IOWA CITY — Stats mean a little more today because it was a full-on scrimmage.
Obviously, running back Barkley Hill’s leg injury is a huge shadow on the proceedings. He planted and took a shot from a defender as he crossed the goal line for an 8-yard TD. He stayed on the Kinnick Stadium turf for several minutes before being carted off to the lockerroom with what looked to be an injury to his left knee.
Hill suffered a sprained right knee late last season at Cedar Falls.
No official word, according to Iowa SID Steve Roe. If Hill’s season is over, Roe said something could be released, but he didn’t know a timeline for such an announcement. Several fans on the sideline said trainers spoke of a pop and reported a grim mood.
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis said he hoped it was just a sprain.
Wide receivers Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley didn’t practice, but Davis said it was precautionary.OT Brett Van Sloten also didn’t practice. He suffered a lacerated knee in practice. DE Joe Gaglione left practice with what looked to be a concussion. CB Sean Draper also didn’t practice. No update on him.
Damon Bullock — 6 carries for 16 yards (Bullock has an excellent feel in the passing game. He can get a LB on his hip and get open. As a runner, he anticipated contact and didn’t run through tackles. Obviously, small sample size to evaluate running today.)
Michael Malloy — 10 for 22 (Spindly at 6-0, 180, but Malloy wasn’t afraid to take the ball between the tackles. Decent burst, fluid athlete. A redshirt season would do him well, but he’s probably not getting it. He’s needed.)
Brad Rogers — 1 for minus-3 (After missing some practice with minor injuries, maybe Rogers is getting eased back in. He was used a receiver a few times. Showed nice hands. He ran into a run blitz and was stopped before he got his feet moving.)
Greg Garmon — 11 for 43 (He weighed in at 190, but he moved the pile a few times. Showed patience and tried to set up his runs, allowing his blockers to engage. Looks for the cutback and has the 0-to-60 speed to hit a seam. Impressive. He’s going to be needed. Toughness and durability will guide his playing time.)
Barkley Hill — 7 for 23 with an 8-yard TD (Wasn’t as fluid as Garmon, but ran well through contact. We will wait-and-see on his injury, but it didn’t look good.)
Andre Dawson — 6 for 26 (He’s a big body at 6-2, 220. He seems to be finding a level of confidence, but hasn’t broken through to the top tier. He will have his chance.)
Mark Weisman — 1 for 3 (Just keeps running around and making plays. The fullback will be used as more of a blocker/dead spot in the offense this year. Weisman could have a say in that. Maybe a step slower than Rogers, but has good quickness.)
Jacob Reisen — 1 for 5 (Converted a fourth down for the No. 3s. Behind Rogers and Weisman.)
James Vandenberg — 5 of 8 for 51 yards (The franchise. He was wearing headphones after one series. Probably thought he was a pilot.)
Jake Rudock — 6 of 12 for 101 yards and 25-yard TD (He’s the No. 2. Separated himself from junior Cody Sokol. Showed poise. Might’ve checked down a little more than you’d like, but solid performance. Arm has zip. Tried to force a TD pass to Don Shumpert and ended up throwing behind him. That’s a no-no, but overall solid.)
Cody Sokol — 3 of 6 for 14 yards and INT (Didn’t see the field as well as last week, when it wasn’t a live scrimmage. Missed a few open receivers. His pick was a bad overthrow that SS safety Tom Donatell simply gathered in. My guess is they’ll redshirt him unless they absolutely need him.)
C.J. Beathard — 5 of 7 for 72 yards (Crisp, clean performance. Took what was given him. Made faster decisions this week. Solid performance, now get in the weightroom.)
RB Barkley Hill – 3 for 57 (Catches the ball and gets up field with it. No hesitation. Had a good feel here. Let’s just see if he returns.)
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz — 3 for 31 yards (Big target. Is open when he’s covered. Now, he’s a big target, meaning he takes some big hits because he gets hung up by a linebacker and, usually, has a safety coming in to finish him off. CJF is big and tough, but he’s probably going to have to develop a feel for a stop, drop and roll.)
RB Damon Bullock — 2 for 19 (Good feel in the passing game. Could be the receiving running back. Greg Davis called him a wide receiver at running back. This is a hand-tipper, so I don’t know how to translate.)
FB Brad Rogers — 2 for 16 (He looked good in the passing game. The fullback will have a role based on what we saw Saturday.)
TE Jake Duzey — 1 for 25 with a TD (Duzey is perhaps the top candidate for a “B” position. I’ll get into it more later, with the Davis interview. Trying to sum it up, Duzey will be a space or “move” player who can be part TE, part WR and part H-back. It feels as though he’s in the plans.)
TE Ray Hamilton — 1 for 20 (Hamilton might be able to slide into a “B,” but he’s also big and strong enough to play in Iowa’s traditional in-line two TE set. Off the bat, you wonder how many targets he gets. Those are something that will have to develop.)
RB Greg Garmon — 1 for 17 (Beathard hit Garmon in stride. Here’s what made the play standout: Garmon caught the ball and already knew the defender closest to him wouldn’t catch up and so he started setting up the next defender who had contain. Garmon let him get close and then burst to the outside for a big gain on a second-and-13, setting up Hill’s TD run.)
WR Greg Mabin — 1 for 14 (How many freshman wide receivers play? Right now, Mabin is a maybe. Does he have special teams value?)
TE Steve Ferentz — 1 for 13 (Moves well. Is physically ready. Could he stick here? Iowa is full at center, so maybe. Could he be a fullback? For a walk-on true freshman, he’s not afraid to mix it up.)
RB Andre Dawson — 1 for 13 (RB profile could rise very quickly.)
WR Steve Staggs — 1 for 8 (Is he top three or four? Probably not, but he is in the top six to seven. Might keep a redshirt on a Mabin or Cameron Wilson.)
WR Reese Fleming — 1 for 7 (He fumbled and didn’t see a target thereafter. The true freshman opened the scrimmage with the No. 1s, along with redshirt freshman Jacob Hillyer. Remember, he’s coming off a torn ACL last season and he also wears a wrist brace. Also, I have heard he’s been terrific in practice. Potential No. 3 or 4 candidate based not on his performance Saturday but on his standing going in.)
WR Cameron Wilson — 1 for minus-2 (The quick out or a variation of the WR screen needs some work. Does Wilson redshirt? Does he have special teams value?)
IMPRESSIONS — Still a lot to digest. The passing game has a level of sophistication to it that the players seem to enjoy. Davis said afterward that the mental lapses have gone away. His offense is installed and the players are working toward perfecting it.
Hill’s injury is the big news. The tank is emptying at RB. You wonder when it really starts to shape what Iowa wants to do and what it can do.
Duzey is an interesting player. WR Don Shumpert got shutout. Nate Meier was a linebacker Saturday, but will he stay there with Hill’s injury.
Mike Meyer — 46 yards, right hash — good (plenty of leg. It’s his job.)
Marshall Koehn – 28 yards, left hash — good (plenty of leg. He’s got two years behind Meyer, unless there’s a specialist role out there for him. We still haven’t seen kickoffs.)
6 — Crowd noise was pumped in over the stadium PA. It was loud. I think General Manuel Noriega surrendered again. The crowd noise was obviously a test and six is too many.
1 — LB Quinton Alston on WR Steven Staggs
1 — First unit, didn’t catch a number
TACKLES FOR LOSS
CB B.J. Lowery, DT Carl Davis (2), LB Christian Kirksey, DE Daumantas Venckus-Cucchiara
Davis, DT Mike Hardy, LB Marcus Collins, coverage sack
Davis, Venckus-Cucchiara, DE Dominic Alvis, Lowery
SS Nico Law
SS Tommy Donatell
True frosh Connor Kornbrath — 4 for 40.7 (very unofficial) with hang times ranging from 3.6 seconds to 4.5
IMPRESSIONS — DT Carl Davis had a day. He played against the No. 2s a lot and did most of his damage there, but he also was active against the 1s. Had an active day overall, his best public appearance.
CB B.J. Lowery fought off an ankle sprain. He is Iowa’s “Honey Badger,” with tackle for loss, fumble recovery and pass breakup. You wouldn’t have known he was injured.
LB James Morris sat out. His right thumb was taped up. That might be it.
Iowa didn’t blitz as much this week. It did throw a few run blitzes at the offense, with LB Christian Kirksey, who moved into MLB, leading that charge.
LT – Brandon Scherff; LG – Matt Tobin; C – James Ferentz; RG – Austin Blythe; RT – Andrew Donnal; TE – C.J. Fiedorowicz; QB – James Vandenberg; RB – Damon Bullock; WR – Don Schumpert, Jacob Hillyer.
Other personnel: WR Maurice Fleming, WR Steven Staggs, FB Mark Weisman, TE Zach Derby
Did not practice: WR Keenan Davis, WR Kevonte Martin-Manley, RT – Brent Van Slotan
LT – Ryan Ward; LG – Eric Simmons C – Conor Boffeli; RG – Jordan Walsh; RT – Nolan MacMillan; TE – Jake Duzey; QB – Jake Rudock
Other personnel: WR Cameron Wilson, WR Tevaun Smith, WR Nick Nielsen, TE Ray Hamilton, TE Henry Krieger Coble, RB Michael Malloy, RB Greg Garmon, RB Barkley Hill, QB Cody Sokol; FB Brad Rogers
THIRD-TEAM OFFENSE (late practice)
LT – Cole Croston; LG – Reid Sealby; C – Tommy Gaul; RG – Jalen Chambers; RT – Mitch Keppy; TE – George Krieger Kittle; QB – C.J. Beathard; RB – Andre Dawson; WR – Greg Mabin; WR – Blake Haluska; FB – Jacob Reisen
Other personnel: TE Steve Ferentz
LDE – Joe Gaglione; LDT – Darian Cooper/Carl Davis; RDT – Louis Trinca-Pasat; RDE – Steve Bigach/Dominic Alvis; OLB – Travis Perry; MLB – Christian Kirksey; WLB – Anthony Hitchens; LCB – B.J. Lowery; RCB – Micah Hyde; FS – Tanner Miller; SS – Tom Donatell/Niko Law
Did not practice: LB James Morris, CB Sean Draper
LDE – Marcus Spears/Drew Ott; LDT – Davis/Cooper; RDT – Mike Hardy; RDE – Alvis/Bigach; LBs (moved in and out) – Cole Fisher, Quinton Alston, Marcus Collins, Macon Plewa, Laron Taylor; CBs – Greg Castillo, Kevin Buford, Torrey Campbell; SS – Donatell/Law; FS – John Lowdermilk
LDE – Will Kincart; LDT – Faith Ekakitie/Wil Rathjen; RDT – Jaleel Johnson/Dean Tsopanides; RDE – Daumantas Venckus-Cucchiara; LBs – Dalton Shaull, Jeremy Nelson, Taylor, Collins; CBs – Dayon Ogundepo, Campbell; S – Anthony Gair, Collin Sleeper, Jack Swanson
Snapper – Casey Kreiter; Linemen – Matt Tobin, Casey McMillan, Austin Blythe; Brandon Scherff, Andrew Donnal, C. J. Fiedorowicz; Up-backs – Zach Derby, Jonathan Gimm; Holder – John Wienke; Kicker – Mike Meyer
Snapper – Casey Kreiter; Linemen – Christian Kirksey, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Zach Derby, Ray Hamilton; Up-backs – Tanner Miller, John Lowdermilk; Gunners – B.J. Lowery, Niko Law; Fullback – Brad Rogers; Punter – Connor Kornbrath