Hawks Preview Purdue

Iowa heads to West Lafayette Saturday to face Purdue in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Hawkeye Head Coach Kirk Ferentz and his players talked about what they expect from the Boilermakers.

Iowa CITY, Iowa - Jordan Canzeri flashed his talent throughout his first two seasons. Last November at Purdue, he showed he could be a feature back.

Canzeri carried 20 times for a career-high 165 yards and a touchdown in Iowa's 38-14 win at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Hawkeyes' 318 yards on the ground represented their most in a game since 2002.

The Hawkeyes return to West Lafayette Saturday (11 a.m., BTN) for their Big Ten opener against Purdue. Canzeri is listed as a co-starter on the latest two-deep and is part of a running back time share with Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock.

"It was a great feeling just having the performance I did but it was all just a credit to the offensive line and to (quarterback) Jake (Rudock) for the checks that he had and just knowing their defense," Canzeri said. "Even though I was told I had a great game, I still expected a lot more. If anything, I'm just ready to do more than I did last year if I do get that opportunity."

It's hard to say how the carries will shake out for Iowa's running backs this week. They're coming off a win at Pitt that saw Weisman tote the ball 22 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns while Canzeri, who started, ran eight times for 23 yards and Bullock received two opportunities and picked up three yards.

The Iowa rushing game still is waiting to hit its stride and that could happen this week. The Boilermakers allow almost 150 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 11th in the Big Ten.

Purdue stands at 2-2 after winning just one game a year ago. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz sees a lot of growth in this week's opponent.

"It's going to be a big challenge for us.  They've got a team that looks a lot more comfortable now.  They've got second year with the coaching staff, so I think there is a bigger comfort level there.

"Quarterback's (Danny Etling) a second year player now, so he's got experience.  Just to be improved in every facet, and one thing of note, both kickoff and punt returners are really dangerous players.  Punt returners got, I think, a really big average right now.  He's 20-plus a return, and that's without having an 80-yarder in there, so that's pretty impressive.  Their kick return guys are both extremely fast, as are the running backs.

"So both running backs are back there and they're dangerous guys and one guy is extremely fast.  So we have our work cut out on all three levels, so we'll go back to work today."


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