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Keep An Eye On: Demond Tucker

We at WRNL realize that while some people attempt to absorb entire plays at a time, a lot of fans watch single players between snaps. Consider this your weekly guide to the Cyclone most deserving of your down-to-down eyeball tracking.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-0 and 296 pounds, Demond Tucker is a lean, mean, hole-clogging machine, but it takes more than a stat line to quantify his impact of defense. The two total tackles, one being a sack, that Tucker tallied against UNI just don't capture the dominance he asserted.

If you were to focus on just the Cyclone nose guard, you'd see centers and guards being routinely shoved five yards deep into the backfield and forcing ball carriers to start making moves as soon as they take a hand off. If you say "But BJSwanny, does that even matter if he didn't make the tackle?" I would answer like this:

Imagine you wake up one morning and you get an alert on your phone saying a truck full of, I don't know, squeeze cheese overturned on the highway, meaning that you'll have to take a detour on your way to work. Is it in your way? Yes. But did you have the time to pick a new route and simply go around the four-lane-wide canned cheese disaster? Absolutely.

Now, let's discuss the Demond Tucker example. You're now driving directly behind the soon-to-be upside-down faux-dairy delivery truck, and you see an impending collision if you continue going straight, so you swerve out of the way of the metric ton of squeezable cheese raining down on your car... Except it's too late, and you swerve right into the outstretched arms of Levi Peters, who promptly suplexes your entire sedan, WWE style.

Okay, bad metaphor, but you get the point. (And Demond, if you're reading this, I didn't intend to liken you to a metric ton of Easy Cheese... It just worked out that way. Unless you like that kinda thing... Then yes, I did. Either way, I like my face how it is, so I'd be grateful if it stayed that way.)

So this Saturday, whether you're seated somewhere within Jack Trice Stadium or perched on your living room couch, keep an eye out for number 97 in cardinal. Try to keep a tally of how many plays tailbacks spend their first couple steps hopping sideways out of his way, or how many times the entire interior offensive line is dedicated to blocking him alone.

P.S. - That notepad you just broke out for the occasion? It might need a couple more pages.