BHGP forgive me, for I have sinned. Remember when I wrote this about Iowa's running back situation during The Prologue?
The RB depth chart is surprisingly robust at Iowa, although we don't really know how good any of them might be just yet. But there sure are a lot of options, which is a nice (and uncommon) problem for Iowa to have.
I should have known better than to be boastful of Iowa's seeming depth at RB; AIRBHG does not like being taunted. And now He has struck back with his mighty wrath:
RB Derrick Mitchell suspended for student life code of conduct issue, not a legal issue, according to Iowa.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) September 14, 2015
KF on Ott, Daniels: We got decent news yesterday, we've got 5 days to get ready, plus a few extra hours w/ night game . . . fingers crossed— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) September 14, 2015
Daniels suffered a foot/ankle injury during the Iowa State game that Ferentz called "significant" in a conversation with Hawkeye Sports on Sunday. He changed his tune Monday, given the "decent news" comment above and the fact that Daniels remains RB1 on the depth chart that was released for the Pitt game. Still, it's hard to ignore the fact that Daniels wasn't able to return to the game on Saturday and that his injury was described as "significant" just 48 hours ago. He's likely to be a game time decision on Saturday.
Mitchell's situation is murkier, given that "code of conduct issue" could cover a wide range of infractions. That said, it's not a "legal issue," per Iowa, which is a positive. Perhaps it's the return of the dreaded "academic indigestion" that's plagued past Iowa players. Ferentz may provide more details about Mitchell's situation during his press conference later today. (I doubt he'll provide any sort of substantive update on Daniels' status for the Pitt game, if only because they aren't likely to know if he'll be able to go until later in the week.)
If Daniels and Mitchell are out, Iowa's running back depth chart looks a bit more concerning. Canzeri has looked good through two weeks of action and did a tremendous job as the lead running back against Iowa State, but giving him the ball 20+ time a game on a regular basis seems like a poor idea -- at least if we want to still have Canzeri available to run at all by November. Akrum Wadley is the most likely running back to spell Canzeri if neither Daniels nor Mitchell are available, but his fumbling problem is sadly well-documented. The other options are Jonathan Parker (though he's been converted to a slot receiver, supposedly), RS freshman Marcel Joly (who had one carry for eight years against Illinois State), and true freshman Eric Graham (Iowa's out-of-nowhere commitment from this past National Signing Day). Well, and Marshall Koehn, owner of a sterling 12.5 ypc average through two games -- get him the rock, coach!
In the meantime, we'll update this situation when and if we learn more about the statuses of Mitchell and Daniels. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go pay my penance for incurring AIRBHG's wrath...
UPDATE: About that Mitchell suspension...
— Sophomore RB Derrick Mitchell Jr.'s suspension lasted less than 24 hours.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that Mitchell has cleared the football and student life code of conduct violations and will be eligible for Saturday's game against Pitt.
In a Monday release, Ferentz said Mitchell, who wasn't on the sideline for the Iowa State game, "Derrick is working through the issues at hand in regards to being in good standing as a University of Iowa student. We will follow the established university protocol as we move forward."
Sounds as if this was a timing issue. The timing happens to work out really well for the Hawkeyes this week.
So that's good news on the RB front. Mitchell turned some heads during spring and fall practice and has consistently generated good buzz from the players and coaches; it would be nice to see what he can do in a real game.