116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa hosts its final “tune-up” game against Colorado State this Saturday before beginning the rest of its Big Ten Conference schedule on a Friday night in Maryland.
Two things to note about the Rams — Trey McBride is one of the best tight ends in the country and Ryan Stonehouse can punt the ball 81 yards. Also — they surprisingly defeated a Toledo football team that gave Notre Dame a run for its money.
There are a few injuries to note after last week, but Iowa has plenty of depth to spread the wealth of snaps against Colorado State this Saturday, and that’s the plan.
Iowa football injury update
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Ethan Hurkett is out after an injury during the second half of last week’s win over Kent State. Offensive lineman Kyler Schott will play again this week after returning last week from a broken foot injury.
“Unfortunately, Ethan Hurkett is going to miss some time here,.” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Kyler Schott came out of the game pretty good, and he's not in great shape yet, playing shape, but at least he's moving in the right direction.”
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Logan Jones also is working back from an injury.
“He just transitioned back into practice a little bit last week, not in pads but then this week he's actually done everything,” Iowa defensive line coach Jay Niemann said. “He's been out there and in the same equipment as everybody else, going through all the same drills.”
Iowa defensive line has depth
Despite Iowa’s youth on the defensive line, the unit collected seven sacks against Kent State, which is the highest in a single game since registering seven in 2000 against Northwestern.
Among the sack leaders were players who came off the bench, including, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness (2) and junior defensive end Joe Evans (2). Van Ness also tallied a career-high seven tackles.
Iowa had 12 total players take snaps on the defensive line last week, including Hurkett, with six taking more than 30 snaps: Zach VanValkenburg, John Waggoner, Evans, Logan Lee, Noah Shannon and Van Ness.
“I think it just helps us particularly late in the game to have fresh bodies that we can continue to put on the field,” Niemann said. “Guys who are playing pass-rush downs, it just helps keep guys fresh, helps give guys a role and keeps everybody plugged in. As long as the quality of play stays where it needs to, we're going to continue to play a high number of people in there.”
Iowa offense had its best practice yet
Tracy had his most productive game this season last week with five receptions for 43 yards, averaging 8.6 yards per catch. But Ferentz noted he thought the offense had its best practice this week.
Tracy echoed that, saying the offense looked crisp, knew its assignments and didn’t have many redos going through its run-throughs.
But the critique among spectators is the lack of explosive plays, which Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras addressed this week.
"Explosive plays help, I want to say explosive drives give like a 60 percent increased chance of scoring a touchdown,“ Petras said. "There’s a lot of analytics that go into it every week, but that’s a focus every week.”
As for Tracy, he did slip on one of his receptions last week. Normally, screen passes give him the edge in extending plays.
"Brian does a good job calling screens at the right time,“ Tracy said. ”I'm very comfortable running, anytime I get the ball you know an open field some type of field, just give me some space to work with.“
Colorado State-Iowa prediction
I’m not confident Colorado State’s offense is as strong as Kent State’s, but I am confident Iowa’s defense will get the job done.
Iowa 35, Colorado State 3
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