Up-Tempo Is Halfway Home
Oct. 8, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis says the Hawkeyes' up-tempo attack is here to stay, but to varying degrees.
"It's something we'll continue to do, but we're not going to become a team that runs to the line and tries to snap it," Davis said Tuesday in a news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. "We want to play fast, faster than we have. Each ballgame will be a little bit different about how we approach it."
Davis is pleased by the balance the offense has produced over the first six weeks of the season. The Hawkeyes are averaging 207.5 yards on the ground and 209.3 yards through the air.
"We're not a team that's built to throw it 50 (times) and run it 30 (times)," he said. "We want to be balanced because we can protect (the quarterback) better, which we've done much better this year. That's what we're always going to shoot for."
Davis says sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock has taken the reigns of the Hawkeye offense and run with it, literally.
"We're pleased with where he's at and his ability to make plays with his feet," said Davis. "When you look at our third down conversion, we're much better than we were last year at this time. Part of the reason is his ability to make plays with his feet."
Rudock has rushed 31 times for 139 yards, making him the third-leading rusher on the Iowa team. He also has a team-best five touchdowns.
The offense has shown the propensity to go for the big plays in 2013, and Davis wants to see those opportunities grow over the final six games. For that to happen, Iowa needs to hit on the short routes to be able to go for pay dirt.
"For us to be as good as we can, the quick game has to be good," said Davis. "Hopefully that sets something up down the field. We're trying to take more shots than we did last year, and it would be nice if we hit some of them. We want to continue to let the defense know that we'll take our shots."
Davis says it was clear when junior wide receiver Damond Powell arrived on campus that he was a special player, but getting him up to game speed was a process. Davis sees Powell's role increasing as the season progresses.
"We want to continue to bring him on because he is a guy that can do things with it after the catch," said Davis. "I don't know there's a magic number right now, but we are aware that he is a guy that we have to keep bringing on."
Davis knows the benefit of having a versatile, change-of-style running back to compliment junior bruiser Mark Weisman. The Hawkeyes have found that in junior Damon Bullock, who accounted for 77 yards on nine touches against Michigan State, and is Iowa's second-leading rusher (256 yards) and receiver (13 catches, 113 yards) in 2013.
"Damon brings something that's a little bit different," said Davis. "The last couple of games he has played well with his blitz pick-ups and vision. Earlier in the year, he was looking for some home runs and not following his blocks.
"We need both Damon and Mark (Weisman) working at a high level to be able to get what we want out of them."
Iowa (4-2, 1-1) returns to action Oct. 19 at No. 3/4 Ohio State beginning at 2:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on ABC.