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OU football: Hawkeyes feel prepared for 'Belldozer'

Hawkeyes see different offenses in Big Ten, but rarely an offense as versatile as the Sooners'.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 27, 2011

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Iowa Hawkeyes figure they see the spectrum of offenses in the Big Ten.

“You can play a team like Wisconsin, that pounds the ball,” said cornerback Shaun Prater. “The next week, they're spread five wide like Northwestern.”

But Iowa's Insight Bowl assignment is different. Friday night at Sun Devil Stadium, the Hawkeyes play a team that spreads it out, then pounds it in.

OU and quarterback Landry Jones fling the ball around all over the field. But when the Sooners get near the goal line, or in short-yardage situations, here comes 245-pound quarterback Blake Bell, two fullbacks and a smashmouth mentality.

Bell has scored 10 touchdowns in the five games since the Belldozer's debut.

Even though the Sooners change their offensive identity with substitution, the Hawkeyes say they don't have to change their mentality.

“Defense is defense regardless of what offense comes on the field,” said tackle Mike Daniels.

Longtime Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker knows it's not that simple. Parker raves about Jones but says Bell's entrance changes things. “Then they put those two fullbacks, ends up in real power football at its utmost,” Parker said. “Overpower you in there.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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