Four Days and Counting...

While quarterback Drew Tate is the marquee name on the the 15th-ranked Hawkeyes, there are plenty of other players who will play big roles in Saturday's Indiana-Iowa encounter, including a former Greenwood H.S. standout whose moved into the Hawkeye starting lineup...

Damian Sims, RB – Albert Young headed into the season as the Hawkeyes' primary ball carrier, but it's the 5-9, 185-pound Sims who is the team's leading rusher after six games with 61 carries for 357 yards (5.9/carry) and three touchdowns. A big chunk of that came last week when Sims moved into the starting lineup and ran for 155 yards against Purdue in the Hawkeyes' 47-17 win. Young was sidelined with a leg strain a week ago, and his availability is questionable this weekend. Regardless of whether Young is able to go, though, expect to see Sims running the ball as well. He has excellent speed and is a big part of an Iowa ground attack that averages 175.7 yards/game and 5.2 yards/carry.

A.J. Edds, OLB – This freshman hails from Greenwood (Ind.) H.S. and was one of the state's top recruits two years ago. He ultimately picked Iowa over Purdue, and he was expected to be a contributor at tight end for Kirk Ferentz's squad. But an abundance of talent at tight end, coupled with a handful of injuries at outside linebacker, prompted a position switch for the 6-2, 224-pounder earlier this fall to the defensive side. With usual starting outside linebacker Mike Humpal sidelined with a stinger last week, Edds earned his first career start against Purdue and totaled six tackles. It's unclear whether Humpal will be cleared to play against the Hoosiers, but it's a good bet Edds sees plenty of reps either way. A.J.'s father, David, lettered at Indiana as a defensive end in 1972.

Mitch King, DT – the Hoosier offensive line won't be overwhelmed by the size of the 6-2, 264-pound King, but his quickness and non-stop motor figures to provide a stiff test for the Hoosiers' interior linemen. A sophomore, King began his Iowa career as a linebacker, but moved to defensive tackle before the start of the '05 campaign. He responded with a 60-tackle, 11-tackle-for-loss freshman debut, earning him Freshman All-America honors by a handful of national publications despite playing the position at around 245 pounds. He's since added some weight and has been even better as a sophomore, ranking second in the Big Ten with 5 ½ sacks to go along with 30 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two passes broken up. His background as a linebacker makes him very good against the run, and his quickness presents plenty of problems for slower offensive linemen when opposing teams drop back to pass.

Adam Shada, CB – There aren't many cornerbacks in the Big Ten who have a better nose for the ball than the 6-1, 185-pound Shada. The junior already has three interceptions this season to go along with a team-best six passes broken up. He played a huge role in Iowa's 38-21 win over IU a season ago, totaling 13 tackles, two passes broken up and an interception in just his second career start. His interception came at a critical time – Indiana had just cut Iowa's lead to 24-14 midway through the third quarter and then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. But on the Hoosiers' first play of the drive, Shada came down with Blake Powers' throw in the end zone. Shada's instincts and sound open field tackling are a perfect fit for Iowa Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker's soft zone pass coverage.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Key Matchups
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Things IU Must Do to Win
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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