The Iowa Hawkeyes suffered one of their most disappointing seasons in recent history and are looking to bounce back in 2013 and return to the postseason. They face an uphill battle, especially on offense, as they face a mountain of inexperience as they try and claw out wins next season. With so many new and untested faces taking center stage next fall, where will the Iowa offense come from?
They have plenty of positions to fill. Most notably at quarterback now that James Vandenberg has moved on due to graduation. He was the only quarterback in college football last season to make every single passing attempt for his team, though how effective he was remains in doubt. Iowa scored just seven touchdowns through the air and averaged a meager 19.3 points per game.
But looking past the results, Vandenberg was the only quarterback to get any experience under center. That means that whoever wins the quarterback race between Jake Rudock, C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol will be making their very first collegiate pass attempt in the season opener next fall. Will any of them be able to carry the offense as they get acclimated to major college football?
Whoever wins out will have trouble finding major weapons to throw to. Keenan Davis is gone after being the most explosive option in the passing game last season. They do have some help, however, with the return of Kevonte Martin-Manley, the only receiver to catch multiple touchdowns in 2012 with a whopping two. There will be some experience at tight end as well with C.J. Fiedorowicz looking to expand on his 2012 effort when he finished the year with 45 catches for 433 yards and a touchdown.
The Hawkeyes best bet for offensive production next season may be in their running game (at least as long as AIRBHG allows it). Mark Weisman returns after leading the team in rushing last season with 815 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. He’ll be joined by junior Damon Bullock, who rushed for 513 yards and three touchdowns in six games, and Jordan Canzeri, returning from an ACL injury that kept him out of the entire 2012 season.
It won’t be easy, and Iowa still has a lot of major questions to answer before the season kicks off next fall. For the Hawkeyes to return to even middle of the pack in the Big Ten, they need a much better effort from their offense in 2013. So who will step up?