Here are some of the highlights heading into Saturday‘s season opener against Eastern Illinois:
-Ferentz came pretty close to saying that Brandon Wegher was out for this season during Tuesday's weekly press conference. A day later, he said that he met with the sophomore running back on Wednesday and told him to concentrate on academics. After the season, they could meet and determine his future with the team.
Wegher left the Hawkeyes after a few days of training camp for personal reasons. In mid-August, Ferentz sounded optimistic about the Sioux City Heelan graduate returning to the team. The coach said on Tuesday that Wegher would remain on scholarship.
-Ferentz said that starting middle linebacker Jeff Tarpinian will play on Saturday. The senior underwent surgery on a broken hand during camp.
The coach couldn't say how much Tarpinian would be able to play. Back-up Bruce Davis said on Tuesday that he expected to see quite a bit of action.
-Christian Ballard, who started at defensive end in 2008 before moving inside last season, will return to the edge on Saturday. Broderick Binns will miss the game due to suspension and Mike Daniels will open the game at tackle.
-Ferentz said that a decision still hadn't been made on a starting place kicker. He did say that contenders Daniel Murray, Trent Mossbrucker and Mike Meyer have looked more consistently good during the last week and a half.
-Josh Koeppel was scheduled to be on CBS' Early Show Thursday morning, but the network canceled the appearance. The Iowa City native was hit by a truck while driving his moped downtown on Monday, which you can see here.
When asked about requiring his players to wear helmets on mopeds, Ferentz said he's a coach, not a king. He wished it were the law.
-When asked about depth on the offensive line, coach singled out Nolan MacMillan as someone who has worked himself into the mix.