DEPTH CHARTIN': ILLINOIS

By RossWB on November 16, 2021 at 1:46 pm
go hawks go
© Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Minimal changes to Iowa's depth chart ahead of this week's game against Illinois, but let's dive right in... 

  OFFENSE     DEFENSE  
POS FIRST STRING SECOND STRING POS FIRST STRING SECOND STRING
QB ALEX PADILLA (So)  DEUCE HOGAN (RS Fr) DE JOHN WAGGONER (Jr) JOE EVANS (Jr)
RB TYLER GOODSON (Jr) GAVIN WILLIAMS (RS Fr) 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 KEAGAN JOHNSON (Fr) TYRONE TRACY, JR (Jr) DE ZACH VANVALKENBURG (Sr) DEONTAE CRAIG (RS Fr)
WR NICO RAGAINI (Jr) ARLAND BRUCE IV (Fr) CASH / LEO DANE BELTON (Jr) JESTIN JACOBS (So)
TE SAM LAPORTA (Jr) LUKE LACHEY (RS Fr) MLB JACK CAMPBELL (Jr) JAY HIGGINS (So)
LT JACK PLUMB (Jr) TYLER ELSBURY (RS Fr) WLB SETH BENSON (Jr) KYLER FISHER (So)
LG KYLER SCHOTT (Sr) CODY INCE (Jr) LCB MATT HANKINS (Sr) JERMARI HARRIS (So)
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) XAVIOR WILLIAMS (Sr)
      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) GAVIN WILLIAMS (RS Fr) PR CHARLIE JONES (Jr) MAX COOPER (Sr)

Thoughts: 

  • No changes at QB, where Alex Padilla remains QB1 and Deuce Hogan remains QB2. I'd anticipate that we'll get further health updates on Spencer Petras during Kirk Ferentz's press availability today, but it seems like Padilla will remain the man at QB for the time being. 
     
  • No changes at RB, either, where Gavin Williams remains RB2 instead of Ivory Kelly-Martin. 
     
  • There are changes at WR, though, for the first time all season, with Keagan Johnson ascending to WR1 status and Tyrone Tracy moving to the second line on the depth chart in response. That's a reflection of on-field reality over the last few weeks -- Johnson's snaps have been increasing all season, and especially so in recent weeks; he led all Iowa pass-catchers with 43 snaps (out of 50 total) against Minnesota. Tracy played just 16 snaps, tied with Charlie Jones for the fewest among Iowa receivers in that game (behind Nico Ragaini with 20 and Arland Bruce with 19). The depth chart move is probably also at least partly a response to a tweet that Tracy made (and deleted) on Sunday, expressing frustration about his diminished role in the offense. Bruce also moved into the two-deeps for (I believe) the first time this season, replacing Charlie Jones as the listed back-up behind Ragaini. As we saw on Saturday, though, Jones can certainly make the most of limited opportunities at receiver. 
     
  • No changes at OL, which was also reflected in the on-field play on Saturday; all five starters at OL (Plumb, Schott, Linderbaum, Colby, DeJong) played all 50 snaps in that game. The diminished time the Iowa offense spent on the field likely made it easier for Iowa not to rotate on the offensive line, but it does also feel like the coaches have finally settled on their best five. The results on Saturday were... OK-ish. Pretty decent in pass protection, but still pretty inconsistent in run blocking. 
     
  • No changes to the two-deeps at DL, either. Iowa rotated DT pretty heavily in the Minnesota game, but less so at DE. Zach VanValkenburg played 73 (!) of 85 snaps in that game, while John Waggoner played 64 snaps. Joe Evans (39) and Deontae Craig (5) were the reserve defensive ends in that game. Logan Lee and Noah Shannon led the way at DT with 48 snaps apiece, while Lukas Van Ness was in for 30 snaps and Yahya Black saw action on 23 snaps. Iowa's DL definitely had its struggles against Minnesota's mammoth offensive line, but they did manage to make some big plays late, too. 
     
  • As usual, no changes at LB, either, although it's worth noting that Jestin Jacobs saw an increased number of snaps (42) as Iowa went with more 3-LB sets to try and slow down Minnesota's ground-and-pound offense. That's probably a preview of what we'll see on Saturday, too, as Illinois is likely to employ a similar approach on offense.
     
  • In fact, the only change on the defensive two-deeps is in the secondary, where Riley Moss is back as a starter and Jermari Harris is again a back-up. That just reflects the playing time from Saturday, though, when Moss returned to the starting lineup and played 84 of 85 snaps. Matt Hankins played all 85 snaps, while Dane Belton also played 84 snaps. Jack Koerner missed a handful of snaps with an injury scare, but still ended up playing 80 snaps. An increased role for Jacobs at LB meant a decreased role for Keavon Merriweather at SS, as he played only 53 of 85 snaps in the game. Could be more of the same for him this Saturday. 
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