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How Hawkeyes’ running-back rotation worked vs. UNI

[ 0 ] August 30, 2014 |
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Iowa running back Mark Weisman runs the ball during opening kickoff against Northern Iowa. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

IOWA CITY, Ia. Iowa put its backfield depth to use early against Northern Iowa.

The Hawkeyes used five different rushers in their first eight offensive plays, which helped ease the burden on senior running back Mark Weisman.

“I think it’s very good if you can get everyone in the game,” Weisman said, “because everyone has been working hard. Everyone deserves to play.”

Iowa finished with a respectable 151 rushing yards Saturday, but junior receiver Tevaun Smith was the leading rusher with 35 yards, all on one run. Weisman led Iowa running backs with 34 yards on 10 carries.

LeShun Daniels carried 13 yards for a touchdown on his very first carry, giving Iowa a 7-0 lead. After that, he managed two yards on seven rushes.

Is coach Kirk Ferentz concerned about his running game?

“Yes and no,” he said. “To (UNI’s) credit, I’d just mention I think they’re extremely well coached. I thought they did some things defensively that really made us adjust a little bit.

“They did their homework, and they were ready to go. That will come around, but we’re going to be fine there.”

Weisman led Iowa with 975 rushing yards last year, but his body wore down. With so many other options, could he become Iowa’s fourth-quarter closer?

“Whatever the coaches want,” Weisman said. “We always want to end the game with the ball in our hands.”

Pat Harty contributed to this report

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.