Weisman's workload is the stat of the day

Junior running back put up a career-high 30 carries

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March 28, 2014 | 8:08 pm

IOWA CITY -- Brandon Scherff, Iowa's 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle, is the big dog in the Hawkeyes' weightroom.

Iowa has filmed and posted on YouTube Scherff's hang clean lifts the past two summers. He is a tower of power, but he knows he has to push it to retain "big dog" status.

His main competitor? It's running back Mark Weisman.

"I love competing with him in everything," Scherff said. "He pushes me and I try to push him."

Weisman rushed a career high 30 times for 180 yards and two TDs in Iowa's 28-14 victory Saturday over Missouri State. Weisman's previous high for carries was 29 last November against Nebraska. The official game-time temperature was 80 degrees, but that climbed in the high-afternoon sun over Kinnick Stadium.

The 30 carries was perhaps the day's most impressive number.

"He's the kind of guy you want on your team," linebacker James Morris said. "He wants to win more than anything. He'd carry 50 times if that's what he was asked to do."

He would. He could.

"It's summer conditioning and practice," said Weisman, who's rushed for 280 yards on 50 carries in Iowa's first two games. "It's been hot in practice, you just have to draw on your strength and conditioning."

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis told the line this week that this was going to be an offensive lineman's kind of game. The Hawkeyes ran the ball 30 more times (58) than they passed (28).

Weisman was at the center of all four of Iowa's TD drives. He had a 21-yard gain during TD drive No. 1. He finished TD No. 2 with a 10-yard run to make it 14-0 in the third quarter. He finished the third TD drive with a 3-yard run. He had four carries for 24 yards on Iowa's final TD drive.

This was his sixth 100-yard game in his 12-game career. Weisman also surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards.

"He's a guy who does things right in the weightroom, so it's not surprising what he does on the field," center Austin Blythe said. "It was hot out, he ran the ball a lot. I don't know how many total carries he had, but he took most of the work. That's the kind of guy he is. He's not going to bat an eye at it, he's just going to attack it."

Weisman did go 30 carries, but he finished the game strong, rushing 29 yards to MSU's 33 to allow Iowa to take a knee. Iowa played three other running backs -- Damon Bullock, Jordan Canzeri and true freshman LeShun Daniels. They combined for 19 carries and 83 yards.

"Mark looked like he was getting stronger as the game went on," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Having LeShun, Damon did some good things in the run game, too. We're going to need all those guys to work together."

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