It’s officially game week for the first time this year for the Iowa Hawkeyes and the rest of the Big Ten. While the week has gotten off to an abnormal start with the Sunday evening revelation that 8 former players are demanding $20M and the firing of both Kirk and Brian Ferentz, things are starting to normalize a bit.
As has become custom over the years, Iowa released their game week depth chart for their matchup with Purdue on Monday afternoon. After the fireworks yesterday evening, there was little shakeup from the initial preseason depth chart released less than two weeks ago.
- SR guard Cole Banwart is in as the starting left guard after being left off the initial depth chart inadvertently
- Indiana grad transfer Coy Cronk has won the right tackle job over JR Mark Kallenberger
Neither of those are major surprises. Banwart was expected to be in the mix at both guard spots and brings a tremendous amount of experience, though he has faced injury throughout his Hawkeye career. Cronk comes to Iowa with more career starts than any Hawkeye offensive lineman not named Alaric Jackson and was expected to backfill the spot vacated by Tristan Wirfs the moment he announced his transfer. Now both moves are official.
While there are no other changes from the initial depth chart, it is worth mentioning again the the Hawkeyes will be utilizing a true freshman at punter as Aussie Tory Taylor has won the job. He joins a talented group of specialists that include pre-season All-Big Ten picks Keith Duncan and Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Long snapper Austin Spiewak and punt returner Max Cooper round out the group.
It’s also worth pointing out again that Iowa lists sophomore Dane Belton as both the starting strong safety and cash. It remains to be see whether Phil Parker will truly utilize Belton’s primary SS backup, Sebastian Castro, when Belton is playing cash or whether they slide someone else into the cash role.
The Hawkeyes will kick off at 2:30 pm CT from Ross Ade Stadium in West Lafeyette on Saturday. The Boilermakers will be without head coach Jeff Brohm, who has tested positive for COVID-19. Jeff’s younger brother Brian will act as head coach on Saturday with game day decision-making authority.