There’s no skirting around the main area concern in the depth chart this week: the offensive line.
Having already lost Andrew Nelson for the year, Brendan Mahon and Paris Palmer are now off the depth chart as well (that’s about as much injury news as James Franklin usually gives us). Replacing Palmer at left tackle is redshirt freshman Ryan Bates, who shifted over from guard in the Indiana game. Steven Gonzalez, another redshirt freshman, will now be starting at left guard. Thankfully, Brian Gaia and Connor McGovern remain the starters at center and right guard to maintain some stability. To round out the line, Chasz Wright is poised to make his second straight start at right tackle, filling in for the injured Brendan Mahon. Wish for some good health karma for offensive linemen this week.
In other news, John Reid returns as the #1 punt returner on the depth chart, as Franklin continues to shuffle those duties without much predictability. Also, backup punter and place-kick holder Chris Gulla is absent from the depth chart following a violation of team rules that kept him out of the Indiana game. Backup QB Billy Fessler will take over duties as the holder in Gulla’s absence.