Nine different Hawkeyes played on the offensive line in Saturday’s season-opening win over Miami (Ohio). That shuffling is going to continue for at least the next couple of weeks.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said on Tuesday that Alaric Jackson will miss the next two games because of a knee sprain, meaning it’s next man up for the offensive line beginning on Saturday against Rutgers.
“One thing about a season, typically you’re going to have guys that have injury issues and things are going to pull them off the field and somebody has got to be ready, and that’s just kind of the way it goes,” Ferentz said. “In our sport we have so many players involved that it’s just natural and the nature of the game.”
“In fall camp, we got a lot of repetition with a different guys working different positions, so we kind of built that chemistry,” Iowa freshman offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum said. “I think that was beneficial, stuff like that happens in the game and happens in football.”
“You might learn what to do at a position, but you might not get very many reps at it in practice,” Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley said. “So yeah, it is a little difficult, but again that goes back to how well those guys were prepared. Coach Polasek did a great job.”
“The coaches are always talking about next man up if someone goes down. I was ready for it when it happened,” Iowa sophomore offensive lineman Kyler Schott said. “Unfortunately it did happen, but I took advantage of it. I was just trying to focus on the 22 guys that were on the field. I was trying to keep everything else out of it and just have fun.”
The offensive line really didn’t miss a beat after Jackson’s injury. They allowed just one sack and helped the offense rush for 213 yards in the victory. We’ll see if that performance can continue in Week 2 as the Hawks open up Big Ten play.
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