Postgame Notebook: Canzeri sets season-high in Champaign


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CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — In the week before Iowa’s 30-14 win over Illinois, head coach Kirk Ferentz indicated that running back Jordan Canzeri might see some playing time against the Fighting Illini. He expected the junior to finally be healthy, something that’s been a struggle for most of the season.

“It's a bad year for him in general. Put it in one little capsule,” Ferentz said. “… We expect him to be healthier and hopefully he'll be part of our rotation Saturday.”

That he was. Canzeri rushed 12 times for a season-high 68 yards here at Memorial Stadium. His 68 rushing yards were the second-most for the Hawkeyes, who ran for a combined 304 on 55 carries against Illinois.

“It was a good 1-2 punch,’’ said Mark Weisman, who led Iowa’s rushing attack with 134 yards on 23 carries. “That was the best we’ve run the football this year and that started with the way the guys played up front.”

Canzeri’s been in and out of Iowa’s two deeps all season. He’s played in just eight games, and has rushed just 66 times. He’s not yet found the end zone.

His teammates lauded his effort against Illinois, despite him appearing to still be working through an injury. They’re glad Canzeri’s back playing because he makes the team better — he does average 4.3 yards per carry, after all.

“It was good to have Jordan back,” Weisman said. “He gives the defense a different look and that helps us all.’’

Duzey catches for 100-plus yards

While Ray Hamilton was busy catching touchdowns, fellow tight end Jake Duzey caught only three passes for 110 receiving yards, the highest single-game receiving yardage total by any one Hawkeye this season.

“It’s a lot of fun when they call your number and you’re there to answer,” Duzey said. “Tight ends had a great day, and it was a lot of fun.”

It was Duzey’s second-career game with 100-plus receiving yards. He had six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown against Ohio State last year.

In all, Hamilton and Duzey combined for seven catches and 130 receiving yards, which was 46 percent of Iowa’s total receiving yardage against Illinois.

“We know that we can move the ball. We just have to finish,” Duzey said. “That’s what we had to do in the second half, and we finished.

“… We were all just excited. We had a great week of practice. Everyone was having a lot of fun. We knew that we could do it. We just wanted to show everybody that we could do it.”

Other notes

• Iowa has scored 30 or more points in four Big Ten games for the first time since 2002, when it scored 30-plus points in five games. Under Kirk Ferentz, Iowa is 62-6 when scoring 30 or more points.

• The Hawkeyes rattled off 28 unanswered points after trailing 7-2 at the beginning of the second quarter. Iowa has trailed in five wins this season.

• Iowa was penalized just once against Illinois, a 10-yard holding call on the second-to-last play of the game.

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for updates, news and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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