COLUMBUS, Ohio — The tight ends became a featured part of Iowa’s offense Saturday, and the results were more than encouraging.
“That’s a position we felt good about, even going back to the spring,” Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It was a package we kind of implemented and thought it might help us a little bit.”
As it turned out, tight ends combined for 11 catches, 191 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-24 loss to Ohio State..
“They’ve been throwing it to us all week,” Duzey said. “So we didn’t know who was going to get it.”
Duzey emerged as a primary target, catching six passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. He had a total of four catches for 31 yards in Iowa’s first six games.
“I was just the one who was open,” Duzey said. “I got the ball thrown to me.”
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Duzey made three receptions in the Hawkeyes’ opening series, which ended with fellow tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz making a 2-yard touchdown catch.
Fiedorowicz caught four passes for 29 yards.
“That personnel we were running out there with two tight ends and three tight ends was working good for us,” Duzey said. “We just ran with it.”
The Hawkeyes’ longest play of the day came when quarterback Jake Rudock found Duzey running down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown.
“He’s fast,” Rudock said of Duzey. “He ran right past them, and the offensive line gave me plenty of time to get the ball out to him.”
Duzey sprinted to the end zone, tying the score 24-24, recording the second-longest touchdown by an Iowa tight end in history, bringing back memories of Dallas Clark’s 95-yard catch and run from Bran Banks against Purdue in 2002.
“I had no idea where anybody was,” Duzey said. “So I just kept running. I wasn’t going to look back.”
For the most part, Iowa’s plan succeeded in extending drives, controlling the clock and challenging the Buckeyes’ defense.
“I think it was just the set we were running,” Rudock said. “Tight ends are big bodies, so sometimes they’re hard to cover.
“And we have some really good tight ends.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football