IOWA CITY, Ia. Perceptions can change quickly.
In the case of Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis, it only took about an hour to go from buffoon to brilliant.
“When the big plays happened, everyone got excited,” running back Jordan Canzeri said. “And that was the energy we needed.”
Saturday’s 24-21 win over Michigan altered the way we’ll view the Hawkeyes’ 2013 season.
It also caused an about-face in the Twitter-sphere. With Iowa trailing 21-7 at halftime, cyberspace was peppered with speculation about Davis’ future.
Some wondered if his days at Iowa would be numbered.
After Jake Rudock sealed the victory with a nifty rollout and 12-yard toss to C.J. Fiedorowicz — giving the Hawkeyes a first down with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game – the entire coaching staff received kudos.
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“That’s why we don’t read that. You can’t,” Rudock said of tweets and Internet message boards. “When things are going good, everyone loves you.
“And when things are going bad, everyone thinks, ‘Abandon ship. Fire all.’<TH>”
Reality, of course, is found somewhere between a keyboard and coaching clichés.
Davis’ play-calling was at times questionable. But his demeanor was calming.
“We’re never thinking, ‘Abandon ship,’<TH>” Rudock said. “We’re thinking, ‘Back to work.’<TH>”
Rudock finished 19-of-30 passing for 239 yards with two touchdowns — and three interceptions.
His first snap was a play-action rollout pass, which resulted in Rudock being hit as he threw.
The Wolverines’ Brennen Beyer picked off the pass and returned it for a touchdown.
“I came around the corner and I was just trying to get it out,” Rudock said. “I didn’t get much on it. So it kind of floated up.”
Still, it was a baffling play selection by Davis, considering Iowa was at its own 13-yard line and had yet to attempt a run.
The Hawkeyes averaged 4.3 yards per rush before halftime, but never gained any real momentum.
Rudock’s second interception came in the second quarter, setting up Michigan’s second touchdown.
“When it’s working it’s working,” Rudock said of running the ball. “And you want to stay with it, but obviously if you do anything too much, they start sniffing it out.”
In the end, Davis was bailed out by his offensive line.
Canzeri and Mark Weisman were given room to roam, rushing for a combined 58 yards in the fourth quarter.
Damon Bullock contributed a key 8-yard run on third down, setting up a manageable fourth-and-1 situation.
Weisman picked up the first down, and eventually burrowed into the end zone from 9 yards out, making the score 21-21.
Davis tells his players that when the offense can move on the ground, it’s like aiming at giant dartboard.
It seems like you’ll never miss.
Thanks to the Hawkeye linemen, Davis was on target most of the second half.
“You have to do a little game-planning during the game sometimes,” Rudock said. “Change things up a little bit, find out what’s working best.”
Andrew Logue covers Hawkeye football for the Register. Follow him on Twitter: @AndrewMLogue
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football