Iowa Hawkeyes Season Preview: Offense
The struggles continued in 2012 for the Iowa Hawkeyes football program. Just three years after an 11-2 finish and am Orange Bowl victory over Georgia Tech, head coach Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes found themselves in the midst of another disappointing season, finishing 2-6 in Big Ten conference play and 4-8 overall.
After starting conference play with two wins, the Hawkeyes would go on to lose their last six games in a row. Inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball was a major factor in the overall struggles for the team.
Iowa finished 11th in both scoring offense and total offense in the Big Ten, scoring a weak 19.3 points per game to go along with 310.4 yards per game on the season.
The Hawkeyes were also plagued by lacking any true star power on the offensive side of the ball. Veteran quarterback James Vandenberg was inconsistent the entire season, and they had no true threat at the wide receiver position.
The lone bright spot on offense was out-of-nowhere running back/fullback Mark Weisman, who stepped in for an absolutely depleted Hawkeye backfield and was able to come on early in the season and put up big numbers. Although he declined heavily towards the end, Weisman still was able to put up 815 yards on the ground to go with eight rushing touchdowns.
Along with the return of Weisman, wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley returns as the leading receiver for the Hawkeyes from a season ago with 52 receptions for 571 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz returns and is among the top tight ends in the conference.
It will be interesting to see who wins the quarterback battle between Jake Rudock, C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol. Whoever the quarterback is, the pressure is on for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes to start producing some wins.