Iowa has done nearly everything it can think of spice up its offense heading into Saturday's game at Iowa State. And yet through two games, Iowa's best play has been to send 235-pound Mark Weisman into the middle and dare defenses to stop him.
Weisman is the team's most consistent playmaker. He is ninth nationally with 280 yards rushing - on a team-high 50 carries - and has reached the 100-yard plateau twice this season.
He set a career high with 30 carries in last week's 28-14 win over Missouri State, finishing with 180 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think all the running backs have been playing great out there and obviously the offensive line is why we've been playing great. They control everything out there," said Weisman. "It doesn't really matter which running back is in there. I feel like they've all been doing good. It was me in the last game but it could be any one of the guys next game, whoever's got the hot hand."
"The running backs have done a heck of a job hitting the holes, getting to the second level and making them miss and getting up farther than that," said junior tackle Brandon Scherff. "The run game will also open up the pass game."
Iowa State ran for 168 yards in their season opening loss to Northern Iowa. Four different backs had carries for the Cyclones but the leading rusher was quarterback Sam Richardson, who gained 74 yards.
ISU didn't have a turnover and won the time of possession battle but still lost. They've had two weeks to figure out what went wrong.
"The fact that we lost and we needed more improvement than just a Sunday where we didn't do much and then try to drive back into a game plan, a week that we could focus on a lot of the fundamentals of the game as well as Iowa State and not just the opponent, was very beneficial to us," said Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads.
"This bye week has really been helpful and beneficial to us in just letting us get those mistakes corrected," said running back Jeff Woody. "I can speak from the offensive side of the ball, a lot of those mistakes we had were communication mistakes. They weren't physical mistakes, they weren't effort mistakes."
Iowa and Iowa State kick off at 5 o'clock on Saturday. KTIV SportsFource will be in Ames for the game and have post-game reaction Saturday at ten.
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