As ever, a new gameweek means a new depth chart. A new depth chart doesn't guarantee many changes, though, and that's the case this week as things are pretty much as they were -- with a few notable exceptions.
|POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING||POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING|
|QB||NATHAN STANLEY (So)||TYLER WIEGERS (Jr)||DE||ANTHONY NELSON (So)||SAM BRINCKS (Jr)|
|RB||AKRUM WADLEY (Sr)||JAMES BUTLER (Sr)||DT||CEDRICK LATTIMORE (So)||BRADY REIFF (So)|
|FB||BRADY ROSS (So)||DRAKE KULICK (Sr)||DT||NATHAN BAZATA (Sr)||MATT NELSON (Jr)|
|WR||MATT VANDEBERG (Sr)||BRANDON SMITH (Fr)||DE||PARKER HESSE (Jr)||A.J. EPENESA (Fr)|
|WR||NICK EASLEY (Jr)||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Fr)||OLB||BEN NIEMANN (Sr)||KEVIN WARD (Sr)|
|TE||NOAH FANT (So)||NATE WIETING (So)||MLB||JOSEY JEWELL (Sr)||KRISTIAN WELCH (So)|
|TE||T.J. HOCKENSON (RS Fr)||PETER PEKAR (Sr)||WLB||BO BOWER (Sr)||AARON MENDS (Jr)|
|LT||ALARIC JACKSON (RS Fr)||BOONE MYERS (Sr)||CB||JOSHUA JACKSON (Jr)||MATT HANKINS (Fr)|
|LG||ROSS REYNOLDS (Jr)||BOONE MYERS (Sr)||SS||MILES TAYLOR (Sr)||AMANI HOOKER (So)|
|C||JAMES DANIELS (Jr)||SPENCER WILLIAMS (RS Fr)||FS||JAKE GERVASE (Jr)||GENO STONE (Fr)|
|RG||KEEGAN RENDER (Jr)||LEVI PAULSEN (So)||CB||MANNY RUGAMBA (So)||MICHAEL OJEMUDIA (So)|
|RT||SEAN WELSH (Sr)||TRISTAN WIRFS (Fr)||LS||TYLER KLUVER (Sr)||JACKSON SUBBERT (So)|
|K||MIGUEL RECINOS (Jr)||KEITH DUNCAN (So)||P||COLTEN RASTETTER (So)||RYAN GERSONDE (Fr)|
|KR||AKRUM WADLEY (Sr)||IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (Fr)||PR||MATT VANDEBERG (Sr)||JOSH JACKSON (Jr)|
A few thoughts:
Obviously the big change is at offensive line; Ike Boettger's unfortunate injury means that we're in store for yet more re-shuffling on the offensive line. It also means that what we assumed would be the starting lineup this year -- Myers, Render, Daniels, Welsh, Boettger -- isn't going to end up starting a single game all season. The latest re-shuffle has Sean Welsh sliding out from right guard to right tackle and some shuffling at the guard position with Render moving to right guard and Reynolds taking over at left guard.
At this point the only 100% sure thing on Iowa's offensive line is Daniels at center; he's the rock around which this offensive line will be formed. Alaric Jackson has started two games at left tackle so far and done pretty well; that looks set to continue, especially with Boone Myers continuing to be limited with an ankle injury (though that isn't stopping him from backing up two positions, LT and LG, on this depth chart). Given the shifting we've seen among the offensive line this year -- and the fact that this week's opponent is North Texas -- it wouldn't come as much of a surprise to see more experimentation in OL combinations in this game. Levi Paulsen played a bit last year, so he could be an option to see action, although the fact that he hasn't seen the field this year much (or at all?) isn't the most encouraging sign. The big question, of course, is Wirfs and whether or not the coaches will pull his redshirt. That could be one of the most interesting storylines on Saturday.
- Elsewhere... welcome to the show, Ihmir Smith-Marsette! Fresh off his star-making performance against Iowa State, ISM makes his depth chart debut behind Nick Easley. He replaces Devonte Young and Matt Quarells, who have yet to see much (or any?) action this year. If all goes well they may have an opportunity to do so on Saturday, though.
- The other items of note are the changes not made. Joshua Jackson seemed to replace Matt VandeBerg as Iowa's punt returner on Saturday, but MVB is still listed as the starting punt returner ahead of Jackson here. Perhaps Jackson's decision to let ISU's final punt roll rather than field it did not impress the coaches. Also, there was some talk on Saturday that Manny Rugamba was benched in the second quarter and replaced by Michael Ojemudia (I didn't really notice that myself, especially since Iowa seemed to be playing a lot of nickel coverage, which meant that Rugamba and Ojemudia were both on the field a lot anyway), but Rugamba is still listed as a starting corner (along with Jackson) here. Still, that might be something to watch on Saturday; at the very least, Rugamba's position as a starting corner doesn't seem as unassailable now as it did in the offseason.
Anything else that stood out to you? Let us know in the comments.