We can only speculate on a few of these factors right now — Kyle Calloway’s suspension, Julian Vandervelde’s injury, whomever plays center.
But someone’s going to have to play. Here’s my completely wild stabs in the dark.
NORTHERN IOWA — Sept. 5
LT — Bryan Bulaga (Locked and throw away the key.)
LG — Dace Richardson (I’m not sure on his health right now. I think Julian Vandervelde misses at least one game while rehabbing from his surgery. It’s upper body, so strength and condition could be an issue.)
C — Rafael Eubanks (It’s his time. They need him.)
RG — Dan Doering/Andy Kuempel (Someone HAS to grab hold. These are two hungry fifth-year seniors who should want it bad.)
RT — Riley Reiff (Have been asked a lot about him lately.)
@ IOWA STATE — Sept. 12
LT — Bulaga (He’s good.)
LG — Eubanks/Julian Vandervelde (Eubanks could happen. When will Vandervelde be ready?)
C — James Ferentz (He doesn’t face suspension. Under Kirk Ferentz, the suspensions usually start at OWIs.)
RG — Doering/Keumpel (Adam Gettis? I’m not sure he’s fully loaded yet.)
RT — Reiff (Now, Calloway had an OWI. Does that get him one or three games? Don’t know. This is a big deal.)
ARIZONA — Sept. 19
LT — Markus Zusevics (Just seeing if you’r paying attention. Of course, The Terminator. Not discounting Zusevics, though. He’s made some strides and will likely be in the plans in ’10.)
LG — Dace/Eubanks/Vandervelde (Depends on how well Dace holds up. Remember, he hasn’t played a snap since Indiana ’07, his one and only game in ’07.)
C — James Ferentz/Josh Koeppel/Vandervelde (I’m bringing up Koeppel because I think he’s very much in this race. Ferentz said the Vandervelde/center thingie wasn’t just foolin’ this spring. So, up in the air)
RG — Doering/Kuempel/Reiff (Does Reiff show enough while filling in for Calloway that he earns a spot in the top five? Remember, that’s the rudder here. Coach Ferentz has preached top five every year I can remember.)
RT — Calloway (I’m thinking two games, but I don’t know how this will go. As far as I know, this is his first trouble and that is a mitigating factor.)
Man, lots up in the air. Except The Terminator, of course. This is a bigger deal than running back.