After a week away for a little bye action, Iowa is back for the first of its final four regular season games of the 2019 season. Up first: our old pals in Madison. There aren't too many changes or surprises on this week's depth chart, but let's break them down anyway.
|POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING||POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING|
|QB||NATHAN STANLEY (Sr)||SPENCER PETRAS (RS Fr)||DE||CHAUNCEY GOLSTON (Jr)||JOHN WAGGONER (RS Fr)|
|RB||MEKHI SARGENT (Jr)||
TOREN YOUNG (Jr)
TYLER GOODSON (Fr)
|DT||CEDRICK LATTIMORE (Sr)||DAVIYON NIXON (So)|
|FB||BRADY ROSS (Sr)||TURNER PALLISSARD (RS Fr)||DT||BRADY REIFF (Sr)||AUSTIN SCHULTE (Jr)|
|WR||TYRONE TRACY, JR (RS Fr)||CALVIN LOCKETT (RS Fr)||DE||A.J. EPENESA (Jr)||
ZACH VANVALKENBURG (Jr)
JOE EVANS (RS Fr)
|WR||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Jr)||NICO RAGAINI (RS Fr)||LEO / CASH||NICK NIEMANN (Jr)||BARRINGTON WADE (Jr)|
|TE||SHAUN BEYER (Jr)||SAM LAPORTA (Fr)||MLB||DILLON DOYLE (RS Fr)||JACK CAMPBELL (Fr)|
|LT||ALARIC JACKSON (Jr)||JACK PLUMB (RS Fr)||WLB||DJIMON COLBERT (So)||SETH BENSON (RS Fr)|
|LG||LANDAN PAULSEN (Sr)||CODY INCE (RS Fr)||LCB||MATT HANKINS (Jr)||RILEY MOSS (So)|
|C||TYLER LINDERBAUM (RS Fr)||JEFF JENKINS (RS Fr)||FS||JACK KOERNER (So)||KAEVON MERRIWEATHER (So)|
|RG||MARK KALLENBERGER (So)||JUSTIN BRITT (Fr)||SS||GENO STONE (Jr)||WES DVORAK (Sr)|
|RT||TRISTAN WIRFS (Jr)||LEVI PAULSEN (Sr)||RCB||MICHAEL OJEMUDIA (Sr)||D.J. JOHNSON (RS Fr)|
|LS||JACKSON SUBBERT (Sr)||NATE VEJVODA (Sr)|
CALEB SHUDAK (Jr) /
KEITH DUNCAN (Jr)
|--||P||MICHAEL SLEEP-DALTON (Sr)||COLTEN RASTETTER (Sr)|
|KR||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Jr)||DEVONTE YOUNG (Sr)||PR||MAX COOPER (Jr)||NICO RAGAINI (RS Fr)|
A few thoughts...
As expected, no Brandon Smith at WR. It's the same four we saw ahead of the jNW game: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Tyrone Tracy, Jr., Nico Ragaini, and Calvin Lockett. Tracy (65), Ragaini (44), and ISM (38) were the receivers who saw the most snaps against Northwestern. Oliver Martin was the only other receiver to see the field (2 snaps).
Nate Wieting was a late scratch for the Northwestern game and he's still absent from this depth chart, with Shaun Beyer and Sam LaPorta listed as the top options at tight end. LaPorta was a bright spot against Northwestern, with two catches for 43 yards. It would be nice to see if he can build off that performance, although Wisconsin will be a stiff competition.
For one of the only times all season there are no changes at all along the offensive line two-deeps. The good news is that means Iowa is about as healthy as it's been all year there, minus long-term absentees, like Cole Banwart. (Kyler Schott's has also been out for a while, with little news about his possible return; Ferentz might update that at this press appearances tomorrow.) Hopefully that good health and increased continuity results in some better performances, though getting headway against the Wisconsin defense will be extra-challenging.
Not many changes on the defensive side of the ball either, aside from the appearance of Joe Evans as a backup DE. Evans has had some nice moments in cameo appearances over the last few weeks and is 5th on the team in sacks (1.5).
The depth chart still doesn't really reflect Dane Belton's presence; he played 65 snaps against Northwestern, while neither player actually listed at LEO/CASH -- Nick Niemann and Barrington Wade -- played any snaps at all in that game. It's very possible that Niemann or Wade (likely Niemann) will play see more action against Wisconsin as Iowa will probably use more base 4-3 looks and look to get three natural linebackers on the field to slow down Wisconsin's running game. But it's still strange that the depth chart doesn't reflect the reality on the field, which has been that Dane Belton has been a key part of Iowa's defense the last two games.
In the secondary, Matt Hankins is listed as the starter at LCB, after he and Riley Moss were listed as co-starters there ahead of the Northwestern game.
- Also, these changed a few weeks ago, Max Cooper is now listed as the primary punt returner (ahead of Nico Ragaini, formerly the primary punt returner) and Devonte Young is listed as as the secondary kickoff returner (behind Ihmir Smith-Marsette). Cooper has been a slight improvement on Ragaini in the punt return department, but we're happy with any improvement there, frankly. Young replaces Ivory Kelly-Martin as the secondary kickoff returner, which makes sense given that Ferentz has indicated that they're likely to redshirt IKM this season.