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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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Page 81 of 91

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 82 THREE THINGS 1 The departure of three multi-year starters at linebacker — Bo Bow- er, Ben Niemann and All-American Josey Jewell — means big shoes to fill. Niemann's young- er brother, Nick, should take over at outside linebacker, but the other two spots could be TBD. It appears junior Amani Jones will take over in the middle. Odds are the weakside spot will go to junior Kristian Welch after fifth-year senior Aaron Mends tore his ACL in the spring. 2 Iowa has perhaps the top tight end duo in the Big Ten in Noah Fant (11 touchdowns in 2017) and T.J. Hockenson (three touchdowns in 2017), but needs to find playmak- ers on the outside and running back. Two young receivers, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith, could step forward to provide help in the passing game. They combined for 21 receptions as fresh- men and need that total around 50-60 this year. At running back, sophomores Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin showed promise last season, but they will shoulder a much bigger load in 2018 with- out Akrum Wadley and his 1,462 combined rushing and receiving yards. 3 Center James Daniels' decision to declare early for the NFL Draft led to a chain reaction on the offensive line. Keegan Render, who started at guard last year, moved to center. Levi Paulsen appears settled at right guard, but left will be a battle between senior Ross Reynolds and redshirt freshman Cole Banwart. At least Iowa is set at tackle with Alaric Jackson on the left and Tristian Wirfs on the right. Both played last year due to injuries and could be very good. — Tom Kakert, publisher of TIME: TBA | DATE: NOV. 3 | LOCATION: WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. | TV: TBA COACH: KIRK FERENTZ (143-97, 20TH SEASON) 2017 RECORD: 8-5 STARTERS RETURNING (OFFENSE/ DEFENSE): 7/4^ SERIES VS. PURDUE: 46-39-3 LAST MEETING: PURDUE, 24-15 ON NOV. 18, 2017, AT KINNICK STADIUM ^ ATHLON GBI EARLY L I N E : EVEN Game 9 | Iowa Iowa's 2018 Schedule 9/1 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 9/8 IOWA STATE 9/15 NORTHERN IOWA 9/22 WISCONSIN 10/6 at Minnesota 10/13 at Indiana 10/20 MARYLAND 10/27 at Penn State 11/3 at Purdue 11/10 NORTHWESTERN 11/17 at Illinois 11/23 NEBRASKA Iowa Nathan Stanley

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