The Hawkeyes’ first 10 quarters of October resulted in just one touchdown before Iowa finally got things going in the second half vs. Purdue on Oct. 19.
But just as the offense clicked, it will be without one of its top play makers for the time being.
On Monday, Iowa football released its depth chart for its upcoming game against Northwestern on Oct. 26, and wide receiver Brandon Smith was MIA.
Smith was injured in the second half against Purdue, and he’s going to be out for a couple of weeks, according to head coach Kirk Ferentz.
Wideout Tryone Tracy Jr. takes over at Smith’s spot, and fellow redshirt freshman Calvin Lockett backs him up this week. Lockett doesn’t have a catch this season, and while this isn’t a huge surprise considering he’s essentially fifth on Iowa’s depth chart at receiver, there is one thing to wonder: Where is Oliver Martin?
Martin hasn’t spent time playing the X-receiver spot, according to quarterback Nate Stanley, and that’s the position Smith owns.
Nate Stanley talking Tuesday about Oliver Martin's progress in practice. As you can hear, Martin has not worked much at the X position, which is where Brandon Smith lines up. pic.twitter.com/XXpyx7WZbS— Rob Howe (@RobHoweHN) October 22, 2019
Martin isn’t hurt, either. Stanley explains that Martin has done a solid job progressing during practice. And, just because he’s not listed on the depth chart doesn’t mean Martin won’t get snaps, according to Ferentz:
“Just do the math. He’s certainly been in the mix, is in the mix. Subtract one good player out of the mix, there’s more snaps available for everybody.
Martin didn’t play against Purdue last week. There’s a good chance that changes on Saturday, despite remaining absent on the depth chart.
After all, just do the math.
Other notes about Iowa football’s depth chart vs. Northwestern
Middle linebacker Kristian Welch, who did not play against Purdue due to an injury, was not listed on Iowa’s depth chart. Redshirt freshman Dillon Doyle will be the starter against the Wildcats. Last week, Doyle had one tackle against Purdue.
Iowa is going to miss Welch’s nose for the football. Despite not playing last week, he still leads the team with 46 tackles (the next-best is Jack Koerner with 38).
Also on defense, Riley Moss is listed as the co-starter at left corner with Matt Hankins. Hankins, a junior, was benched against Purdue. Moss looked solid, snagging an interception.
Iowa is riding the hot hand here and I dig it. The Hawkeyes need some stability opposite starter Michael Ojemudia.