"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light;"
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
In the poem "Paradise Lost", John Milton attempts to explain the logic of Satan. He paints a picture of Satan rising up to claim Hell as his own domain, proclaiming that it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven".
It could be a stretch, but Iowa's defensive coordinator Norm Parker might borrow a bit of Milton's explanation in his defensive strategy.
The Hawkeye defensive mantra all season has been focused on "six seconds of Hell". The mantra is simple. Each play lasts about six seconds, so players should focus and work as hard as they can for each six second play.
"The premise is that you're only out there for six seconds so you might as well bust your butt the whole time," explained senior linebacker Pat Angerer to reporters.
Georgia Tech is about to experience Iowa's mantra first hand in Miami, when the Hawkeye defense will try to turn Orange Bowl Heaven into a raging inferno from Hell for the Yellow Jackets.
Iowa ranks eleventh in the nation in total defense, tenth in scoring defense and ninth in total yards allowed. They look to cause a few problems for a high-powered Georgia Tech offense.
Of course, the Georgia Tech rushing offense is No. 2 in the country, averaging over 307 yards a game. Running back Jonathan Dwyer has yards 1,346 on the year, to go along with 14 touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt has rushed for almost 1,000 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.
As a team, Georgia Tech has rushed for 3,993 yards and 46 touchdowns on the year.
Thankfully, Iowa's rushing defense only allows an average of 122 yards a game. The Hawkeyes also have 27 sacks on the year and have forced 14 fumbles, proving that they wreak hellish havoc on offensive lines.
Should the Yellow Jackets decide to try their passing game against the Hawkeyes, the Iowa secondary will stoke the fires for the defense.
Iowa ranks No. 8 in the country in passing defense and fourth in pass efficiency defense, only giving up nine passing touchdowns on the year. They rank fifth in total interceptions, collecting 20 this season.
Parker's front seven and secondary are largely responsible for the Hawkeyes gaining their first 10-win season and landing a BCS bowl invitation for only the second time in Bowl Championship Series history.
He believes the key to containing Georgia Tech is getting strong play from the defensive line, Adrian Clayborn, Broderick Binns, Christian Ballard and Karl Klug.
That's good news for Hawkeye fans, as all four linemen subscribe wholeheartedly to Parker's "six seconds of Hell" mantra.
Nesbitt and Dwyer will find that out the hard way on January 5.
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