It’s hump day for the Hawkeyes and Cyclones and as the teams continue preparations for Saturday’s game at Jack Trice Stadium, the Hawkeye 10@10 helps you get your game face on with the daily dose of Iowa news and notes.
1. Don Shumpert retains a starting spot at receiver on the Iowa depth chart this week, looking to overcome several drops during the first two games of his senior season.
“I have to concentrate more and make plays, do the things that I do in practice every day and take that over to a game,’’ Shumpert said.
The senior is currently third on the team with four catches, but is still searching for the consistency which earned him the starting role in the first place.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Shumpert has started because has been the most consistent receiver in practice, but he said competition remains with Tevaun Smith at the position.
“You gauge it daily, gauge it weekly,’’ Ferentz said. “We don’t have many incumbents right now, so it’s just a matter of competition and letting the guys work every day.’’
2. This is Iowa-Iowa State week, so it’s only natural that players on both sides of the aisle are hearing from friends who selected the other school.
Iowa State lineman Kyle Lichtenberg of Bettendorf said this is usually a week when he receives a few text messages or calls from friends at Iowa.
“It’s part of it,’’ Lichtenberg said. “Not so much now as maybe the first couple of years, but I kind of let it all roll off me.’’
Iowa defensive end Dominic Alvis got an earful last weekend when a few friends from his hometown of Logan, Iowa, who attend ISU spent the weekend in Iowa City watching the Hawkeyes play Missouri State.
“They were talking the regular smack,’’ Alvis said. “It’s all old hat to me. They tried it all. Nothing too crazy.’’
3. Iowa coaches will use Saturday’s late starting time to spend a little time Friday on the road recruiting.
Coach Kirk Ferentz said because meetings leading up the game will be pushed back to Saturday morning, Hawkeye coaches will spend Friday night watching potential prospects at high school games.
“We used to do that quite a bit in the ’80s, but I’ve never been comfortable with the coaches not being around the players if we’re having an organized team activity,’’ Ferentz said. “So, we’ll utilize this as a night to be out.’’
4. Aaron Wemberly, a transfer from Iowa Western Community College, will see additional responsibilities for Iowa State this week as he moves into a starting role as a kick returner.
Coach Paul Rhoads said it is simply another way to put the ball in Wemberly’s hands. He returned a kick 31 yards in his only opportunity in ISU’s season-opening loss to Northern Iowa.
“It’s another catch opportunity, I should say, another hands-on opportunity for Aaron,’’ Rhoads said.
5. Iowa running back Mark Weisman will not participate in the traditional 25-hour fast which accompanies Yom Kippur.
One of the High Holy Days in the Jewish faith, Saturday’s game at Iowa State falls on Yom Kippur and Wesiman said he will not observe the fast which begins at sundown Friday and runs through dusk on Saturday.
“I’m fully committed to the team,’’ Weisman said.
Weisman, who led the Hawkeyes in rushing a year ago and currently leads the team with an average of 140 yards per game, was named by Jewish Sports Review to its all-American team.
6. The Cyclones will wear throwback jerseys on Saturday, similar to those Jack Trice wore 90 years ago in his only season with Iowa State.
It will be the first time ISU has worn throwback uniforms since 2007 when the Cyclones wore replicas of jerseys worn by ISU’s 1977 Peach Bowl team during a 15-13 win over Iowa.
7. Injured Hawkeye cornerback Jordan Lomax is giving things a try in practice this week as works his way back from a hamstring injury which sidelined him for the Missouri State week.
“We expect him to practice partial (Tuesday) and then hopefully the whole thing (today) unless he goes backwards,’’ coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Barring any sideways progression, Ferentz expects to reach a decision Thursday as to whether Lomax will play this week.
Another defensive back who dealt with preseason injuries, Maurice Fleming, is nearing a return as well. Ferentz said he was hopeful that Fleming could suit up this week.
8. Former Hawkeye Brandon Wegher took the field in a college football game for the first time since leaving Iowa shortly before the start of the 2010 season last weekend.
Wegher scored two touchdowns while rushing for 158 yards on 25 carries Saturday for Morningside in its season-opening 56-28 victory over Valley State.
Another former Hawkeye, Marcus Coker, led Stony Brook in its 24-0 win over Rhode Island with 78 yards rushing. Ranked 13th in the Football Championship Subdivision, Stony Brook plays at FBS Buffalo on Saturday.
9. Three true freshmen have seen action this season for Iowa and are off to productive starts, but coach Kirk Ferentz said a few more rookies may find their way onto the field for the Hawkeyes in the next several weeks.
“Possibly one, possibly two,’’ Ferentz said. “I haven’t ruled it out.’’
Running back LeShun Daniels and wide receiver Matt VandeBerg made debuts last weekend, while cornerback Desmond King has played in each of Iowa’s first two games.
10. Saturday’s game between Iowa and Iowa State will be televised by Fox Sports 1, the Hawkeyes’ first appearance on the month-old cable network which has a contract with the Big 12.