5 reasons Iowa will beat Iowa State
Iowa State is favored in almost every way (analytics, odds, experts, etc.) heading into the Cy-Hawk Trophy game against Iowa. But anyone who follows college football knows that’s not how rivalries work.
Throw it all out the window. Here are 5 reasons the Hawkeyes will beat Cyclones on Saturday.
Sixth-year coach Matt Campbell has done a lot of things for Iowa State. Being picked by experts to be in the College Football Playoff with a program that’s still never won 10 games in a season is nothing short of incredible. But beating Iowa isn’t among his accomplishments.
Iowa State had finished in the final AP Top 25 only twice before ending up 9th last year (No. 25 in 2000, No. 19 in 1976). This is Campbell’s fifth shot at the Hawkeyes, and while it’s worth noting that’s when Kirk Ferentz got his first win in the rivalry, there’s no reason to believe Campbell can do it — until he shows he can.
It’s a Hawkeye state
In fact, Iowa is The Hawkeye State. The Hawks are in a different class until they aren’t. Iowa once beat the Cyclones 42-3 and dropped a spot in the Top 25.
Coaches poll dropped #Hawkeyes 1 spot after 42-3 win vs. Iowa State & kept Iowa in Top 25 after loss to NDSU. Now out after win at Rutgers.
— HawkeyeHQ.com's Ryan Jaster (@Hawkologist) September 25, 2016
There’s been talk for years that this rivalry adds little value for Iowa, currently on a 5-game winning streak in the series. Did everyone hang on long enough to see it turn a corner in 2019? Or did 2020’s absence prove the point? Iowa State needs a win more than ever.
Remember those Ohio State and Michigan to the SEC rumors a few weeks back? Easy to forget. It didn’t happen. Texas and Oklahoma leaked and it was a done deal days later. The Big Ten is on solid ground. An alliance with the ACC and Pac-12 was chosen instead of Iowa State and Kansas being absorbed by the B1G — no matter how many “streaming household” theories were floated on social media.
Iowa State’s rise and relevance, if not overrated, are certainly overstated, even within the borders of the state. They’re getting a College GameDay do-over on Saturday. Don’t … drop the ball, Cyclones.
Iowa has lost once in Ames since 2007 — in 3OT
Fifteen of Iowa’s 21 games against Iowa State under Kirk Ferentz have been decided by 12 points or less. Ten of the past 16 by 10 points or less — the Hawkeyes are 11-5 in those games. Iowa finds a way to win close games. The last matchup in Ames was evidence of that at 18-17.
In fact, Iowa’s only loss at Iowa State since 2007 was 44-41 in three overtimes (2011). The Hawks also have won 44-41 in OT there (2017) in that span, which in no way forgives the 2012 9-6 loss in Iowa City. If you expect it to be close, expect an Iowa win.
Cyclones can’t douse the fire
The Hawkeyes are hot. Iowa’s averaging 35.4 points per game offensively and allowing just 12.7 during its 7-game winning streak across two seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 12 consecutive non-conference games.
There’s only one team Iowa has ever beaten on the date this game is being played: Iowa State. The Hawks are 3-1 against them, but winless (0-3) against everyone else on Sept 11.
It’s the fourth time Iowa has started with two ranked opponents (2-0 1960, 0-2 1973, 1-1 1974). Look what’s due up next in the sequence. One down, one to go. The patterns are all there.
25 is a magic number
In the Hawkeyes’ current winning streak, they’ve scored at least 25 points in each game. In the now-well-documented 23-game defensive streak, they’ve allowed 25 points or less.
Iowa is 19-62 under Ferentz when the opponent scores 25 or more points. Northern Iowa held Iowa State to 16 last week, so surely this defense that held Indiana to 6 can tack on one more 25 or less. And that more often than not means a W.