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Defensive Players to Watch: Iowa State @ Ohio

Can we see some pick-sixes?

Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Iowa State: Jeremiah Cooper

I feel like DJ Khaled. Let me just chill in a chair with some popcorn and one of my wife’s many candles lit and just keep counting Jeremiah Cooper’s interceptions.

The sophomore has really stepped up into the free safety role and is becoming an absolute ball hawk! Three interceptions, one pick-six, four pass deflections while also getting four solo tackles and six assisted tackles. Not to get overly excited, but with a banged-up Kurtis Rourke, Cooper might have himself a day.

The Bobcats have played three different quarterbacks, with each one registering an interception. With Jeremiah back there, either Ohio better figure out what a run play is and just give us the ball every four downs, or their quarterbacks will have more touchdowns thrown the other way. Let’s take a quick break in the action to watch what happens when Jeremiah gets a read on a ball.

Ohio: Bryce Houston

Ohio v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Bryce Houston is a man playing among boys. The sixth-year senior is trying to get back to his 2021 form that saw him record 96 total tackles. His 2022 campaign saw him drop down to 76 total tackles with 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

He’s started the year strong so far, registering twenty-eight total tackles, a single sack as well, as a single interception. With someone who has the ability to be an edge rusher as well as play any linebacker position, he will have to be the focal point against an offense that is still trying to find a groove and identity.