Iowa forced to go with freshman wide receivers aganist Indiana

IOWA CITY (AP) &#8212 Following last year’s 6-7 finish, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz made it a point to give underclassmen more of a chance to compete for playing time.

But having four freshman wide receivers atop the depth chart certainly wasn’t what he had in mind.

That’s what it’s come down to for the Hawkeyes (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten). Wideout Andy Brodell is likely out for the season after tearing a hamstring in last week’s loss to Wisconsin. And to make matters worse, Iowa’s leading receiver, tight end Tony Moeaki, could miss up to a month after dislocating his elbow and breaking a bone in his hand on the same play against Wisconsin.

They’ll join Dominique Douglas and Anthony Bowman on the sidelines, leaving sophomore quarterback Jake Christensen with four first-year wide receivers for Saturday’s matchup with Indiana (3-1, 0-1).

“We can’t worry about that or think about that,” Ferentz said. “We may have a little bit of an inexperience moment here or there, but we’ll get the guys ready and we’ll play.”

Brodell, the star of last year’s Alamo Bowl, was second on the team with 13 receptions and was also Iowa’s primary punt returner. Though he often struggled with drops, Brodell’s speed made him a threat every time he touched the ball, and his absence is a major blow to an offense ranked last in the Big Ten at 19.2 points a game.

“It’s tough,” Christensen said. “He’s been one of those guys that’s gotten better every year, since he got here all the way up to last year when he was our go-to guy at the Alamo Bowl.”