Iowa State at Iowa
Teddy Covers' Recommendation:
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - Big Ten Network
Iowa -4.5 O/U 47
Iowa -3.5 O/U 49
Rob Veno's Power Rating:
There’s not a lot to like about Iowa this year. The Hawkeyes program has been in steady decline since their shocking run to the Orange Bowl following the 2009 season. Head coach Kirk Ferentz is no longer able to attract NFL level recruits the way that he did for many of his previous 13 seasons on the job. The Hawkeyes didn’t reach the end zone against rebuilding Northern Illinois until the final two minutes of the game last week, escaping with a one point victory over a mid-tier MAC squad. An offensive line that has regularly sent graduated to the NFL doesn’t appear to have any NFL caliber talent in 2012.
This team lacks offensive playmakers as well, and QB James Vandenberg needed 33 pass attempts to throw for 129 yards against the Huskies last week. Iowa’s defense got pushed around as well, allowing more than five yards per carry against a team that graduated four offensive linemen in the offseason, three of them All-MAC players. The Hawkeyes once enormous home field edge has declined with the program’s overall decline, just 13-16 ATS since 2006 as home chalk. In short, Iowa has no business laying more than a field goal against a team that beat them last year and is primed to do it again!
There was nothing fraudulent about Iowa State’s dominating performance as home underdogs against Tulsa last week. The Cyclones defense was in control throughout, forcing ten punts, two interceptions and a fumble after falling behind 16-7 early, outscoring the Hurricanes 31-7 the rest of the way. Senior QB Steele Jantz threw for 279 yards and four TDs against Iowa last year, and he completed 71% of his passes for 281 yards and two TDs last week. Expect more of the same on Saturday!
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