The Big Ten Network crew recently stopped in Iowa City to check out Iowa’s fall camp. BTN analyst Joshua Perry shared some of his top takeaways from what he saw at Hawkeyes practice.

Perry started with Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker and the defensive scheme.

“This defense that they run is an absolute system,” Perry said. “Phil Parker is an evil genius. It’s very simple, but he has the guys well coached and they know exactly when to make plays. And it’s fun watching him because he tells the guys to do exactly what you’re supposed to do. ‘Be in the exact position I tell you to be in, and great things will happen.’ He doesn’t want them chasing the big play, because he knows within the system, the big play will come to them.”

Perry also came away impressed by Kirk Ferentz’s squad attention to special teams.

“I don’t think we watched anybody all camp long spend as much time on special teams as we’ve seen with the Iowa Hawkeyes,” Perry said. “I mean, it’s really important to them. Obviously, it’s a big phase in the game. But they understand the value of how it plays into field position, even changing momentum. So the special teams factor of the game is going to be huge for them again this year.”

The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West and played in the conference championship game last season. Perry says Iowa needs to improve quickly at a key position to repeat as division champs.

“If Iowa wants to repeat as West champs, I think they need a little bit more out of the quarterback position right now,” Perry said. “Still a little bit of a competition in my eyes as those guys are improving in some ways, but it’s still not up to caliber quite yet.