Time: NOON ET (ESPN 2)
Spread: IOW -14.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Iowa Hawkeyes were stunned 23-21 by North Dakota State last week in Week 3, falling to 2-1 and relinquishing its national ranking as C.J. Beathard came down to earth after stellar Week 1 and 2 games.
Beathard completed just 50 percent of his 22 passes while throwing an interception and managing just 152 yards.
Beathard did throw three TD passes, but North Dakota State battered the Hawkeyes defense for 239 rushing yards. Wide receiver George Kittle was the star of the offense with five catches for 110 yards, and Matt VandeBerg had four catches and two TDs. North Dakota State ended up winning on a 37-yard field goal as time expired and Iowa fell from its No. 13 ranking to unranked within a single week.
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Beathard will try to get back on track this week. He has thrown for 579 yards and seven TDs with just last week’s interception, and his 161 passer rating is stellar. VandeBerg leads the team with 267 receiving yards on 15 catches with three TDs. The Hawkeyes have seven team receiving TDs on the season with five different hands getting in on that action.
Kittle is No. 2 on the team in receiving yards with 136 on eight catches. Iowa averages 13.6 yards per passing attempt.
In the backfield, LeShun Daniels Jr. and Akrum Wadley have both had success. Daniels has rushed for 224 yards on 39 carries (5.7 yards per carry) and Wadley has 190 yards on 25 carries (7.6 yards per carry). Each has scored three TDs on the season.
Rutgers has won back-to-back games over Howard and New Mexico after losing Week 1 at Washington. Last week the Scarlet Knights defeated New Mexico 37-28 behind a huge rushing day for Robert Martin. The 5’11” 210 pound junior running back rushed for 169 yards and a TD on 21 carries with a long-run of 80-yards, and he accounted for all but eight Scarlet Knights’ rushing yards.
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Rutgers quarterback Chris Laviano threw just 11 of 27 for 152 yards with a quarterback rating of 23.5. Jawaun Harris had three catches for 94 yards and a TD, but the Scarlet Knights had just 12 catches in the game (notwithstanding the impressive 14.4 yards per attempt). Laviano threw for 2,247 yards last year as a junior while boasting a 60.9 percent completion ratio and he had 16 TDs and 12 INTs on the season.
Laviano was sacked 24 times last season and has already incurred four sacks in 2016, as well, in addition to his two interceptions this season.
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