Running Back Tandem Shines for Iowa

By Scott Dochterman, Reporter

Iowa Hawkeyes fullback Mark Weisman loses and then regains control of the ball after being tackled by Northern Iowa Panthers defensive back Wilmot Wellington during the first half at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday , September 15, 2012. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Sam Louwagie

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Iowa’s inability to put teams away in the second half continued to plague the team in winnable games. The Hawkeyes squandered countless opportunities from quick-snapping the ball on third-and-1 at the NIU 39 before everyone was set to throwing a bomb on third-and-1 on the final play of the third quarter. Four times Iowa had the ball inside Huskies’ territory in the second half, only to come away with three points. On two other possessions, the Hawkeyes had the ball at their 40 or better.

Iowa ran 80 plays, but they hardly sustained drives in the second half. The Hawkeyes were 6-of-10 on third-down conversions in the first half; 1-of-7 in the second half. Iowa held the ball for 18:48 in the first half; 11:52 in the second half. Iowa ran 47 plays before halftime; 33 plays after halftime.

Iowa running back Mark Weisman was asked if he liked the offense’s tempo.

“Probably not because we got off the field too fast,” he said. “We need to have those long, sustaining drives and that’s what we’re about here. We’ve got to be more consistent.”

Iowa ran the ball 43 times for 207 yards. Junior running back Mark Weisman carried 20 times for 100 yards. Wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley hauled in nine passes for 79 yards.

Those statistics would be considered sterling in victory. However in defeat, they’re just numbers.

“If I play a great game and we lose, it kind of takes away everything from it,” Martin-Manley said. “You play hard, you make those catches in the name of winning.

“It’s hard to see the positives now,” Weisman said. “It hurts now, so you’ve got to move on from it.”

- See more at: http://thegazette.com/2013/08/31/game-report-northern-illinois-30-iowa-27/#sthash.BuJTJ8t5.dpuf

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