Dave's Free Pick ATS: Iowa at Iowa State 9/12/09

dave darbySenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 24:  Albert Young #21 of Iowa makes a catch against Ohio State during the second quarter on September 24, 2005 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Iowa 31-6.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0)

Line: Iowa -6.5

While both of these teams won their first game of the season last week, they most certainly feel different about how they got there.

Iowa pulled out a close one at home on Saturday, beating Northern Iowa 17-16.

The Hawkeyes had to block two field goal attempts in the last seven seconds to secure the lead. After the first blocked attempt, Northern Iowa recovered the ball for a second attempt on second down which was also blocked.

While Iowa's defense played well, the offense struggled to get going. The Hawkeyes gained just 320 yards for the game including 87 on the ground. The lack of running game wasn't totally unexpected however as Iowa lost running back Shonn Green to the NFL and Jewel Hampton to injury prior to the season's start.

Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi was able to throw for 242 yards to keep Iowa in the game. Tight-end Tony Moeaki was the top target from the air catching 10 tosses for 83 years and a touchdown.

Iowa State broke a 10-game losing streak in their win over North Dakota State and looked good doing it.

The Cyclones had a balanced attack that included 204 yards on the ground and 238 in the air, which led to their 34-17 victory.

Most of the Iowa State offense this year looks to come from quarterback Austen Arnaud and running back Alexander Robinson and game one was no exception. Robinson rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown while Arnaud threw for two scores and ran one in for a third.

The area of concern for the Cyclones is the suspect defense. North Dakota State racked up 388 total yards including 210 on the ground.

These two teams match up very closely.

Iowa figures to be a good defensive team and will face an Iowa State team that has some confidence going on offense.

Iowa State struggled on defense in the opener, but faces an Iowa squad looking for answers in the running game. 

I look for Arnaud to take what the defense of Iowa gives and have an impressive day. While he was dicing up the North Dakota secondary with 238 yards passing, he still managed to get in 17 rushes for 78 yards. It is that versatility that makes the difference here.

Dave's Pick: Iowa State +6.5