Iowa's defense shines in spring game
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Akrum Wadley scored the lone touchdown of Iowa's spring game on Saturday as the defense shined.
The lack of offensive fireworks didn't concern Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, saying it's par for the course during spring practice.
''At this point after 15 days, our defense might know our offense better than the offense does, quite frankly,'' Ferentz said. ''It happens in camp, too, just when you work against each other pretty expansively. That's nothing to be alarmed about.''
Iowa's depth at running back was on full display.
Wadley, along with Jordan Canzeri, LeShun Daniels Jr. and Derrick Mitchell Jr. all split carries and were effective. Mitchell, a converted wide receiver, and Wadley impressed players and coaches with their shiftiness and speed. The duo accounted for the majority of the offensive yards.
Here are some other takeaways from Iowa's final practice of spring camp.
Quarterback C.J. Beathard, who was given the nickname ''Sunshine'' by his teammates because of how much he resembles the long-haired quarterback from the movie ''Remember the Titans'', was finally able to work exclusively with the starters this spring.
Two-year starter Jake Rudock will play his final year of eligibility at Michigan this fall, which leaves Beathard as the starter.
''It's easier to lead when you're not sharing reps, so that's one thing that's a positive in this whole thing,'' Beathard said.
BACK IN BLACK
A year ago, Iowa's linebackers were learning on the fly as true freshmen. If the season started today, the Hawkeyes would be starting three sophomores in Bo Bower, Ben Niemann, and Josey Jewell.
There were aches and pains last year, but the trio is in much better shape with a year of experience under their belt. They were stout all day, and showed much of the poise some would expect out of an older group.
Adding experience and veteran play to the group was senior Cole Fisher, a backup who can play multiple linebacker positions. He intercepted backup quarterback Tyler Wiegers.
TURNING THE TIDES
Last season, defensive end Drew Ott went against consensus All-American left tackle Brandon Scherff in practice on a daily basis. Scherff will be in the NFL Draft next week and now Ott competes against sophomore Boone Myers.
Ott got the best of Myers in the spring game. He was regularly in the backfield and looks to give the Hawkeyes a potential all-conference season in his senior year.
PLAYING THE CONDITIONS
Beathard is no stranger to the deep ball, as the junior likes to take shots downfield at any opportunity he gets.
Due to a strong wind on Saturday, he failed to complete any of those home runs. Beathard said it was the worst weather he's dealt with this spring and is still confident in his ability to connect with his receivers.