MOEAKI RETURNS: Oft-injured tight end Tony Moeaki, who has missed the past three games because of an ankle injury, practiced Tuesday and is expected to play Saturday against Michigan.

"Our plan is to play him unless something blows up on us,'' Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

The Hawkeyes employ a wide array of sets that require two or three tight ends, and although backup Allen Reisner has performed well, Moeaki's absence has cramped their style. Backup tackle Andy Kuempel has been pressed into service as a tight end on a few plays.

"It's limited some of our flexibility in things we like to do,'' Ferentz said.

NO THUMBS NEEDED: Senior linebacker Pat Angerer tore ligaments in his right thumb early in the Arkansas State game, but he said it won't affect his status for this week or beyond.

"You don't need thumbs,'' he said. "My best friend is my brother's dog. He doesn't have any thumbs and he's doing fine.''

FORGETTING WYNNONA: Iowa officials announced that Jamia, a 13-year-old musical prodigy, will sing the Star Spangled Banner before Saturday's game. They said she will be only the second person to perform the national anthem at an Iowa home football game, joining international opera star Simon Estes, an Iowa alumnus.

They apparently forgot that country star Wynnona Judd sang the anthem before a 1993 game with Purdue.

STATION HONORED: Also part of the festivities Saturday will be the presentation of former Iowa linebacker Larry Station as a new inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. Station was a consensus all-American in 1984 and '85 and is the Hawkeyes' career leader in tackles.

UNHEARD OF: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said on the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference that he never has heard of another team having a streak like Iowa's current run of 33 straight quarters without allowing a rushing touchdown.

"It's astounding,'' he said. "You'd normally think someone would at least get a quarterback sneak in there or something. It's really quite remarkable.''

HE'S NO. 2: Iowa safety Tyler Sash ranks second in the nation in interceptions with five in five games. The only guy ahead of him is UCLA sophomore Rahim Moore, who has five in only four games.

HO-HUM HOMECOMING: Although Iowa has not played well in its homecoming games the past few years, Ferentz said that's pretty much a coincidence. He said homecoming is just another game for most college football players.

"It's a big thing on campus, and the seniors go out on Wednesday night and do autographs at the Hall of Fame,'' Ferentz said, "but quite honestly once we get into our Friday routine, we try to keep it pretty sterile for the guys. I don't know if there is a dance or not ... do they still do those things?''

COMING HOME?: Ferentz said he wouldn't be surprised if some former Iowa players whose NFL teams are on bye weeks might show up at Saturday's game. He specifically mentioned that the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers are idle this weekend, which could lead to an Aaron Kampman or Nate Kaeding sighting.

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