The Iowa Hawkeyes enter their last non-conference game this weekend against the Central Michigan Chippewas, coming off a season-righting victory over the UNI Panthers. It may be a little crazy to think that beating a FCS team is what it takes to restore fan’s faith in the Hawkeyes, but that is exactly what the victory over the Panthers did.
Iowa’s offense looked inept against Northern Illinois and Iowa State, having only scored one touchdown and 24 points in those two contests. The Hawkeyes were able to manage three touchdowns and 429 total yards in their 27-16 victory over the Panthers.
The Iowa Running Back Hating God (AIRBHG, made popular by the Iowa Hawkeyes sports blog Black Hearts, Gold Pants) struck again in this game, taking out starting running back, Damon Bullock with a concussion, and his freshmen backup, Greg Garmon injured his elbow in the game.
And so it began — Weisman for Heisman. Mark Weisman, a transfer from the Air Force Academy, was slated to be Iowa’s starting fullback this season, but wasn’t expected to carry the ball very often. With the two tailback’s injuries, he became THE backfield. Weisman made the most of his opportunity carrying the load for the Hawkeyes with 113 yards on 24 carries, and 3 touchdowns. The former Falcon also renewed Hawkeye fans excitement for the season, and hopes for a January bowl.
“After Bullock and Garmon got hurt, I don’t think anybody expected Iowa to win. But Weisman came in and went beast-mode.” Said Jordan Wagner, graduate of the University of Iowa, “The rest of our offense was clicking for the first time this season and I think everyone is excited for Iowa’s season again.”
The Hawks still have a way to go, but the season outlook certainly looks brighter this week, than it did after the loss to Iowa State. Garmon could be available for the game against CMU this weekend, but Weisman has asserted himself as Iowa’s lead ball carrier at least until Bullock, who had 13 carries for 77 yards before he suffered his concussion, returns. If Weisman can produce like he did last Saturday, the job might be his all season and Weisman for Heisman may be more than a catchy cheer.
- Iowa player videos: Weisman, Vandenberg, Hitchens (thegazette.com)
- Weisman helps Iowa rediscover end zone (espn.go.com)