Iowa’s passing attack isn’t quite as lethal as LSU’s, but what Iowa does have going for them is the fact that they can run the football well. Mark Weisman, Damon Bullock, and Jordan Canzeri have all ran for over 400 yards on the year with Weisman leading the way at 938 yards and 7 touchdowns.
These three guys could be the difference for the Hawkeyes if they want to beat the Tigers. Iowa currently ranks 41st in the FBS in rushing yards per game.
There have been games where Weisman has carried the load for Iowa. A good example of that is the Iowa State game when he had 35 carries for the night. There has also been games where Bullock has seen a majority of the action. He led the Hawkeyes with 56 yards on the ground against Ohio State. Then you can point to Canzeri, he has also had games where he has led the team in rushing. The Purdue game was his best game of the year. Canzeri went for 165 yards on 20 carries.
It’s just going to depend on who has the hot hand for the Hawkeyes when the game rolls around. The best thing about these backs is they all do different things very well. For instance, Weisman never shies away from contact and will stick his nose right in there. We’ve seen him run helpless defensive backs over many times this year. Bullock is more of a shifty back when you get him out in space and Canzeri is a great down hill runner. He finds the hole he wants and runs as hard as he possibly can through it.
Iowa isn’t going to wow you through the air. They’ll be conservative like they have been all year. I mentioned LSU had two 1,000 yard receivers, well Iowa’s leading receiver has 39 catches for 384 yards. Keyvonte Martin-Manley has became Jake Rudock‘s favorite target over the season so they could hook up for a big play or two.
Iowa wants to run the ball well, but LSU’s defense has been pretty good against the run this year. They’ve allowed just four 100 yard rushers in their 12 games this year. One of them came against #2 Auburn and their Heisman finalist, Tre Mason. The other came against the #3 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide and TJ Yeldon. So the Tigers have been pretty stout against the run.
Bottom line is, if Iowa can run the ball effectively and get a couple of their backs going, they’ve got a pretty solid chance to win the game.