AS MY TWITTER FRIEND MATT BENSON CALLED IT, RUN BLOCKING PORN. Had you told me Iowa would reach 7-0 prior to the season I would have guessed it was due to some amazing QB play similar to Texas A&M when Johnny Manziel emerged out of nowhere. Iowa has had excellent QB play this season -- better than any in the last five years. But the quarterback has been hurting and the team keeps winning in spite of his injuries and the limitations that go with that. They are winning because they are running the ball.
And it's been plug and play at running back the last two weeks. Iowa's Jordan Canzeri and Akrum Wadley each eclipsed 200 yards rushing in back-to-back weeks. How is that possible? The interior offensive line.
Sure, this play wasn't overly successful but it's a nice glimpse of some of the differences we've seen thus far in 2015. We get a good look at Austin Blythe pulling out and leading the way as Iowa utilizes the athleticism of the Big Ten's best center. The difference here from Iowa's old bread and butter outside zone is the pull. Zone blocking would have the uncovered (Blythe and Croston) double a man and release to get to the second level. In this case, the uncovered pull and lead outside. The backside uncovered, Sean Welsh, tries to get to that second level trailing linebacker to open up a cutback lane. Again, it didn't work here, but it has this season.
Don't worry, the traditional zone blocking is still there. Pretty simple. Step play side and double at the line of scrimmage. Get off the double and find a linebacker. Jordan Walsh is killing people this year but we already covered that a few weeks back.
Oh hey, Sean Welsh. There it is again and with a newly minted right tackle crushing the second level. It also helps to have a running back that can do what Wadley just did above.
Speaking of Wadley...
That dude has an extra something and I'm not sure I've seen quicks like that from an Iowa running back. He's going to provide Iowa yet another weapon down the final stretch.
We can't get this far and ignore the performance in the first half of the season by both of Iowa's fullbacks. Last year, both Adam Cox and Macon Plewa were out due to injury. This year, they're both back and taking turns killing dudes. It's usually not a glory position, fullback. These guys deserve some praise.