The Iowa Hawkeyes started off their season in heartbreaking fashion against a very talented Northern Illinois squad that narrowly escaped Kinnick Stadium with a win. Coach Kirk Ferentz and his squad responded well to the loss and have had a very competitive season in the Big Ten. With games left against Michigan and Nebraska, winning the remaining games, or at least one of the two, is a very good possibility.
Their most recent game saw the Hawkeyes roll to a victory over the Purdue Boilermakers in a relatively easy contest. The Boilermakers presented an opportune time to reestablish the Hawkeyes’ strongest offensive asset from the early part of the 2013 season: the rushing attack of converted fullback junior Mark Weisman at tailback.
The Boilermakers’ strong defensive line was no test for the Hawkeyes rushing attack. Weisman was outrushed by his fellow running backs for Iowa, but it was once again a collective effort by all of the running backs that won the game for the Hawkeyes . Weisman proved that he has not disappeared from the Hawkeyes’ offensive attack — they have merely evolved in their rushing attack.
What was once a one-man rushing show for coach Ferentz’ Hawkeyes has become a multifaceted rushing attack featuring Weisman, junior Damon Bullock, sophomore Jordan Canzeri, true freshman LeShun Daniels and quarterback Jake Rudock. Expectations for Bullock were high entering the season, but he did not prove to be as effective as Weisman early in the season. Anticipations regarding Canzeri were equally as high, and he has recent found a great deal of success.
Now that the Hawkeyes have disposed the Boilermakers, thoughts will turn to how they will attack the Wolverines and Huskers. This will be an ideal opportunity to return to the workhorse in Weisman who started off the season in such an effective fashion for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes can expect to see a Wolverines defense that will potentially show many different faces. The best way for Ferentz’s team to attack a defense with multiple schemes is to not over-think things nor attempt to out-coach the opposing defensive coordinator. The Hawkeyes have been very good about sticking to what they are good at. The consistent pounding of Weisman at home against the Wolverines will open things up for his peers in the backfield.
Iowa will be closing out its season in a rivalry game as they travel to Lincoln to take on the Huskers. What would one expect from this annual holiday occasion other than cold, tough, hard-nosed football, all of which play into the type of running back that Weisman is? There is not much more of a poetic ending to a junior season that started off so well for Weisman than to travel to Nebraska and pound out one last Big Ten victory for 2013.