The Iowa Hawkeyes prepare for their annual battle with Minnesota without two of their starting offensive lineman. Center Mike Elgin was hurt in Saturday’s win over Purdue and has been ruled out of the game while left tackle Lee Gray is questionable. Also, coach Kirk Ferentz says there is no change on the depth chart at running back. He says Marques Simmons will not play at runningback this week. Despite a rash of injuries this season, especially at running back, the Hawkeyes have put themselves within striking distance of a New Years Day bowl. The Hawks are 7-2 overall and at 6-1 have sole possession of third place in the Big Ten standings. Ferentz says the bottom line is that the guys have done a great job of reacting to negative situations. He says he’s impressed that noone’s offered an excuse, they’ve just focused on finding answers.One reason is a defense that has helped off set the lack of a ground game and one that Ferentz says is his best he’s had. He says they’re playing as well as they have in the last five and a half years. Ferentz says it’s great to see them play at such a high level.