Iowa pair combines to rush for 200 yards, four TDs
IOWA CITY – Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeyes' traditionally strong running attack has finally found some traction.
Mark Weisman and Akrum Wadley combined for 200 yards rushing and four touchdowns, leading Iowa to a 48-7 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.
"If we're going to be any good, we have to run the ball effectively," Ferentz said. "The run game is all about detail and execution. We took a step forward today."
The Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) raced to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter and scored their most points in a conference game in almost nine years. Northwestern (3-5, 2-3) dropped its third consecutive game after being held to a season-low 180 yards.
Weisman rushed for a season-high 94 yards and three touchdowns for a running game ranked 10th in the Big Ten. It was the senior's fifth straight game with multiple scores. The bruising back's 29 career touchdowns rank third on Iowa's all-time list.
"It's a mindset thing," Weisman said. "We came out fired up and kept it going. This team has had the potential to do this kind of stuff all year, but we just weren't executing. Today, we definitely executed."
Wadley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown in his first career game. The freshman was Iowa's first 100-yard rusher in 11 games. He provided a boost with Iowa's Jordan Canzeri and LeShun Daniels sidelined because of injuries. The Hawkeyes lost a third running back, Jonathan Parker, on the opening kickoff.
"I've been having dreams about it, so when [Ferentz] told me to go in, I was like, 'Wow, that's crazy,' " Wadley said.
Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock threw for 239 yards, while the Hawkeyes defense recorded five sacks, scored off a blocked punt and recovered a fumble.
"It just looked like we got down and then all of a sudden we tried to make too many things out of one play," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.