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Passing attack shines briefly before frizzling out

[ 0 ] October 5, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. -  Iowa’s passing attack Saturday was like a shooting star.

For two breathless drives late in the first half, the Hawkeyes shot toward the end zone, taking a 14-10 lead.

And then, things fizzled.

“We did nothing at all, and then once we got it going a little bit, it was certainly good,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Disappointing part was, in the second half, we weren’t able to do that, until the last possession.”

Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) catches a pass from Jake Rudock in the endzone to put the Hawkeye's up 14-10 at the half against Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) catches a pass from Jake Rudock in the endzone to put the Hawkeye’s up 14-10 at the half against Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

Sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock engineered scoring drives of 75 and 65 yards just before halftime, but the Hawkeyes didn’t march farther than 22 yards until the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Rudock, who finished 26 of 46 passing for 241 yards, was hampered by the departure of leading receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley, who suffered an unspecified leg injury.

“That wasn’t the story of the game,” Ferentz said. “It just doesn’t help. But it gave opportunities to others.”

Martin-Manley’s absence contributed to 10 different Hawkeyes catching passes — equaling a season high.

“That’s a testament to (receivers) coach (Bobby) Kennedy… getting them ready,” Rudock said. “Those guys put the time and effort in. You may have to go in at a really pivotal time, and they stepped up, did a good job.”

Martin-Manley has a team-best 26 catches — 15 resulting in a first down and one for a touchdown – but none Saturday.

Tevaun Smith was the leader with six receptions for 59 yards against Michigan State. Running back Damon Bullock had five catches for 71 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown.

“Bullock is a good player,” Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. “They split the defense and got a big play.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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