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Iowa-Indiana: Who has the edge?

[ 0 ] November 1, 2012 |

Here’s at least one person’s take on which team has the edge in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. Iowa-Indiana game at the Hoosiers’ Memorial Stadium.

The Hawkeyes opened as a betting-line favorite. Last I heard, they were the underdog.




The Hawkeyes have done nothing to show that their passing problems have ended – unless someone has found extra eligibility for Marvin McNutt. Indiana isn’t great in pass defense, allowing conference opponents an average of 250.2 air yards a game. However, it’s not exactly Air Vandenberg, either, as proven by Iowa’s 182.2-yard average the past four games. That aspect of the team was better last Saturday against Northwestern, when Vandenberg completed 24 of 38 passes for 214 yards. Iowa needs speedier receivers, athletic enough to generate separation. Indiana has 12 sacks against conference teams, and the Hoosiers will face a re-worked Iowa offensive line. EDGE: Indiana.



The Hoosiers have become one-dimensional since versatile Tre Roberson broke his leg in the second game. Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld have been the replacements, and they’ve combined with solid receivers to average 267.8 passing yards a game against Big Ten opponents. They’ve combined for nine touchdown passes and just two interceptions and they spray the ball around – five players have caught at least 12 passes. EDGE: Indiana.



This is where the Hawkeyes must perform well; Indiana allows an average of 265.8 rushing yards a game to conference opponents. The Hoosiers have given up 11 rushing touchdowns the past four games, and throughout the season, seven opposing players have exceeded 100 rushing yards. Iowa’s Damon Bullock has fresh legs and he’s coming off a 22-carry, 107-yard performance against Northwestern. EDGE: Iowa.



It’s not that Stephen Houston isn’t a good player; it’s that the Hoosiers have chosen to lean toward the pass. He averages 68.8 rushing yards a game and 5.2 yards a carry against conference teams, and he has scored touchdowns in nine consecutive games. That’s the longest streak in the NCAA. Iowa is coming off a rough day at Northwestern, a game in which the Wildcats totaled 349 ground yards – 166 from quarterback Kain Colter and 162 from tailback Venric Mark, who had 72 of that total on one play. Indiana has no Colter or Mark. EDGE: Iowa.



Iowa’s four-game winning streak in the series includes victories in the past two games at Indiana. . . . A somewhat new Hawkeye offensive line will face a defense that averages 7.5 tackles for loss, 11th nationally. . . .Indiana kick returner Tevin Coleman, a freshman, already has a 96-yard touchdown on his resume. Statistically, the Hawkeyes don’t defend kickoffs well. EDGE: Indiana.





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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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