Here's the thing: If Iowa scores a single point on Saturday it'll be a fucking miracle.
Okay, that's an exaggeration, and I don't actually think Michigan State will shut the Hawkeyes out. But it is possible.
Do I expect Iowa to adjust its offensive game plan for this game? NO, I EXPECT IT TO DIE. Remember all those nice sexy defensive stats Iowa had coming into the week? Michigan State's are better pretty much across the board.
Iowa is 7th in yards allowed per game... Michigan State is 1st.
Iowa is 7th in rushing yards allowed per game... Michigan State is 2nd.
Iowa is 8th in 3rd down conversion defense... Michigan State is 3rd.
Iowa is 17th in points allowed per game... Michigan State is 10th.
Iowa is 16th in passing efficiency defense... Michigan State is 1st.
Iowa is 29th in passing yards allowed per game... Michigan State is 1st.
I do have good news, however, and that is that Michigan State's offense is a pure mess. The skill position players are raw and prone to doofus mistakes like dropping passes that hit them in the hands (have you ever looked at your hand, by the way? I mean really looked at it? With the fingers? Crazy that we have them and we use them for sports. Anyway, I'm not high). The offensive line is good when healthy, but, eh. And the quarterback situation is an unmitigated disaster, with Connor Cook the unquestioned starter (who just so happened to get yanked for the last series against Notre Dame).
Basically, there isn't a single position Michigan State can trust on offense. BHGP guest analyst Dusty Rhodes, your thoughts?
Remember what happened the last time Iowa faced an offense that was light on execution? That was last week against Minnesota, and that was a bloodbath. Iowa feasts on limited offenses. Michigan State's offense is, shall we say, limited.
So yeah, this is a slapfight in the making. The over/under is 38.5, which is A) the lowest in all of college football this week and B) ludicrously high. Six points might win this one.
Frankly, I like Iowa in this one. Michigan State has far and away the best defense Iowa will face on Saturdays this season, but I trust Iowa's offense against MSU's defense more than I trust MSU's offense against Iowa's defense. It's like B- vs. A+ and D+ vs. A-. You never trust a D+.
Of course, if Iowa's offense gets fucky in the red zone yet again, that could easily swing the game Michigan State's way. The Hawkeyes aren't going to get many opportunities to score, and for a non-powerhouse like Iowa, taking advantage of those few opportunities is usually the difference between a tough win and a tough loss.