Iowa running back Mark Weisman has been cleared to return to practice but coach Kirk Ferentz says it is doubtful the sophomore will be able to play in Saturday night’s game against Penn State. Weisman suffered a sprained ankle on a five yard touchdown run in the final minute of regulation in the Hawkeyes victory at Michigan State.
Ferentz says Weisman will do some light work and they will see where he is, but realistically he’d have to make a lot of progress to be ready to play. Ferentz says being cleared to practice is a lot different than taking part in a game as you are jogging around as opposed to playing against a good defense.
Ferentz says a final decision will be made later in the week and it depends on the big if of “can he play effectively.” Iowa is 2-0 in the Big Ten after a double overtime victory over the Spartans and Ferentz says that win should give the Hawkeyes a boost of confidence.
He says doing it on the road is even better as they have not played that way on the road since probably 2009.
Despite a rough start to the season the Hawkeyes have remained resilient and Ferentz says the team has displayed solid character. “Our leaders have done a good job,” he says and says that even the seniors that aren’t starting are showing the younger guys how to do things.
Iowa’s offense struggled against a tough Michigan State defense and Ferentz says it will be a similar challenge against the Penn State defense. He says they have guys up front that get after you and they have a good secondary.
After an 0-2 start to the season Penn State will bring a four game winning streak to Iowa City this weekend. Much of the reason for the Nittany Lions success has been the play of an improving offense which is averaging 27 points per game.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien says quarterback Matt McGloin is averaging 250 yards of passing per game. He has 12 touchdown passes so far this season and only two interceptions. “He’s shown good poise, he’s shown good leadership and now is the time for him to show that in even better ways,” O’Brien says.