DEPTH CHARTIN': PENN STATE (WEEK SIX 2021)

By RossWB on October 5, 2021 at 11:05 am
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© Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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The depth chart is out for #3 Iowa's mammoth showdown with #4 Penn State this weekend and it's not too different from what we've gotten used to over the first month of the season, although there is a little reshuffling to be found on the offensive line. Let's take a closer look...

  OFFENSE     DEFENSE  
POS FIRST STRING SECOND STRING POS FIRST STRING SECOND STRING
QB SPENCER PETRAS (Jr)  ALEX PADILLA (So) DE JOHN WAGGONER (Jr) JOE EVANS (Jr)
RB TYLER GOODSON (Jr) IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (Sr) DT NOAH SHANNON (Jr) LUKAS VAN NESS (RS Fr)
FB MONTE POTTEBAUM (Jr) TURNER PALLISSARD (Jr) DT LOGAN LEE (So) YAHYA BLACK (RS Fr)
WR TYRONE TRACY, JR (Jr) KEAGAN JOHNSON (Fr) DE ZACH VANVALKENBURG (Sr) DEONTAE CRAIG (RS Fr)
WR NICO RAGAINI (Jr) CHARLIE JONES (Sr) CASH / LEO DANE BELTON (Jr) JESTIN JACOBS (So)
TE SAM LAPORTA (Jr) LUKE LACHEY (RS Fr) MLB JACK CAMPBELL (Jr) JAY HIGGINS (So)
LT MASON RICHMAN (RS Fr) JACK PLUMB (Jr) WLB SETH BENSON (Jr) KYLER FISHER (So)
LG KYLER SCHOTT (Sr) CODY INCE (Jr) LCB MATT HANKINS (Sr) TERRY ROBERTS (Jr)
C TYLER LINDERBAUM (Jr) MATT FAGAN (Jr) FS JACK KOERNER (Sr) QUINN SCHULTE (So)
RG CONNOR COLBY (Fr) JUSTIN BRITT (So) SS KAEVON MERRIWEATHER (Jr) SEBASTIAN CASTRO (So)
RT NICK DEJONG (So) TYLER ELSBURY (RS Fr) RCB RILEY MOSS (Sr) JERMARI HARRIS (So)
      LS LUKE ELKIN (Fr) AUSTIN SPIEWAK (Sr)
K CALEB SHUDAK (Sr) AARON BLOM (RS Fr) P TORY TAYLOR (So) RYAN GERSONDE (Sr)
KR CHARLIE JONES (Sr) IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (Sr) PR CHARLIE JONES (Jr) MAX COOPER (Sr)

A few thoughts: 

  • Nothing of note among the RBs; based on depth chart placement and snap count (22 on Friday), Ivory Kelly-Martin has clearly not been banished despite some early season fumble problems. He showed a good pop on Friday (7.8 ypc) and was a nice compliment to Goodson in the Iowa running game. The fumbling issue will likely continue to hang over him, but the coaches certainly still seem to trust him. Leshon Williams got more snaps (15) than Gavin Williams (no relation) did (4) versus Maryland. It could be an interesting battle between them for the RB1 role next season if Goodson decides to test NFL waters after the season. 
     
  • No changes at WR on the two-deeps, either. Snaps were more equitably distributed among the WRs versus Maryland, though. Tracy is still the A-1 option at WR and he led the team with 44 snaps, followed by Charlie Jones with 38, but Keagan Johnson had the next-most snaps with 27. Nico Ragaini, though listed as a starter on the two-deeps, had 20 snaps, slightly more than Arland Bruce IV had with 18 snaps. It does feel like Iowa has found a core group of five receivers that they feel comfortable with -- and true freshmen Johnson and Bruce are very much a part of that mix. Backups Desmond Hutson (13) and Diante Vines (14) got their most action of the season as they were in with the second team offense during the fourth quarter. Max Cooper (6), Jackson Ritter (3), and Bryce Schulte (2) also saw a handful of snaps. The fact that Quavon Matthews saw no action in this game makes his decision to enter the transfer portal yesterday not particularly surprising. 
     
  • Sam LaPorta dominated the tight end snaps versus Maryland (a nice total of 69 snaps), though Luke Lachey was also on the field quite a bit (40 snaps). Josiah Miamen was also able to get 16 snaps near the end of the game. The pecking order at TE seems very clear right now. 
     
  • The only changes on this week's two-deeps are in the offensive line, where Kyler Schott is now formally the starter at LG and Connor Colby is formally the starter at RG (Cody Ince and Justin Britt were the listed starters at those positions a week ago). As is often the case, though, that change reflects the change already seen in the previous game; Schott and Colby also started versus Maryland. Considering that the OL seemed to have its best game of the year (by some margin) against Maryland, those seem like positive changes; it feels like Iowa has finally settled on the right combinations along the offensive line. Against the Terps, Linderbaum and Richman each played 70 snaps. Schott played 45 snaps, while Colby and DeJong played 44 snaps apiece and Britt and Plumb played 42 snaps each. That seven-man group seems like it's going to be the core for Iowa's OL moving forward this season. It seems like Linderbaum and Richman will likely play as many snaps as possible, while there will be a bit more rotation at the other three positions. It's helpful to have good backups in those roles, too; while Britt didn't start on Friday, he played very well when he was in the game. 
     
  • No changes in the defensive two-deeps for Iowa, a unit which is the very definition of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." 
     
  • Iowa's defensive line should be quite fresh for Penn State this week, because Iowa rotated them heavily against Maryland. Out of 56 total defensive snaps, only Zach VanValkenburg (32) saw more than 30 snaps in the game. Waggoner and Van Ness saw 27 snaps apiece, Evans was on the field for 24 snaps, Craig for 23, and Black for 21. Shannon and Lee each saw 15 snaps, while some guys a bit further down the depth chart also got some run: Isaiah Bruce, Chris Reames, and Louie Stec each got 13 snaps in the game. 
     
  • Iowa's linebackers also got more rest than usual thanks to the blowout nature of the game. Jack Campbell played 39 of 56 snaps, while Jestin Jacobs got 28 snaps and Seth Benson had 25. Jay Higgins got an extended run (17 snaps), while Kyler Fisher (8) and Logan Klemp (1) grabbed a few snaps, too. Jacobs' snap count is notable, though, if only because Iowa played a lot of "cash" in the game (Belton had 39 snaps), but Jacobs was still on the field a lot, taking a few snaps away from Benson.  
     
  • Kaevon Merriweather was the snap count leader for the Iowa defense, logging 47 total snaps against the Terps in the secondary. Moss, Hankins, Belton, and Koerner had 39 snaps apiece. The second string also got some love, with Roberts and Harris getting 18 snaps, Schulte getting 17, and Castro getting 16. 
     
  • No changes on special teams this week. 

Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know below. 

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