The Rob Report, Michigan State

This week's installment of Senior Writer Rob Howe's news and views from the press box includes an injury update, a list of true freshmen that dressed, wrinkles in the defensive scheme, the return of a few Hawkeyes, reactions from the sidelines and more in the premium insider view.


Ben Gates - Sustained an injury in Tuesday practice and did not dress.

Matt Melloy - The junior WR returned to the lineup Saturday after missing three games with a sprained knee. He played special teams and got his hand on a Michigan State punt.

Brian Ferentz - After missing almost a year with knee complications, the coach's son started at RG in place of Gates.

Jermelle Lewis - Left the game early in the second quarter after hurting his knee on a pass reception. Originally it was was announced that he had sprained his knee. Teammates and other members of the Hawkeyes were consoling the RB on the bench. And Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz indicated that he thought Lewis had torn his ACL in his right knee

Lewis tore an ACL in his left knee in the spring of 2003.

George Lewis - Played only on field goal blocking unit due to a hamstring injury.

Todd Plagman - Did not dress (ankle sprain).

Sean Considine - Still on crutches and hard cast on his left foot. He said earlier this week that he expects to be back for Ohio State.

DRESSED UP: A list of the true freshmen that were in uniform on Saturday - Seth Olsen, Adam Shada, Charles Godfrey, Grant McCracken, Ted Bentler, Damien Sims, Anton Narinskiy, Mitch King, Matt Kroul, Nyere Aumaitre, Rashad Dunn and Brandon Myers.


Counter Attack - Last season, MSU caught Iowa off guard with its fastbreak offense. The Hawkeyes responded Saturday by shuffling its lineup on defense.

Ed Miles started at LB in place of George Lewis to improve pass coverage. Iowa also used a 4-1-6 formation on likely passing downs with Antwan Allen, Jovon Johnson, Walner Belleus, Adam Shada, Marcus Paschal and Miguel Merrick in the defensive backfield. Abdul Hodge was the lone LB.

Welcome Back - Adolphus Shelton and Khaliq Price dressed out on Saturday. The two defensive backs were not invited to training camp this season and were not on the sidelines the first four weeks.

Hey Champ - After Jermelle Lewis left the game, sophomore Champ Davis received some playing time in one-back sets.

Bad Decision - QB Drew Tate looked confused coming to the sideline after throwing a second quarter interception. Offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe appeared to let Tate know that it was his mistake.

There had been some conjecture the last few weeks that maybe some of the Iowa WRs were running incorrect routes at times during previous INTs.

Welcome Back Part II - Former Iowa quarterback Brad Banks spent part of his bye week from the CFL in Iowa City. He hung around the team, making a strong impression on current QB Drew Tate.

Banks joined the Iowa radio broadcast team Saturday before spending some of the second half on the Iowa bench. He received a huge round of applause from the student section as he walked with Jermelle Lewis to the Hawkeye locker room.

Not There Yet - Coach Ferentz was visibly annoyed at the poor tackling by his reserve defense, which was inserted after Iowa built a big lead. He reinserted his starters late in the fourth quarter, perhaps to send a message.

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