Some football games are ugly. Both teams really aren’t that good and it looks like each is trying to outdo each other to see which one can be more inept on the field that day.
This is exactly what fans on both sides of this Saturday’s University of Iowa–Iowa State University football game should expect. Both teams are equally not that great and so while the game may not be pretty, it should be competitive.
The Hawkeyes go on the road for the first time in 2013 after a less-than-impressive victory over FCS Missouri State and a narrow loss to Northern Illinois. The Cyclones have played just one game, a home loss to FCS Northern Iowa. This will be the first action against a team from a BCS automatic qualifying conference for both teams.
While Iowa has won 39 of the 57 games these two schools have played, Iowa State has dominated the series during Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz‘s tenure, winning eight out of the last 14. Ferentz has a worse career winning percentage vs. the Cyclones than he does against eight Big Ten schools.
On defense, it’s hard to say what the Cyclones are as we’ve only seen them play 60 minutes of football. Against the Panthers, the Cyclones allowed 457 yards of offense and 28 points, but did come up with two turnovers. The stats look better for Iowa through two games on defense, as the Hawkeyes are giving up an average of 317 yards and 22 points per game with three turnovers forced so far.
When comparing the offensive side of the ball, the numbers favor the Hawkeyes again.
Iowa averages 473 yards of offense and 27.5 points through two games, while the Cyclones amassed 410 yards and 20 points in their lone bout. The Hawkeyes have turned the ball over four times through two games, however, whereas the Cyclones offense remained turnover-free in their game. Both offenses have shown an inability to move the ball at crucial times.
Two years ago, the Cyclones and Hawkeyes played to a thrilling triple-overtime 44-41 Iowa State victory. Last year, the two teams combined for 15 points in a 9-6 Cyclone win. Expect this season to be a combination of those two games.
The game might go several overtimes again, but it won’t be as high-scoring as 2011 was. Both defenses will give up some points, but get a couple of turnovers. Both offenses will struggle to move the ball when the pressure is on. When the corn stops flying, the Cyclones will send the Jack Trice Stadium crown home content with a 23-20 victory.
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