There's a lot of candidates on this side of the ball as the Hawkeye offense put it on Purdue today, especially on the ground. They had two rushers surpass 100 yards despite playing very little in the fourth quarter. We'll side with Akrum Wadley who looked like the elusive, quick Akrum Wadley again that is tough to corral. Wadley totaled 168 yards on just 13 carries. The Hawkeyes did about everything they wanted when they handed it off to their backs on this day.
It's the second consecutive week where the pick is defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson. He was an animal again. When he's right, there's not too many rushing yards to be had against the Hawkeye defense. It does beg the question about where it was for the first few weeks of the season. But it's here now and this defense has taken off because of it. Johnson was even close on a few sacks against Purdue today and he's not known to be a pass rusher.
There wasn't much special teams to speak of for Iowa against the Boilermakers. They did not have to punt hardly at all, and when they did, they weren't desperately needing the field to be flipped. Desmond King did not get a lot of chances as a returner. There were no field goal attempts. So today it is a default prize where true freshman Keith Duncan is awarded with the honor for nailing all of his extra points.
Only a few played for the meaningful portion of the game and that was kicker Keith Duncan, cornerback Manny Rugamba and tight end Noah Fant. Others got in during garbage time, most notably quarterback Nate Stanley and defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore. Fant gets the game ball. He wasn't bad as a blocker, though he was confused on a few pass protections. But he was a weapon in the passing game on multiple occasions and secured his first career touchdown on a nice catch where he was able to show off his athleticism and still get a foot down for the score.