IOWA CITY – University of Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, an all-Big Ten pick last season, will miss Saturday’s game against at Iowa State, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz announced Friday morning.
“Bryan Bulaga was hospitalized with an illness this past week and will not be available to play tomorrow,” said Ferentz. “Bryan is doing much better, has been released and will accompany the team this weekend. We expect Bryan to return to his normal activities soon.”
Bulaga was admitted to UIHC on Tuesday with an undisclosed illness. That took him out of practice Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon, he conducted interviews and seemed fine.
Iowa (1-0) will be without a three-year starter at left tackle going into today’s game at Iowa State (1-0). The Hawkeyes averaged just 2.8 yards on 31 carries in last week’s 17-16 squeaker over Northern Iowa.
This week, the Hawkeyes are getting back right tackle Kyle Calloway and guard Julian Vandervelde. But both are rebounding from injuries. Calloway missed a lot of camp with an IT band strain, and Vandervelde missed all of camp while rehabbing an early-summer arm surgery. Neither played last week.
Bulaga’s absence probably keeps senior Dace Richardson at tackle this weekend, on the right or the left. The guards will likely be sophomore Adam Gettis and Vandervelde. Center will probably be senior Rafael Eubanks and tackles will be Richardson, Calloway and maybe redshirt freshman Riley Reiff.
Bulaga will miss his first start in 20 games and dings an offense that already is lacking in continuity. His absence leaves the Hawkeyes with just one player on offense (quarterback Ricky Stanzi) with more than two consecutive starts.