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Hawkeye Football: The Pants Predicts Iowa vs. Iowa State

For the first time all season, not all of us are calling a Hawkeye win.

Iowa State v Iowa
Can the Hawkeyes keep the Cy-Hawk trophy for a fifth year?
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

I tried to tell you all a week ago that we’re a bunch of guys back from the future with Biff’s guide to sports results. If you haven’t been listening, I feel sorry for your wallet as the Pants staff is 2-0 on the against the spread.

Last week, we collectively had the Hawkeyes covering and the total points on the under side. Both were winners. Individually, DC was probably closest at 31-7. For those scoring at home, that’s two in a row for him. Maybe buy the guy a beer and ask him for this weekend’s lotto numbers?

Anywho, here’s how each of the staff has fared this season against the spread:

Ben - 2-0
DC - 2-0
Doug - 2-0
Jerry - 2-0
JP - 2-0
Matt R - 2-0
Boiler - 1-1
Jordan - 1-1
Matt C - 1-1

Now, on to Cy-Hawk week where we are all in agreement, again, that Iowa comes away with a W. That is, all of us except Jordan. Feel free to @ him.

On average, we’re predicting a final score of 26-16. That would put the total points at 42. As a reminder, the line is now up to Iowa -2.5 at Elite Sports Book. That’s a big move from where it opened at Iowa +1. The over/under is 44.

Place your bets accordingly.

On to the individual predictions for week three.

JPinIC: This is always a weird game in a weird series. I expect nothing less this year.

These two teams are built really similarly with the defense being the talk of the town coming into the year. The one major difference between them was everyone kind of assumed Iowa State would reload on offense after losing David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler to the NFL while assuming Iowa’s offense would struggle to replace their two NFL tight ends in Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson. Now that we’re two weeks in, the tides seem to have turned a bit as Iowa’s offense has looked more explosive this year while Iowa State struggled to turn yardage into points against UNI.

Still, most expect this to be a grinding slug fest a la a season ago. If so, I like Iowa’s chances. There are few teams who win rock fights with the Hawkeyes. That’s what KF has built this program upon.

But in such a weird rivalry, I fully expect the unexpected. In a year like this one, that means a random shootout, not unlike what we saw two years ago in Ames - a place the Cyclones haven’t beaten the Hawkeyes since 2011.

Iowa 31, Iowa State 27

Ben: At first I was afraid… I was petrified. I kept on thinking of how Iowa would live without Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson by its side. But then I spent many nights thinking about Nate Stanley’s long (ball). And Ihmir Smith-Marsette grew strong. And I learned how this team will get along. No Montgomery. No Butler. Surely this Cyclone offense will fluster.

We will survive.

This one is over before it starts. 41-10 good guys.

Mattcabel: When I made my overall season prediction, I tagged this as one of five Iowa losses for the season. Two weeks into the season, I feel better about the team than I thought I would, but worse about this game (hello College Gameday). I want Iowa to win this game so badly. Nothing about ISU’s triple OT win against UNI inspires confidence in me about this team. But this is El Assico. Things don’t make sense. We went from a triple overtime, 44-41 loss in 2011 to a 9-6 loss the next. My gut says loss, but my heart says Hawks.

Iowa 24, ISU 17

DC: As a Hawkeye who grew up outside of the great state of Iowa, this game has been more a pain in my backside than important bragging rights with neighbors and co-workers. I know this is a series that will never end so why not remove any doubt that Iowa is in fact a Hawkeye State. Iowa is firing all cylinders right now and I don’t think that changes.

Iowa 24, ISU 10

Jerry Scherwin: At the beginning of the season I was worried about this game. Matt Campbell - who probably starts getting too many phone calls from other prestigious programs or the NFL with another successful Big 12 campaign - finally had the Hawkeyes right where he wanted them. Not only do they have to come to Ames, but they also had questions marks on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. That was then… this is now. I’m not afraid anymore. YOU HEAR THAT? I’M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE! All of the pressure is on the Cyclones going into this game. They have to host Gameday. They have to navigate the fact that their entire team hasn’t beaten the Hawkeyes. They’re the one with a coach that needs some more signature moments on his resume. They’re the ones that had a close call against another in-state rival two weeks ago. They’re the ones with all the extra preparation that could easily turn into pressing. How could you blame Iowa State if things get a little tight in the nether region? Meanwhile, in Iowa City, from all reports, Iowa is attacking the week with business like fashion. Nothings changing for Kirk Ferentz or this group of talented and youthful players. They just have to go out there and do exactly what they’ve done for six quarters now.

Iowa 30, Iowa State 17

Jordan Hansen: I do not think the Hawkeyes will win this game. They probably should, but they won’t.

Iowa State 28, Iowa 21

Doug:There’s no way that Iowa will be overlooking Iowa State. I would have said going into the year that Iowa wins by six but after seeing Iowa State play a week, I’m optimistic that Iowa will win by double digits.

Iowa is better, stronger, faster.

Iowa 27, Iowa State 10

BoilerHawk: I am afraid of how confident I (and the rest of the Pants) feel in this Iowa team. The only distinct area for disadvantage I see is ISU’s wideouts against Iowa’s tertiary. Brock Purdy can do things we haven’t seen from either Hawkeye opponent so far and that playmaking might be enough. But he hasn’t played a defense like we presume Iowa’s to be.

The line battle on the other side is probably gonna end up a draw and Iowa is probably going to be to willing to roll out a gameplan like the Outback Bowl. I’m guessing it comes down to whether Nate Stanley can hit Ihmir Smith-Marsette in stride early on a play action pass. That happens and it allows Iowa to pull out all the stops along the defensive line. If not, it’s probably gonna be a slog.

I’ll say they connect en route to a weirdly comfortable 21-13 Hawkeye win but I have an uneasy feeling about this prediction. Such is life in the Cy-Hawk.

MattReisener: I really went back and forth on this game. My entire history as a Hawkeye fan tells me this is a recipe for disaster. Playing against a hungry and talented up-and-coming coach with something to prove in a revenge spot at home in front of a national audience is a challenge in and of itself. But add in the rivalry element, the Gameday hype, a talented opposing defense who can match Iowa in the trenches, and a quarterback with the right combination of talent and moxie to be dangerous, and you have the makings of a real heartbreak game for the Hawks.

On the other hand, Iowa State looked like a team with some serious identity problems in their opener against UNI, and until I see their offense consistently move the ball in the post David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler world, I don’t believe this team will be able to score on Iowa with any regularity. Iowa struggles to run the ball, but Nate Stanely comes up big in the 4th quarter and proves to the world that this is, and forever will be, a Hawkeye state.

Iowa 17, Iowa State 13


So there you have it. We’re (almost) all on Iowa to win for the fifth straight season. What’s your call for this weekend?

Go Hawks!