Iowa Hawkeyes: CFN College Football Preview 2021

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes: CFN College Football Preview 2021

2021 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes: CFN College Football Preview 2021

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4. Iowa College Football Preview 2021: Defense

It would’ve been nice if leading tackler LB Nick Niemann and DE Chauncey Golston were still around for their super-senior years, and losing star DT Daviyon Nixon early to the NFL stings, but there’s a good chance that eight of the top 11 tacklers are back on a defense that finished eighth in the nation overall and was a killer against the run.

There isn’t a ton of bulk on the interior of the line, but there’s a good rotation and size at all four spots up front. Golston was the main pass rusher outside and Nixon was the main man inside, but as always, the line has a slew of 270ish pound active defenders who’ll battle against the run. It would be nice if there was a 320-pound brick wall of an anchor inside, but Noah Shannon and Yahya Black should get the job done.

The Hawkeyes always play around with their defensive alignment, but watch out for them to get faster and more athletic by using S Dane Belton even more in a bit of a hybrid position. There’s good size and thump from the lineabackers – even with Niemann done – and the secondary has an All-Big Ten talent in safety Jack Koerner and veteran corners.

– What You Need To Know: Offense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Iowa Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Iowa College Football Preview 2021: Top Players

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