Mark Weisman tops 2,000, was next man in at fullback

Rick Brown

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – We're five games into the season, and Mark Weisman has never felt fresher.

Sep 27, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Mark Weisman (45) and offensive linesman Brandon Scherff (68) celebrate a touchdown during the second half of the game at Ross Ade Stadium. The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Purdue Boilermakers 24 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

"Definitely the healthiest I've been," Weisman said after scoring two touchdowns and cracking the 2,000-yard career rushing milestone in Saturday's 24-10 victory at Purdue. "I've really got nothing going on. Just bangs and bruises. That's good, especially going into a bye week. Now I can get fully healthy."

The senior had 24 carries for 76 yards Saturday, giving him 2,050 yards for his career. He became the seventh player in Iowa history to reach the 2,000 mark.

"He joined a pretty good group of folks, too," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Weisman joined Sedrick Shaw, Ladell Betts, Albert Young, Tavian Banks, Owen Gill and Ronnie Harmon in the 2,000 club.

Weisman also moved to eighth in career touchdowns with 22. In the 16 years coach Ferentz has been the Hawkeyes' coach, only Albert Young (23) has more. Shonn Greene also has 22.

Among those happiest about Weisman's accomplishments was left offensive tackle Brandon Scherff.

"Any time you can reach a milestone like that, it's great for him," Scherff said. "And it feels good for the offensive line. Now we've got to keep pushing."

Weisman is fresher because his carries are down from last season. His 24 carries Saturday were his most this season. He had 22 carries for a week ago at Pittsburgh. Weisman has 78 carries this season. He had 119 through the first five games last season.

Weisman is now sharing time with Jordan Canzeri, Damon Bullock at LeShun Daniels at running back. Ferentz has gone with three backs in recent games, with Daniels the odd man out. But Daniels was the third back Saturday in place of Damon Bullock, who didn't make the trip with an undisclosed injury.

It looked like Weisman, who scored on runs of 2 and 5 yards, might be forced to change positions in the second half after fullback John Kenny rolled an ankle. Kenny, a converted linebacker, was playing because returning starter Adam Cox was lost for the season with a knee injury in fall camp and Macon Plewa has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.

Ferentz said after the game Saturday that Weisman was the next man in at fullback, the position he started at when he transferred to Iowa from the Air Force. But Kenny was able to return.

"I'm always ready for that," Weisman said. "Whatever the team needs, I'm going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability. When I saw him (Kenny) go down I started to get mentally prepared to be a fullback."