Sophomore running back Mark Weisman finished with more than 100 rushing yards for the fourth straight game on Saturday, but it didn’t come easy.
Weisman had 116 yards on 26 carries, but left the locker room with a protective walking boot on his right ankle.
“I think its fine,” Weisman said. He said he could have returned after his game-tying touchdown, but is glad he did not. “I wouldn’t have been effective. I’d probably hurt the team more than helped it.”
Weisman now has 631 yards on the season in four games. The sledding was a lot tougher on Saturday than it had been up to then.
“They were more physical I’d say,” Weisman said of Michigan State. “I give them credit for how they stopped us most of the game.”
Weisman only had 20 yards on 11 carries at halftime.
“We knew they were good against he run, but we weren’t going to change our gameplan if they stopped us on a couple drives,” Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg said. “Keep going at them, keep making them tackle Mark.”
When Weisman went out in overtime, true freshman Greg Garmon came in and had four carries for six yards.
DUZEY DOES IT: Redshirt freshman tight end Jake Duzey — who is from Troy, Mich. — had his most productive day as a Hawkeye with two catches for 14 yards.
“That was cool,” Duzey said. “Doing it in Michigan was pretty sweet.”
Duzey said he had a lot of family in Spartan Stadium watching him. The 6-foot-4 tight end is earnign more playing time behind C.J. Fiedorowicz and Ray Hamilton.
“It is very competitive,” Duzey said. “We all work together.”
SLEEPER RETURNS: Senior Collin Sleeper, who started two games as a junior, was the nickle back for the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
“It feels great to be back on the field,” Sleeper said.
The Solon native got in trouble during the Insight Bowl trip and started his senior season with a two-game suspension. He has been playing on the kickoff and punt teams, but now is also getting snaps again on defense.
“The past is the past, I don’t dwell on that,” Sleeper said. “They are pretty accepting and understanding. The only place to look is forward.
UNHAPPY RETURN FOR COTTON: Junior Jordan Cotton had a kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half, but it was called back for a block in the back.
“We had a return right, I came up on the ball and saw a big, big hole,” Cotton said. “They finally gave me my chance back there, and I’m trying to make the best of it.”
Sophomore Ray Hamilton was whistled for the block in the back. On film, it didn’t look like the block was critical for the return.
“It was a dumb move on my part,” Hamilton said. “It can’t happen again, and it won’t happen again.”
INJURY REPORT: Sophomore running back Damon Bullock and junior cornerback B.J. Lowery did not make the trip due to injury.
Austin Blythe made the trip but did not play. Sophomore Andrew Donnal made his second start for Blythe.
CONNECTIONS: Iowa and Michigan State are known for having similar grind-it-out playing styles, but it goes beyond that.
The two programs also have many connections, including Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker being a former Michigan State defensive back. Parker earned first-team all-Big Ten honors three times fron 1983-85.
Michigan State radio play-by-play announcer George Blaha was raised in Marshalltown and attended the first-ever game between Iowa and Michigan State in 1953.
David Sadler, who is the father of Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, grew up in Clinton and attended St. Ambrose. David Sadler currently lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., but he also lived in Iowa for much of his life and was a devoted Hawkeye fan until his son signed with Michigan State.
Mike Sadler asked his father to get rid of all his Hawkeye attire after he picked Michigan State.
Michigan State defensive line coach Ted Gill held the same job at Iowa from 1990-94 under former coach Hayden Fry.
Michigan State offensive coordinator Dan Roushar is also a native of Clinton. His father, Dan, previously was the head football coach at Regina.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football