Iowa limped into its bye week two weeks ago (quite literally in the case of C.J. Beathard) and was dealing with a litany of injuries (especially on offense) after the Northwestern game. How do things look two weeks later as we prepare for a Halloween tilt with Maryland?
QB: C.J. Beathard, Tyler Wiegers
RB: Akrum Wadley, Derrick Mitchell, Jr., LeShun Daniels, Jr.
FB: Macon Plewa, Adam Cox
WR: Tevaun Smith, Jerminic Smith
WR: Matthew VandeBerg, Riley McCarron
WR: Jacob Hillyer, Riley McCarron
TE: Henry Krieger Coble, George Kittle/Jake Duzey
LT: Cole Croston, Boone Myers
LG: James Daniels, Ryan Ward
C: Austin Blythe, Eric Simmons
RG: Jordan Walsh, Dalton Ferguson
RT: Sean Welsh, Keegan Render
This is pretty much the depth chart we would have expected after the Northwestern game, frankly. The only way Beathard wasn't going to be listed if something was broken or torn and it was 100% certain that he wouldn't be able to play. He's going to play -- the better question is how effective he'll be on the field. He said he's "not 100 percent yet," but feeling much better than he was after the Northwestern game. Fingers crossed he gets pretty close to 100 percent by Saturday afternoon.
At running back we knew Jordan Canzeri would be out and he is -- he's rehabbing a high ankle sprain that's expected to keep him out for a bit longer. Akrum Wadley unsurprisingly takes over the RB1 spot -- he certainly earned it after his stellar performance against Northwestern. Derrick Mitchell looks to be his primary back-up, but there's also another familiar face on the depth chart there -- BAH GAWD, THAT'S LESHUN DANIELS' MUSIC! Daniels' own high ankle sprain seems to have (finally) improved and he's probably in line to see a few carries on Saturday.
Also returning to the depth chart after a lengthy absence? Step on down, Jake Duzey! Duzey is listed as the co-backup tight end with Kittle; Duzey still might be Iowa's most dynamic weapon at tight end, so getting him more involved in the offense would be an exciting development for the closing stretch of the season. Normal service has been restored at wide receiver, where Tevaun Smith replaces Jerminic Smith atop the WR depth chart. If nothing else, (Jerminic) Smith got some valuable experience while (Tevaun) Smith was out of commission.
Finally, the listed offensive line depth chart mirrors what Iowa ended the game with against Northwestern -- Croston at LT, Sean Welsh at RT, James Daniels at LG, and stalwarts Austin Blythe and Jordan Walsh at C and RG, respectively. That was a pretty effective combination against Northwestern. That said, Ferentz indicated that it might not be who plays on Saturday, depending on Boone Myers' health. Ike Boettger remains out this week (yet another high ankle sprain), but Myers has a chance to return -- if he does, he'll be at LT, Croston will move to RT, Welsh will move back to LG, and Daniels will return to the second string. We'll probably have to wait until Saturday afternoon to see who's actually starting on the offensive line.
DE: Nate Meier, Matt Nelson
DT: Jaleel Johnson, Faith Ekakitie
DT: Nathan Bazata, Kyle Terlouw
DE: Parker Hesse, Bud Spears
OLB: Ben Niemann, Bo Bower
MLB: Josey Jewell, Travis Perry
WLB: Cole Fisher, Aaron Mends/Jack Hockaday
CB: Greg Mabin, Maurice Fleming
SS: Miles Taylor, Anthony Gair
FS: Jordan Lomax, Brandon Snyder
CB: Desmond King, Sean Draper/Josh Jackson
The defensive two-deeps are far less noteworthy -- thanks to good health and continued strong play, the starters in the back seven remain the same. Up front, it's the same defensive line we've seen since Drew Ott sadly suffered a season-ending injury -- Meier and Hesse at end, with Johnson and Bazata at tackle. The only real change of note on the defensive two-deeps is the presence of Jack Hockaday at second-string WLB. Hockaday's a true freshman and Mends is a RS freshman and it looks like they'll both be competing hard to replace Fisher at that spot after this season.
P: Dillon Kidd, Marshall Koehn
K: Marshall Koehn, Miguel Recinos
PR: Desmond King, Riley McCarron
KR: Desmond King, Riley McCarron
LS: Tyler Kluver, Matt Nelson
H: Dillon Kidd, Tyler Wiegers
Steady as she goes among the special teams faces, too.