Why the Hawkeyes are a top team in the AP poll
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This week’s College Football Power Rankings features a new member to the team that will likely get more attention in the near future.
The Hawkeyes’ offensive line continues to impress with three first-team All-Big Ten selections and a first-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The team’s defense continues to be one of the best in the nation with three First-Team All-America selections and two First-team First-Year All-American selections.
The Hawkeyes also have two First Team All-Conference selections, a First- Team All American selection and two All-SEC selections.
Hawkeyes offensive line: Three first-teamer selections, first-year All-conference selection and all-conference teamFirst-Team all-America selection and First- team All- conferenceFirst-team all-americanFirst-year all-American first-rounderThe Hawkeye offensive line has been a staple of the program since 2010.
The line has led the conference in sacks with 19 and has also been a force on the ground with an average of 9.8 yards per carry, second only to Wisconsin’s offensive line.
The offensive line led the Big Ten with 20 sacks in 2017.
Defensive end: All-Tournament selection, All-tournament selection and first-Team selectionIn 2016, the Hawkeye defense was one of college football’s most dominant units.
The team ranked fifth in the conference with 4,948 total yards allowed and scored 10 touchdowns.
The defense led the country with 23 sacks and posted a tackle for loss per game average of 8.4.
The defensive line led all Big Ten defensive lines with 19 quarterback hurries.
Defenders have also been able to take advantage of a lack of pass rush and run the football.
Iowa had the third-fewest sacks allowed per game, averaging 5.8, and had just five quarterback hurresses.
The top two pass rushers in the Big 10 each recorded 10.5 sacks.
The pass rush has continued to be a big part of the Hawes success.
Iowa allowed just 15.5 points per game last year, third-lowest in the league behind Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Defenses have also continued to play an integral role in the team’s success on the offensive line, giving the team a chance to score a few more points in games.
The Iowa defense ranked second in the country in scoring defense at 16.1 points per contest, good for a 20.3 point differential.
Defending the quarterbacks is an even bigger reason why the Hawks have been so successful.
Iowa leads the nation in sacks allowed with 16, and has allowed just five quarterbacks to score at least five touchdowns.
Iowa ranked sixth in the Pac-12 in sacks per game with 13.9 and allowed just one quarterback to score more than three touchdowns in the year.
The most impressive defensive performance came in the Iowa Bowl against UCLA when Iowa allowed only one touchdown on the day.
Iowa’s defensive line is a major reason why Iowa is able to keep defenses off the field and allows the Hawkes to score.
The unit ranked first in the SEC in pass efficiency defense at 99.8 points per play, good enough for seventh-best in the FBS.
The front seven has also forced seven turnovers, the fourth-most in the school’s history.
Defender of the year: All conference first- team selection, first team All conferenceFirst team All AmericanFirst team all- conferenceDefensive line first- Team selection, all-first team All ConferenceFirst team ALL conferenceFirst Team all- ConferenceDefensive tackle first- All- First team all conferenceDefenses best defensive player of the season in 2016, 2016 first- round pick, 2016 First-year player of year, 2016 All- Pac-10First Team All Pac- 10Defensive back of the century and first All-Pac-10Defensive player of 2017, 2017 first- Round pick, 2017 First- year player of record, 2017 All- PAC-10The Hawkes top defender is back after a four-year absence.
Junior-college transfer David Njoku has been playing with the team since his freshman season.
Njok has played in all 12 games for Iowa, and is averaging 4.3 tackles for loss, 5.5 quarterback hurriers and 1.9 sacks.
The senior defensive lineman has also had two interceptions and two pass breakups.
Njoku is one of two Hawkeyes defensive players that is currently on the roster after the 2016 season, along with defensive end Chris Harris and defensive tackle Anthony Brown.
Harris was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft and Brown was selected in the fifth round.
Harris has made an impact with Iowa and was named to the All-MAC first team after starting all 13 games last season.
He finished with seven tackles for losses, two quarterback hurrities and five pass break-ups.
Harris and Brown have also combined
This week’s College Football Power Rankings features a new member to the team that will likely get more attention in…