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Brandon Smith talks about the importance of moving on and refocusing ahead of Purdue Dargan Southard, msouthard@gannett.com

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — The Hawkeyes will be down a key offensive weapon Saturday against Northwestern.

Wide receiver Brandon Smith is out and in concussion protocol, the Iowa radio network confirmed pregame. The 6-foot-3 sophomore took a hard shot near the sideline at the end of last week's loss to Purdue. There's a good chance Smith will return next week at Illinois. 

Smith has 20 catches for 253 yards and a touchdown this season. Among Iowa’s wide receivers, more will be asked from Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Nick Easley, Kyle Groeneweg and even Tyrone Tracy.

More shuffling is happening on the other side of the ball too. Expect the Hawkeyes to go back to their original starting corners in Michael Ojemudia and Matt Hankins, who are finally back healthy. Iowa leaned on freshmen Julius Brents and Riley Moss the last five games, but both were burned badly last week at Purdue.     

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.