Rob Report: Illinois

In his weekly report from the press box, Senior Writer Rob Howe offers up a hint of pink at Kinnick, an injury report, a list of true freshmen in uniform, information on why Phil Parker and Abdul Hodge were yelling, apparent changes in the depth chart, changes on the offensive line and more in this premium note package.

PRETTY IN PINK: As expected, plenty of pink was present at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. The student section contained the most of the passive color with about 25 percent of the occupants donned in it. A good portion of the alumni band wore pink and a few of its tuba players placed covers over their instruments in that color. All of the Alumni cheerleading members wore pink T-shirts.

In case you've been under a rock, a controversy has erupted on campus after a professor at the university wrote in her blog that Iowa's pink visiting locker rooms offended women and homosexual men.

INJURY REPORT: Marcus Paschal (leg) sat out Saturday's game but did dress. Miguel Merrick started at strong safety, and Charles Godfrey opened up at free. David Walker (leg) and Matt Melloy (leg) have missed most of the season with injury. Both players dressed. Melloy played in the fourth quarter.

Albert Young went to the locker room in the third quarter after suffering from cramping related to dehydration. He returned to the bench at the start of the fourth quarter and after the game said he was fine.

Ed Miles left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by Chris Kuehl.

Mike Follett injured his right shoulder and sat out the fourth quarter. He stood on the sidelines with ice on his injury.

Alex Willcox was held out of the game after injuring his shoulder during the week.

TRUE FRESHMEN DRESSED: Marcus Wilson, Chris Rowell, Pat Angerer, Andy Kuempel, Rafael Eubanks, Dan Doering, Kelvin Bailey, Troy Stross, Dana Brown, Tony Moeaki, Ryan Bain, Alex Kanellis, Shonn Greene, and Jake Christensen.

LINE SHUFFLE: For the fourth time in five games, Iowa opened up with a different alignment on the offensive line. Ben Gates (left tackle), Mike Elgin (right guard) and Brian Ferentz (center) returned to the positions they occupied at Ohio State last week. Mike Jones switched from right tackle to left guard, where Marshall Yanda was in Columbus. Yanda moved to right tackle.

The coaches inserted true freshman Dace Richardson at left tackle on the third series. Gates returned late in the second quarter and started the third quarter.

Richardson returned early in the fourth and delivered a strong block on a 66-yard TD run by Damien Sims. Richardson was skipping down the sideline after the play and was receiving high fives from teammates and offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said that as long as Richardson practices well during the week, he will keep working the youngster into the game.

Seth Olsen played right guard and Ben Cronin took over at center in the fourth quarter.

MISSED ASIGNMENT: Iowa was forced to burn a timeout before a first-quarter punt attempt because of an incorrect alignment. Charles Godfrey turned out to be the guilty party as evidenced by assistant coach Phil Parker running on the field to scream at the sophomore. Godfrey was pulled out of the lineup when the Hawkeyes returned to the field to punt.

FRONT FOUR: Mitch King and Matt Kroul started at defensive tackle for a second consecutive game. True freshman Ryan Bain rotated in at tackle. Fellow true frosh Alex Kanellis participated in the rotation at end.

Former starting tackle Alex Willcox did not dress due to injury. Ted Bentler played end in the fourth quarter.

DEPTH CHART DIAGNOSIS: It appeared that Herb Grigsby moved into the third receiver spot behind starters Clinton Solomon and Ed Hinkel. Calvin Davis had occupied that position but saw far fewer reps on Saturday.

Marcus Schnoor rotated into the game as the No. 2 tailback, scoring a first-quarter touchdown. Shonn Greene and Damien Sims also played in the first half.

When Young left the game, Schnoor and Sims carried the load. Marques Simmons carried in the fourth quarter and fumbled.

UNHAPPY CAMPER: After Illinois' fourth-down touchdown pass in the third quarter, Iowa LB Abdul Hodge returned to the sidelines screaming at his defensive teammates. Fellow linebacker Ed Miles was covering the receiver.

Assistant Darrell Wilson first approached Hodge to calm him down. Once the senior cooled off, defensive coordinator Norm Parker spoke with his middle man.

Iowa pretty much shut down the Illini after that.


Ron Zook on the Kinnick crowd noise affecting his no-huddle offense – "The noise? No, I didn't think it bothered us at all. I didn't think it was that loud, to be honest."

Kirk Ferentz on Mike Jones switching back to guard from tackle – "Mike never did seem too comfortable out at tackle so we moved him back to where he has played a lot of football."

EXTRA POINTS: Kirk Ferentz called timeout in order to have an early third-quarter play reviewed. Iowa felt that Hodge intercepted a pass that was ruled incomplete. Replay did not reverse the call…Davis and Sims dropped back to return a third-quarter kick with Young out of the game…Iowa's new sod seemed to hold up pretty well. A lot of brown was sprinkled throughout and seams were evident…Iowa set a new school record with its 21st consecutive home win…Ed Hinkel's 20-yard TD run was the first career rushing attempt for the Iowa senior receiver…Jovon Johnson's interception moved him to within two picks of the school's all-time mark shared by Nile Kinnick and Devon Mitchell…Hodge racked up a game-high 18 tackles moving into seventh on the school's all-time list with 353. He passed Bobby Diaco, Melvin Foster, Aaron Kampman, Dave Haight and Bob Sanders on Saturday…Kenny Iwebema blocked two field goal attempts, tying a school record held by Sean Considine, Maurea Crain and Merton Hanks.

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