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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Beating Wisconsin today just got a little bit harder.  The Gazette's Scott Dochterman passes along word from Rob Brooks, the sideline reporter for the Hawkeye Radio Network, that three players didn't make the trip from Iowa City to Madison and won't be available to play today.

Myers was on the injury report after last weekend's game, but there was no indication on the severity of his injury and whether or not he would miss today's game -- now we know, I guess.  The rumors about Tevaun Smith's injury began later in the week -- Ferentz was evasive when answering a question about it during his radio show on Wednesday night -- but his absence is certainly confirmation of those injury rumors.  Now we'll just have to hope that his knee injury isn't too significant -- Iowa can ill afford to be without Smith for an extended length of time this season.

So who starts today with Myers and Smith out?

Croston is a junior, while Smith (no relation) is a true freshman.  Neither has seen much action so far this year, although both got snaps in last week's blowout win over North Texas.  Smith earned a lot of praise from the coaches during fall practice this summer -- let's hope he can make a similarly good impression today.  And let's also hope that Croston can effectively protect Beathard's blind side.

Derrick Mitchell is the third Hawkeye out of today's game and there's no indication on what might be keeping him out of action.  His absence is more of a blow to Iowa's depth at running back than anything else, though -- he was third-string and not likely to see a ton of action.  Still, with Mitchell out and LeShun Daniels perhaps still limited by the ankle injury he sustained a few weeks ago, Iowa may be forced to rely even more on Jordan Canzeri at running back.

We'll provide further updates on Smith, Myers, and Mitchell when (and if) more information becomes available.