It was announced an hour before the game in Madison that Iowa wideout Tevaun Smith would not be available for the game. Smith did not travel with the Hawkeyes to Wisconsin. Kirk Ferentz announced after the game that Smith has a knee issue and will be out for a few weeks.
"It's) a knee issue," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz shared with the media following the victory over the Badgers. "I doubt he'll be back before the bye week. We're optimistic he'll be ready to go when we get back after our bye week."
Smith will be on the shelf for the Illinois and Northwestern games, at least. In Smith's abscence, freshman receiver Jerminic Smith was pressed into action and nabbed the first start of his career against Wisconsin. He had played in limited action in the games leading up to the Big Ten opener, but his first considerable minutes came against the Badgers' defense.
Though he was targeted a handful of times, Jerminic was not able to haul in any passes despite breaking free a couple times. Some of that can be tied to chemistry, some of it can be tied to quarterback C.J. Beathard not having a strong day, and a bit of it was related to Jerminic Smith not being as crisp as he probably had hoped as well.
On Tuesday, Beathard shouldered much of the blame for the lack of effectiveness.
"I think part of that is (chemistry) but there were a couple times he did get open and I just missed him," Beathard explained. "I was frustrated about that. One time in the end zone he had a guy beat and I just overthrew him. That's not a timing thing but a matter of me missing him."
It takes a great leader to take on the responsibility that Beathard does. He's been consistent in that manner all year, knowing he needs to be near perfect and take this offense by the horns. It was a lackluster performance from him against Wisconsin but he's due for a bounceback game when the Hawkeyes host Illinois on Saturday.
They didn't need it this past Saturday but there will come a time when Jerminic Smith has to emerge and make plays for the Iowa offense while Tevaun is sidelined. It could come as early as this Saturday in the opening Big Ten home game. Beathard believes they will be ready.
"There's times that (Jerminic) and Tevaun run certain routes differently and part of that is chemistry," Beathard admitted. "I just think overall, I feel like we're on the same page. We'll be fine."