Damon Bullock

Maryland overcomes poor start to lead Iowa at half


Iowa is looking to remain perfect in the Big Ten, but Maryland has overcome a rough start to take a lead into the halftime break. Maryland has scored 17 straight points to take a 17-14 lead into the second half.

Things got off to a rough start for Maryland, with C.J. Brown tossing an interception to Drew Ott on the first play of the game. With terrific starting field position from the Maryland 32, yard line, five plays later the visiting Hawkeyes took a quick lead with a short touchdown run from Mark Weisman. After Maryland was eventually forced to punt on the ensuing possession, Iowa quickly flipped the field position when Jake Rudock connected with Damon Bullock for a 52-yard gain on the first play of the drive. Rudock soon hooked up with Henry Krieger Coble for a short touchdown pass and Iowa led 14-0 about midway through the first quarter.

Jacquille Veii put the Terrapins on the scoreboard with a nifty 23-yard touchdown run on Maryland’s next possession. That was the start of a 17-point run by the home team as Maryland took some control after a rocky start. Maryland turned an Iowa lost fumble into three points off the leg of Brad Craddock and a touchdown run by Wes Brown capped a drive that started around midfield later in the second quarter.

Iowa is looking to go 3-0 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes have had some ups and downs this season, but a win today in Maryland would keep Iowa in a good position moving forward in the Big Ten West. Wisconsin or Nebraska may still be the top teams in the division, and Northwestern has made it clear we should not forget about them either, but Iowa has a somewhat favorable schedule ahead if they can come back and leave the east coast with a win.

Iowa ends spring with no running back depth concerns


The dreaded AIRBHG must have been on vacation this spring, because the Iowa Hawkeyes managed to get through the spring feeling strong about the depth at running back.

Knowing the past history of the running backs at Iowa, the Hawkeyes went a little lighter than usual on the running plays during the spring game on Saturday. That helped make sure starting running backs Mark Weisman and Jordan Canzeri stayed healthy. Now, heading into the summer, Iowa can focus on putting together a physical running game behind a solid offensive line and an arsenal of healthy running backs, including bruiser Damon Bullock.

“That’s our goal,” senior offensive lineman Brandon Scherff said after the spring game. “We want to be the most physical unit on the field and want to be able to run the ball against people’s will, and that is what we are going to work for in the summer. We are going to get stronger and faster and try to learn the offense more so we can play faster.”

Iowa’s history with injuries at running back is rather infamous, but last season Iowa’s top three running backs appeared in 35 combined games. The Iowa rushing offense was ranked sixth in the Big Ten in 2013, much improved from the worst rushing offense in the conference in 2012 and 2011. Weisman led the Hawkeyes in rushing with 974 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013. Canzieri was second on the team with 481 yards and two touchdowns. Now the trick will be to get a second straight season of stability out of the position.

Award named in honor of Earl Campbell releases inaugural watch list


(Apologies; forgot to post this yesterday)

Just like bowl games, there’s another new postseason award that will be handed out after the end of the 2013 regular season.

After announcing its creation last August, the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, by way of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce and SPORTyler, revealed Wednesday its inaugural watch list.  The initial group of players released by the Campbell Award consists of 35 players.

While the award ostensibly goes to the top offensive player in the country, it’s very much a Texas-centric trophy.  The release states that “the winner must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college.”

As a result of that criteria, nine of the players are from the Big 12, while a total of 14 are from Texas-based FBS football programs.  The Pac-12 has five players on the list, while the Big Ten, Conference USA and Mountain West have four apiece.  One of the three SEC players to watch is, obviously, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel.

A total of 13 running backs were recognized, followed by quarterbacks (10), wide receivers (eight), offensive linemen (three) and tight end (one).

The newest award is named in honor of, of course, the former Texas Longhorn legend and College Football Hall of Famer.  He earned the nickname “the Tyler Rose” coming out of high school in the Texas city.

Below is the inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch list:

· Ross Apo, BYU, WR
· David Ash, Texas, QB
· Kolton Browning, Louisiana-Monroe, QB
· Damon Bullock, Iowa, RB
· Shane Carden, East Carolina, QB
· Kasey Carrier, New Mexico, RB
· Tim Cornett, UNLV, RB
· Cody Davis, Purdue, OG
· Adam Dingwell, San Diego State, QB
· Cameron Fleming, Stanford, OT
· James Franklin, Missouri, QB
· Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa, WR
· Ryan Grant, Tulane, WR
· Deontay Greenbury, Houston, WR
· Marion Grice, Arizona State, RB
· John Hubert, Kansas State, RB
· Nathan Jeffrey, UTEP, RB
· Jeremy Johnson, SMU, WR
· Chuckie Keeton, Utah State, QB
· Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB
· Venric Mark, Northwestern, RB
· Ty Montgomery, Stanford, WR
· Casey Pachall, TCU, QB
· Lache Seastrunk, Baylor, RB
· Charles Sims, West Virginia, RB
· James Sims, Kansas, RB
· Eric Soza, UTSA, QB
· Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State, WR
· Travis Swanson, Arkansas, C
· Zachary Swanson, Virginia, TE
· Eric Ward, Texas Tech, WR
· James White, Iowa State, RB
· Rodrick Williams Jr., Minnesota, RB
· Connor Wood, Colorado, QB
· Storm Woods, Oregon State, RB

Kirk Ferentz doesn’t expect leading rusher to play against Indiana


As Hurricane Sandy continues to pound the East Coast — there are some unbelievable images from the storm if you’ve missed them — injuries continue to take their toll on Iowa’s backfield.

Mark Weisman, injured in Saturday’s loss to Northwestern, is unlikely to play this weekend against Indiana, Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday. Weisman is the team’s leading rusher with 661 yards and eight touchdowns. He emerged as the go-to guy in the Hawkeyes’ backfield earlier this year because of other injuries and attrition to the running back spot.

One of those injured backs was Damon Bullock, who suffered a concussion in September. However, it appears Bullock is on the mend and will play against the Hoosiers. Bullock is the team’s second-leading rusher with 387 yards and a touchdown.

Mark Weisman injured again for Iowa

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Seeing as Iowa’s running back depth situation is what it is, the Hawkeyes can ill-afford another injury in the backfield. Yet that’s exactly what Iowa got this afternoon against Northwestern.

Running back Mark Weisman left the game in the first half with an unspecified injury and has yet to return. Though Weisman came into today as the team’s leading rusher (640 yards), he’s been banged up the past couple of weeks.

Damon Bullock has filled in nicely for Weisman, carrying the ball for 53 yards so far.

Northwestern won 28-17.