Hawkeyes looking for answers after poor rushing performance versus Michigan State

Iowa rushed for just 19 yards in their loss to the Spartans

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Akrum Wadley has the same questions as everybody about Iowa's running game. 

"I don't know," the senior running back said. "That's a question I can ask you. What'd you see out there? Alright... I don't know. We just gotta stick together. Execute better."

He can't find an explanation for the futility either. Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz was left searching too.

"We're gonna have to find some answers," Ferentz said. 

The Hawkeyes were held to just 19 rushing yards in Saturday's loss at Michigan State. It was the lowest single-game total in a dozen years. A major concern for a program built on running the football. The loss leaves Iowa 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time in almost a decade.

"That's just part of the deal," Ferentz said. "You know, we have to find balance and the best way to get balance is coming up with things that we can do." 

Receiver Matt VandeBerg says the passing attack needs to help loosen up opposing defenses.
 
"We need to be able to hit our deep shots and things like that in order to help the run game," VandeBerg said. "So if we're gonna be successful, we just all need to improve and get better." 

An unproductive output like that on the ground for the vaunted Iowa rushing attack will send everybody back to the drawing board.

"We've just gotta come out and play Iowa football," said Iowa senior offensive lineman Boone Myers. "That's the main thing. We gotta come out and be more on the attack. It starts in our locker room. We gotta get it ready and get back on the film. Analyze, you know, be critical on ourselves and come out this week and hit it hard in practice." 

Offensive lineman Sean Welsh says the veterans up front need to be the catalysts in practice. 

"We've gotta do a better job of bringing our preparation during the week to the game." Welsh said. "Practicing well during the week, and then bringing that same... that tempo, that execution to the playing field." 

If it really is just a matter of execution as the players and coaches insist, then the Hawkeyes have a lot to work on between now and next Saturday's homecoming game against Illinois. 

For more Hawkeye football coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter -- and now Facebook -- and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season.


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