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The Iowa Hawkeyes have been off to a start that they expected to be through the first two weeks of the season after cruising past their first two opponents of the season. The latest comes by blanking the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 30-0 at home and that has pushed them inside the top-20 in the national rankings.
Meanwhile, Iowa State has handle business in their only game this season as they won their season opener against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers inching past them in triple overtime at home. Nonetheless, this all leads up to the annual in-state rivalry between the Iowa schools battling over the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
Iowa currently leads the all-time series 44-42 behind winning their last four meetings including five out of the past six overall. This all sets up what should be another intense rivalry matchup between these two longtime rivals on Saturday afternoon.
Iowa hoping to continue strong start
Through the first two games of the season, the Hawkeyes have gotten off to the start that they had expected by moving toward an undefeated mark. This has seen them largely find success behind the play of their defense that has given up just 14 points over their first two games of the year. Iowa is coming off a 30-0 drumming against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights where they had full control of the contest. Their defense had their complete fingerprints over Rutgers preventing a single scoring drive while giving up just five first downs, 125 total offensive yards including 47 passing yards, allowed just 2-of-14 conversions on third down and forced three turnovers in the completely lopsided affair. Their defense has been the difference on the field as they have allowed just two scoring drives over the first two games of the season. Their defense has been dominant setting the tone for them pushing them to a strong start in the process. However, it has been more than that as they have been able to put up plenty of points, notching more than 30 points each of the first two contests that have helped pace them.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) September 9, 2019
This has seen senior quarterback Nate Stanley head the offense as he has totaled 488 passing yards and six touchdowns over that span. This has included north of 230 passing yards and at least three touchdowns while holding a passer rating above 160 in each game. Stanley has been a steadying force under center and that should continue to be a factor for them against their in-state rival as he has been the key to their offensive attack. This may be the key for them against Iowa State as they allowed 228 yards against the Northern Iowa Panthers in their lone game this season. At the same time, it should see them lean on the production from junior running back Mekhi Sargent, who has totaled 150 rushing yards on 27 carries with a touchdown over the first two games. Sargent is coming off a strong game last Saturday as he rushed for 91 yards on 14 carries along with a touchdown. He wasn’t so much of .a factor against Iowa State last season garnering just 25 rushing yards on 11 carries, but this year is a chance for him to expand on that by testing the Cyclones defense that allowed just 34 yards in their home opener. Ultimately, this is a game that will be dictated by the play of their offense on the road that will need to score more than the 13 points that they had last time these two schools met.
Ferentz talks ESPN’s College Gameday being in Ames for this one.
“They were (in Iowa City), I can’t remember what year it was, but it didn’t impact the game,” said Ferentz. “I don’t’ think it will impact this one either. There has always been a lot of hype or interest in this game for obvious reasons.
“The nice thing about it is I don’t think a lot of people outside our state bounds understand the intensity of the rivalry and just what a great thing it is. So maybe that will add to the spotlight a little bit.”
Iowa State looking to snap four-game skid against Iowa
Heading into the 2019 season, the Cyclones had their hopes set on getting off to a strong start to put their struggles from last year behind them. This saw them finish strong winning seven out of their last eight games, but it included them dropping three out of their first four contests. This put them in a tough spot of having to overcome that slow start the rest of the way. They have been able to at least get off a solid start by winning their first game of the year by edging Northern Iowa 29-26 in three overtimes at home. It wasn’t a high-scoring affair by any means, but one that they did just enough to avoid dropping their first game of the year. This effort was led by sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy putting forth a solid performance where he completed 30-of-41 passes for 276 yards with a pair of touchdowns while holding a 146.2 passer rating. In his short time with the school, Purdy has proven to be a more than capable quarterback leading the Cyclones’ offense with his arm as he’s coming off a solid freshman campaign where he passed for 2,250 yards with 16 touchdowns to seven interceptions on a 66.4 percent passer rating last year.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 9, 2019
These are not eye-popping numbers by any means from Purdy, but he did bring them stability and was a huge factor in helping them put together a strong finish to the 2018 campaign. Although he didn’t get the start against the Hawkeyes last year, he will need to be big factor on the field. Their running game had a strong performance in the season opener notching 185 yards on 45 carries with a touchdown. It saw sophomore running back Johnnie Lang lead the charge on the ground with 60 yards on 14 carries in the contest. This will need the Cyclones’ running game to crack more than the 68 rushing yards that the Hawkeyes are allowing per game this season. It will be a tough challenge as Iowa’s defense has steamrolled through their opponents in the first two games while last season’s meeting was dictated by their defense holding Iowa State to just a field goal in that contest. If the Cyclones hope to capture the Cy-Hawk trophy, they will need their offense to pick up as that will prove to be the difference in the contest.
- Cyclones are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
- Cyclones are 0-4 ATS against a team with a winning record.
- Cyclones are 0-5 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
- Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games.
- Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in September.
- Hawkeyes are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
Updated on Sep 14 at 8:25am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The line has gone from Iowa State -1 to Iowa -1 and the Hawkeyes have grabbed 55% of the bets. The Sharps are on the side of the Hawkeyes just a bit.
Injury / Weather Report
Iowa’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: WR Charlie Jones, WR Jack Combs, OL Cole Banwart, and DB Matt Hankins
Out: DB Kaevon Merriweather, OL Alaric Jackson, DB Julius Brents, and DB Riley Moss
Iowa State’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: OL Colin Newell
Out: Punter Corey Dunn
Gametime Weather: 80 degrees and cloudy
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This should be yet another tough matchup for both of these in-state rivals, but what will be the difference is Iowa’s stingy defense. The Hawkeyes defense was a tremendous factor last time around giving up just three points and look to be a similar roll this year, which will make it hard for Purdy to lead the Cyclones to put up points on the board. All in all, Iowa’s defense will have their fingerprints all over this game.
Prediction: Iowa -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Given that being the case, the Hawkeyes defense will dictate the pace of this contest pushing it to be a lower-scoring affair. This should be more points on the board than just 16 total points from last year, but it won’t be an offensive showing from either side of things. Defense will be the deciding factor in Saturday’s contest with that making points come by much of premium throughout this contest.
Prediction: Under 44.5