The Iowa Hawkeyes came away with a third straight win as Alex Padilla got his second straight start last week. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini 33-23 for their eighth straight win in the series. Now Iowa turns their attention to the Nebraska Cornhuskers as the Hawkeyes look to extend another lengthy winning streak, this one currently at six games.
Ahead of the matchup, we got some meaningful news out of Lincoln as head coach Scott Frost announced Monday that starting quarterback Adrian Martinez would not be available this week due to a shoulder injury.
Scott Frost announces Adrian Martinez will not play on Friday against Iowa due to a shoulder injury. pic.twitter.com/6mwDsfPVVb— Kevin Sjuts (@kevinsjuts) November 22, 2021
The announcement is a significant blow for the Huskers as Martinez had completed 62% of his passes for 2,863 yards and 14 TDs with 10 interceptions through eleven weeks. Martinez was also Nebraska’s leading rusher with 525 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. In his absence, Nebraska will turn to freshman Logan Smothers who has completed 7 of 11 attempts this season for 119 yards.
With the announcement, sports books around the country quickly pulled the game. When it re-emerged, the spread had moved as much as five points from where it opened. With Martinez out, most books now list the game as anywhere from Iowa -1 to Nebraska -1.
On the Iowa side of the ball, there are again some notable changes from last week’s depth chart, though none are as impactful as the absence of Martinez.
- For the third straight week, Alex Padilla is your starter at quarterback. However, this week he is backed up by Spencer Petras. That seems to indicate Petras is healthy enough to play but has simply lost his starting job to Padilla. Freshman Deuce Hogan was listed as the backup a week ago with speculation Petras could take his job back when healthy.
- Staying on offense, Mason Richman remains out. That keeps Jack Plumb at left tackle with Nick DeJong at right tackle. Tyler Elsbury will continue to back up both spots.
- On the defensive side of the ball, Matt Hankins has officially fallen off. We learned of a Hankins injury on Saturday and while we don’t have specifics as of yet, we know it is a multi-week injury. We’ll wait for word from Ferentz during his media availability to see if Hankins will be available for the bowl game.
- With Hankins out, it’s again Jermari Harris starting at left corner, opposite Riley Moss. Interestingly, Harris is backed up by true freshman Cooper DeJean who was originally expected to be a safety (or offensive weapon?!?) at Iowa. DeJean did take some reps at safety a week ago and is now officially listed as the backup with Terry Roberts still sidelined.
- DeJean becomes the fifth true freshman to crack the two-deeps this season. He joins starting right guard Connor Colby, starting WR Keagan Johnson, backup WR Arland Bruce IV and starting long snapper Luke Elkin.
The Hawkeyes will face off with the Cornhuskers from Lincoln at 12:30 this Friday. The game will be televised on BTN.