IOWA CITY, Iowa – It was part offense and part defense on Tuesday as four members of the Iowa football coaching staff met with the media as part of the bye week.
The offense was represented by receivers coach Kelton Copeland and running backs coach Derrick Foster, while defensive line coach Kelvin Bell and linebackers coach Seth Wallace represented the defense.
Copeland and Foster addressed a number of topics, including the steady, and sometimes, spectacular rise of true freshman running back Tyler Goodson, and the role of sophomore receiver Oliver Martin, who transferred to Iowa from Michigan in June.
Copeland also talked about the injury to starting receiver Brandon Smith and how Smith is dealing with being out for possibly five weeks.
Much was expected from Martin this season, but the former four-star recruit from Iowa City West High School has played sparingly, and has just five catches for 28 yards and one touchdowns this season.
Martin's touchdown reception came in the season opener against Miami of Ohio, but he has played very little since then.
Copeland said Tuesday that it would be unfair to expect Martin to come in right away and be a major contributor. He praised Martin for his focus and work ethic and said Martin could play a more significant role with Smith being out.
Foster said he is pleased with the Iowa running game, which is currently ranked ninth in the Big Ten with a 145.8 per-game rushing average, but not satisfied.
Iowa has three running backs, including Goodson, who have rushed for at least 316 yards in eight games this season.
Junior Mekhi Sargents leads the team with 443 rushing yards, followed by junior Toren Young with 357 yards and Goodson with 316.
Young also leds the team with a 5.6 yard-per-carry average.
Goodson was naemd the Player of the Year in Georgia last season and turned down multiple scholarship offers to be a Hawkeye. His emergence as a true freshman has een one of the bright spots for the offense this season.
It was uncertain how much Goodson would play this season in a crowded backfield, but he is just too talented to leave on the bench, even with three juniors on the roster with starting experience.
Goodson is the only true freshman on the team to have played in all eight games this season.
He also should play a prominent role when Iowa faces Wisconsin following the current bye week on Nov. 9th in Madison, Wis.
Copeland also talked about the growth and maturity that junior Ihmir Smith-Marsette has shown this season, on and off the field. Smith-Marsette is maybe Iowa's faster player and he led the Big Ten in kick returns last season as a sophomore.
But the New Jersey native also struggled with consistency and with his focus until this season.
Copeland said Smith-Marsette just had grow up, or as Copeland said on Tuesday, have some birthdays.
Here are multiple videos from Tuesday's press conference with Foster and Copeland: