Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/3/13
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 The immense offensive struggles of last year’s team have been replaced by efficient quarterback play and a dominate rushing attack.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.  

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings owner thinks Hield has 'Steph Curry potential'

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Westbrook's beef with Kevin Durant might not be over after all

Giants could use franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Two-time Le Mans winner felt he had to hide homosexuality

Emmanuel Sanders wife: WR lied to Broncos, skipped practice to party

Report: Celtics focused on Jimmy Butler amid Cousins trade news

DeMarcus Cousins traded to Pelicans for players, picks

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

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

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker