IOWA CITY, Iowa — Wide receiver Adrian Falconer’s role expanded heavily Saturday night at Penn State, but the Iowa sophomore still failed to crack the Hawkeyes’ depth chart when it was released Monday.
Falconer didn’t register a reception but was targeted multiple times in the Hawkeyes’ 41-14 loss at Penn State, seeming to replace fellow sophomore Jay Scheel on three-receiver sets. Scheel still played in the game, especially in the second half. Iowa (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) needs both players to develop at the position.
Iowa unveiled its weekly depth chart in advance of the Hawkeyes’ home game Saturday night against No. 3 Michigan (9-0, 6-0). There was only one major change for Iowa from last Monday’s release.
Croston now left off depth chart entirely
Right tackle Cole Croston did not appear on Monday’s depth chart after not playing Saturday at Penn State. Croston has struggled with a leg injury for the last month, not traveling to Purdue on Oct. 15, then playing against Wisconsin on Oct. 22. Even after a bye week, Croston was unable to play at Penn State (though he did dress and participate in warm-ups.)
Replacing Croston is trusty old junior Ike Boettger, who projects to open his eighth game at right tackle. Only once has Boettger played the coaching staff’s preferred position of left guard and that was at Minnesota on Oct. 8. Since that game, Boettger shifted back to right tackle to replace Croston at Purdue, then moved to left tackle to spell an injured Boone Myers against Wisconsin. Boettger opened at right tackle at Penn State.
Sophomore Keegan Render expects to start his fifth game this season and fourth straight at left guard.
(Weekly disclaimer: The depth chart is written in pencil and can be erased at any point through the mid-fourth quarter of the upcoming game. Depth chart decisions then become final.)
If Iowa is opening up the competition at several key areas such as safety, linebacker and wide receiver, it won’t announce it. Maybe something will get mentioned in passing during Tuesday’s media session or on Kirk Ferentz’s Wednesday radio show.
If I were making alterations, I’d make sure true freshman safety Amani Hooker sees some time in the secondary. I’d throw out Jack Hockaday or Amani Jones out there at weak side linebacker. I’d make sure running backs Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels are on the field together for at least 15 plays. And I’d keep turning over rocks at wide receiver.