Iowa State at Iowa
How are the Hawkeyes doing so far?
The next time Kirk Ferentz cares about style points in a September football game will be the first, so don’t read too much into Iowa’s seemingly slow start. Marc Weisman is clearly being saved for when he’s going to be needed, for instance. Likewise, no matter how beautiful of a deep ball C.J. Beathard can throw (spoiler alert: gorgeous), Jake Rudock’s the man for now and probably for the whole season. What matters for Iowa is the defense, and that defense has shown up the way it always has. You can move the ball between the 20s with impunity against Iowa, but unless you’ve got a burner in the backfield with good hands, scoring touchdowns against the Hawks will always be difficult.
That matters in this game because Iowa State doesn’t have such a burner and hasn’t even made it to the red zone in the second half this season. The Clones proved they weren’t hapless with a tough performance against Kansas State last week. (I think they did, at least. As usual, it’s almost impossible to tell if K-State has a good team or not.) But they’re overmatched here at almost every position. It won’t be easy but I think Iowa wins this one.
Pick: Iowa 31, Iowa State 24