Saturday, October 31, 2009

Are you read for a beat down?

It's hard to get excited about IU's noon kick-off today at No. 4 Iowa. The Hawkeyes are undefeated and looking to continue a run to the Rose Bowl or National Championship. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are in the midst of their (now traditional) conference season slide.

Iowa is a 17 1/2-point favorite. The only real question is whether the team will be completely focused after the literally last-second win at Michigan State last week. Next week Iowa plays Northwestern and then on Nov. 14 travels to Columbus, Ohio for the unofficial Big Ten title game.

Are the Hawkeyes going to be looking ahead this week? Probably not. The Hawkeyes are a little banged up -- they're without leading rusher Adam Robinson and will be starting some freshman at key positions. But head coach Kirk Ferentz is among the best coaches in the country. He will have his team ready.

The key to this game will be defense. Iowa allows less than 15 points per game, while the Hoosiers allow more than 26. If the Hoosiers can put Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi on the ground and keep the running game under control, they may be able to hang around.

But IU's offense will have to score points in both halves if they want to pull the upset. Scoring 21 points in the first quarter and expecting the defense to hold the lead the rest of the game is not going to cut it. It certainly didn't work last week.

I think the Hoosier defense plays well, but the offense never gets on track. Iowa wins 17-3.

By the way, I'll be updating on Twitter, at least until the game gets out of control.

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