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The 19th-ranked Hawkeyes host Rutgers in an unusually early opening to the Big Ten Conference season. Des Moines Register

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As far as No. 19 Iowa's football opener went last week, that Miami of Ohio game was a case of all's well that ends well. And things ended particularly well in that 38-14 triumph, especially when looking at the second half.

But in order for the Hawkeyes' goals of a Big Ten Conference championship game trip to be realized, their in-league road has to start well, too. Kirk Ferentz's squad plays the earliest conference game in his 21-year tenure when Iowa hosts Rutgers at 11 a.m. Saturday on FS1.

This should be another gimme game, with the Hawkeyes as nearly three-touchdown favorites. There's that whole trap-game, Cy-Hawk situation lingering, though.

Either way, this week's focus simply ought to be 2-0. Onto the projected starters ... 

OFFENSE

Quarterback: No. 4, Nate Stanley (6-foot-4, 243 pounds, senior)

Running back: No. 10, Mekhi Sargent (5-11, 223, junior)

Tight end: No. 39, Nate Wieting (6-4, 250, sr.)

Fullback: No. 36, Brady Ross (6-0, 246, sr.)

Wide receiver: No. 12, Brandon Smith (6-2, 218, jr.)

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Wide receiver: No. 6, Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, jr.)

Left tackle: No. 74, Tristan Wirfs (6-5, 322, jr.)

Left guard: No. 68, Landan Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.)

Center: No. 65, Tyler Linderbaum (6-3, 286, freshman)

Right guard: No. 64, Kyler Schott (6-2, 290, sophomore)

INSTANT STAR:How Kyler Schott endeared himself to the Hawkeye masses

Right tackle: No. 66, Levi Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.)

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Iowa redshirt freshman Tyler Linderbaum was impressive in the opener against Miami of Ohio. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

DEFENSE

Defensive end: No. 57, Chauncey Golston (6-5, 270, jr.)

Defensive end: No. 94, A.J. Epenesa (6-6, 280, jr.)

Defensive tackle: No. 95, Cedrick Lattimore (6-3, 295, sr.)

Defensive tackle: No. 91, Brady Reiff (6-3, 277, sr.)

Weak-side linebacker: No. 32, Djimon Colbert (6-1, 235, soph.)

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Middle linebacker: No. 34, Kristian Welch (6-3, 239, sr.)

Cash: No. 49, Nick Niemann (6-4, 235, jr.) OR No. 35, Barrington Wade (6-1, 236, jr.)

Strong safety: No. 9, Geno Stone (5-10, 210, jr.)

Free safety: No. 26, Kaevon Merriweather (6-0, 210, soph.)

REBOUND:Merriweather keeping grip on starting spot after rough debut

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Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather reflects on his first career start and also explains how he won the job. Listen: Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

Cornerback: No. 11, Michael Ojemudia (6-1, 200, sr.)

Cornerback: No. 8, Matt Hankins (6-0, 185, jr.)

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Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon played 18 snaps in a backup role but couldn't stop smiling as he talked about it Tuesday. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: No. 10, Caleb Shudak (5-8, 180, jr.) OR No. 3, Keith Duncan (5-10, 180, jr.)

Punter: No. 22, Michael Sleep-Dalton (6-0, 212, sr.)

Kickoff and punt returns: No. 6, Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, jr.)

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RUTGERS PROJECTED STARTERS

OFFENSE

Quarterback: No. 3, McLane Carter (6-3, 225, sr.)

Running back: No. 2, Rasheem Blackshear (5-9, 192, jr.)

Tight end: No. 10, Matt Alaimo (6-4, 237, fr.)

Wide receiver: No. 18, Bo Melton (5-11, 191, jr.)

Wide receiver: No. 6, Mohamed Jabbie (5-11, 196, jr.)

Wide receiver: No. 15, Shameen Jones (6-1, 187, soph.)

Left tackle: No. 71, Raiqwon O'Neal (6-4, 305, fr.)

Left guard: No. 75, Zach Venesky (6-3, 306, sr.)

Center: No. 55, Michael Maietti (6-1, 291, jr.)

Right guard: No. 66, Nick Krimin (6-5, 309, jr.)

Right tackle: No. 54, Kamaal Seymour (6-6, 324, sr.)

MORE IOWA HAWKEYES COVERAGE

DEFENSE

Defensive end: No. 97, Mike Tverdov (6-4, 255, soph.)

Nose tackle: No. 50, Julius Turner (6-0, 280, jr.)

Defensive tackle: No. 96, Willington Previlon (6-5, 295, sr.)

Jack: No. 7, Elorm Lumor (6-3, 248, jr.)

Linebacker: No. 9, Tyreek Maddox-Williams (6-0, 228, jr.)

Linebacker: No. 8, Tyshon Fogg (6-1, 237, jr.)

Linebacker: No. 3, Olakunle Fatukasi (6-1, 29, jr.)

Strong safety: No. 15, Malik Dixon (6-3, 213, sr.)

Free safety: No. 25, Jarrett Paul (6-0, 213, soph.)

Cornerback: No. 2, Avery Young (6-0, 194, soph.)

Cornerback: No. 22, Damon Hayes (6-1, 201, sr.)

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Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz warned of the challenged ahead when the Hawkeyes host Rutgers at 11 a.m. Saturday. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: No. 95, Justin Davidovicz (5-9, 180, jr.)

Punter: No. 94, Adam Korsak (6-1, 184, jr.)

Kickoff returns: No. 21, Tre Avery (5-10, 188, jr.)

Punt returns: No. 2, Avery Young (6-0, 194, soph.)

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