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A pleasant surprise

The sudden emergence and the success that Mark Weisman has had carrying the football for Iowa this fall has been as much of a surprise to Hawkeye coaches as has been to fans. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis said today that the ability Weisman has shown at tailback since moving into that role following an injury suffered by starter Damon Bullock has been somewhat stunning. "If you would have asked me in August if I thought Mark Weisman would run the ball like he has, I would not have been able to honestly say that,'' Davis said today. "We had no idea he'd be as productive as he has been.'' The converted fullback who now averages 103 yards per game will continue to figure into Davis' plans once Bullock returns to the field. "I'm not so worried about carries and things like tht as I am things we can do to affect the defense,'' Davis said. "For example, if we can put what appears to be a base formation, two backs, a tight end, two wide receivers on the field with Mark being the fullback and Damon the tailback and then the next play the same group is out there with Damon, perhaps, as a wide receiver, you can do some things.'' Davis expects both to get plenty of opportunities and he expects to find the Hawkeyes riding the "hot hand'' at times. "It would be good to have two guys back there that have done it a little bit,'' Davis said. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker appreciates where his counterpart is coming from. "I'm just glad our guys don't have to tackle (Weisman) too much,'' Parker said. "In the spring when our offense went down and they wanted to score against us, they gave him the ball and they just let him plug it away. "It's hard to tackle him. I just think he has a lot of drive and he's strong.''

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