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Akrum Wadley has been a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season for Iowa
sp_BlogLink Read the original blog post
November 1, 2017
8:19 pm
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College BattleGround
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Little has gone right for Iowa this season.

The 5-3 Hawkeyes are fourth in the Big Ten West and have already dropped three conference matchups. They had a chance to make an early statement against Penn State in Week 4, but lost on the final play. Since then, the floodgates have opened up.

Three years after appearing in the Big Ten title game, Iowa’s now in danger of missing postseason action entirely.

But for all that’s gone wrong, it’s star running back Akrum Wadley that continues to be the Hawkeyes consummate bright spot.

The senior out of New Jersey is coming off a breakout year that saw him compile nearly 1,400 total yards of offense and 13 touchdowns. While he probably won’t surpass those numbers at his current pace, that says more about the team than it does of his abilities.

Take a look at how Wadley’s fared thus far.

Akrum Wadley 2017 Stats

Date Opposing team Result Attempts Rushing yards Yards per carry Rushing touchdowns Receptions Receiving yards Receiving touchdowns
Date Opposing team Result Attempts Rushing yards Yards per carry Rushing touchdowns Receptions Receiving yards Receiving touchdowns
9/2 Wyoming W, 24-3 24 116 4.8 0 0 0 0
9/9 @Iowa State W, 44-41 (OT) 28 118 4.2 1 4 72 1
9/16 North Texas W, 31-14 8 24 3 0 2 80 0
9/23 Penn State L, 21-19 19 80 4.2 1 4 75 1
9/30 @Michigan State L, 17-10 17 30 1.8 1 3 17 0
10/7 Illinois W, 45-16 23 115 5 1 2 14 1
10/21 @Northwestern L, 17-10 (OT) 26 90 3.5 0 3 5 0
10/28 Minnesota W, 17-10 16 70 4.4 1 1 5 0
Total 161 643 4 5 19 268 3

The production of a year ago may not be there, but Wadley’s impact is still felt.

Iowa’s offensive line hasn’t been able to get a consistent push this season. They’re routinely beat off the ball and it’s affected their standout tailback’s play. It’s why he’ll likely set a career-high in receiving yardage in his final go ‘round in college.

Regardless, Wadley’s averaged a solid four yards per carry, has found the end zone almost 10 times, and comes up big when Iowa needs him to.

With Penn State in town, Wadley put on a show alongside fellow stud back Saquon Barkley. He racked up 155 yards and a pair of scores, not to mention a jaw-dropping catch-and-run that kept the Hawkeyes in the game.

Part of what makes No. 25 so special is his versatility.

Similarly to Barkley, Wadley can be the workhorse or he can split out of the backfield as a receiver. His size and innate ability to make something out of nothing are why he’s indispensable in Iowa City.

And Wadley proved as much during his best outing of the year to date, courtesy of in-state rival Iowa State.

Not only did Wadley turn into a video game single-handedly tie things up in the waning moments, he literally ran over or around half of Iowa State’s defense.

This has been the theme throughout Iowa’s up-and-down season.

Wadley can’t always rescue the Hawkeyes, and that’s the main problem. They’re just not a well-rounded group and a porous offensive line doesn’t do them any favors.

So count on Wadley making more plays on Saturday. It’s what he does and it’s what he’ll continue to do.

How much will he impact the final score? That’s a different story.

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