IOWA CITY, Ia. — No more video games for Damon Bullock. No more television.
No more headaches.
That’s his pedestrian prescription for a cure as Iowa’s top healthy tailback prepares for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference game at Indiana.
If Bullock wants a clear head, then he must stay away from bright screens after finally recovering from a concussion that robbed him of four games during his sophomore season.
“My head’s fine, and that’s the way it’s going to stay,” Bullock said Tuesday. “I’m going to do what they tell me to do.”
Bullock celebrated his first action since Sept. 15 against Northern Iowa to the tune of 107 yards on 22 rushes during the Hawkeyes’ 28-17 loss at Northwestern last Saturday.
He felt so good after the game, and again after waking up Sunday, that he’ll replace injured Mark Weisman as the starter at the front of a four-game stretch during which the Hawkeyes must go at least 2-2 just to meet bowl qualification.
He’ll get a majority of the carries against 3-5 Indiana because Weisman has been ruled out of Saturday’s game after suffering an undisclosed injury last Saturday.
“I think there’s a chance we’ll know more (later in the week) where he’s going to be long term,” coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday. “I think there’s a fair chance we’ll get him back next week.”
Saturday, however, Bullock gets the call against a team that allowed conference opponents Northwestern, Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois to average a whopping 265.8 rushing yards per game.
“I was ready to go Michigan State week, until I got hit during a blocking drill,” Bullock said of preparation before an Oct. 13 victory against the Spartans. “After I got hit — during a blocking drill — I couldn’t remember anything about practice.”
Bullock had a combined 280 yards and a touchdown on 65 carries before leaving the Northern Iowa game in the second quarter. He has 387 yards on 87 carries and a touchdown for his half season of activity.
“I remember getting the ball through the hole. That’s about all I remember of the UNI game,” Bullock said. “As soon as I ran past the linebackers, I really don’t remember anything.
“Later, I saw on video that it was a knee, not a brutal hit by (Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis.”
For most of the next six weeks, he walked around campus in a fog.
“The headaches were so constant that it was almost normal for me to have one,” Bullock said. “Even in class, I’d get headaches. Sometimes I’d fall asleep.”
He wasn’t exactly the perfect patient.
“Certain things the doctor was telling me — like don’t watch TV and stay off the computer — they were kind of hard to do,” said Bullock, a sophomore. “As soon as I figured out that it wasn’t working for me to keep watching TV and playing video games on the computer … I had to slow it down.
“When I quit playing video games, I got better.”
He knew he was all the way better after taking a solid hit last Saturday.
“When I got that hit, I was like all right, this is a hit,” he said. “I slammed my (helmet), closed my eyes, opened them, and I was all right.”
SATURDAY’S IOWA FOOTBALL GAME
WHO: Iowa (4-4, 2-2 Big Ten) at Indiana (3-5, 1-3)
WHERE: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind.
TIME/TV: 2:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
SERIES: Iowa leads 42-27-4
LINE: Indiana by 1 1/2
LAST MEETING: Iowa put up 339 yards and 35 points in the first half on its way to a 45-24 win at Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 22, 2011. James Vandenberg passed for four touchdowns.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football