Iowa Football

Iowa football Quick Slants: Injury updates on Ivory Kelly-Martin, Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Iowa Hawkeyes running back Ivory Kelly-Martin (21) on a run during the second quarter of their NCAA football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sep. 1, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa Hawkeyes running back Ivory Kelly-Martin (21) on a run during the second quarter of their NCAA football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sep. 1, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Maybe you’ll see Ivory Kelly-Martin this week. Maybe you won’t.

Maybe you’ll see Ihmir Smith-Marsette this week. Maybe you won’t.

As you’d expect, Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz was noncommittal Tuesday when asked about his starting running back and wide receiver. Ivory-Kelly injured an ankle in Iowa’s season opener two weeks ago against Northern Illinois and did not dress for this past Saturday’s game against Iowa State.

Smith-Marsette injured a shoulder while landing on it during a second-half play against ISU. He is listed backup to Nick Easley on Iowa’s depth chart going into its game Saturday against Northern Iowa.

Kelly-Martin isn’t listed at all, as Toren Young is your No. 1 back, followed by fellow sophomore Mekhi Sargent. Neither Kelly-Martin nor Smith-Marsette practiced Tuesday morning.

“I think we’re close, but I don’t know how close.” Ferentz said.

Defense! Defense! Defense!

Iowa leads the Big Ten Conference and ranks second in the country in scoring defense (5.0). The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten and are fifth nationally in total defense (199.5 yards per game). Their nine sacks in two games are more than any Big Ten team and are second to Arizona State (11) nationally. Iowa also has given up just 26 first downs, the fewest of any league team.

Wave on Wave live

Country music singer Pat Green will perform his song “Wave On Wave” at halftime of Saturday’s game against Northern Iowa, with accompaniment from the UNI and Iowa marching bands. Green appeared after Tuesday’s press conference and posed for photos with Ferentz.

“Wave On Wave” has become an anthem for the Kinnick Wave between the first and second quarters during all Hawkeyes home games, as fans at Kinnick Stadium wave at young patients on the top floor of the neighboring Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Defending officials, hating some rules

Last week, Ferentz went on a tangent about a 15-yard penalty his team received in Week 1 against Northern Illinois for a lineman cut blocking with a ball carrier outside the tackle box. Tuesday, he brought up the topic again, along with a disputed “slamming the quarterback” penalty in a NFL game Sunday.

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“They’re experiencing it in the NFL, we’re experiencing it at our level with cut blocking,” Ferentz said. “It’s such a subjective, such a technical call ... it just puts so much pressure on the people officiating, who are working hard and doing their best. They’ve passed some legislation that puts a lot of pressure on them, and I’m not so sure it’s fair pressure.”

Ahoy, captains

Ferentz announced this week’s captains for his team are defensive end Parker Hesse, quarterback Nate Stanley, fullback Brady Ross and defensive tackle Matt Nelson.

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

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