By Don Lund
The Hawkeyes’ running game was in full gear with Mark Weisman leading the way on the offense. James Morris and B.J. Lowery had big interceptions for the defense. Mike Meyers led the special teams with two field goals but the Hawks had to hold off the a late rally for the second week in a row.
Iowa prevailed over Iowa State Saturday night at Ames, 27-21.
The last three times the Hawks beat the ‘Clones were in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Iowa was 9-4 in 2008, 11-2 in 2009 and 8-5 in 2010 and won all three bowl games.
This week we have to start with the offense.
The Hawkeye offense ran over 80 plays for the third week in a row, which has never happened under Kirk Ferentz.
They had 60 rushing attempts which ties the most under Captain Kirk.
Mark Weisman is amazing. He not only carried the ball 35 times for 145 yards (4.1 per carry) but converted four of them for first downs.
“I can’t say enough about him,” said coach Ferentz. “He doesn’t say a word, works hard every day and is such a great example. I don’t care if it’s in season or out of season. Everything he does, it’s the way you hope somebody does and he backs it up on the field. He plays so hard and I’m just happy he’s on our football team and I’m sure happy we tried him at running back about a year ago.”
The thing about Mark is that he will hit the hole and grind out 2 or 3 yards per carry and then bust a tackle or two an wind up with a 15-yard gain.
Add that with Damon Bullock running for 50 yards in 13 carries and you have 195 yards with two ball carriers.
I look for Damon to break off a big run soon because the holes are there and it’s just a matter of time.
When you have the ground game like Iowa had against Iowa State, you can control the clock for 38 minutes in the game. That included 10:24 seconds in the fourth quarter as State had it for only 4:36. In one of the drives in the third quarter, Iowa ran the ball 13 straight times!
Bottom line is the other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball, and Iowa doesn’t turn it over.
That’s pretty simple, but it works.
The nice part about the Hawks this year is they can run right or left.
You have Brandon Scherff and Conor Boffeli on the left side with Andrew Donnal coming in for both.
The right side has Bret Van Sloten and Jordan Walsh with Austin Blythe holding down the center position.
Jake Rudock had a clean game going 14-23 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He fumbled once but picked up 17 yards rushing.
Jake kept his poise the whole game in a hostile environment.
“I don’t mind telling you I was concerned about that coming over here,” said the coach about Jake. “I thought he handled it well. One thing about him he just seems unfazed about things. Something bad does happen he just keeps coming back.”
For the season Jake is 58-88 (61.4%) for 609 yards. He has three touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Jake found seven different receivers Saturday including Kevonte Martin-Manley, who had seven catches and one touchdown.
Jacob Hillyer caught his first touchdown pass as he broke a tackle on a 10-yard reception and turned it into a 26-yard score.
For the season, 16 Hawkeyes have caught passes. That could come into play if someone gets banged up later in the season.