Breaking it down: Iowa seeking payback vs. rival Iowa State
Who: Iowa vs. Iowa State
When: 3:45 p.m. CT
Where: Jack Trice Stadium
Spread: Iowa -3
Matchup to watch: Allen Lazard vs. Iowa CB’s
There are benefits to switching a receiver to cornerback. The main one, of course, is that they can turn around and guard bigger receivers. That could be the recipe for success for Iowa against the 6-5 Lazard. Greg Mabin might draw that matchup, especially after his solid opener. Desmond King still might match up against Lazard if Ferentz just wants to stick his top corner on Iowa State’s top receiver. The Hawkeyes will try and be as physical as possible, and whoever does the the best job doing that will be stuck on Lazard for the afternoon.
Thing I’m excited to see: Tyler Sash honored
One of the top fan favorites during the Kirk Ferentz passed away this week. Tyler Sash’s death made for a different mood leading up to the annual Cy-Hawk game. The Hawkeyes are planning on honoring the former safety by wearing the No. 9 on the helmet instead of one of the Tigerhawks. There is sure to be a moment of silence for a guy who embodied the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry. There has already been an outpouring of condolences from those who crossed paths with Sash at one point or another. Seeing him honored one more time is sure to be one of the more emotional moments we’ll see in college football this week.
Number to remember: 3.75
That’s the average margin of victory in this rivalry the last four years. The Cyclones won three of those meetings, though the Hawkeyes still lead the all-time series 40-22. There hasn’t been a ton of separation between this schools in recent memory, and there might not be much on Saturday. One mistake could prove costly, just as it did last year. Iowa shot itself in the foot with two costly penalties on the last drive, which set up the Cyclones’ game-winning field goal. You can bet Ferentz is preaching attention to detail all week. Iowa can’t afford unforced errors this time around.
Prediction: Iowa 24, Iowa State 20
The Hawkeyes will be playing with heavy hearts on Saturday, and with the taste of last year’s crushing loss still fresh, they’ll be ready to roll for this one. I don’t see a scenario in which ISU holds the Hawkeyes to less than three yards per carry again. LeShun Daniels and Jordan Canzeri help Iowa control the clock and ultimately, get out of Ames with a payback win.