The Hawkeyes Mic picks are in for the Iowa – Purdue game. It’s another split decision – well, more accurately we have one outlier (often the usual suspect). We have a new regular guest-picker joining us for the rest of the season: Brendan Stiles. Check them out – see if you agree or disagree.
Scott Dochterman – Iowa 38-24:
Purdue is recognized as the more explosive team through the air with 100 more passing yards per game than Iowa. However, in third-down passing plays of 25-plus yards, the Hawkeyes lead the country with 11, while the Boilermakers have only one. Iowa has outgained Purdue 794-446 in third-down passing yardage.
If Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley can play as he did against Minnesota or Indiana, he can exploit Purdue’s statistically challenged pass defense. On average, Iowa’s defense allows 159 fewer yards than Purdue per game. Iowa is the more balanced team and its front four should contain Purdue’s running attack.
Steve Batterson – Iowa 31-28:
Two teams in the thick of a division race, both in bounce back mode after struggling offensively in road losses last week, expect a high-energy battle between the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers at Ross-Ade. Expect both teams to make some plays, but at the end of the day, expect a Miguel Recinos field goal to be the difference in Iowa’s third Big Ten road win of the season.
Brendan Stiles – Iowa 20-17
Iowa plays its fourth road game in five weeks on Saturday, and despite being ranked 16th in the initial 2018 College Football Playoff rankings, the Hawkeyes (as of Thursday afternoon) are currently a 3-point underdog to Purdue. Throw in that the Boilermakers recently beat Ohio State by 29 points and have a stud receiver in Rondale Moore, and there is plenty of cause for concern.
The biggest key to a Hawkeye victory will be Iowa’s ability to counter the in-game and halftime adjustments made by Jeff Brohm and his staff, as one needs to look no further than what Purdue was able to do in the second half of last season’s game at Kinnick Stadium. I’m taking Iowa here to win its fifth straight game at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday because I expect Phil Parker to take a page from Michigan State last week and turn this into the type of physical, low-scoring affair that favors the Hawkeyes, and I also see the defense as a whole being more prepared for whatever adjustments Purdue makes.
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Tyler Tjelmeland – Purdue 34-28:
A chance to rebound after tough losses last week on the road for both squads. The story of the year for the Boilermakers is fantastic, starting 0-3, them rattling off 4 straight victories including the shellacking of Ohio State. Losing to Michigan State last week is the classic letdown game. Iowa, on the other hand, just played poorly for most of the game against PSU to only find itself with a chance to win in the waning moments. Both teams are going to be angry. Both teams have a chance to take the next step of growth by rebounding and ending up in Indianapolis playing for a title.
Nate Stanley struggled with pressure against PSU and this Purdue team put him on his back six times in the win in Iowa city a year ago. Rondale Moore, the front-runner for B1G frosh of the year, could wreak havoc in the Iowa secondary if the front can’t get adequate pressure on David Blough. Iowa needs to stuff D.J. Knox early and often to force a Blough to make plays and force turnovers. It’s a must-win for both teams as each has an eye on division standings. Purdue has the slight edge at home.
Jack Brandsgard – Iowa 23-21:
Rondale Moore is a matchup nightmare for any team, but especially for an Iowa team that prefers to keep its linebackers in coverage. Defensive coordinator will likely play Amani Hooker at outside linebacker more than in previous weeks to cover Moore. Hooker is a legit pro prospect and can at least make life difficult for Moore. That’s the matchup to watch
Offensively, expect Nate Stanley to be better than last week. Iowa’s run game should be able to establish itself against the Purdue defense. Look for a low-scoring nail-biter on Saturday.
John Patchett – Iowa 34-20:
I wish I knew for sure whether Nate Stanley’s thumb and Rondale Moore’s lower leg were going to play. Each coach is hopeful their star is going to be game-ready. We’ll see. If either or both are absent it could make a huge difference in this game.
Purdue’s early-season struggles are long in the rear-view mirror. They’ve played well – especially on Offense. But they struggled mightily against the Michigan State Defense. All due respect to Sparty, Iowa’s Defense, while similar schematically, is better than MSU. The Boilers are last in the B1G in Pass Defense. Iowa has shown – most of the year – it can pass or run (or both) depending on the Defense it is facing in any given game.
This is essentially a B1G West elimination game. I like Iowa’s chances because it’s a better team overall. The Hawkeyes bounce back and remain in the West Division hunt – with Northwestern coming to Kinnick next week.
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