CollegeFootballnews.com Iowa game preview
Of course, they're picking Iowa (but not by much)...
Big Ten Fearless Predictions, Week 3
By Pete Fiutak
Posted Sep 13, 2006
"Iowa State (2-0) at Iowa (2-0) 12 pm EST ESPN Saturday, September 16th
Why to watch: Nasty isn't quite the right word to describe the Iowa - Iowa State rivalry; Iowans are too nice. It's more like a battle between brothers who are mostly on the same side, but has to have the upper hand. Eli has had the upper-hand over Peyton with Iowa State beating Iowa six out of the last eight times including a 23-3 beating last season in Ames. Iowa is looking to get into some sort of a groove after having way too many problems with an awful Syracuse team, but it should be sky-high after coming up with a goal line stand for the ages to get the win in overtime. Iowa State is 2-0, but it's a shaky 2-0 winning both games on other team's misfires on the final play of the game. Toledo lost to the Cyclones in overtime with a two-point conversion failed to click, waiting UNLV is still hanging around Jack Trice Stadium waiting for a controversial final play in the end zone to be overturned. Iowa State gets to go to Texas next week to kick off it Big 12 season, while Iowa starts off the Big Ten campaign next week at Illinois.
Why Iowa State might win: The Cyclones always play at another level when they play the Hawkeyes. If the Cyclones can force some early mistakes and get capitalize on them, A "here we go again" feeling might start to creep in on the other side of the field. The defense has been good at getting to the quarterback over the first two games with six sacks and several near-misses. Iowa's offensive line has been good, but not great and will be pushed far harder than it was against Montana or Syracuse. This Iowa team isn't nearly as good as it's going to be in mid-October.
Why Iowa might win: Iowa State's secondary is having problems. If Iowa's passing game is ever going to start to take flight, this is the game to do it against a defense that allowed 367 passing yards to Toledo's Clint Cochran and 218 to the UNLV quarterbacks. The Cyclones can be dinked and dunked on, and they can be bombed on. Toledo TE Chris Hopkins had a field day in the opener. Iowa's big Scott Chandler should have similar success. Iowa State's offense is balanced, but it works best when RB Stevie Hicks is rolling. Iowa is currently eighth in the nation in run defense.
Who to watch: If there was a vote for college football's most valuable player, it might have to go to Iowa's Drew Tate. Without the senior star, who missed the Syracuse game with an abdominal strain, the Hawkeye offense went into the tank. Senior backup Jason Manson means well and is a hard worker, but he's not a D-I quarterback. Against Syracuse, he threw four picks and was way too inconsistent. In last year's Iowa State game, he stepped in for Tate, who suffered a concussion in the first half, and completed ten of 31 passes for 117 yards with an interception. It might be this simple: if Tate isn't healthy and effective, Iowa State will win.
What will happen: Tate will literally gut it out and come up with two big pass plays to overcome a fantastic effort from Bret Meyer and the Cyclone passing game.
CFN Prediction: Iowa 31 ... Iowa State 27 ... Line: Iowa -3.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Dancing with the Stars) ... 3.5"
At least they see it as a quality game to watch. I think they're right too about the fact that if Tate doesn't play (or play well), Iowa's in a world of hurt.