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Hawkeye D-Line readjusts in wake of Alvis' injury

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | NOVEMBER 09, 2011 7:20 AM

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First it was the linebackers. Now, the defensive line appears under siege.

Just when Iowa's D-line appeared to return to full strength — tackle Tom Nardo returned Nov. 5 against Michigan after missing three games with a knee injury — starting end Dominic Alvis tore his ACL in the fourth quarter.

Alvis, a sophomore, will miss the rest of the season and will have knee surgery this week. He recorded 30 tackles in nine games, including 3.5 for loss.

"Well, we get one back, and we lose one outside, so we'll just have to keep adjusting," coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday. "… The good news is I think everybody else is back with us."

Ferentz said redshirt freshman tackle Carl Davis is close to being 100 percent after working through an undisclosed injury. The 6-5, 310-pounder may not be ready to play Saturday against Michigan State, but his presence in practice will help the Hawkeyes, Ferentz said.

"He's still a young guy who's barely played," Ferentz said. "But at least we'll have someone to practice with so we're not just wearing everybody out, so that's a positive. At least if we can have a good week of practice, we'll see what we can throw out there Saturday."

Senior Lebron Daniel will slide into Alvis' starting role. Daniel has posted 18 tackles in seven games, starting three of them.

"What happened to Dom was tough and unfortunate," Daniel said. "None of us want anything bad to happen to our teammates. I'm just looking to step up and do whatever the coaches need me to do."

Fiedorowicz to continue starting

C.J. Fiedorowicz said his stomach dropped in shock when he was told he would start against Michigan last week.

"I was just like 'Wow, it's finally my time,'" the sophomore tight end said. "The thought of starting the game and playing the entire game was a little nerve-racking. Once that first possession got over, though, we were just rolling."

Fiedorowicz caught 1 pass for 9 yards against the Wolverines, coming up less than a yard shy of a touchdown. He has 4 catches for 62 yards this season.

The Johnsburg, Ill., native has a done a better job of paying attention to "the little details" in practice, he said, leading to increased trust from the coaching staff.

"We felt like he was on the upward climb," Ferentz said. "We thought he responded well last week, so he'll continue to be our starter, and we'll see where it goes."

Seniors prepare for final home game

Eighteen seniors will play their final home games as Hawkeye players on Saturday against Michigan State. Receiver Marvin McNutt said the day will be emotional.

"This is my final time here to get a chance to play in front of these wonderful fans in Kinnick Stadium," he said.

Asked to name his favorite Kinnick Stadium moment, the former quarterback couldn't pick just one.

"There have been a lot of them so I don't really have a favorite," he said. "Anytime you walk out of the tunnel, you still get the same feeling as the first time you walked out of it."


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