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Finally, the Hawkeyes made it through a regular season without any significant running back issues. Interestingly enough, the Hawkeyes were last in the nation in rushing at 74.9 yards per game and down to their fifth- and sixth-string running backs at one point in 2004, the same season they defeated LSU in the Capital One Bowl.
In terms of depth, the running game is now arguably the Hawkeyes' strongest asset.
Most people know about the bulldozer Mark Weisman, who finished the regular season with 938 yards and seven touchdowns. After he made a lot of noise on national television when he bounced off multiple defenders against Nebraska and took the ball inside the 1-yard line, Weisman is a prime candidate for a Gruden Grinder award against the Tigers.
But while Damon Bullock and LeShun Daniels have had an impact at times this season, Jordan Canzeri has emerged as the strong No. 2 back. He's averaging 7.7 yards per carry in the last four games.
In a similar way to Hill and Magee for LSU, Canzeri provides more speed and shiftiness when Weisman takes a break.
But even though Canzeri has only caught four passes on the season, LSU can't sleep on him when it comes to check downs and screen passes. He started at running back in the 2011 Insight Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, when he caught six passes and took one of them into the end zone.
The Tigers give up 148.8 yards on the ground, which is 43rd in the nation. As far as statistics go, it will be the fifth-best rushing defense Iowa will have faced this season (Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State are all in the top six).
While some would dispute that and mention that this is an SEC defense and that statistics only mean so much, let's take a look at the last time Iowa was in the Outback Bowl.
The Gamecocks were 38th in the nation in rushing defense at 128.7 yards per game and had faced tough running backs like Georgia's Knowshon Moreno or Clemson's James Davis and C.J. Spiller. Yet with Shonn Greene and Jewel Hampton, the Hawkeyes ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns that ultimately ended in a 31-10 Iowa victory.
Obviously LSU isn't South Carolina, but Ferentz has consistently produced offensive lineman that move on to the NFL and his teams can run against great competition.
Bringing a good dose of Weisman with some Canzeri sprinkled in there is the best method for success. Look for Weisman to get about 75 percent of the designed carries with Canzeri coming in there for the other 25.