Iowa vs. Minnesota fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 6
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Iowa (3-1) vs. Minnesota (3-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Iowa Will Win
The Maryland loss was concerning, to say the least. Without Rodney Smith to run the ball, the ground attack was stuffed cold by the Terp D, and Zack Annexstad couldn’t pick up the slack.
Maryland’s run defense is the real deal – it’s one of the best in the Big Ten at the moment – but Iowa’s is better, ranking fourth in the nation. Throwout the Wisconsin game – that was Wisconsin’s running game. The Hawkeyes held Iowa State to 19 yards, and Northern Iowa to six.
If Minnesota isn’t grinding it out on the ground, it’s dead.
Annexstad has had his moments as a true freshman walk-on, but he’s also playing a bit like a true freshman walk-on, connecting on just 53% of his passes and without much happening down the field.
One Reason Why Minnesota Will Win
The Iowa offense isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard.
It’s not miserable, and the passing game started to find something down the field against Northern Iowa and Wisconsin, but the Gopher secondary – even with Antoine Winfield, Jr. out for the year – will still be solid.
Minnesota’s run defense is far, far better than it played against Maryland. It’s had two weeks off – apparently it needed it – and it should be able to get behind the line a bit.
Iowa can move the chains, but it doesn’t come up with a lot of first downs and it has a hard time putting the biscuit in the basket – it’s not a high-scoring attack.
Minnesota has to own the time of possession battle – it’s been great so far, holding the ball for close to 35 minutes a game – and it has to stop Nate Stanley from hitting the deep passes.
What’s Going To Happen
The Minnesota offense won’t be able to do enough. This is going to be a low-scoring fight that will go by in a flash. Both teams will try to run the ball, but Iowa will have a wee bit more success, and it’ll be able to get the passing game going far better than Minnesota will.
This won’t be a total clunker like the Maryland game was, but Minnesota won’t have any answers in the second half.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Iowa 26, Minnesota 16
Line: Iowa -6.5, o/u: 42
ATS Confidence out of 5:
Must See Rating: 3
5: First Man
1: ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast