spots.

Q: Speaking of Rick Stanzi, he had a slow start on Saturday but he finished well. What were your thoughts on his play?

Clauss: I thought he played well. He throws a good ball, and what more can you ask for. There were a couple balls that sailed, but I saw him throw on the run, we have seen him play action and boot, but most of the time he has his feet set. It was good to see him throw on the run. I thought he was poised back there, he evaded pressure a couple of times off the edge, when Indiana's defensive end beat our tight end on the boot, we did a good job of avoiding that. We have to eliminate the QB-Center exchange problems. This is seven games into the season. But all in all, his balls were good, he puts great touch on the ball once again and things are positive and moving forward. After his last two weeks, this was the perfect game for him.

Q: Just how much can a win like this propel a team for the rest of the season, one that had been playing pretty darn good football with the exception of turnovers?

Clauss: The frustrating thing is that I am sure they know they are pretty good. The defense knows they are good, the offense has a good idea they are pretty good, but they just haven't seen in the last few weeks with wins. You see it in practice. You can tell a few games into a season if you are going to be good or bad, and they know they are pretty good. They needed the proof and Saturday was a good day. Indiana does not have a great defense, but it doesn't matter, Iowa was still executing. Next week will be huge, and they needed their confidence back. One thing I will say is I think you were wrong about Jewell. He looks like he is running hard on kick returns, especially on offense. It's something that as a freshman, to see a guy leap like that, most guys don't make plays like that close to the goal line. I was pleasantly surprised with him again today. I think it will be a great game next week.

Q: Do you buy into the adage that a team can ‘throw the kitchen sink' at an opponent heading into their bye week? Iowa has a bye after the Wisconsin game.

Clauss: In my opinion, no. They put everything they have into every week. If I ever had a hint or a sniff that coach was holding back or changing how they prepare just because there is a bye week, I would be upset and I have never seen that out of Iowa. They will put in everything they have every week. Obviously, if there are injuries, it will be nice for the time off. They have to hit their stride, this has to carry over to next week. Even though Wisconsin has lost three in a row, we all know they are a good team. I am excited to see Hill running against the Iowa defense, because once again, not too flashy, not a lot of blitzing by Iowa, but nine points and the running backs couldn't do anything. They only thing they had was the quarterback draw with Chappel. I will take that all day long.

Here are some of Clauss' quick hitters on the Iowa-Indiana game:

-Stanzi was using the hard count early and late in the game. It worked; it got Indiana offsides both times, and that slows down a defense a great deal.

-Special teams today were the best they had been all year, even though there were no big plays. It was solid, punt coverage was excellent, the punts were excellent, high punts and he pinned them pretty good, kickoff coverage was great and the kicks were high. No big plays, but a great special team's day.

-When Iowa went to a three man front on defense, it almost looked like they were spying with the guard. A lot of times people don't see that and they think what is that guy doing? I don't know what coverages they were in, but they didn't want that quarterback to run. I think they were spying a little bit.

-I thought the corners did a great job of playing off blocks on the swing passes Indiana tried three or four times. They were very physical.

-I thought Iowa had a good balance of motion to and away from the run side, where they would motion a wide receiver or tight end and there was no rhyme or reason to which way they ran after the motion.

-When Brodell did fumble on his punt, he was up closer to the line of scrimmage because the first two punts were not great punts. You can't fault him for scooting up.

-The offensive line interior push was great once again this week.

-I thought on Indiana's touchdown, Kellen Lewis just made a great, great throw there. Very hard to defend that. The kicker saving a touchdown on the kickoff return was a great tackle. It wasn't him getting run over. That was good to see.

-Greene wasn't getting hit a lot of times until he got to the safety, and if that keeps happening, you will win a lot of games.

-I thought the draw call on 2nd and 14 was a great call by O'Keefe.

Jared Clauss is now a Financial Adviser with UBS Financial in West Des Moines, Iowa, back in the city where he starred for West Des Moines Valley as a prep football player. He played for Iowa (1999-2003) as well as the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League

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