Weisman has carried the ball 95 times for 468 yards, which is an average of about 5 yards per rush. He has only found the endzone three times so far this season, but last year against the Gophers he had a field day by compiling 177 rushing yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. A 155 yards came from the first half and the Hawkeyes cruised in that game to get back the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy.
With all the success that Weisman has had in the running game, Iowa leads the Big Ten in time of possession at 35.48 per game. That is also 5th nationally in time of possession as well.
How do you neutralize that physical running attack that the Hawkeyes present? The big men up front especially Ra'shede Hageman will need to step up and create chaos in the backfield. It will be critical for them to shed the blockers and get as many hats to the ball as possible. Penetration is also the key word to stopping the run in this game. This defensive line has the talent to do that, but they just have to execute.
The linebackers will also have to fill the gaps and plug the holes as best they can. Senior linebacker Aaron Hill has 24 total tackles on the year and recorded his first interception of the year last week. His leadership and performance will be a big factor if the Gophers has what it takes to slowing down this Hawkeye offense.
Minnesota enters 4-0 in the game and Iowa is coming in with a winning record as well by being 3-1. This is the Big Ten season opener for both teams and could shift the momentum in each program. I expect this game to be a close one and while both teams like to run the ball, I think the main matchup will be if the Minnesota defense can stuff the Iowa running attack? We will have to see in a packed and very excited TCF Bank Stadium.
Minnesota leads this series against Iowa 61-43-2 with this series dating all the way back to 1891.