Can Iowa safety tandem of Brandon Snyder, Amani Hooker shore up run defense?

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ANSWER: I think there were two problem areas in run support, and that’s at defensive tackle and safety. I think bringing back Brandon Snyder into the fold as well as Amani Hooker will put the team’s two best back-line tacklers on the field at the same time. Jake Gervase and Miles Taylor, the opening day combination, often were either out of position or simply missed tackles in space. Snyder and Hooker are good athletes and tremendous hitters. Both can clean up any runner that spills into the second or third levels. Snyder proved that all last year before tearing an ACL in the spring, and Hooker definitely did so against Penn State.

Defensive tackle is an underrated area of concern in stopping the run. On the long runs against Illinois, the interior defensive linemen lost gap integrity or simply were blocked into the linebackers. The safeties can cut a 30-yard run to 10, but the defensive tackles need to stand their ground and allow the linebackers to flow to the football without getting caught in the wash.

I do think the safety tandem will help cut down some of the big plays. Starting with Northwestern’s Justin Jackson, there are some monster backs on Iowa’s schedule over the next month. If the defense doesn’t make strides quickly, it could be in for some long afternoons.

Read more answers about the Iowa Hawkeyes here.

The post Can Iowa safety tandem of Brandon Snyder, Amani Hooker shore up run defense? appeared first on Land of 10.

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