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Iowa tries to contain a #MACtion outbreak and improve to 2-0 in 2014.

Matthew Holst

The last few years have taught us to be afraid of any opponent on Iowa's schedule, to fear that the rug is always on the verge of being pulled out from under us, to know that the shoe is always just about ready to drop. Ball State brings #MACtion back to Kinnick, a place where MAC teams have won of their last three encounters. Conference history aside, this is a solid-looking MAC team looking to contend for a conference championship.

And yet. On paper, Iowa is better than Ball State at virtually every position. Ball State's biggest offensive strength (running the ball) is directly countered by Iowa's biggest defensive strength (stopping the run). Ball State's biggest defense weakness (an inexperienced, undersized defensive line) is matched up with one of Iowa's biggest strengths (a talented, experienced offensive line and a host of running back options). The talent favors Iowa. The matchups favor Iowa. On paper, this should be a relatively easy win for Iowa. Will that be the case? Let's find out.

The game is on ESPN2 at 2:30 PM Central.

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