Saturday afternoon I was living vicariously through a handful of media types on Twitter than were live Tweeting Iowa's second open practice. It was more of a game day practice with real tackling, pumped in crowd noise, coordinators up in the press box...
Overshadowing the whole day, was the unfortunate injury of running back Barkley Hill. It was the final play of the scrimmage portion of the practice and it happened as Hill was crossing the line into the endzone on an 8-yard touchdown run. There hasn't been any official word on his injury, but it's his left leg and it sounds bad. Hopefully it's just a sprain and he can work his way back after the bye week. If not, he'll be looking at a redshirt year, and Iowa running back will be looking very thin once again.
On to the good news. A lot of players were back after not dressing last week: Brad Rogers, Greg Garmon, Michael Malloy, Nolan MacMillan, B.J. Lowery, to name a few. And only a couple missed practice: Brett Van Sloten, Keenan Davis, and Kevonte Martin-Manley. I don't think any of those are serious injuries.
It sounds like, even with Davis and Martin-Manley out, the offense was more in sync than last week. The tight ends were once again the stars on offense and Jake Duzey's name came up quite a few times. He's probably the number 3 tight end and will see the field on more than just special teams.
On defense Carl Davis was finally making some noise. He had a sack, knocked down a pass at the line, and had at least one other tackle for loss. B.J. Lowery, who is coming off a sprain, was the other name that came up a lot. He forced and recovered a fumble, and was good in coverage.
Besides the injury to Hill, which is really hard to overlook, the mood from practice was more upbeat than last week. It sounds like this young team is learning quickly and making strides. Hopefully that'll continue now that the kids are starting classes today and aren't able to think football 24/7. I think it will and the team will be ready to go in less than 2 weeks.