Iowa's linebackers helping to fill void

Pat Harty
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Injuries continue to deplete the ranks at fullback for the Iowa football team, but linebackers continue to help fill the void.

Redshirt freshman John Kenny is the latest Hawkeye to switch from linebacker to fullback, joining Drake Kulick and Steve Manders.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Kenny started practicing at fullback two weeks ago. He made his offensive debut in Saturday's 20-17 loss to Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock throws a pass to John Kenny during their game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

"My greatest opportunity to get on the field was to be a fullback, so I just came in to fill in," said Kenny, who only played defense in high school.

Kenny replaced junior starter Macon Plewa, who didn't dress for Saturday's game because of an undisclosed injury. Plewa became the starter when junior Adam Cox suffered a season-ending knee injury early in preseason practice.

Kenny isn't sure if his switch to offense is permanent.

"I've been studying both, but right now I'm focusing on fullback," said Kenny, a native of Carmel, Ind. "But I don't know what the future holds."

Kenny caught his first pass as a Hawkeye in the second half of Saturday's game, but it gained just two yards. He also had several impressive blocks for an Iowa running game that continues to sputter. Iowa only finished with 129 net rushing yards on 44 carries, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry as a team

"It was a new experience, but overall I thought it went pretty well," Kenny said. "I knew my assignments and we moved the ball and pushed some people around."