It’s been slow-going for the Iowa run game basically the entire season.
“If we don’t run the ball better this week, it’s not going to be pretty,” Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “You know when we don’t run the ball, it’s really tough.”
The lack of explosive running plays has been glaring with just two rushes of 24 yards or longer through 10 games. Both from Toren Young. Both in the season opener.
“I think the guys are working hard at it, and we just haven’t gotten it to the point where we’d like to, and we’ve got two games left, so this would be a great time to get it started,” Ferentz said.
The Hawks are only averaging 3.3 yards per carry on the losing streak. Iowa sophomore tight end T.J. Hockenson says that lack of production starts up front.
“With us as a tight end unit, and then the o-line and then it goes to the running backs,” Hockenson said. “You know, it’s a collective group thing and we just need to push it through.”
Iowa sophomore running back Mekhi Sargent says he’s confident the team’s preparation will help them work out the issues in the final two contests.
“I mean it’s the game of football,” Sargent said. “You work hard at practice and it’s supposed to translate over to the game, but it’s not going to be perfect.”
If there’s ever a game for this rushing attack to break out, it’s this week at Illinois. The Illini are last in the Big Ten and one of the worst in the country, allowing 248 rushing yards per game.
For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season. We’re the only Quad-Cities station to follow Iowa at home and on the road, so travel with us to Illinois for the final road game of the season on November 17 and join us at Kinnick Stadium on November 23 as the Hawkeyes host Nebraska.