Akrum Wadley – 14 Carries, 107 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Akrum Wadley‘s 107 yards is a bit misleading considering more than half of them came off one run. However, Wadley’s 54-yard touchdown was the biggest play of the game and ended up being the game-winning touchdown for the Hawkeyes.
Wadley has a proven act of finding the end zone, and he performed it once again in the fourth quarter on Saturday. After rushing for seven touchdowns in 2015, despite only 83 carries, Wadley has already tied that mark in 2016 after his explosive run against Minnesota.
Both Wadley and LeShun Daniels Jr seemed close to breaking a big run on multiple occasions against Minnesota before Wadley was finally able to find a big enough hole to explode through in the fourth quarter.
Hopefully this will instill confidence in the running back, as he struggled last week against Northwestern and wasn’t overly-impressive against Minnesota, either. Sure, he showed his strength and speed in small doses, however, excluding his touchdown run, Wadley averaged a mere 3.8 yards per carry. He rushed for 53 yards on 14 carries and was usually stopped at the line.
That being said, the offensive line has to do a better job of creating holes for Wadley. He has big play ability and his improved strength from a season ago hasn’t been on display due to being met in the backfield or needing to run sideways to fit through tiny holes.
With poor blocking and relatively no pass game, Wadley is hardly to blame for any of the Hawkeyes struggles on offense. He had a couple of nice runs when given the room and had the biggest play of the game when the Hawkeyes needed it most.
3.8 yards per carry on 13 of his 14 carries is underwhelming, but he should have confidence going into Purdue and was on the verge of breaking a long touchdown earlier in the game, as well.