Iowa has more interceptions than anyone -- except this week's opponent
Iowa sits at No. 5 in the AP Top 25 after starting the season with consecutive convincing victories over fellow members of that club.
All should be well heading into the portion of the schedule that usually comes at the beginning. Yes, it’s time for some MACtion.
The Hawkeyes haven’t lost a non-conference game since the 2017 Outback Bowl. They really let down the fans of Coconut Shrimp that day with a 30-3 loss to Florida.
No non-conference opponent has crossed them since, not even The Iowa State University, and Iowa would have its revenge on the Bloomin’ Onion (but not Florida) just 2 short years later in Kirk Ferentz’ favorite bowl.
All in all, the Hawks have won 13 consecutive non-conference games, good for second in the nation. You know what other stat Iowa’s second in? Interceptions.
It’s pretty impressive that the Hawkeyes matched their Week 1 3-interception total with another 3 in Week 2.
But one team has done them one better — in each game. And it just so happens to be this week’s opponent: Kent State. The Golden Flashes picked 4 balls against both Texas A&M and VMI. And they lost one of those games 41-10.
Speaking of blowouts, Iowa has played Kent State only twice before — and outscored them 90-7.
That doesn’t mean the Hawks should take the Golden Flashes lightly.
Kent State, which brought back 19 starters, led the NCAA in several offensive categories in 2020, including points per game (49.8) and total offense (606.5 yards per game).
The Golden Flashes were the only team in the FBS to average over 600 yards of offense last year. Won’t it be fun to see them take on a defense with a 24-game 25-points-or-less streak?
Don’t give me that side-eye, Kent’s 226 net yards on the ground were the most given up by Texas A&M since October 2019, so a streak-breaking surprise is on the table.
Neither quarterback gives the ball away much.
Iowa’s Spencer Petras hasn’t impressed yet, but the bottom line is he has won 8 straight as the Hawkeyes starting QB and has only thrown 2 interceptions.
Iowa should definitely use this game as an opportunity to open up the offense.
His counterpart at Kent State, Dustin Crum, has thrown only 6 interceptions in his last 19 games.
Two in 2019, 2 last season and he already met his 2-INT quota for this year in the Texas A&M game, so the Hawkeyes have their work cut out for them if they want to triplicate their trifecta of takeaways through the air.
Crum led the MAC in completion percentage at 73.2 last year and has thrown 32 touchdowns since becoming the starter in 2019.
Iowa has 70 interceptions since 2017, more than any other team in the country.
Perhaps something’s got to give, and most expect it will be the Golden Flashes as the Hawkeye State hype train is parked at a station in Iowa City now.
But as they say, that’s why they play the games.