Earlier this season, the Iowa Hawkeyes‘ offense amounted to Mark Weisman and a lot of passes intended for Kevonte Martin-Manley. In the past few weeks, new options in the backfield and targets in the passing game have emerged to give the Hawkeyes a framework of a dynamic offense.
The Hawkeye running game, once dominated by Weisman, who was intermittently spelled by Damon Bullock, has evolved into a three-headed attack. Jordan Canzeri has emerged as a backfield threat in the past two games. His 12 carries for 53 yards yesterday against the Michigan Wolverines in Iowa’s 24-21 win were both second on the team, only to Weisman’s 17 carries for 92 yards.
Spelling Weisman makes him more effective, because so much of his effectiveness is based on power. All three backs having fresh legs will make the Iowa running game more effective in their season finale at Nebraska and their upcoming bowl game. Another place where the Hawkeyes have discovered some depth is at tight end.
CJ Fiederowicz remains Iowa’s top option at tight end because of his experience, size and speed, but others have emerged as viable pass targets and run blockers. Jake Duzey and Ray Hamilton have become part of the Hawkeyes’ three tight-end sets that Iowa has shown an ability to either run or pass out of.
A last aspect of the Iowa offense that has become prevalent is the running ability of quarterback Jake Rudock. Rudock has already set a record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game during head coach Kirk Ferentz‘s tenure, and if he keeps it up, he might finish his career holding the Hawkeye record for rushing yards by a quarterback. His 55 carries for 210 yards and five touchdowns through his first 11 games have given him a great start in working towards that goal.
If the Hawkeyes’ offense can continue to develop and the Iowa defense plays like it has all season, the Hawkeyes could be a dangerous team in the bowl season. A top 10 defense, combined with an offense that has a myriad of ways to move the ball, is nothing to be taken lightly.