Oh baby! Tomorrow is the day! Football season is officially upon us and we’re now counting down in hours rather than days until the first game back in Kinnick Stadium.
Our beloved Hawkeyes play host to the Miami (OH) Redhawks and cornerback Manny Rugamba tomorrow. As we’ll do each and every week, the staff at The Pants has made their individual predictions on game. It should come as no surprise that not a single one of us has chosen the Redhawks to upset the Hawkeyes.
Perhaps surprising is the fact only one of us is calling for Miami to win against the spread (21.5). On average, we’re calling for a final score of 38-10 in favor of the good guys. What do you think? Does that sound right? Would you be happy with that outcome?
JPinIC: Hawkeye fans have long bemoaned the non-conference scheduling, but in a year like this one, a week one matchup with Miami is just what the doctor ordered. The RedHawks are likely a mid-level MAC team this year and that should mean they pose enough of a physical challenge to get Iowa ready to play next week, but not enough of a talent challenge to pose a risk of actually leaving Iowa City with a W.
I wouldn’t expect Iowa to do too much outside of the ordinary in this one because, frankly, they don’t need to. This Miami defense returns 7 of 11 starters, but the back end is in a bit of a rebuild. Look for Iowa to do what they do: try to establish the run and then gash that secondary on play-action.
But that’s not what should have Miami fans worried. The offense similarly returns 7 of 11 starters, but they’re breaking in a new QB, a new RB and the left side of the OL. That’s not ideal when you’re facing off against the reigning Big Ten sack leader. Look for the Hawkeyes to stuff the run and force the RedHawks into 3rd and long situations where A.J. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston can feast.
Iowa 34, Miami (OH) 9
I love all the optimism! Iowa very well might lose two games this year. It’ll be four, but one of those will not be this one.
Iowa 35, Miami of THE Ohio River Valley 10
Jerry: Miami of Ohio, those poor unfortunate souls. Look, all of you know where I stand on this team. I’ve written about it. I’ve podcated about it. I’ve tweeted about it. This one is going to be a bloodbath. The not so fun Miami is replacing half of their offense (including the entire left side of the line) and defense (including the secondary and most of the line). Iowa and the first string offense and defense will play two, maybe three series in the second half and in comes Spencer Petras and the rest of the up and coming Iowa stars.
52-9 and the majority of you are watching the majority of the Oregon/Auburn game.
DC: If I could craft the ideal opponent for this Hawkeyes team to face Week 1, it would be the Miami RedHawks. Miami (OH) has a new left side of their offensive line, no true starting quarterback yet (you know what they say when you have 2 QBs), new running backs, safeties, and linebackers. I think the coaches get Stanley into a rhythm with his five receivers (still weird to type) early and then we get to see how effective the run game is after an offseason of emphasis. This won’t be too difficult a task week 1, let’s move on to Rutgers.
Final score: Hawkeyes: 38, Miami (OH): 12
Doug: Iowa 41, Miami (OH) 6 - the game will seem a bit closer than the score indicates as some Hawk fans will wonder out loud why Epenesa only has one sack and Martin didn’t catch any touchdowns and no running back gets to 100 yards. The sky is falling group will start chirpping even with a 35 point victory.
Ben: This game is going to be close for just over three quarters, and it’s gonna SUCK. It doesn’t matter who Iowa is playing, I can only recall Iowa playing down to its competition as far back as I can remember, and even if I can only name one player on Miami’s roster (because he was a former Hawkeye) this will still be too close for comfort. I have faith the Hawkeyes will pull away on sheer talent alone, but man. Also why are we wasting a night game on this?
Iowa 31, Miami The Lesser 17
Trez: Last year represents the first time this decade that Miami of Ohio has had a winning record. In the same time span we’ve only had one losing season. We’re currently favored to win this game by a staggering 94.8% and their head coach, Chuck Marin, might be the only man in college football more conservative than Kirk Ferentz. Does this really mean anything? Probably not, but if Stanley can hit on a couple deep balls (which there will be plenty) and we find the endzone on the opening drive we’ll run the score up by the third quarter. If not, then strap in and prepare yourself for the typical Hawkeye frustration-fest.
Iowa 42, Miami of the Midwest 9
MattReisener: Do the Redhawks have what it takes to upset the Hawkeyes and ruin our season before it even begins? Probably not. Miami of Ohio will be overmatched at every position, and even if they manage to keep it close through a combination of spirited play, Hawkeye lethargy, and a hyper-conservative gameplan from Kirk Ferentz, Miami coach Chuck Martin has an abysmal 7-20 record in one-score games since arriving in Oxford, which inspires no confidence in their ability to beat Iowa in Kinnick Stadium. Iowa establishes its running game, the defensive line flexes its muscles a bit, and Oliver Martin makes at least one play that sends the Hawkeye message boards into full-on hype mode.
Iowa- 42, Miami of Ohio- 10
BoilerHawk: In reading about this Miami (OH) team, they seem to have Manny Rugamba and not much else. Now, some weird things could happen. He could channel 2017 Amani Hooker and run back a pick six to open the game. Iowa could further channel the game against OSU and have A.J. Epenesa kicked out because of a suspect targeting call. But there’s just not much to like about this RedHawks team.
Their base defense is a 4-2-5 according to Hustle Belt. which is not Iowa’s 4-2-5 (they’ll cycle four ends around 250 lbs). Iowa has gone on and on about their insistence on having an elite run game. Thing is: when the run game was good last year, it was VERY good though the competition was suspect – 5 200+ yard games vs. Nebraska, Maryland, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Illinois. With the weather projected to be messy, it’ll help Iowa. Whether Iowa can keep from turning it over is probably the difference between if they cover or not.
I’ll say the Hawks more or less replicate last year’s season opener and break things open in the second half after a spotty first 30 minutes. 31-3, Iowa & plenty of fools’ gold rushing offense.
Mattcabel: I feel uncharacteristically good about this game. Could it be close for the first half? Probably! Will Iowa take home a win regardless? Yes, I think so. At the end of the day, Iowa will just prove too much for the Redhawks. I’m expecting a lot of running from the Iowa offense along with a lot of throws to Oliver Martin that may or may not work out, and a nice defensive performance to top it all off.
Iowa 34, Miami (OH) 10