The Tuesday Quotebook: More Six, Less Three

John Bohnenkamp

IOWA CITY — Iowa is fourth nationally in time of possession, keeping the ball for an average of 34 1/2 minutes.

Which, center Tyler Linderbaum said, is fine.

It's just what the Hawkeyes are doing at the end of those drives that the offense wants to change.

The Hawkeyes have 18 touchdowns and 17 field goals this season. They have outscored opponents 175-81.

But they know they could do better. The Hawkeyes are tied for the Football Bowl Subdivision lead in red-zone percentage with 24-of-24 scoring trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Iowa has 15 touchdowns and nine field goals.

"You want to win the time-of-possession game," Linderbaum said. "But we have to pick it up in the red zone. We have to do a better job of turning those three points into six points, seven points."

Kicker Keith Duncan leads the nation in field goals per game.

"Keith is doing a great job right now," Linderbaum said. "It would be nice if we could help him out a little bit, get some more points on the board."

"We're in the top as far as red zone scoring, right?" Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "The trick now is to change that percentage. That's the trick."

Ferentz pointed out how the Hawkeyes' 9-7 lead at halftime in the 26-20 victory over Purdue could have been different.

"That was a story on Saturday, in my opinion,' Ferentz said. "We had nine points. Instead of 9-0, it could have been 13. It was 9-7 at one point. But 13-7, throw another touchdown on top of that, 16 or 14, 17-7. Those kind of things make a difference if you're playing with a bigger lead."

"Happy to get field goals. Keith is doing a great job. We'd like to change that percentage a little bit. ...  It's certainly better if you can get touchdowns. You're playing teams that are good in red zone defense, too. Makes it a little bit tougher."

BELTON WILL KEEP GOING: True freshman defensive back Dane Belton may have found a home at the "cash" position for the Hawkeyes, recording six tackles in Saturday's game.

Belton has played in two games this season, but Ferentz said Belton likely will play the rest of the season, making him ineligible for the four-game redshirt.

"We're trying to win," Ferentz said. "If a player can help us win, that's been our attitude for quite a while now. Whether a freshman or a senior. If they can demonstrate they can find a role, help us win football games, we're certainly going to play them.

"I think he made a good showing on Saturday. He'll be able to help us on special teams, too. As long as he doesn't hit a wall here, we'll just keep pushing him forward."

MLB ROTATION: With Kristian Welch expected to be out for this week's game against Northwestern, Dillon Doyle and Jack Campbell are expected to continue the rotation at middle linebacker.

Campbell, a true freshman, had four tackles and Doyle, a redshirt freshman, had one in Saturday's game.

"Both of them did a good job, both young players," Ferentz said. "Obviously Dillon has a year edge on Jack. They both did a good job. Takes a little pressure off both them not having to play 70, 80 snaps. It was really workable.

"That's probably one of the good things thus far at least, we've been able to have some moving parts but still play good team defense. That's kind of what we're looking for. Hopefully we can keep building."

ABOUT THOSE TIMEOUTS: When the subject of television/media timeouts was brought up during Tuesday's press conference, Ferentz couldn't resist getting in a jab.

"Go get a sandwich, run out and hit a convenience store, whatever," Ferentz said. "It's awful. It's just awful. But a lot of things have changed in 20 years that I would change back. That ain't going to happen. Just learn to love it. How about killing momentum or the rhythm of a game? Gosh."

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