The Iowa Hawkeyes will open the Big Ten race at Illinois without senior tackle Mike Jones. Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz says Jones will be sidelined due to disciplinary reasons. Ferentz says Jones violated a team rule that does not have anything to do with breaking an N-C-A-A rule or law of the land. He says Jones will serve the suspension and then they’ll move on.
Iowa will regain the services of senior defensive back Marcus Paschal. He missed the Iowa State game with an injured shoulder. Ferentz says unless something happens this week in practice, Paschal should be back.
Illinois is 1-2 after a home loss to Syracruse. Ferentz says the Illini combine some veteran players with several newcomers. He says they pose some problems as last year they ran up close to 400 yards on offense. Ferentz says they’re focused on getting their game better right now.
This marks the fifth straight year the Hawkeyes have opened the Big Ten race on the road. Ferentz says the positive is that once you get used to it, you get four games at home and three on the road. Ferentz says nobody’s asked them for their input on it.
This is very similar to the situation the Hawks were in two weeks ago. Going on the road as a heavy favorite a week before a big game. Iowa hosts top ranked Ohio State next week. Ferentz says the Syracruse experience may help them as they’ve had to work hard three weeks in a row.
Ferentz says each weekend has produced surprising results and outside of a few teams everyone is vulnerable if they don’t play well. He says if you have the right experience in the right spot, you may be able to pull something off.