Stanzi has surgery, out this weekend


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A loss usually dampens the mood inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex on Tuesdays. But a loss coupled with the Hawkeyes’ starting quarterback going down with an injury?

One can pretty much plan on Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz being a bit testy at his weekly press conference.

That’s what happened this Tuesday, as Ferentz declared junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi out for this weekend’s game against Ohio State — and probably the remainder of the regular season — after suffering a severely sprained ankle in the second quarter against Northwestern on Nov. 7.

Ferentz said Stanzi had a successful surgery on Monday, but the head coach didn’t get into the details regarding the procedure, saying, “I’m not very good on the specifics.”

Redshirt freshman James Vandenberg will replace Stanzi in the lineup on Saturday.

“You can deny it,” Ferentz said about the injury. “You can say a guy’s going to be fine, but if a guy’s got [a high ankle sprain], he’s got one, and it takes a long time to get him right.”

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So far this season, tight end Tony Moeaki and running back Adam Robinson have missed time with a similar injury. Moeaki was sidelined three games earlier this year and is now back in the lineup, and Robinson has sat out the Hawkeyes’ last two contests and will likely miss the remainder of the regular season.

While Ferentz said it’s “possible” for Stanzi to be back in time for the season finale against Minnesota on Nov. 21, he’s not banking on it.

“I don’t think [it’s] likely, but it’s possible,” the 11-year head coach said. “We’ll see where he is at the end of the week.”

Stanzi will serve as Vandenberg’s tutor, helping the Keokuk native prepare for Ohio State’s defense, which Ferentz said, “might as well be an NFL defense.” Vandenberg and Stanzi studied film together Sunday night, much like they would during a normal game week.

The only difference this time is that Vandenberg will be the one implementing the game plan on Saturday.

“A lot of the older guys have [gotten] with me, and we’ve watched film,” Vandenberg said. “I’ve watched a bunch of Ohio State tape over the last two days, and I’m starting to get kind of a feel for them.

“[Stanzi] has already helped me a ton.”

Ferentz addresses criticism

After Iowa’s 17-10 loss to Northwestern, Ferentz was critiqued for not giving Vandenberg his fair share of reps with the first-team offense in case Stanzi went down with an injury. On Tuesday, the head coach responded to those criticisms.

“I [have] worked under Jackie Sherrill, Hayden Fry, Bill Belichick, and Ted Marchibroda,” Ferentz said. “I’ve seen a lot of practices, including Chuck Noll [and] Bill Cowher. I’ve never seen a No. 2 quarterback get as many reps as the 1s. I’ve never heard of that.”

Sandeman, Greenwood could play

Wide receiver Colin Sandeman (concussion) and safety Brett Greenwood (neck) both left the field against Michigan State on Oct. 24 with injuries stemming from brutal collisions. Outside of Greenwood playing the first few plays against Indiana on Oct. 31, neither of them have been on the field since.

On Tuesday, Ferentz contended that the two have “fair chances of making it back” for this weekend’s game at Ohio State.

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