IOWA CITY — With starters nursing injuries, quarterback C.J. Beathard and running back Jordan Canzeri attempted to jumpstart the Iowa offense Saturday.
Canzeri did bust free for a 43-yard run on his way to a team-leading 58-yard performance, but the strength of the Wisconsin defense mostly led to continued struggles for an offense that hasn’t scored a fourth-quarter touchdown in a Big Ten game this season.
“That’s a good team, a good defense, but we didn’t execute the way we can,’’ Canzeri said after the Hawkeyes’ 28-9 loss to Wisconsin. “We didn’t take advantages of some opportunities that were given to us and against a good team, you have to make the most of them when they are there.’’
Canzeri, who had carried just three times in Iowa’s first four conference games, finished with five rushes, including the third-quarter run that was the longest of the season for a Hawkeye.
Even after Canzeri moved the ball to the Wisconsin 17-yard line, Iowa ended up settling for the last of three Mike Meyer field goals in the game after the drive stalled.
Canzeri took the field after Mark Weisman, Damon Bullock and LeShun Daniels had combined for 35 yards on 19 carries against the Badgers through two-and-a-half quarters.
“I came in and tried to do what I can. The other backs, they are doing a good job,’’ Canzeri said. “It was a tough day to get anything going.’’
Beathard discovered that as well, completing 4-of-16 passes once he took the field after a knee sprain ended Jake Rudock’s start.
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“It was tough out there,’’ the redshirt freshman said. “We hadn’t been able to get much going and that didn’t change. They were a tough defense. It’s an experience we’ll learn from.’’
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said both Rudock and Weisman, who had both arms heavily wrapped at the end of the game, should be available to play next week.
He described both as “nicked up’’ and said it “seemed the smart thing to do’’ to keep both on the sidelines after they left with injuries.
Weisman didn’t return after failing to gain the needed yard on a fourth-and-one play shortly before Rudock was picked off by Darius Hillary midway through the third quarter.
“Jake could have gone back in, but it didn’t seem the prudent thing to do at the point,’’ Ferentz said.