Iowa football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Hawkeyes will do this year.
Can Iowa come up with another special season? The team has experience and talent, but does the schedule work out? Check out the Iowa football schedule predictions for every game this season.
Sept. 3 vs. Miami University
The Iowa defense will come out roaring right away. It’s a new year with a new team, but after the way last season finished up, get ready for an ugly – and cathartic – Opening Day slaughter.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 45, Miami University 3
Sept. 10 vs. Iowa State
This is always a feisty in-state rivalry battle, but Iowa should be able to handle the Cyclone running game just enough to get through it alive. It’ll be a fight into the fourth, but Iowa will be in control throughout.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 30, Iowa State 20
Sept. 17 vs. North Dakota State
There’s no Carson Wentz around, but the Bison will still be one of the superstars of the FCS with enough talent to pull off an upset – this is a game work paying attention to as a possible key upset. Iowa will win by grinding and grinding some more, but it’s not going to break through until the fourth.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 34, North Dakota State 17
Sept. 24 at Rutgers
The Big Ten opener won’t be artistic, but Iowa will be able to get out alive after Rutgers whiffs on key chance after key chance. The Hawkeyes will look like the 2015 version by controlling the game and holding on to the ball. A +3 turnover margin will help.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 27, Rutgers 17
Oct. 1 vs. Northwestern
It was one of the statement moments of last year with a dominant 40-10 Hawkeye win. The Northwestern offense didn’t do much of anything then, and it’s not going to get anything going this time around in Iowa City. It won’t be another ugly blowout, but Iowa shouldn’t have too many issues.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 23, Northwestern 17
Oct. 8 at Minnesota
This is always like an Iowa home game – at least to some extent – but Minnesota will be more than good enough to hold its own. Can Mitch Leidner and the Gopher attack blow up like they did in a 51-14 win in 2014? Yeah, but it’s not going to happen in a great battle that’ll go down to the wire. Iowa will win another fight after the offenses open it up early.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 34, Minnesota 27
Oct. 15 at Purdue
Can Purdue come up with a shocker at home? It would be a big moment and a tremendous win for the Boilermakers at a time when they’ll need it the most, but they won’t get it even after a great first half. There will be moments when it seems like Purdue is about to take control, but Iowa’s defense will come through time and again.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 31, Purdue 21
Oct. 22 vs. Wisconsin
Last year, Wisconsin outplayed Iowa in every way except the turnover battle and on the scoreboard. It’s not fair to say the Badgers gave the game away, but they gave the game away. The Bucky running game will work better this year and the defense will stop Iowa cold again.
Preseason Prediction: Wisconsin 23, Iowa 16
Nov. 5 at Penn State
Coming off the Wisconsin loss, and with a week to rest up, the pressure will be on Iowa to come up with a big bounce back. Instead, it’ll be another defensive slugfest with Penn State coming up with a late stop in a very, very frustrating game for a Hawkeye offense that’ll march, but won’t convert.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 19, Iowa 17
Nov. 12 vs. Michigan
Just when it seems like Iowa is out of the mix and the bloom is off the Rose Bowl hunt, it’ll come up with a classic. The Hawkeyes will struggle and fight through a tough defensive battle, but they’ll go on a late drive culminating in a game-winning field goal to turn the season back around.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 20, Michigan 17
Nov. 19 at Illinois
It’s the bend-but-don’t break game. Iowa should have this thing won in a blowout, but it’ll settle for field goal after field goal, allowing Illinois to hang around just long enough to make this interesting – but not long enough to get the win.
Preseason Prediction: Iowa 26, Illinois 20
Nov. 25 vs. Nebraska
It’s Senior Day, it’s a chance to be right in the mix for the Big Ten title if things go the right way, and it’ll feel like a party – and then Nebraska will crash it. The Huskers will come up with one of their better defensive performances, while Tommy Armstrong will come up with one giant, memorable pass play to pull off the road win.
Preseason Prediction: Nebraska 28, Iowa 24
2016 Prediction: 9-3
2016 Big Ten Prediction: 6-3