Iowa Could Be Without Its Top Play Maker Against Nebraska
To say that this has been an up-and-down season for Iowa football would be an understatement. First, fans suffered through offensive woes so severe that jobs were on the line. Now, this Iowa team is one win away from a second straight Big Ten Championship Game. But the football gods have spoken again as Iowa could be without its biggest offensive weapon on Friday.
The Hawkeyes released their depth chart ahead of the Nebraska game and there are a couple of notable players missing. One is fullback Monte Pottebaum. The other is tight end Sam LaPorta, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Both players had to leave the Minnesota game early with injuries. LaPorta is clearly Iowa's biggest offensive weapon and a safety blanket for quarterback Spencer Petras. The Gazette reports that LaPorta has 53 catches for 601 yards on the season. That is more than Iowa's next two receivers combined.
Listed as the starter in place of LaPorta is Luke Lachey. He is coming off one of his best games of the year. He had five catches for 77 yards against Minnesota including a crucial catch in the 4th quarter that set up Iowa's game-winning field goal. So does a player being excluded from Monday's depth chart mean they won't be playing? The Gazette reports players excluded from the beginning of the week chart occasionally play, but it certainly isn't a good sign. We'll hear more about both players when coach Kirk Ferentz meets with the press later today.