Week Five Big Ten College Football: Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers

Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers
TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saturday, September 28, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Opening Line: Minnesota -1
Current Line: Iowa -2 1/2
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 46 1/2
Opening Money Line: Minnesota -115 / Iowa -105
Current Money Line: Iowa -140 / Minnesota +120

Iowa is a 2.5 point favorite at Minnesota in the Big ten opener for both schools.
Iowa is a 2.5 point favorite at Minnesota in the Big ten opener for both schools.

The 3-1 Iowa Hawkeyes and the 4-0 Minnesota Golden Gophers meet for the 107th time ever Saturday in Minneapolis. It is the Big Ten opener for both schools. Minnesota leads the series 61-43-2, including 38-15-1 in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes won last years in Iowa City 31-13 to snap a two game losing streak against the Gophers. Since 1935 the teams have played for a bronze pig trophy called Floyd of Rosedale.

Iowa is coached by Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes opened with a 30-27 loss at home to Northern Illinois. Iowa has won three straight games since then, at home against Missouri State 28-14, at Iowa State 27-21, and last week at home against Western Michigan 59-3. The Hawkeyes are 2-2 ATS and all four games have gone over the total. Iowa easily covered the 15.5 point spread against Western Michigan and the Hawkeyes went over the 47 point total by themselves.

Iowa dominated in all phases of the game against WMU. The Hawkeyes scored 24 points before the Broncos even got on the board with a field goal in the second quarter. Iowa scored two touchdowns in the last minute and a half of the second half including a 35 yard pick six by B.J. Lowery to make it 38-3 at halftime. Lowery added another 13 yard pick six early in the third to make it 45-3. The Hawkeyes would add two more touchdowns to complete the 56 point destruction. Iowa had 446 total yards including 258 rushing yards. Western Michigan had 209 total yards and 9 first downs. The Broncos had 4 turnovers and the Hawkeyes had 2.

Iowa is outscoring teams 35-17 this season. The Hawkeyes are averaging 442.8 total yards per game, including 243.5 rushing yards per game. On defense Iowa is allowing 290.8 yards per game, including 91.5 rushing yards. The Hawkeyes are in the top 20 nationally in total and rush defense. Iowa is +2 in turnovers with 9 takeaways. The Hawkeyes are 35/69 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 20/66. Iowa is 14/19 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns, and opponents are 4/6 with one touchdown. The Hawkeyes average 54 penalty yards per game. They have forced 2 sacks and allowed 5 this season. Iowa has five defensive or special teams touchdowns this season, and has allowed one.

Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock has completed 62.1% of his passes for 730 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 23 carries for 93 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Mark Weisman has 95 carries, 468 yards and 3 touchdowns. Damon Bullock has 50 carries for 203 yards, along with 5 catches for 35 yards. Receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley has 20 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. He also has two punt returns for touchdowns. Jacob Hillyer has only 5 catches, but 2 of them went for touchdowns. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz has 7 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Running back Michael Malloy (illness) is questionable, but hasn’t played this season.

Minnesota is coached by Jerry Kill. Kill suffers from epilepsy and two weeks ago had to be taken to the hospital at halftime of the Gophers’ 29-12 win over Western Illinois after suffering a seizure. Kill returned to the sidelines last week as Minnesota beat San Jose St 43-24 in Minneapolis. The Gophers also have wins at home over UNLV 51-23, and at New Mexico State 44-21. Minnesota is 3-1 ATS and the total is also 3-1. The Gophers were  4 point favorites over San Jose State and the total was 47. Minnesota was playing without quarterback Philip Nelson who missed the game with a hamstring injury. He is listed as doubtful against Iowa. Redshirt freshman Mitch  Leidner started against San Jose State and will start against Iowa too if Nelson can’t go.

Minnesota jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first. San Jose St kicked a field goal in the second to make it 7-3. Minnesota expanded the lead to 13-3 but missed the extra point. San Jose St would outscore the Gophers 14-7 for the rest of the half to make it 20-17 going in the locker room. The Gophers scored 24 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to blow open a tight game 43-17. The Spartans added a late cosmetic touchdown to make it 43-24 but would get not closer. Minnesota had 424 total yards including 353 rushing yards. Leidner rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns, while running back David Cobb had 125 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. San Jose State had 486 total yards including 439 passing yards. The Spartans had 3 turnovers and 9 penalties for 98 yards. The Gophers had no turnovers and just 3 penalties for 40 yards.

Minnesota is outscoring teams 42-20 this season. The Golden Gophers are averaging 387.5 yards per game on offense, including 105.2 passing and 282.2 rushing yards. The rushing attack is #13 in the country, but the Gophers are #120 out of 125 teams in passing. Minnesota is allowing 372.8 total yards per game, including 270 passing yards and 102.8 rushing yards. The Gophers are #98 in pass defense but #21 in rush defense. Minnesota is +3 in turnovers with 6 takeaways. The Gophers are 26/51 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 26/69. Minnesota has forced 6 sacks and allowed 5. The Gophers are 19/20 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns, and opponents are 8/12 with 6 touchdowns. Minnesota has 6 defensive/special teams touchdowns and hasn’t allowed one yet.

Nelson has thrown for 245 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, along with 33 carries, 221 yards and 3 touchdowns. Leider has thrown for 176 yards, and has 46 carries for 251 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cobb has 53 carries for 332 yards with 5 touchdowns, along with 2 catches. Rodrick Williams, Jr. has 45 carries, 277 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 2 catches. Maxx Williams, Derrick Engel, and K.J. Maye get most of the catches, but none have more than 7 catches or 99 yards.

Iowa is 5-11 ATS after scoring more than 40 points, 4-9 after allowing less than 20 points, 3-7 against teams with winning records and overall, 4-12 after a straight up win, 2-6 after a cover, after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, and on fieldturf, 3-12 in road games, 1-5 in Big Ten games and after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 0-4 against teams with winning home records, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more. The under is 3-0-1 overall, but the over is 4-1-1 in the last six in Minnesota.

Minnesota is 4-1 ATS after allowing 450 total yards or more, overall, and after passing for less than 170 yards, 5-2 in September, 9-4 at home, 5-11-1 against teams with winning road records, 3-8 after scoring more than 40 points, 2-6 in Big Ten games, 1-4 after a cover, and 1-5 against teams with winning records. The Gophers are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against Iowa.

Both of these teams like to run the ball. Both defenses are decent and not terrible. Minnesota opened as a 1 point favorite but once nelson was listed as doubtful, it moved to Iowa -2 1/2. The two teams are a combined 7-1 but they haven’t played a very strong schedule. Iowa lost to a good Northern Illinois team who is undefeated still, but a bad Iowa State team is the only team from one of the six power conferences that either Iowa  or Minnesota has played so far. I like Minnesota at home to pull off the mild upset.

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