Live from Iowa City: Key Ball State defender out with injury
IOWA CITY, Ia. -- It's a Chamber of Commerce day in Iowa City. Sunny, little windy and cool temperatures...Iowa is honoring Nile Kinnick and the 1939 Ironmen today. The last living member of that team, Hank Vollenweider, 93, will be on hand.
11:50 a.m. update: Injuries appear to be taking a toll on the visitors from Ball State before the 2:35 p.m. kickoff (ESPN2).
Cardinals safety Dae'Shaun Hurley underwent an MRI on his knee last week and won't play today, according to the Indianapolis Star. Hurley made 83 tackles last season. He'll be replaced by sophomore Martez Hester.
Offensive tackle Drake Miller is recovering from a sore bone in his hand and is expected to be out.
Receiver Jordan Williams missed practice time this week, but is expected to play. He made 72 catches for 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Reserve receiver Shane Belle is dealing with a sore ankle.
Parking update:The parking lots at Finkbine Golf Course are open today, after rain last week made half of the spots unavailable for the season opener against Northern Iowa. Traffic along Highway 6 into the stadium is flowing nicely.
Now for a closer look at Iowa vs. Ball State:
Iowa's biggest advantage today is… The defensive line. Carl Davis, Louis Trinca-Pasat and crew should neutralize the Ball State running game, even though the Cardinals have two players – Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks – who ran for more than 100 yards each in the opener against Colgate. Edwards rushed for 1,110 yards last season.
What could be its undoing?... The Cardinals' passing game. Northern Iowa torched the Iowa defense for eight passing plays of 20 yards or more last week. Ball State has some terrific receivers – KeVonn Mabon, for one – for new quarterback Ozzie Mann to throw to.
Who should we be talking about but aren't?...Sean Welsh. The redshirt freshman, wedged between senior left tackle Brandon Scherff and junior center Austin Blythe, made his first career start against UNI. "We were a little worried about how he would do the first time out there, but he seemed very comfortable and performed really well, so that was good to see," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Final prediction: This game will lean to the offensive side of the ball. The Hawkeyes will have too much firepower. Iowa 31, Ball State 17.