The miserable performance gave Iowa fans a chance to see the first meaningful snaps from a backup quarterback since CJ Beathard came in back in 2014. As the Hawkeyes turn the page on Wisconsin and prepare for a battle in Evanston against he Northwestern Wildcats, Iowa fans are now wondering if we’ll again see a changing of the guard, and hopefully an improvement in the offense.
The Hawkeyes released their official depth chart for the matchup with the Wildcats on Monday and there is a pretty meaningful change on the offensive side of the ball. Unfortunately for those hoping for a major overhaul, it’s not at quarterback.
- Not to state the obvious, but well yes, actually I will state the obvious: Spencer Petras is still the starting QB. Hawkeye fans frequenting internet message boards and comment sections seem to think the snaps from backup Alex Padilla on Saturday might mean he is pushing for the starting job. That’s fantasy and Spencer Petras will be listed as the starter on every depth chart for the rest of this year and all of next barring a catastrophic injury.
- Ivory Kelly-Martin is missing this week. While there may be some speculation this is due to yet another fumble against Wisconsin, this is reportedly due to a turf toe injury which cost him much of the second half against the Badgers. Gavin Williams, who had 2 carries for 15 yards on Saturday, steps into the #2 role behind Tyler Goodson.
- Staying on offense, it’s just worth calling out that like QB, there are no changes to the offensive line (OK, OK, Jack Plumb and Tyler Elsbury flipped which tackle they’re backing up). This despite one of the worst display I can recall from an Iowa front five. The Hawkeyes conceded 6 sacks and 10 tackles for loss on Saturday, but there will be no shifts made this week, apparently.
- On the defensive side of the ball, still no Riley Moss. But bonus, the injury we learned of Saturday morning to his back Terry Roberts will apparently keep him out again this week! Jermari Harris is listed as the starter for Northwestern after getting the nod a week ago. UNI transfer Xavior Williams is listed as his backup this week.
- Deontae Craig is a name to watch this week. He is again listed on the depth chart, but saw no snaps last week. The Iowa defensive line has struggled in the two losses as Iowa has not been able to generate much pressure (the Hawkeyes have just 3 sacks in five Big Ten games this year) and Craig would be a big boost in that department.
Coming off the two losses, Iowa really has no more margin for error. If this season is to be salvaged after our expectations were boosted, the Hawkeyes need to win out and get some help along the way. For that to happen, changes need to happen somewhere. If the depth chart is any indication, there may not be many changes in store for Iowa fans.