Indiana over Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes have been one of the surprise teams in college football this year. Not many expected Iowa to be 8-0 at this point of the year and with four games left, they may make the Big Ten championship as one of the undefeated teams. The game against Indiana may be a trap for a team that is still not getting too much national respect. Despite Indiana’s 0-4 Big Ten record, they are only 6.5 point underdogs against the tenth ranked team in the AP poll.
Indiana might be the best bad team in the country in college football. The Hoosiers have historically ranked at or near the bottom of the Big Ten in football but the program has shown potential under head coach Kevin Wilson. The 0-4 Big Ten record is a little misleading because two of the losses were against top ten nationally ranked teams Ohio State and Michigan State. Another loss was against a tough defensive Penn State team and the fourth loss was against Rutgers in a game Indiana scored 52 points. The Ohio State game was lost on a last minute drive that stalled in the redzone. Indiana entered the fourth quarter against Michigan State only trailing by two. The Hoosiers have also been banged up this season and have been without quarterback Nate Sudfeld and running back Jordan Howard for several games. Now the Hoosiers have both of their top offensive players back.
Iowa has beaten some good teams this year on their way to an 8-0 record including Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Northwestern. None of those teams have the offensive fire power as Indiana. Iowa is a good defensive team but so is Ohio State and Michigan State and the Hoosiers managed to score close to 30 against both of them despite not having Sudfeld and or Howard for all or parts of those games. The reason Indiana isn’t a more competitive team in the Big Ten is because they are one of the worst defensive teams in a power five conference. Iowa can score points but they are not known for being an explosive offensive team. They are a methodical grind their opponent into the ground offense.
Iowa is going to have to score points this week in order to beat Indiana. It shouldn’t be too difficult, as Indiana’s Big Ten opponents are averaging over 42 points per game against them. Iowa does have one of the better defenses in the Big Ten and that and their running game has been the reason for their success this season. However, they have faced mostly run oriented offenses, which plays into Iowa’s strength. Indiana is mostly a run oriented offense as well but they can score through the air too. Indiana has used their multi dimensional offense to compete until the last quarter against the two best teams in the Big Ten and they couldn’t finish the game against Rutgers. Indiana is too talented offensively to not finish one of these Big Ten games eventually. This is the week.