Saturday, September 18, 2010

#4 Iowa @ #21 Arizona to Cap off a great Week 3 in College Football

The Big Ten vs. Pac Ten: The #4 Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) @ the #21 Arizona Wildcats in Tucson for a 9:30 p.m. Central Time kick off with a national audience on ESPN. Of course, the Big Ten vs. Pac Ten is occurring in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well, this afternoon, with #19 USC @ Minnesota and Arizona State @ Wisconsin.

Iowa beat Arizona 27-17 in Iowa City in '09. The game was not as close as the score would indicate, with the final score coming late, when now starting QB #8 Nick Foles was inserted for the final action for Arizona.

Iowa hasn't won in the West, since 1987. They have lost six straight, but the last win was in Tucson, over the Arizona Wildcats. Although the all-time series is tied 6-6, Iowa has won four of the last five meetings. The lone blemish in that streak is a 35-11 Hawkeye loss in 1998 -- the last time the teams met in Tucson.

Iowa is 4-8 in true road openers. The Hawkeyes were blown out in the Desert in 2004, when they traveled to play Arizona State. But, Iowa may shake the monkeys off their back in 2010.

"We got quite an education and lesson that night. As I recall we didn't even
swarm properly. There's a picture -- you can probably look it up on the
Internet, where we were just all over the joint with our swarm. I'm not saying
it started there, it started before that, but it just is an indicator that we
weren't thinking right and they were. When you play a good team that's thinking
right and you're not, that's not good. If we do that this week we'll be beaten
by 60. It will be ugly
." - Kirk Ferentz is talking about that '04 ASU game

In the 2003 Orange Bowl, Iowa wasn't up to the task vs. USC. Last year, in the Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech, the Hawkeyes were a +6 underdog, but the task was completed. Iowa was a 24-14 winner over the Yellow Jackets. In the 12Th year under Kirk Ferentz, with a veteran staff, Iowa appears to benefit from previous experience. Will it pay off int he desert in Tucson?

Last year, Iowa travel to Penn State as a +9 underdog in Week 4. It was a national audience and the Nittany Lions were offering Iowa with a "white out" game. The Hawkeyes started off down 0-7 off a big 80 yard pass play, but stayed calm and in the 3Rd quarter, took the lead and completed the game with a 21-10 finish.

This year, the "red out" is greeting the Iowa Hawkeyes as the travel to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats. Iowa brings a team with quite a bit of senior leadership. Iowa will likely bring a couple fans, as well, with twelve thousand Hawkeye fans expected for the game in Arizona Stadium, which holds 57,400.

The Arizona offense has some very good weapons.
  • Junior #8 QB Nick Foles
  • Senior #5 RB Nic Grgsby
  • Junior #82 WR Juron Criner
  • Senior #88 A.J. Simmons
The Iowa offense has some very good weapons, as well.
  • Senior #12 Ricky Stanzi
  • Sophomore RBs #32 Adam Robinson and #27 Jewel Hampton
  • Senior #82 TE Allen Reisner
  • Junior #7 WR Marvin McNutt and Senior #15 WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos
Both programs are good in special teams. The Iowa defense is very good on paper. They played very well vs. Arizona last year. They have two new linebackers starting, but they have experience in the program, with a 5Th year senior at MLB in #33 Jeff Tarpinian and a fourth year junior at OLB in #45 Tyler Nielsen. This should be a close game. Either team could be capable in this game. The edge is with Iowa, who have finished in the Top 10 four of the past eight seasons.

Our Pick:

  • Iowa Hawkeys 24

  • Arizona Wildcats 18
We see both teams very capable in special teams, so if one team extremely out plays someone, then this phase of the game may create the difference. Turnovers are always big and last year, Arizona scored one of it's two TDs off a Pick 6. Iowa can't afford to allow Arizona easy plays. Look for Iowa to play ball control and take away the big plays on defense. A Pac 10 shootout favors the Wildcats. Iowa typically wins game with sound defense and success controlling the line of scrimmage.


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