Week three was much more enjoyable for fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes as Iowa finally found themselves in the win column after a 49-7 shellacking of the Michigan State Spartans. The Hawkeyes dominated in all phases with more than 400 yards of total offense, 4 rushing touchdowns, a passing TD for Spencer Petras and touchdowns from both the defense and special teams as Riley Moss had an interception returned for a touchdown and Charlie Jones took a punt return to the house.
Entering week four, the Hawkeyes are looking to keep the ball rolling with a trip to a struggling Minnesota set for Friday night. After a big win in week three, there are few changes to the depth chart this week, but there’s some notable ones on the offensive side of the ball.
- Following his suspension last week for OWI charges, senior receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette is back in the starting lineup at WR, moving Tyrone Tracy back to a backup role
- Kyler Schott has been replaced at RG by Cole Banwart with true freshman Tyler Elsbury listed as his backup
- That opens up LG for Cody Ince with true freshman Mason Richman listed as his backup
- Mark Kallenberger has replaced Coy Cronk at RT with redshirt freshman Nick DeJong listed as his backup
Let’s start with the defense where there were a grand total of zero changes from a week ago. That should tell you Phil Parker is starting to see something he likes. When you have the #2 scoring defense in the conference that should start to happen.
On the offensive side of the ball, the most notable change this week is really with the return of Smith-Marsette. He’s a weapon on the outside and in the kick return game and getting him back is frankly a bit surprising given the severity of his transgressions. It’s safe to assume there was some pretty strong punishment within the football complex.
The other changes here are not truly changes. We saw Cronk and Schott absent during pregame warmups a week ago and they indeed were out last week. While we don’t yet have any color on their injuries, four weeks into the season we’re starting to get a sense for how this works. Players in the COVID-19 protocols aren’t likely to be named due to HIPAA concerns, but they are suddenly missing on game day and then out for multiple weeks (21 days to be exact). See Schulte, Austin. At this point it’s safe to assume Cronk and Schott are out for such reasons and Kallenberger and Ince will be in the starting lineup for the next two games at minimum.
That’s really all we have for changes this week and that shouldn’t be much of a surprise off the impressive performance a week ago. The real question now will be whether Iowa can keep up that type of showing against a Minnesota team that has shown a propensity to score points but little interest in stopping opponents from doing the same.