Saturday was a perfect example of how the Iowa Hawkeyes win football games despite ugly offensive output. That sentence will be the last of the game mentioned that doesn’t directly involve the injuries suffered by key players in Saturday’s game.
Approaching a home meeting with Ohio State, Purdue will be missing a few key players. For some of those players, their season is done.
Max [Klare] will not be back. Marquise [Wilson] will not be back. Marcus [Mbow] won’t be back this season.
That’s three additional injuries for an emerging tight end, a heavily-relied-upon defensive back, and yet another offensive lineman when the OL was just getting back some injured players.
Kicker Ben Freehill remains injured with no known timeline of return. OC Brothers is still questionable following a lingering injury.
Tyrone Tracy is doubtful against Ohio State but should be set to return at some point in the coming weeks. A bye week will help that recovery timeline.
I’d be shocked if he played this week.
So it appears Tracy is a bit more than doubtful.
How do you approach a game against an offensive juggernaut with injuries piling up?
I said to the staff at the start of the season...our staff’s ability to adapt and to adjust to our roster and to who our opponent it is, throughout the course of the season, will be in direct correlation with our successes and our failures.
The injuries are racking up, but looking toward the future, this could prove as crucial growth for guys being thrust into more significant playing time for which few had planned.
Reserve tight end Paul Piferi is still sidelined with an undisclosed injury but may need to fill in with an injured Klare and Garrett Miller playing his first season since a season-ending knee injury. The offensive line was already thin and now the right tackle needs a replacement, likely in graduate transfer Ben Farrell, formerly of Indiana Wesleyan. The running back room looks like it’ll be one man short this weekend.
Point being, this is setting up to be a rough go against the third-ranked team in D1, even if it’s at home.
A typically calm and collected Walters approaches Saturday this way: