Does Iowa just plug in running backs and go?
When Adam Robinson was suspended for the 2010 Insight Bowl, freshman Marcus Coker rushed for 219 yards for the Hawkeyes in Iowa's 27-24 Insight Bowl win over Missouri.
So much for Robinson, who would never again play for Iowa. Then Coker rushed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. But he was suspended for the Insight Bowl, and would never again play for Iowa.
Coker transferred to FCS Stony Brook. His one-time backup, Mika'il McCall, who rushed nine times for 61 yards in Iowa's 2011 season-opener against Tennessee Tech before breaking an ankle, left the team after the season and transferred to FCS Southern Illinois.
Iowa believed it had all sorts of running back problems, with 2011 Insight Bowl-starter Jordan Canzeri tearing an ACL last spring, and De'Andre Johnson getting dismissed from the team in August after two run-ins with police. Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon ran 1-2, until the season's third game. That's when Bullock had a concussion and Garmon dislocated an elbow.
So walk-on Mark Weisman was moved from fullback to running back, and has 507 rushing yards in his last three games. But what about Coker and McCall?
Coker is the No. 2 running back for Stony Brook. He is 66th in the FCS in rushing with 336 yards on 82 carries, and five touchdowns. His teammate, Miguel Maysonet, has rushed 103 times for 800 yards and 8 TDs. Maysonet ranks fourth in FCS.
So Coker went from second-team All-Big Ten to second-team at an FCS -- albeit a very good FCS -- program. Stony Brook won at Army last Saturday, 23-3. It was the Seawolves' first win over an FBS program. Maysonet rushed 32 times for 220 yards, Coker 20 for 53.
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McCall, meanwhile, has 69 carries for 328 yards and six touchdowns for Southern Illinois (2-3). He had 11 rushes for 37 yards last Saturday in the Salukis' 24-3 loss to Indiana State. That made him his team's No. 2 rusher in that game, behind Steve Strother, who had 12 carries for 52 yards.
McCall is tied for 69th in FCS rushing, with eight yards fewer than Coker.
For a fantastic photo of McCall at the Terre Haute Tribune-Star's website, click here.
Coker is the power half of a 1-2 running back punch at 4-1 Stony Brook. The Seawolves threw only 15 passes against Army. Stony Brook is ranked 13th in the FCS Coaches' Poll.
Maysonet, meanwhile, puts up Weisman-type numbers.