Minnesota vs. Iowa preview: Gophers and Hawkeyes both aim to bounce back from tough Big Ten losses last weekend.
On Saturday, October 8 at 12 p.m. E.T., the Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium, which has a listed capacity of 50,805. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Read on for our Minnesota vs. Iowa preview.
According to ESPN's matchup predictor, which is based on the network's Football Power Index, Iowa has a 63.7-percent chance to defeat the Golden Gophers. Iowa won last year's matchup 40-35. Minnesota leads the all-time series between these Big Ten West rivals 62-45-2. According to OddsShark, Iowa opened as a 1.5-point favorite in this one.
Spread: Iowa Hawkeyes -1.5
Game Time: 12:00 p.m. E.T.
Minnesota vs. Iowa preview:
After losing close games last weekend, Minnesota hosts Iowa in what is a very important division game for both programs.
Iowa entered the year with pretty high expectations after going to the Rose Bowl last season, but things have not gone well in the last three weeks. Since giving head coach Kirk Ferentz a lengthy contract extension, the Hawkeyes have losses to FCS power North Dakota State and last weekend, Northwestern, with a narrow win over Rutgers in between. Minnesota is 3-1, and a loss at Penn State can be excused, but dropping that game in overtime has to sting.
Minnesota's Mitch Leidner and Iowa's C.J. Beathard both entered the season with some hype as top Big Ten quarterbacks, but the teams have had more success on the ground than through the air. Minnesota is averaging five yards per carry as a team, led by Rodney Smith, who has 402 yards and five scores. Kobe McCrary and Shannon Brooks are both averaging at least 6.9 yards per carry, and have proven that they can be home run hitters.
Iowa's two-headed running attack of LeShun Daniels Jr. and Akrum Wadley each have over 300 yards so far on the year, but neither has broken 100 in a game in the last three weeks.
Minnesota vs. Iowa prediction:
On paper this is a very close matchup, between two teams that have similar strengths. Iowa is a slight favorite in Vegas and via ESPN's metrics, but we like Minnesota to edge out the Hawkeyes at home in this one.
Minnesota 28, Iowa 24