Iowa looks to keep rolling against turnover-prone Terps
Who: Maryland vs. No. 10 Iowa
When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. CT
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
Spread: Iowa -17
Matchup to watch: Desmond King vs. Perry Hills
Nobody in the country turns the ball over like the Terps. Nobody — besides Shawun Lurry — forces turnovers like Desmond King. You can see where I’m going with this one. It’s probably only a matter of time before King gets his mitts on a Hills pass. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Mike Locksley try and game plan to avoid the Iowa corner. Hills isn’t entirely to blame for the turnover woes. Maryland lacks experienced possession receivers who know how to turn into defenders on under-thrown passes. King is not the guy to take chances on. Hills would be better off throwing a few into the third row instead of gambling on one of his wideouts to beat King on a 50-50 ball.
Thing I’m excited to see: Iowa RB carousel
The last two Iowa games produced the B1G Offensive Player of the Week, both of which were Hawkeye tailbacks. Jordan Canzeri won’t be active for this one, but LeShun Daniels will likely return and Akrum Wadley is coming off a four-touchdown effort against Northwestern. Expect Kirk Ferentz to use both backs early and often, especially with C.J. Beathard still nursing groin and hip injuries. No B1G offensive line has been better running the football than Iowa this year. Iowa hasn’t skipped a beat despite the fact that its top two tailbacks both suffered significant injuries this year. It’s worth noting that Maryland did hold freshman sensation Saquon Barkley to three yards per carry last week. But the Terps are still 82nd in the country against the run, which suggests the Iowa offensive line should be able set the tone.
Number to remember: -47
That’s the amount of rushing yards the Hawkeyes have allowed to quarterbacks this season. Yes, that includes sacks but Iowa faced mobile quarterbacks like Tre Roberson and Clayton Thorson, neither of whom did anything against Nate Meier and the Iowa defense. Hills ran wild against the likes of Ohio State and Penn State. Against some of the best tackling teams in the country, the Maryland quarterback still scampered for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns. Containing him will be at the top of the scouting report. The Terps have relied on Hills and Brandon Ross to move the chains and put points on the board. Against Iowa’s third-ranked run defense, which has allowed a national-best one rushing touchdown, that might be easier said than done.
Prediction: Iowa 42, Maryland 21
I think the bye week will do wonders for the Hawkeyes. We should see improved versions of Daniels, Beathard and Tevaun Smith, all of whom should have success against a struggling Terps defense. Though the matchup doesn’t favor Maryland, I do think Taivon Jacobs gashes Iowa for a big play or two. Still, this figures to be another game in which Iowa controls the line of scrimmage, dominates in the running game and wins the turnover battle. Make it 8-0 for the Hawks heading into November.