When last we saw Iowa, eight months ago, they were getting drilled off the field in Jacksonville by a 6-6 Tennessee team. That was fresh on the heels of a galling, come-from-ahead loss against Nebraska in the regular season finale. Suffice to say, Iowa football was in a dark place then. Is it better now? We sure as hell hope so... and we'll find out in a few short hours.
The crowd will be an interesting subplot in this game, too. How full will Kinnick Stadium be? Season ticket sales have been slumping and Illinois State is not exactly an opponent that's going to get people really excited about coming to Kinnick for a game. And among the people who are in attendance, what will the mood be like, especially if Iowa gets off to a slow start or finds themselves in a close game or makes some bad plays? Just how tense is the mood in the Iowa fanbase? We should get a better sense of that today. And if you are going to the game, wear gold -- because the Athletic Department has designated this the annual "Be Bold, Wear Gold" game and also because it might reduce your changes of suffering heatstroke. It's supposed to be very hot in Iowa City this afternoon.
Here's what you need to watch the game at home or elsewhere, if you happen to not be near a television. Streaming options are subject to restrictions from your local cable/satellite provider.
WHO: Illinois State Redbirds
WHEN: 11 AM Central; Saturday, September 5, 2015
WHERE: Kinnick Stadium; Iowa City, IA
ONLINE: via BTN2Go (TV) and Tunein Radio (audio-only)
MOBILE: via BTN2Go app (iOS and Android)
RADIO: via Hawkeye Radio Network, KRUI (89.7 FM), Sirius channel 135, XM channel 195
TV COMMENTATORS: Kevin Kugler and Matt Millen (welp)
ODDS: Technically n/a because it's a game against an FCS team, but at least one sportsbook had Iowa -9 earlier this week.