Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) will be facing some déjà vu when the Michigan State Spartans (3-1, 0-0) visit Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Head coach Kirk Ferentz and company are off to their best start in four years and are riding a four-game winning streak. A win against the Spartans will be evidence that the Hawkeyes are ready to challenge no. 17 Northwestern and no. 19 Michigan for a chance to compete for a Big Ten title. Last season, the Hawkeyes entered their game against the Spartans with a 3-2 record and were needing a signature win to help lift them through the rest of their conference schedule . The Hawkeyes beat Michigan State 19-16 in overtime, but did not win again until nearly a month ago when they prevailed 28-14 over Missouri State. On Saturday, Iowa will face its first true test of the season against the always resilient Michigan State Spartans after beating Minnesota last week 23-7 in its Big Ten opener. This year however, Iowa seems to be a very different team. The immense offensive struggles of last year’s team have been replaced by efficient quarterback play and a dominate rushing attack. Sophomore Jake Rudock was a question mark coming into the season, but has progressed nicely on the field throughout his first five games as a starter. Quarterback Jake Rudock attempts a pass against Minnesota in Iowa’s 23-7 win over the Gophers on September 28. The passing game is still a work in progress however, and what vision Rudock has lacked — he has thrown four interceptions — through the air, he has made up with his feet: the Weston, Fla. native has rushed for five touchdowns. Rudock has accounted for 11 total touchdowns thus far and is completing 61% of his passes. At this point last year, former Hawkeye James Vandenberg only had two touchdowns. Rudock’s success however, is attributed to running back Mark Weisman. Weisman has been — and will continue to be barring an injury — Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis’s go-to-guy. Part of the reason Iowa only had four wins last season was because they didn’t have any healthy players at running back. Weisman, who hurt his ankle last season, has been durable so far — through five games he has 119 carries — and is the key to the Hawkeyes success. Follow isportsweb on twitter The Buffalo Grove, Ill native has 615 rushing yards and is averaging five yards per rush. Weisman and back-up Damon Bullock are the reason why Iowa is ranked 19th in the nation in rushing yards (244) per game. Michigan State is just the first game of a difficult October stretch for the Hawkeyes. Iowa has been successful and will rely on Weisman and Rudock to lead them through the rest of its conference schedule. If one of them falters or the offense fails to produce points, the Hawkeyes are at risk of suffering another rough season.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gregg Marshall is staying at Wichita State

Bengals troll Browns with April Fools’ Day joke

Malcolm Jenkins on McCoy trade: Could've gotten more

Does Romo restructure pave the way for Peterson?

Todd Gurley: 2015 NFL Draft Profile

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Colts' Robert Mathis hopes to be back by training camp

LeBron thought Kyrie was a ballhog when season started

Muhammad Ali rooting for a Pacquiao win over Mayweather

Report: Cowboys to restructure Tony Romo's contract

Blake Griffin frustrated with lack of fan support at home

Eli Manning expects Giants' offense to take off in 2015

Ravens commit tampering violation, show it on Twitter

Lightning won’t sell playoff tickets to non-Florida residents

Brad Stevens dismisses Texas rumor

Albert, Costas and Michaels to work together for the first time

A’s closer buying tickets to fill stands at LGBT Pride Night

13 U.S. senators call on FIFA to strip Russia of 2018 World Cup

The San Antonio Spurs are beautiful again

Auriemma blasts men’s college basketball: ‘The game is a joke’

Westbrook: I'm not Angry Man off the court, I'm a chill guy

Fourth man sentenced in 2007 killing of Sean Taylor

Players who could have their arbitration years bought out

Rookie of the Year: Should there be a winner?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dark horse Cy Young candidates

Final Four fact or fiction

Why WrestleMania 31 was an all-time great

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.