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Canzeri’s long burst lone bright spot in plodding rush attack

[ 0 ] November 2, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. - For much of this season, Jordan Canzeri was lost in a running back shuffle.

Iowa's Jordan Canzeri gains positive yardage on the ground during the Hawkeyes game against Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, November 2, 2013. (Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Iowa’s Jordan Canzeri gains positive yardage on the ground during the Hawkeyes game against Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, November 2, 2013. (Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Saturday, his success was overshadowed by Iowa’s 28-9 loss to Wisconsin. But there was a brief moment when the sophomore from New York brought a crowd of 69,812 to its feet.

“I’m ready,” Canzeri said. “I’m on the sideline if my name gets called. Anything I can do to help the team, I’m there.”

Canzeri, who has been recovering from ACL surgery, temporarily revived the Hawkeyes’ rushing attack with a 43-yard burst in the third quarter.

It was Iowa’s longest play from scrimmage and set up a 29-yard field goal.

“The line just opened it up,” Canzeri said. “I saw the safety coming down hard toward the right side, so it was just a nice cutback and the receiver on the outside had a great block.”

Canzeri finished as the Hawkeyes’ leading rusher with 58 yards on five carries.

Not bad for a guy who seemed like the No. 4 option out of the backfield, behind freshman LeShun Daniels.

“LeShun has been doing a great job,” Canzeri said. “So it didn’t hurt me at all. I wasn’t doubting myself.

“We’ve all been working hard. Everybody can get the job done. So when I finally got my opportunity, I had to take advantage of it.”

More opportunities may come.

The Hawkeyes are plodding offensively, averaging 101 rushing yards the last four games and a pedestrian 3.5 per carry.

“It’s not the gameplan or anything,” Canzeri said. “No one’s frustrated. We know we can get the job done.

“We’ve had big runs in all the games. We just know there’s a lot more things we can do.”

Mark Weisman, who has 747 yards this season on 158 carries, was unable to finish Saturday’s game because of an unspecified injury.

He is expected to be available this week against Purdue.

Is it possible Canzeri will be asked to do more?

“Yeah,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “But it’s tough when you’ve got four guys.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 15 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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