Badgers are in the crosshairs of the Iowa football team at the midpoint of the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten schedule.
Thoughts about that from Josey Jewell, along with depth chart changes and the emergence of tight end Noah Fant and reserve offensive lineman Levi Paulsen, are among today’s Hawkeye 10@10.
Your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes keeps you up with what’s up with the Hawkeyes every Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa, here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Iowa quickly turned its attention to Wisconsin after disposing of Purdue, and continued growth is the theme on the practice field in Iowa City this week.
“I think we need to take another big step in practice,’’ linebacker Josey Jewell said. “Wisconsin is a good team. We’re going to have to throw it all at them.’’
2. The only changes in the starting lineup for the Iowa football team on this week’s depth chart for Wisconsin reflect the offensive line changes that were made to account for the injury which sidelined Cole Croston for the game against the Boilermakers.
Croston is not listed on this week’s depth chart, but is working his way back from a sprain as are two starters listed this week, tight end George Kittle and offensive lineman Boone Myers.
Keegan Render, who replaced Croston, is listed as a starter.
There are a number of changes on the second team.
On offensive, Steven Ferentz is listed as the back-up to Render at left guard and Levi Paulsen is listed on the second team at right guard and right tackle.
Defensively, Jack Hockaday is listed as the back-up at both middle linebacker and weakside linebacker, replacing Amani Jones and Aaron Mends as the back-up behind Bo Bower.
Joshua Jackson is the player listed behind Desmond King at right cornerback this week after sharing the spot with Michael Ojumedia last week.
3. Redshirt freshman Levi Paulsen found his way onto the field at right guard at Purdue when Boone Myers exited with an ankle injury Saturday.
With Keegan Render already in the game in place of Cole Croston, Ike Boettger moved to left tackle and Sean Welsh stepped over to right tackle when Paulsen came in the game.
“Three, four, five weeks ago, I wouldn’t have said anything about Levi, I wouldn’t have mentioned he’d have been the next guy in,’’ coach Kirk Ferentz said. “But, he’s been quietly ascending in practice. He’s been working hard.’’
4. The Hawkeyes are looking to get the most out of their week this week before thinking about next week’s bye week.
“The big thing for us right now is to see how much we can push forward week to week,’’ coach Kirk Ferentz said. “One week left before the bye, so we get back to work and do what we can do to get ready for the next game.’’
5. Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy will arrive at Iowa on Saturday as the Big Ten defensive player of the week.
The junior collected a career-high 15 tackles, including 11 solo stops, in the Badgers’ loss to Ohio State on Saturday.
Northwestern’s Justin Jackson and Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett shared Big Ten offensive player of the week honors.
Jackson rushed for 188 yards and two scores in a win at Michigan State, while Barrett accounted for 318 yards of offense and three touchdowns in a 30-23 overtime win against the Badgers.
Northwestern’s Solomon Vault was named the Big Ten special teams player of the week after returning a 95-yard kickoff for a touchdown and Illinois’ Patrick Nelson was named the freshman of the week after leading the Illini with 14 tackles including 10 solo tackles in a win at Rutgers.
6. Purdue’s performance against Iowa precipitated the firing of Boilermakers coach Darrell Hazell.
“As the game unfolded, particularly the first half where we just weren’t as competitive, weren’t making that sign of progress, it got me to a point where I think we’re stuck in a place that we need to do something to change the dynamic,’’ director of athletics Mike Bobinski said during a news conference while discussing his move.
Bobinski, in his first year on the job, said he would have preferred to have waited until the end of the season to make a move but said he believes the Boilermakers’ program was “stuck in this see-saw of playing reasonably well and then falling backwards, a pattern that just didn’t seem to have an end to it at this point.’’
Hazell completed his career at Purdue with a 9-33 record.
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7. Desmond King finished his day Saturday with a pick six, a better ending than the beginning for the all-American cornerback.
King got beat on a pass play that Purdue’s DeAngelo Yancey took for a 38-yard gain in the second quarter, not too long after King had been flagged for a personal foul following a late hit.
“It was a tough day at times,’’ King said. “You have to keep playing. We had a few communications problems on the back end, things we have to eliminate.’’
8. Freshman tight end Noah Fant had a pair of catches for 15 yards at Purdue, including a five-yard touchdown reception that is part of continued growth by the Omaha native.
“He’s getting better by the week,’’ Iowa receiver Riley McCarron said. “We’re doing what we can to help him get ready and be in a position to make plays. He did a great job stepping in for George (Kittle).’’
9. Peyton Mansell put up some monster numbers Friday for his high school team in Belton, Texas, highlighting the week’s action of Iowa verbal commitments at the prep level.
Mansell totaled 473 yards of offense in a 49-42 overtime loss to Midway, completing 25-of-34 passes for 343 yards and rushing for 130 yards.
He wasn’t the only Iowa recruit putting up Texas-sized stats in Texas.
Running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 238 yards for Wylie East, Gavin Holmes caught seven passes for 152 yards for Justin Northwest and Matt Hankins had a pair of pass break ups in addition to five tackles.
In Illinois, Camron Harrell had an 88-yard interception return for Bradley-Bourbonnais and Ivory Kelly-Martin rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries for Oswego East.
10. Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell sees a reason behind the success Iowa had in defending the run at Purdue, limiting the Boilermakers to 42 rushing yards.
“We had a lot of guys going to the ball. The communication was good, the responsibility was good, people knew their gaps, knew their responsibilities on every play and got to the ball,’’ Jewell said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to happen.’’