Jordan Canzeri a silver lining during Iowa's bowl loss

Rick Brown
Iowa Hawkeyes running back Jordan Canzeri (33) dives for extra yardage as he is tripped up by Tennessee Volunteers linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (34) in the first quarter of the TaxSlayer Bowl. Canzeri gained 120 yards in just 12 carries,

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jordan Canzeri was a silver lining in a miserable day for Iowa's football team.

Injured most of the season, the junior running back broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the second time in his career during a 45-28 loss to Tennessee at the TaxSlayer Bowl.

"It's pretty obvious that's the best he's performed all season," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "He really hasn't been right pretty much this whole season going back to August."

Canzeri, who gained 120 yards in just 12 carries, said he felt better than he has in some time. But 100 yards didn't mean he was 100 percent.

"I wouldn't say that," Canzeri said. "I had to take a shot for the pain in the ankle. Hopefully this time off will help."

Canzeri's first 100-yard game came last season when he gained 165 yards in 20 carries at Purdue. He finished that season with 481 yards in 74 carries. He entered Friday's game with 374 yards in 90 carries.

Canzeri was just the third Iowa player to break the 100-yard mark this season. Akrum Wadley gained 106 yards in 15 carries against Northwestern, and Mark Weisman rushed for 134 yards in 23 carries against Illinois.

Nearly all of Canzeri's damage was done in the second half. He had just one carry for two yards in the first half. He had runs of 11, 28 and 32 yards in the second half.

The goal now is to get healthy for his senior season.

"I felt like this year, since I was hurt a lot, I wasn't able to contribute as much as I wanted to," Canzeri said. "Even thought people told me I had a good game (Friday), I'm not thinking that. I'm upset I didn't finish some of those plays."

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