After practicing this week after missing a couple games, Kaleb Johnson burst onto the scene. The man loves playing Purdue. He returns to the top of the depth chart after his 134-yard performance, the second highest rushing output he’s had in his career. His first was last year’s 200-yarder in West Lafayette.
The other top-line change from last week is Kaleb Brown’s absence from this week after missing the Purdue game to “personal reasons,” according to Kirk Ferentz. It’s easy to speculate, given Iowa’s abhorrent production from the wide receiver position, but I won’t here. “Personal” covers a lot of things. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it from Kirk tomorrow.
- New depth chart changes which aren’t that surprising given Saturday’s availability report are: Nick DeJong, Addison Ostrenga, and Deshaun Lee. Filling in for them were Connor Colby (with Beau Stephens now backing up Colby), Johnny Pascuzzi, and Deavin Hilson. I don’t know if it says more about how much Iowa loves their TEs or how much they disdain the receivers but there were still plenty of 2 & 3 TE sets despite Iowa missing two of their top 3 entering the season. Super weird to run out more multiple TE sets than when Iowa had 2 first round TEs on their roster!
- Filling in for Kaleb Brown on the depth chart is Alec Wick. It should matter but probably won’t. On the wide receiver front, more broadly, it’s just insane how little Iowa seems to care about getting them involved. Sure, Kelton Copeland said last week that when the balls catchable, they have to catch it if they want the ball thrown back in their direction, but Iowa does so little to make their job easier. I’d expect a modern offense to run 3-5 WR screens a game, at minimum, as an extension of their run game. There was really none of that on Saturday from my view and largely absent all season. What makes it even more frustrating is that Iowa should be calling these types of plays to build up Deacon Hill’s confidence.
- The big question mark on defense is when and where we see Noah Shannon return. Sounds like it’s building towards good news for the 6th year defensive tackle and would be a huge boon to a defense which finally found its footing in the trenches with their six sacks on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes head to Madison and will face the Badgers at 3:00 God’s Time on FOX.