Iowa vs. Northern Illinois
Game Time: Saturday, Sept 1st, 3:30 PM EST
TV: ESPN, ESPN U
Betting Line: IOW -10
Betting Odds from Bovada
New offensive coordinator Greg Davis will be put to the test in a game that the Iowa Hawkeyes are favored by 10 points according to college football oddsmakers. 3,000 yard passer James Vandenburg returns to lead an offense that ranked 3rd in the Big Ten in passing and 6th in the Big Ten in scoring with 27.5 points per game.
He’ll miss his favorite target Marvin McNutt, as well as the leading rusher from last year, Marcus Coker. Keenan Davis will be the new featured receiver, as he caught 50 passes for 713 yards last year, but Iowa will need to improve their rush game…They ranked last place in the Big Ten in rushing attempts and rushing yardage and tied second to last in rushing TDs with only 18 last year.
The OL required three starters to be replaced, one of which was All Big Ten tackle Riley Reiff. The best on the OL is senior center James Ferentz, who is the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz.
RB is the biggest problem , though. Six backs have quit the team since 2010, with Coker being the last. Sophomore Jordan Canzeri began the spring season as the primary ball carrier, but then he suffered a knee injury and will likely miss this entire season. Fellow sophomore Damon Bullock became the starter after Canzeri went down, but Bullock is very inexperienced. They may end up having to rely on freshman to carry the ball. That spells trouble for the Hawkeyes, and they are predicted to go only 3-5 in the Big Ten by Athlon magazine.
It should be interesting to see if Iowa Hawkeys fans outnumber the Huskies fans, as they are playing at Solider Field. Iowa fans are pretty nuts about their team.
The Huskies had one of the best offensive units in the country the last few years with QB Chandler Harnish, but he is gone now. Replacing him is Jordan Lynch who was declared the starter before spring began. He isn’t going to be the same level of QB, but he should be able to step up well enough to keep the Huskies competitive in the MAC.
Lynch will have some good targets with Martel Moore, Perez Ashford, Tommylee Lewis, and a host of athletic and powerful TEs. Moore and Ashford each had 47 receptions last year.
The Huskies return only three starters from their potent offense last year. Last year they put up 38.3 points per game, which ranked them 2nd in the MAC and 12th nationally. Regression is expected, with Athlon magazine predicting a 7-5 record with a 5-3 record in the MAC.
Iowa Betting Trends:
Hawkeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 vs MAC teams. The UNDER is 5-1 in their last 6 neutral site games and OVER is 5-1-1 in their last 7 non-conf games. The OVER is 4-1-1 in their last 6 Sept games.
Northern Ill Betting Trends:
Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs the Big Ten. 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conf games and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. They are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games on grass. UNDER is 8-1 in their last 9 neutral site games and 6-1 OVER in the last 7 games in Sept. The UNDER is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall.
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