IOWA CITY, Iowa — Injuries were a big topic for Iowa in advance of facing No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t expect that to be the case when the team comes out of the upcoming bye to face Penn State on Nov. 5.
“I’m optimistic,” Ferentz said following Saturday’s 17-9 loss at home to the Badgers. “I can’t guarantee it, but all those guys should be feeling a little bit better as we move forward.”
The good news came before the opening kickoff Saturday, as OL Cole Croston (leg injury) and TE George Kittle (sprained foot) did play. Hawkeyes OT Boone Myers (leg injury), however, did not.
Getting all three more healthy and into the lineup would go a long way to helping an Iowa rushing attack that was held to 83 rushing yards by Wisconsin on Saturday. The Hawkeyes enter the bye week 5-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
The injury list grew during Saturday’s contest, as well, as Iowa DT Nathan Bazata went down with an ankle injury. Trainers looked at him on the field before taking Bazata to the locker room. He did return, but only for a few snaps.
“Nathan got a sprained ankle today on the quarterback sneak,” Ferentz said. “We can’t stop a quarterback sneak without getting an injury. It’s almost comical in some ways. Injuries are weird that way. You just never know.”
Croston missed the Purdue game last week and played throughout the contest Saturday. Kittle suffered his injury against the Boilermakers and was limited in the number of snaps he played against the Badgers.
“He’s a tough guy that obviously wants to be in there with his teammates and I know how bad it was hurting,” Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard said of Kittle.