The Iowa Hawkeyes held their first open practice earlier today in preparation for the 102nd Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California. Only the first half hour were available for media to observe in perfect weather in Southern California.
Scout was on hand to bring back all the news and notes from today's action.
- The first unit of the offensive line was a bit of a revolving door today. The interior for the most part was as expected; Sean Welsh, Austin Blythe, and Jordan Walsh. In the first few reps, the first team left tackle was Cole Croston while the right tackle was Ike Boettger. Boone Myers, the starting left tackle at the end of the regular season and in the Big Ten Championship Game, took reps as the left tackle with the second team. Later on, another first unit offensive line consisted of Cole Croston at left tackle, James Daniels at left guard, and Sean Welsh at right tackle. It may not mean anything but it should be worth keeping an eye on what is happening with Boone Myers since he was absent on the first team for the first session that we were able to see.
- The defense had no surprises in terms of the first unit; it was all of the usual suspects. They were practicing against the scout team offense for the segments we were present for. It was true freshman running back Eric Graham playing the role of Christian McCaffrey. That will be an important responsibility since he is one of the more dynamic weapons in all of college football and someone that has drew incredible compliments from Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.
- Drew Ott was on hand, obviously not participating in any of the action. He was just a spectator like all of us. However, he was there with no crutches, no scooter, and no sling. He appears to be making solid ground in his recovery from the injuries to his knee and elbow. He does have a visible scar on his right knee where the ACL surgery took place. It's a good sign for those hoping he is granted his medical waiver and can return to the team for next season.
- Tight end Jake Duzey was also on the practice field after it was announced that he had re-injured his knee and would not be available for the Rose Bowl. He was watching the practice while being on crutches. He also had a brace on the knee with a wrap underneath as well. It looks as if the new injury is quite serious.
- As is usual the case, it certainly looked like the practices were beginning to become tapered down the closer it gets to game time on Friday. They did not wear pads today.