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Iowa tabbed as a 4.5 favorite for Cy-Hawk game

Sep 1, 2018; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Nate Stanley (4) hands the ball off to running back Ivory Kelly-Martin (21) against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the second quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa has opened as a 4.5 point favorite leading up to one of the oddest Cy-Hawk games in recent memory.

While Iowa State’s season opener vs. South Dakota State was cancelled on Saturday night, the Hawkeyes defeated Northern Illinois 33-7. Iowa only led 3-0 in the third quarter but wore the Huskies down and pulled away to the comfortable win over a good MAC team.

Standout quarterback Nate Stanley struggled with accuracy in the opener completing only 11 of his 23 passes for 108 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

The Hawkeyes heavily split reps between three running backs on the day. Toren Young did not start but led the way with 84 yards on eight carries. Iowa averaged 4.4 yards per carry on the day and totaled 208 yards on the ground.

Iowa’s defense, which was forced to replace three starters at linebacker from last year’s Pinstripe Bowl winning team, was impressive on the day limiting NIU scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

The 2018 Cy-Hawk game will be televised nationally on FOX and will kick off at 4 p.m.