TAMPA, Fla. — Iowa players opened up the door to media types for 20 minutes of their Wednesday morning practice.
There wasn’t much time to dissect formations, player groupings or plays, not that Iowa’s staff would allow that to happen anyway. But there still were a few news nuggets discovered in the 80-degree heat.
Tackle Cole Croston, who missed four games because of a lower leg injury and barely played in a fifth, worked with the starters at right tackle. Ike Boettger, who opened nine games at right tackle this year, kicked inside to left guard. The other starters include left tackle Boone Myers, center James Daniels and right guard Sean Welsh. This was Iowa’s preferred lineup, which opened only game this year in a win at Minnesota. The odd man out — at least in the very brief viewing period — was sophomore guard Keegan Render, who opened six games at left guard and one game at right guard this season. Croston is the unit’s only senior.
The defense rotated players at strong safety and defensive tackle. Both senior Anthony Gair and junior Miles Taylor competed with the first-team defense. Taylor was sidelined with a concussion just two plays into the game against Michigan. Gair finished that game and turned some heads with a pair of strong performances in the Hawkeyes’ final two games against Illinois and Nebraska.
Senior Faith Ekakitie and junior Nathan Bazata rotated snaps at defensive tackle, which hardly is unusual. Bazata started nine games and Ekakitie opened three. They played about the same number of snaps in games this year.
Here are a couple of videos from today’s practice: