On Saturday, the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-1) will travel to Bloomington to play the Indiana Hoosiers (4-4, 0-4). The 11 a.m. central time game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Last year, the Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 42-24 after enduring six turnovers and a 10-point deficit heading into the final 15 minutes of play. It was a Halloween win that was quite scary and one that both teams revisited and definitely discussed this week.
On Saturday, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Indiana coach Bill Lynch both take the field with 99 wins each; one will leave with the 100-game milestone under his belt.
Looking at Iowa’s depth chart this week, senior Tyler Nielsen is out at OLB; true freshmen James Morris will play MLB and Troy Johnson will move to WLB. Senior linebacker Jeff Tarpinian spent some time on the field last Saturday and may play be part of this week’s mix. At right guard, senior Julian Vandervelde is listed on the depth chart after leaving the game on Saturday.
And although he was spotted by television cameras last week, Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker will not travel to Indiana this week.
Looking at Indiana, they have a talented quarterback in Ben Chappell. Along with Iowa’s quarterback Ricky Stanzi, he has been named as a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien award. Chappell is No. 6 for total offense (307.3), eighth in efficiency at 140.0 for the Big Ten and with his seven interceptions, he’s tied for No. 2 in the conference.
The Hawkeyes will see a passing game from Indiana as Chappell’s junior receiver duo of Tandon Belcher and Damarlo Doss are first and second in the Big Ten for receptions per game. Combined, they have 83 catches, 1,038 yards, and six touchdowns. In addition, Belcher is second in yards with 82.0 and Doss is fourth with 71.9.
On Tuesday, Chappell sat out of practice while wearing a protective boot as noted by Lynch at the weekly Big Ten teleconference, but he should be good to go for Saturday’s game.
Iowa’s Stanzi continues to have a great season and to-date, he is 135-for-197 passing (68.5 percent), 1,922 pass yards, 19 touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 180.3 (second nationally). From Stanzi’s excellent performance this season, there’s quiet rumblings that he may join the list of potential Heisman contenders.
Really, I am not making this up; Stanzi has come a long way this season. And yes, it is hard to forget last season’s 15 picks.
Iowa’s sole running back sophomore Adam Robinson continues to play well and tough in every game. Last week, Robinson had a 32-yard touchdown reception–a first for him. There’s rumors going around that Robinson suffered a concussion last week but Ferentz did not address this in his weekly press conference.
Marcus Coker is listed as the second running back on the depth chart.
Iowa’s defense continues to dominate this season, ranking fifth nationally in rushing defense (84.5), eighth in scoring defense (14.5), 12th in total defense (292.3) and 20th in pass efficiency defense (112.08). The Hoosiers aren’t strong defensively and rank eighth in pass defense (216.6), 10th in rush defense (167.5), ninth in total defense (384.1) and 10th in pass efficiency defense (147.7) for the conference.
And Iowa’s Adam Clayborn, Tyler Sash, Mike Daniels– just to name a few–continue to play at a high level for the Hawkeyes. Will it get even better when Parker returns? While Iowa is playing around with their linebackers due to injuries, there’s no reason to not see great performances and turnovers from this defensive line.
Iowa freshmen, welcome to Big Ten football.
Hawkeye Nation may worry that Iowa could suffer from a hangover after last week’s MSU rout; however, the team is on a mission to avenge its two losses and will continue its march to win its remaining games. It may be a lower scoring game than expected, but the Hawkeyes will pull out another win on Saturday.
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Written by Debbie Baratz