Tales from the Deuce

Game Preview: Iowa

Who: (15) Iowa (4-1, 1-1) at Michigan (5-1, 1-1) ; ABC or ESPN

When: Saturday, October17, 2010, 3:30 ET

Line: Iowa by 3.5

Forecast: 63 degrees, sunny

The Skinny: The Iowa Hawkeyes return to Ann Arbor for the first time since 2006.  Though they’ve only won once there in the last 15 years, circumstances set up quite well for another victory for Iowa.  For starters, the Hawkeyes are well coached.  They are led by head coach Kirk Ferentz who continues to prove every year why he is among the game’s best, as he probably gets more out of less than any other coach in the nation.  They have an experienced quarterback in Ricky Stanzi, and one of the country’s best defensive players in defensive end Adrian Clayborn.  If that wasn’t enough, they currently stand atop the country’s best in scoring defense.  Taking all of that into account, do the Wolverines have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning?  I think they do and there are a few reasons why.

First, the Hawkeyes’ defensive statistics are extremely inflated.  To illustrate, check out the offensive rankings of Iowa’s 5 opponents (rankings in parentheses):

Penn State (88)
Ball State (104)
Arizona (26th, but they lost!)
Iowa State (93)
Eastern Illinois (81, in Div I-AA no less and 0-6)

None of the above teams would be considered an offensive juggernaut.  Second, the Wolverines have the benefit of home-field advantage.  Third, this is a revenge game for the Wolverines as they lost to the Hawkeyes last year at Kinnick Stadium in a close one.  Finally, the Wolverines are at a crossroads in the season.  They can either show some resolve and show up to play on Saturday, or embark on another losing streak like the one they went on last year.  I think they’ll opt for the former.  Prediction: Michigan 35 Iowa 34

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