Davis Gives Update on Iowa Offense

Aug. 24, 2015

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Following its second scrimmage of fall camp, University of Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis says the offense is getting to where it needs to be for its Sept. 5 opener against Illinois State.

Davis and the Iowa offense left its first scrimmage — Kids Day on Aug. 15 — feeling the defense had the upper hand. Six days later, Davis says the offense was more indicative of what he wants to see.

“We were more efficient Friday night in the scrimmage,” Davis said Monday in the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center. “We did a nice job throwing and catching the ball. We left the field (Aug. 21) feeling we’re getting closer to what we want to be for the opener.”

With junior C.J. Beathard taking over reigns as Iowa’s starting quarterback, Davis sees potential for more explosive plays in 2015. Beathard had 11 plays (either running or passing) of 20 or more yards in limited time as a sophomore; Iowa had 83 as a team.

“We have an opportunity to be more explosive,” said Davis. “C.J. looks for that a little longer and because of it, we’ll naturally have more explosive plays.”

Davis likes the pieces in Iowa’s rushing attack with junior LeShun Daniels, Jr., and senior Jordan Canzeri atop the depth chart with 12 days before the season opener. But he’s cautiously optimistic without seeing the offensive line and backs in live game action.

“You’re never pleased until you play a game because so much of what we do is thud,” said Davis. “You look up and run the ball inside (at practice) and think you’ve made four to five yards, but the manager says it is two yards.

“Until you’re actually tackling out there (you don’t know). A lot of rushing is built over the course of a game. The backs I have been around early in the first quarter its three to four yards; then in the second quarter it picks up. As the game goes on, you start wearing and they start breaking off more.

“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re much further along than we were (on Kids Day).”

Davis believes Beathard’s ability to run the ball will give Iowa’s rushing attack a boost, but make no mistake, the quarterback won’t be a featured back in the Hawkeye attack.

“He will naturally do things with his legs that will be exciting, but we’re not going to run him 25 times a game. That’s not going to happen,” said Davis. “There will be quarterback draws and he’ll naturally leave the pocket and do things to give us opportunities to get us off the field.”

Beathard ran eight times for a career-high 82 yards in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Tennessee. He has rushed 41 times for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his Iowa career.

Iowa opens the season against Illinois State on Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. (CT) in Kinnick Stadium. The Redbirds return three of their top four tacklers from its 13-win season. Former Hawkeye linebacker Reggie Spearman is on ISU’s two-deep.

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