Iowa and Indiana battle it out in a Big Ten clash at Memorial Stadium early Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes picked up their first conference win by storming past Minnesota. The Hoosiers have had a rough start to conference play, recently getting blown out by Ohio State.
Hawks defense giving up points, but not as many yards
Iowa is about to jump into the AP top 25, and for good reason. They have one of the nation’s best defenses, holding teams to just 272.4 yards per game — that’s fourth-best overall, and they really shine at shutting down the opposition’s running attack. While the offense was expected to take a step forward from an awful season a year ago, their 48-31 victory against Minnesota has been more of an outlier for them — as was the defensive performance.
Against better competition, they have now given up 59 total points against the Golden Gophers and Wisconsin the week prior. They stuffed their last opponent on third down, but allowed them to get 20 first downs. It may have been even more competitive if Minnesota’s QB didn’t throw three picks. On the flip side, quarterback Nathan Stanley did have his best passing game of the season with 314 yards and four TDs to one pick, so the team hopes he can build on that. This is a team that could surprise and is being overlooked in the league right now.
Hoosiers have yet to impress in Big Ten play
After starting out 3-0 on the season, Indiana has been roughed up in Big Ten play. Their lone win was just a touchdown differential against Rutgers, where they were two-touchdown favorites. They did cover against Ohio State, but barely in a 49-26 drubbing. It was competitive early in the second quarter, but the Buckeyes took control of the game right before half.
Go get it, @_Jshun_! ✋ One handed grab.
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) October 6, 2018
The problem for Indiana is they don’t really excel in any category and are poised to be a middling team in the Big Ten, but they do have some playmakers emerging. Senior receiver J-Shun Harris II broke out against the Buckeyes with 104 yards on eight catches. RB Stevie Scott is most consistent at pounding the rock, leading the team with 528 yards and 5 TDs. They’ll have to rise to the occasion against the Hawkeyes.
- 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 home games
- 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 conference games
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- 20-9 ATS in their last 29 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This will be the first time that both sides will meet since 2015, back when they used to play every year. The Hawkeyes have mostly dominated this series, and they should tack on another impressive win with their defense that has stifled most opponents.
Prediction: Iowa -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
There’s been a lot of scoring going on in Iowa’s last three games, but don’t expect that trend to continue. Indiana’s offense will be hard pressed to get much going against this defense, and you should expect a more grinding game to take place here.
Prediction: Under 51.5