IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa’s junior running back is coming off the best rushing performance of his career, and he’s thankful for the big boys up front who made it all possible.
The fifth-ranked Hawkeyes are off to a 3-0 start after dismantling Kent State Saturday and Tyler Goodson has contributed a lot to the team’s success. After all, he has rushed for 307 yards and five touchdowns during that span and believes the offense is growing stronger each game.
The 153 yards Goodson racked up against the Golden Flashes and it was his sixth career game of eclipsing the century mark in rushing. Which is why the Georgia native is comfortable running behind what he believes is the best offensive line in the Big Ten.
“The guys up front did a good job against their assignments, making sure the running backs had a split second just to get open to the open field,” Goodson said. “They did that and from there it was all about the running backs, being able to make some guys miss, and take it to the house.”
Iowa’s offense takes pride in establishing physicality at the line of scrimmage. Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz tries to keep his unit as balanced as possible. Running the ball 35 times a game is ideal. That helps with time of possession and forces the safeties to come closer to the line of scrimmage, which sets up the play-action pass.
Goodson loves watching the offensive line maul defenders, because it makes him want to run even harder. There’s nothing like bursting through gaping ones, especially in the fourth quarter.
“Those guys do a good job of not letting one play get the best of them,” he said. “They’re always going to be strong throughout the game and get stronger, that’s what I seen in this offensive line and it all starts with the guy in the middle.”
The All-Big Ten rusher is thrilled to have All-America center Tyler Linderbaum paving the way for his success. Goodson is proud of the way Linderbaum leads the unit and how they all feed off his energy. The Hawkeyes’ offensive line has been dominating in the trenches, leaving defenders exhausted in the fourth quarter.
Now the offense is playing with confidence and that’s going to be vital when Iowa resumes conference play next month. Everything is starting to gel and Goodson is inching one step closer to his goal of becoming a 1,000-yard rusher.
The 5-foot-10, 199-pounder is always hungry for more carries and considers himself a workhorse. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering he finished third in the league in carries las season. Goodson has 17 career rushing touchdowns, and in hindsight he’s just getting started.
“I know all of the work I put in during the offseason, it’s just a blessing and I’m thrilled to see that forthcoming to me on Saturdays,” the 20-year old said. “It means a lot to me, and it’s not just me on the field, those guys up front do a good job making sure I get space or the quarterback is protected.”
There’s no denying momentum is at an all-time high for Goodson and the rest of the Hawkeyes. Iowa will wrap up non-conference play this Saturday when it hosts a 1-2 Colorado State team.