Running back Mika’il McCall might be ready for an encore.
Almost two months ago, the true freshman got Hawkeye fans excited when he came into the season-opener and ran for 61 yards on nine carries.
But an ankle injury appeared to end his season before it ever began.
But Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that McCall has been medically clearned to play.
“It’s a matter of how quickly he can get caught up and how good he feels,” Ferentz said. “A big difference between being cleared medically and really being able to play.
“We’ll give him some work this week and see what happens.”
McCall was the first running back in after Marcus Coker fumbled twice on his first four carries against Tennessee Tech. But McCall didn’t even finish the first quarter, limping off the field after a nine-yard gain.
But the fact McCall went through training camp and earned the No. 2 spot gives him a leg up on returning. Ferentz just isn’t sure how confident McCall is planting and cutting.
“He really hasn’t done a lot of hard cutting, a lot of hard this and that,” Ferentz said. “We’ll see how he does this week and next week going forward.”
Junior Jason White remains the back-up running back on the depth chart, but has only had three carries.
McCall had been the second-leading rusher on the team after the first six games, but sophomore DeAndre Johnson moved into that spot (76 yards on 16 carries). Coker leads Iowa with 717 yards on 150 totes.
INJURY UPDATE: Ferentz indicated there was a “chance” that defensive lineman Thomas Nardo and linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Tyler Nielsen will play this week.
“Like most weeks, we got probably eight or 10 guys that are banged up right now,” Ferentz said. “See how the week goes with them.”
Ferentz said that junior receiver Keenan Davis, who hobbled off the field in the fourth quarter Saturday, was among the injured group.
“He’s got a tender ankle right now,” Ferentz said.
OCTOBER GOPHERS: This Saturday marks the first time since 1983 that Iowa has played Minnesota in October.
“It’s a game on the road. We’re in Minnesota. I predict it might be a little warmer than last time,” Ferentz said. “That’s a good thing.”
Iowa had an 18-9 advantage over the last 27 games in November.
Prior to Nebraska joining the Big Ten, Minnesota traditionally was Iowa’s season-ending game since 1983. The exceptions? 1984 (Hawaii), 2001 (Iowa State), 2003, 2004 (Wisconsin), and 2007 (Western Michigan).
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football