Sep 7, 2013
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Maybe University of Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock is right when he says statistics don’t mean anything.
On a day when the Hawkeyes ran 86 plays and rolled up 489 yards, the most important byproduct was victory: A 28-14 victory against Missouri State, snapping a seven-game skid.
“The most important thing we can get is the win,” said Rudock, who opened and closed the game with touchdown runs.
Iowa’s offensive total was its best since 2010, when it gained 562 against Ball State. The Hawkeyes ran the ball 58 times for 296 yards, their most on the ground since 2005 against Illinois (301).
The workhorse was Weisman with 30 carries — a career high — for 180 yards and two touchdowns. It was his sixth 100-yard game and his second-highest total of his career. Weisman is the 42nd Hawkeye to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a career; he has 1,095.
“It means more for the offensive line, that’s them doing their work,” Weisman said. “It was good to control the line of scrimmage; we played physical which is what Iowa football is all about.”
“With any offense when you have the ability to have your linemen fit pads and be able to get out of the pocket, it gives the defense and extra wrinkle to think about. If I can get a couple cheap yards, those little pickups help.”
This Hawkeye offense is more than a grind-it-out physical team. Rudock completed 19 passes to 10 different receivers for 193 yards. A play that epitomized the Hawkeyes’ offensive balance came on the final score of the day. On first-and-goal from the 2, Rudock rolled to his right and saw tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz wide open in the end zone. But there was clear sailing for Rudock, too, who waltzed in for an easy touchdown.
“It was the smarter play (to run),” Rudock said. “Sure, I could have flipped it to him, but I was also able to walk right in, so it was more, `Hey we can run it and not worry, or toss it in.'”
While the quarterback and leading rusher gave credit to the offensive line, the anchor of the group up front — left tackle Brandon Scherff — said a key was the backs hitting holes.
“We did a great job; the running backs hit the holes hard, but we can always get better and that’s what we’re striving to do,” Scherff said. “We have some things to clean up, but we’re on the right track. We have to keep pushing forward and it will fall together and be all right.”
Weisman had the bulk of the rushing yards, but he had plenty of help. Running back Damon Bullock carried the ball 10 times for 40 yards and Rudock had seven attempts for 33.
“We were clicking for the most part,” said Bullock, who then turned his attention to the point total. “We had 28 today and we can do much better.”
Rudock is adamant that his season rushing totals of 53 yards and a team-high three touchdown runs does not make him a dual threat.
“With any offense when you have the ability to have your linemen fit pads and be able to get out of the pocket, it gives the defense and extra wrinkle to think about,” he said. “If I can get a couple cheap yards, those little pickups help.”
Oh, how those little pickups help. But Rudock is right — statistics don’t matter. A 28-14 victory against Missouri State does.