Iowa-Michigan State: Sparty Looks to Play the Role of Villain

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Iowa-Michigan State: Sparty Looks to Play the Role of Villain
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Several Hawkeyes have earned nicknames this season that resemble the titles of Hollywood movies.

Linebacker Pat Angerer's nickname is "Angerer Management," a play on the words of Adam Sandler's popular movie. Angerer leads Iowa and ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 68 total tackles (24 solo, 44 assisted).

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn earned the nickname "The Clayborn Supremacy" by terrorizing offensive lines like Matt Damon's character terrorized the CIA in the "Bourne" movies.

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is the common cliché used to describe Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi's first half versus second half game performance.

Amari Spievey is "The Glove," Tyler Sash is "The Assashin" and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is "Mr. Third Down."
 
This cast of characters heads to East Lansing this weekend to play the Michigan State Spartans. 

The Spartans might not be the same group from the movie "300," but their defense has been pretty close to that as of late. They are currently tied with Alabama for ninth in the country with 20 quarterback sacks.  12 of those have come in the last three games.

Sparty's army is hoping to play the part of movie villain by spoiling Iowa's Big Ten title hopes. 
 
And just like in the movies, several small, seemingly unimportant factors could prevent the villain from ruining the Hawkeyes' movie ending.

 

Iowa in Night Games vs Michigan State in Night Games

Michigan State has yet to play a night game this season. The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, have had their fair share of different start times this season and have played in two night games already. 

Iowa won its first night game, 21-10, in the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium, and then defeated Michigan in Iowa City, 30-28, two weeks later.

The Hawkeyes have a small, yet definite advantage because of the night game factor.

 

Iowa in Road Games vs Michigan State in Home Games

Michigan State has played four home games already this season, winning three out of four. Their only loss was to Central Michigan by two points in week two. 

Central Michigan's only loss this season? Arizona, a team Iowa has already defeated this year.

Iowa has played in three very hostile road games, winning all three by double digits.  The Hawkeyes defeated Iowa State by 33 points, Penn State by 11 points and Wisconsin by 10 points.

Iowa has proved it can win on the road in a hostile environment, but Michigan State has had some trouble at home this year, giving the Hawkeyes a slight advantage.

 

The Weather

There is a 60 percent chance of rain in East Lansing this weekend.  This is another advantage for Iowa, because this won't be the first time the Hawkeyes have had to combat the weather this year. 

The game against Penn State was played during a rainstorm. The game against Michigan was played in unseasonably frigid temperatures.

The Spartans, on the other hand, have had mostly good weather for their games this year.  They will have to adapt to the rain quickly in order to prevent turnovers, something Iowa thrives on. 

 

The Streaks

College football bookies know to never bet against a streak.  But what happens when there are several streaks occurring at the same time?

Iowa is currently riding an 11 game win streak, their longest streak in more than two decades. The Hawkeyes have also won five straight away games.

Not to be outdone, Michigan State has its own streak, having won four straight games in East Lansing over the Hawkeyes.

Since the goal of gambling is to increase winnings and decrease losings, the streak to bet on is Iowa's 11 game streak. The odds on the longer streak have the highest possible payout.

 

Night Game + Road Game + Weather + Streak = Iowa Victory 

East Lansing is no easy place to play, but Iowa steps up to the challenge again this week and provides Hawkeye fans across the country the movie ending they are all hoping for.

 

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