Schlegel, Kudla Assist In Effort

Mike Kudla

Yesterday's defensive domination of Iowa was a total team effort, but two of the key performers were linebacker Anthony Schlegel and defensive end Mike Kudla. Schlegel had seven tackles while Kudla had 1 1/2 sacks on the day. Kyle Lamb has more on the performance of these two players.

A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter continue to get the ink. But a couple of their defensive co-workers continue to contribute. Saturday's 31-6 victory over Iowa was no different.

Anthony Schlegel, a senior linebacker, and Mike Kudla, a senior defensive end, made life miserable for Iowa QB Drew Tate and the rest of his Hawkeye teammates.

Schlegel totaled five tackles on the evening while Kudla registered three tackles, including 1.5 sacks and several other pressures of Tate.

"We really wanted to make them pass. The D-line played great and that's really what happened," Schlegel said of Kudla and the rest of the defensive line. "When the defensive line stops the run like that, we can get some penetration and get some sacks."

Entering Saturday's game against Iowa, Schlegel had registered 16 tackles and a quarterback sack. Kudla, meanwhile, had been solid from the rush end with 10 tackles and two quarterback sacks.

Senior co-captain and the defense' emotional leader, Hawk, couldn't say enough about the job the defensive line did of getting penetration.

"Oh man, today you have to give credit to all of our defensive linemen," Hawk noted. "They all did a great job of coming out and getting penetration and making it tougher for them to move the ball.

"Give credit to our line for this win," he added.

Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Heacock believes the credit goes all around, but he singled out the linebackers as a group for continuing to play at another level.

"About the only way I can say is I think what's happened on the defense is they were very unselfish linebackers, that's the thing that impresses me the most," he said. "They're playing as a team. I think the evidence today was a team effort. If you look at it, I think you'll see the back end did a great job, the secondary did a great job, and I'm not taking away from the linebackers, but I think it was a great team effort."

"But we're very fortunate to have three outstanding linebackers and they're playing unselfish and they're leading out there and they're very intelligent, which really helps," Heacock elaborated.

At least four times during the game, Ohio State came up with a crucial third-down sack of Tate.

Iowa lost a total of 43 yards in tackles behind the line of scrimmage against Ohio State. Schlegel noted they didn't move Tate out of the pocket nearly as much as the Buckeyes expected.

"I think they ran one dash where they tried to get him outside and throw to the boundary and they only did that maybe one time," Schlegel said. "They only ran maybe one bootleg and looking at how many times they did that last year, we thought maybe they would get him out moving some more again, but they didn't. I think the pressure really took them out of their game."

That pressure, continued to come from guys like Kudla all day long.

"The nice thing is, the nickel package, Bobby (Carpenter) is on one side, Mike's on the other. There's no way they can double team either one of them," Heacock explained. "Mike's always been a good football player for us. He's had some problems with health, staying healthy, and had some injury problems over the years. When he's played, he's always been a good football player for us."

The pressure definitely got to Tate. The one play in particular was the third quarter sack of Tate by Bobby Carpenter for a loss of 12 yards on third down which led to Iowa's first points of the day, a 52-yard field goal by Kyle Schlicker.

Frustration from Tate showed in his post-game comments.

"They (Ohio State) are a great team and very fast," he said after the loss. "I couldn't step up in the pocket because they closed in really fast."

On the day, Iowa finished with 18 rushing attempts for a net loss of minus nine yards. When the Hawkeyes tried to pass, Tate was sent running for his life.

It was Kudla, among the rest of the seniors, doing the chasing.

"Coach Tressel always talks about for us to be good, our seniors have to be great, their best football, and I think that's what these seniors are doing - stepping up and playing their best football," Heacock concluded. "Mike Kudla is doing that."

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