The Iowa Hawkeyes were overpowered on Saturday as they fell to the Michigan Wolverines 27-14. It was a strange game which saw the Wolverines thoroughly dominate time of possession, plays run, yards per play and virtually every other offensive stat for the first three quarters. And yet, Iowa found a way to make things interesting in the fourth quarter while finally finding some semblance of an offense. Despite the improvements, we still saw the Hawkeyes only manage a pair of touchdowns with the offense continuing to rank close to last nationally in both scoring and total offense.
Now the Hawkeyes move on to their second road game of the season as they travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini, which just embarrassed the Wisconsin Badgers to the point they fired head coach Paul Chryst. With a big time showdown in Champaign under the lights on deck, the Hawkeyes released an updated depth chart on Monday afternoon.
Here’s a look at things heading into week six.
- Let’s start with the big, obvious one: there are no changes from a week ago. None. It’s the same depth chart we saw last Monday.
- That may or may not mean some things. For starters, Scary Terry Roberts took part in warm ups last week and then did not play. This may be a sign that he had a setback, but more likely it means that he didn’t play so Iowa isn’t changing anything yet. Very helpful of the program.
- Similarly, guys like Yahya Black and Brenden Deasfernandes, who are injured but not expected to miss the entire season, remain off this week’s depth chart. Black in particular is a key one to monitor as Iowa looks to slow down opposing rushing attacks. Illinois piled up 137 yards on the ground against the Badgers and has averaged just under 195 yards per game on the ground this season.
- One bright spot this week is Louie Stec finally found both the weight room and the cafeteria. His listed weight climbed from 168 to 268 pounds this week. Good for him.
- Not really new this week, but it is interesting the Iowa went back to Arland Bruce IV at punt returner. That’s likely a side effect of Cooper DeJean being forced into the starting CB spot vacated by Roberts’ injury, but the interesting part is the staff had no problem trotting Bruce out there when he was quite literally the only scholarship WR available the first two weeks.
- Did we mention there were no changes on the offensive line? Iowa played 8 guys on the OL last week and according to the PFF grades, none of them were good beyond Mason Richman (80). Gennings Dunker graded out the next best (74.9), but played only 9 snaps. Connor Colby got worked for most of the 54 snaps he played at RT (57.9) but remains the starter there. We’ll see if George Barnett continues to stick to his pitch count strategy or make a move to something that works moderately well.
And that’s it for this week! As noted, the Hawkeyes travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini in a game that kicks off at 6:30pm CT on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.