Today’s Hawkeye 10@10 is all about depth perception. Depth at receiver, depth on the offensive line and more are all part of today’s daily dose of Iowa news and notes.
Delivered at 10 a.m. each weekday at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa, here is today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:
1. Spreading the ball around isn’t an issue for either quarterback who will be on the field Saturday.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley and North Texas’ Mason Fine both completed passes to nine receivers last week.
Hawkeye wide receiver Matt VandeBerg, who has caught five passes for 61 yards in Iowa’s first two games, sees that as a sign of growth in the Iowa passing game.
Stanley connected with just three receivers in the Hawkeyes’ season opener.
“It shows that he’s getting through his reads and he’s doing a good job of hitting whoever is open,’’ VandeBerg said. “He’s getting everybody involved, tight ends hitting the fullback for 30 yards. It’s good to see and it’s the way it is supposed to work.’’
2. Sean Welsh will slide into the right tackle position that injured Ike Boettger played before suffering a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in the third quarter of last week’s win at Iowa State.
Expect that move to be fairly seamless.
“Wherever you put him, he does well,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Sean is just one of those football players. There are some guys like that, some aren’t. Some, you can’t move around at all.’’
Welsh has worked out at every positon on the line and has been consistent at each.
“It doesn’t seem to bother him,’’ Ferentz said. “He just looks the same, keeps playing, and it doesn’t seem to affect him mentally or physically.’’
3. Expect offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs to see the first action of his collegiate career on Saturday.
During his weekly radio call-in show on Wednesday night, coach Kirk Ferentz said the 6-foot-5, 315-pound true freshman from Mount Vernon, Iowa will forego redshirt plans to help create additional depth on an offensive line that is dealing with injuries.
“He’ll be in there at some point Saturday,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s in the army now.’’
Wirfs has been listed as Iowa’s second-team left tackle since the start of the season but had not seen action as coaches hoped to preserve a redshirt year.
4. With eight touchdown passes through two games, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley has the attention of North Texas coach Seth Littrell.
“We have to be disciplined on the back end and have our eyes right Saturday,’’ Littrell said. “They’ll pound it, pound it, pound it and then throw some play action in. For us, it all comes down to being disciplined on the back end.’’
5. As Iowa’s defense prepares to deal with North Texas’ “air-raid offense,’’ the Hawkeye offense has its focus on working against a different type of defensive approach.
The Mean Green use a 3-4 alignment, something Iowa has not seen so far this season.
“That presents a new set of challenges and overall, they’ve got good team speed,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
6. In addition to having a quarterback in sophomore Mason Fine who averages 324 passing yards per game,
North Texas brings some balance to its offensive attack.
Senior Jeffrey Wilson averages 106 rushing yards per game.
He’s a 6-foot, 194-pound native of Elkhart, Texas, who is currently averaging 8.5 yards per carry.
7. Fans attending Saturday’s Iowa-North Texas game will have a chance to help people impacted by recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida.
The Iowa athletics department is partnering with Hy-Vee in a project which will allow fans to drop off monetary donations or nonperishable items at a Hy-Vee semi which will be located at the Krause Family Plaza on the south side of Kinnick Stadium.
Donations will be taken from 10:30 a.m. until the completion of the 2:30 p.m. game between the Hawkeyes and Mean Green.
All donations will be provided to the American Red Cross for distribution in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
According to the Red Cross, toilet paper, paper towels, large trash bags and diapers are among most urgent needs.
8. Iowa has nine legacies on its 2017 football roster, players who have followed in their father’s footsteps to be part of the Hawkeye team.
The current Iowa father and son list reads like this, with the sons listed first and the father:
DL Will Anthony (Jason, 1991), WL Brandon Bishop (Willie, 1986), TE Drew Cook (Marv, 1985-88), DL A.J. Epenesa (Epenesa, 1997), LS Tyler Kluver (Todd, 1986-87), WR Henry Marchese (John, 1985), DE Anthony Nelson (Jeff, 1990-92), TE Peter Pekar (Jim, 1980-81), QB Ryan Schmidt (Rick, 1984-85).
9. With 21 tackles through two games, senior linebacker Josey Jewell currently ranks third in the Big Ten. Jewell is also climbing Iowa’s career charts.
He has 322 tackles during his four seasons at Iowa, a number that ranks 16th on the Hawkeyes’ all-time list.
Jewell is eight tackles shy of George Davis in the 15th spot.
10. Games against Conference USA programs have been few and far between for Iowa.
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 all-time against teams from that conference including a 62-16 win in 2015 over the North Texas program which visits Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes also are 1-0 against UTEP and have a 3-1 all-time record against Tulsa.