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The big news this week finally came in surrounding Martin's immediate eligibility. Brian Powers, bpowers@dmreg.com

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The weight of expectation is tangible for this year's Iowa football team.

A three-year starting quarterback. A bona fide stud on the defensive front. A freshly eligible hometown hero. A wide-open Big Ten West.

Can the 19th-ranked Hawkeyes find their way back to Indianapolis in Kirk Ferentz's 21st season? That conference chase begins next week. But first, there's the Week 1 rust to knock off.

And Miami of Ohio is traveling to Kinnick Stadium for a 6:40 p.m. FS1 game that will be hopefully free of pulse-quickening moments for Iowa fans.

Here are the projected starters heading into the opener.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Nate Stanley (6-foot-4, 243 pounds, senior)

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Running back: Mekhi Sargent (5-11, 223, junior)

Tight end: Nate Wieting (6-4, 250, sr.)

Fullback: Brady Ross (6-0, 246, sr.)

Wide receiver: Brandon Smith (6-2, 218, jr.)

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Wide receiver: Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, jr.)

Left tackle: Alaric Jackson (6-6, 320, jr.)

Left guard: Landan Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.)

Center: Tyler Linderbaum (6-3, 286, freshman)

Right guard: Levi Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.) OR Cole Banwart (6-4, 300, jr.)

Right tackle: Tristan Wirfs (6-5, 322, jr.)

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Iowa's No. 1 tight end this year is Nate Wieting, who could be an every-down type player for the Hawkeyes. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

DEFENSE

Defensive end: Chauncey Golston (6-5, 270, jr.)

Defensive end: A.J. Epenesa (6-6, 280, jr.)