The Iowa Hawkeyes will be without the services of wide receiver and kick returner Paul Chaney for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury. The junior suffered a torn A-C-L in the Hawkeyes’ victory over Michigan. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says Bettendorf native Colin Sandeman will handle punt returns and freshman Keenan Davis will see more time at receiver.
Ferentz says Chaney has been in what was a six-man rotation, so they do have five guys who are still in the rotation. The 11th ranked Hawkeyes are 6-0 for the first time since 1985 and next up will visit a Wisconsin team that is 5-1 after a 31-13 loss at Ohio State. Ferentz says Wisconsin is having a very good year and is playing well in all categories.
The next two weeks will determine just how much of a contender the Hawks are in the Big Ten title chase. After playing the Badgers Iowa will visit Michigan State. Ferentz says the games are against two very good teams on the road. Ferentz says while happy with the 6-0 start last year’s 3-3 record in the opening half is proof of just how fortunes cane change in the second half.
He says last year at this time the sky was falling, but he says things seem to be better. Ferentz says they are not that much far ahead of where they were last year and everything is still “pretty fragile” with six games left in the season. Ferentz says the big difference from last season is the Hawkeyes are now winning the close games.
He says they are probably a little bit more confident now and it’s like anything else, you have to experience winning the close games to get it turned around. Ferentz says the biggest surprise during the first half has been the play of a number of redshirt and true freshmen.
Riley Rieff has seen considerable action on the offensive line and even started three games at left tackle when Bryan Bulaga was out of the lineup. Ferentz says Rieff got called in before they planned, and the two freshmen runningbacks also had to play more than what they expected early on.