The Iowa Hawkeyes struggled to get going early against Western Michigan in week three, but ultimate pulled away and won their non-conference finale comfortably 41-10. But the big win didn’t come without a cost as the Hawkeyes saw superstar tight end Luke Lachey go down with a lower leg injury that head coach Kirk Ferentz has described as “fairly significant” while running back Jaziun Patterson, himself filling in for an injured Kaleb Johnson, was dinged up at some point against the Broncos.
Now Iowa looks to open up Big Ten play on the road with a big time matchup against #7 Penn State in Happy Valley on Saturday night. While nothing is official at this point, it appears they will do so without the aforementioned Lachey, Johnson and Patterson as all were noticeably absent from Iowa’s depth chart for the PSU matchup, which was released on Monday afternoon.
Here’s a look at the full depth chart.
- The big one here is Lachey. Ferentz hasn’t confirmed anything yet, but anyone that saw Luke Lachey go down in week three knows he is likely done for the season. At minimum, we are talking about a multi-month absence and a hopeful return to the lineup maybe in time for the Big Ten Championship Game. Regardless of the ultimate timeline, Lachey isn’t playing this week so his absence from the depth chart makes sense. No real surprises in terms of the depth chart with Lachey gone. Erick All is going to get a lot of opportunities.
- The other potentially big item here is the absence of Jaziun Patterson. With Kaleb Johnson dealing with an ankle injury following the win at Iowa State, Patterson seemed poised for a big game in week three. Unfortunately, he was dinged up as well and we saw Iowa use some six different backs to rush for 254 yards. Don’t expect that output in Happy Valley, but will we get Patterson back? This is where we take the depth chart for what it is: a reflection of the end of the last game - NOT a forecast for the next one. Patterson missed the end of week three and is thus not on the depth chart. However, we won’t really know his status until we hear from Kirk Ferentz on Tuesday. Even then, the availability report on Saturday is going to be our best look at who will truly be in the lineup that evening.
- There’s not much else to call out here other than to just reiterate that Jermari Harris is your starter at corner opposite Cooper DeJean since returning from his presumed suspension. He had some ups and downs in his return last week and the Hawkeyes have some depth building at the position with Deshaun Lee looking pretty good during his time as starter. Given Penn State’s offensive prowess, it will be interesting to see if Phil Parker has a short leash on Harris this weekend.