Iowa Versus Iowa State, in Ames, My Prediction

Andrew WallingContributor ISeptember 10, 2009

IOWA CITY, IA - SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Damian Sims #28 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs with the football as linebacker Alvin Bowen #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones pursues at Kinnick Stadium on September 16, 2006 in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated Cyclones 27-17. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

It's hard for me to be objective this week, HOWEVER:

Iowa's offense
Good lord was that bad. Running game is non-existent. I really don't expect to see it much better against ISU. BUT, Tony Moeaki more than made up for the lack of rushing adding 10 catches for 83 yards. ISU's LB can't run with him. What to expect? ISU puts a nickelback on Moeaki instead of a LB, look for ISU to run a 4-2-5 defense. ISU won't stop the Iowa machine, hopefully it can slow it down just enough for this......

ISU's offense
ISU's receivers have a distinct advantage against a CB and Safety that UNI exploited for 2 big gainers last weekend....ISU has 4 WR that are ready to go, I just don't see that Iowa has an answer to that. Sure they have Spivey (sp?), so AA won't throw to that side, but with Marquis Hamilton, Sederick Johnson , Darius Reynolds and a supposedly healthy Darius Darks, should be able to run all over the Iowa secondary. Iowa will use it's front 6-7 to disrupt AA's timing and comfort in the pocket. However, as I said last week, ISU ran more than I expected so I look to ISU to mix in that halfback option enough to keep the d line honest. I think ISU has more tools on Offense.

Special teams
As Steve Deace said this morning, if Dan McCarney had the special teams that this team has, he'd still be coach. Grant Mahoney solidly hit a 50 yd field goal in 0 wind. Leonard Johnson is such a threat people kick away from him, but David Sims still runs it back to the 40. Advantage ISU. Iowa has a 'pro-style' punter, which will help them in field position, but ISU used several long drives against NDSU to march the distance.

It's in Ames, before a theoretically sold out crowd, and Iowa returned some of their ticket allotment for the game, so more ISU fans got tix. ISU is VERY tired of being little brother and UNI showed that Iowa is not world beaters. That is good for both teams, but I think it helps the young and impressionable ISU team more than Iowa. Gameday weather is going to either be rainy or extremely humid. Iowa obviously tired in the second half against UNI. ISU will run 10-15 more plays than UNI did, making conditioning a bigger issue. If it's wet or humid, I give advantage to ISU's offense vs. Iowa's D.

I honestly look for a 34-27 score type game, and ISU winning.

For Iowa to win, they have to come out and hang something on the board early and stop ISU's early drives. A young team will cannibalize itself, if it feels stagnation. If Iowa lets ISU keep it close (or if ISU runs away out of the gate), ISU will win this game. All that ISU needs is a chance to win in the second half. I don't look for this ISU squad to be a come from 21 down to win kind of team.

How's that?