Iowa Football

Iowa football depth chart: Zero change in 2-deeps for Penn State game

Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg (97) sacks Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) during the second half of a
Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg (97) sacks Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Minneapolis. Iowa won 35-7. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Iowa released its two-deeps Monday for Saturday afternoon’s football game at Penn State, and they looked exactly like last week’s two deeps.

No changes anywhere for the 2:30 kickoff (BTN).

That means no signs of tackle Coy Cronk or guard Kyler Schott, who have missed the last two games with an ankle injury and mononucleosis, respectively. The starting offensive line of (left tackle to right tackle) Alaric Jackson, Cody Ince, Tyler Linderbaum, Cole Banwart and Mark Kallenberger has helped produce back-to-back 200-yard rushing games, so this might be the top combo moving forward regardless.

“The guys did a good job up front,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said, after Iowa’s 35-7 win this past Friday night at Minnesota. “We ended up going with the same lineup we did last week (against Michigan State). The guys practiced well and did a good job of execution. Certainly our fullbacks are part of that, too. Stepping in and making those critical blocks.”

Ferentz also mentioned the ability of his wide receivers to block on stretch plays as a factor as well.

Seth Benson remains listed as the starting middle linebacker for Iowa. Sophomore Jack Campbell returned against Minnesota after missing the first three games with mono and started the second half.

Defensive tackle Austin Schulte also played for the first time this past Friday night and is listed as backup to Jack Heflin on the right side. Heflin suffered what appeared to be a minor shoulder injury in the second half and missed the rest of the game.

The Big Ten Conference announced Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg has been named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week. The senior from Michigan, a transfer from Division II Hillsdale (Mich.), had five tackles, four solo, against Minnesota, including a career-high three sacks of Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan.

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VanValkenburg now ranks second in the Big Ten in sacks per game and seventh in tackles for loss.

Iowa has lost six games in a row to Penn State, its last win over the Nittany Lions coming in 2010 (24-3). Penn State has won the last three years by two, six and five points, respectively.

Penn State is 0-4 after a 30-23 loss at Nebraska, in which the Nittany Lions rallied from a 21-0 hole but couldn’t score the tying touchdown twice after driving the ball deep into Cornhuskers territory. PSU is allowing 34.8 points per game.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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