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Welcomed byproduct

One of the few questions the Iowa football team has answered during its 2-2 start to the season is at an unexpected position - running back. Injuries to Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon provided Mark Weisman with an opportunity he seized. And with the return of Jordan Canzeri to the field this fall looking more likely by the day, it is possible that in a couple of weeks coach Kirk Ferentz may find himself with unanticipated depth at the running back position. "It will be a nice problem to have,'' Ferentz said. Weisman has topped 300 yards and scored six touchdowns over the past two games - something no Iowa back has accomplished since Tavian Banks in 1997 - and Ferentz said that chance probably would not have happened without the lack of depth Iowa had at the position. "Randomly, two weeks ago, we decided to work him a little bit in the backfield, back carrying the football, again, having no idea what was going to happen,'' Ferentz said. "That's just kind of luck there, I guess, good timing, whatever you want to call it. The most important thing is that Mark's taken this opportunity and done something with it.'' Ferentz welcomes the chance to blend the physical running style of Weisman with the slashing style of Bullock and Canzeri. He's not alone. "It would be great to be able to mix and match backs with different styles depending on the situation,'' quarterback James Vandenberg said. "That would be great.'' If Canzeri returns and when Bullock joins Garmon and Weisman in the backfield, it is likely that true freshman Michael Malloy will redshirt this season. "If we can keep him out, we will probably,'' Ferentz said today. "We haven't made that decision, but we'll probably think more about that next week.'' Given the sudden depth Iowa has, a welcomed byproduct of injury situations, it probably would be the prudent thing to do.

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