What will happen in Kinnick Stadium today, as Iowa (1-1) hosts the Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0), out of the Big East. In 2008, the game in Pittsburgh went down the the wire, with Pitt beating Iowa 21-20. The Panthers own the series at 3-1. Saturday will be a Be Bold, Wear Gold day at Kinnick Stadium, as the Panthers come to town.
With all the off the field discussions of the demise of the Big 12 Conference, Iowa may see a new Big East opponent every season, right? The Iowa State Cyclones could find a new home some day in the Big East? A topic for another day!
Pittsburgh (2-0) @ Iowa (1-1)
11:00 a.m. on ESPN2 (HD) / espn3
11:00 a.m. on ESPN2 (HD) / espn3
Prediction: Iowa over Pitt 24-21
Though, Iowa has had trouble in close games this season and last ...
Pittsburgh is lead on offense by the #1 rusher in College Football, with junior TB Ray Graham, a 5-9 195 back. Backing up Graham, is former Wisconsin RB, senior Zach Brown, 5-10 230, so Iowa's retooled defensive line for '11 will be tested on the ground. In game 3 in 2009, the Iowa Hawkeyes were a little concerned by the D-Line play entering a showdown at Kinnick vs. Arizona. Time for seniors Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns to step up, along with others in the Iowa defense.
If Pitt's junior QB Tino Sunseri beats Iowa with his feet and arm at Kinnick on Saturday, it could be a long season for the Hawkeyes. Sunseri has experience, but he has thrown more INTs than TDs thus far in '11 and Pitt is giving up sacks, after wins at home vs. Buffalo and FCS' Maine.
Pittsburgh needs to focus on Iowa. Next weekend at Heinz Field, the Panthers will host Notre Dame (0-2). The Panthers can't afford to look ahead?
Iowa's offense is lead by junior QB James Vandenberg, who is replacing three year starter Ricky Stanzi. Consistency for 60 minutes is needed from Vandenberg, as he has not accomplished that thus far in his career. Running the ball, Iowa turns to sophomore RB Marcus Coker, who looked better at Iowa State; but with three fumbles in two weeks, plenty of work for the young RB.
The tight end will be a focal point to watch for both teams. Former Illinois TE junior HB/TE Hubie Graham is a player to watch. Of course, new coach Todd Graham, former Tulsa coach, likes to run the spread, so the WRs for the Panthers, lead by junior Mikde Shanahan, a returning starter, and sophomore Devin Street, who started four games as a freshman.
Iowa's TEs go four deep, but consistency in the passing game, blocking and lining up at scrimmage, avoid the false start, has been a problem early in '11. Iowa senior TE Brad Herman has struggled a little, in his new role as #1 TE in Ken O'Keefe's Hawkeye offense. Improved play by Iowa's TEs should help Vandenberg's consistency and confidence, along will opening up the passing game for Iowa's WRs senior all-Big Ten performer Marvin McNutt, junior Kennan Davis and redshirt freshman Kevonte Martin-Manly, who all have scored in Iowa's passing game in '11.
Iowa needs special teams to be a difference in the game on Saturday. Sophomore placekicker Mike Meyers and newcomer at punter, senior Eric Guthrie, have both been pretty solid, thus far. Iowa has yet to return a punt this season and seeing junior FS Micah Hyde make some noise in the return game would be something to look for.
On Friday night, also on ESPN2, Iowa State won 24-20 @ UConn, after getting off to another 0-10 start, like their game vs. Iowa a week ago. The Cyclones are off to their first 3-0 start, since 2005. The Cyclones will be able to heal up with an upcoming bye week. They open Big 12 play at home in Week 5, as the Texas Longhorns come to Ames. Iowa State beat Texas for the first time in Austin last year.
Plenty of excitement in Week 3 on Saturday:
Saturday, September 17th (Printable Schedule w/ DirecTV channels)
Auburn at Clemson 11:00 a.m. ABC (HD)
Central Michigan at Western Michigan 11:00 a.m. MASN / ESPN-GP / ERTV (cable) / espn3 Eastern Michigan at Michigan 11:00 a.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go
Penn State at Temple 11:00 a.m. ESPN (HD) / espn3
Pittsburgh at Iowa 11:00 a.m. ESPN2 (HD) / espn3
Southeast Missouri State at Purdue 11:00 a.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go
West Virginia at Maryland 11:00 a.m. ESPNU (HD)
Wyoming at Bowling Green 11:00 a.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) *2 / BCSN (cable)
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt 11:21 a.m. SEC Network / ESPN-GP / espn3
Duke at Boston College 11:30 a.m. (ESPN-GP / espn3) *2 / Raycom Cable *3 (HD)
Kansas at Georgia Tech 11:30 a.m. (FSN Affiliates (HD) / ESPN-GP / espn3) *2
Coastal Carolina at Georgia 12:00 p.m. (ESPN-GP / PPV (GA & SC) / espn3) *2
Colorado vs. Colorado State (Denver) 12:30 p.m. FSN Affiliates (HD)
Louisiana Monroe at TCU 1:00 p.m. MTN (HD)
Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota 2:30 p.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go
Michigan State at Notre Dame 2:30 p.m. NBC (HD)
Missouri State at Oregon(cancelled on ESPN-GP?) 2:30 p.m. (?ESPN-GP / espn3?) *2 / CSNNW (cable)
Northwestern at Army 2:30 p.m. CBSSN (HD)
South Carolina State at Indiana 2:30 p.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go
Tennessee at Florida 2:30 p.m. CBS (HD) / cbssports.com
Texas at UCLA 2:30 p.m. (ABC or ESPN / espn3) (HD) *7
Texas Tech at New Mexico 2:30 p.m. Versus (HD)
Virginia at North Carolina 2:30 p.m. ESPNU (HD)
Washington at Nebraska 2:30 p.m. (ABC or ESPN / espn3) (HD) *7
Arkansas State at Virginia Tech 3:00 p.m. (FSN Affiliates / ESPN-GP / espn3) *2
Nevada at San Jose State 3:00 p.m. ALT / CSCA / ESPN-GP / espn3 / WSN (cable)
Navy at South Carolina 5:00 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) / espn3
Washington State at San Diego State 5:30 p.m. MTN (HD)
Arizona State at Illinois 6:00 p.m. BTN (HD) / BTN2Go
Florida A&M at South Florida 6:00 p.m. ESPN-GP *2 / SNY / (BHSN/ERTV) (cable) / espn3
Idaho at Texas A&M 6:00 p.m. PPV
Louisville at Kentucky 6:00 p.m. ESPNU (HD)
Nicholls State at Louisiana Lafayette 6:00 p.m. ESPN-GP *2 / COX4 (cable)
Western Illinois at Missouri 6:00 p.m. PPV (updated)
North Texas at Alabama 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports South / ESPN-GP / espn3) *2
Ohio State at Miami-FL 6:30 p.m. ESPN (HD) / espn3
Troy at Arkansas 6:30 p.m. ESPN-GP / (CSS / CST) (cable) / espn3
Oklahoma at Florida State 7:00 p.m. ABC (HD)
Syracuse at USC 7:00 p.m. FX (HD)
UTEP at New Mexico State 7:00 p.m. ALT (HD?) / ESPN-GP / espn3
Utah at BYU 8:15 p.m. ESPN2 (HD) / espn3
Hawaii at UNLV 9:00 p.m. MTN (HD)
Oklahoma State at Tulsa 9:00 p.m. FSN Affiliates (HD)
Stanford at Arizona 9:45 p.m. ESPN (HD) / espn3
Games not yet scheduled for nationally available networks
Akron at Cincinnati 2:30 p.m. espn3
Austin Peay at Memphis 6:00 p.m.
Buffalo at Ball State 6:00 p.m.
Central Florida at Florida International 5:00 p.m. espn3
Gardner Webb at Wake Forest 5:30 p.m. espn3
Houston at Louisiana Tech 6:00 p.m. espn3
Indiana State at Western Kentucky 6:00 p.m. espn3
Kent State at Kansas State 6:00 p.m. FCSC (cable)
Marshall at Ohio 6:00 p.m. espn3
North Dakota at Fresno State 9:00 p.m. espn3
Northern Illinois vs. Wisconsin (Soldier Field) 2:30 p.m. espn3
Northwestern State at SMU 7:00 p.m.
Presbyterian at California 4:30 p.m.
South Alabama at North Carolina State 5:00 p.m. espn3
Southeastern Louisiana at Southern Miss 6:00 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin at Baylor 6:00 p.m.
Tulane at UAB 3:00 p.m.