The Iowa running back leading the way during the Hawkeyes bowl-clinching win over Big Ten opponent Purdue last Saturday, wasn’t fan-favorite Mark Weisman, but rather red-shirt sophomore Jordan Canzeri.
The Troy, New York native rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown against the Boilermakers. He had his best game as a Hawkeye and has shown that he has fully recovered from the injuries the plagued him early in his career.
In 2012, Canzeri was on pace to become Iowa’s no. 1 option at running back but severely injured his knee during spring training and has since been overshadowed by Weisman and Damon Bullock.
This year however, Canzeri has been an adequate option in the ground game when Weisman isn’t having the kind of outing Hawkeye fans or the coaching staff have come to expect from the bruising back.
The issue is that Bullock is no. 2 on the depth chart and has the rushing and pass-catching skills to be a useful weapon for the Hawkeyes when used properly.
Bullock is Iowa’s second leading rusher with 108 carries and 455 yards. Canzeri has only 49 carries and the bulk of his 338 yards came against Purdue.
Iowa has had difficulty finding a suitable running back the past few years to lead its rushing attack – Canzeri has had injuries but he has also been buried on the depth chart for the past two seasons not only behind Weisman and Bullock, but also former backs like Marcus Coker and Adam Robinson.
During the last few games Weisman has had a tough time running the ball against Big Ten defenses and has forced head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis to find someone else who can keep the chains moving.
The Hawkeyes have an extra bye week this week and have some time to figure out their running back situation before they face off against Legends division foe Michigan on November 23.
Iowa is bowl-eligible and has a chance to finish the season stronger than some experts – and journalists – predicted but in order to do so, they’ll have to chose the running back who is best suited to help quarterback Jake Rudock run the offense.
For more on the Hawkeyes check out the Iowa team page on Isportsweb.com