We did it. We finally made it to the triumphant return of college football. Week 0 is in the books and now it’s game week across Hawkeye Nation. Your Iowa Hawkeyes are set to kick off the 2021 season by hosting the #17 Indiana Hoosiers.
IU had tremendous 2020 season, finishing 6-2 just like the Hawkeyes, but were ranked 11th nationally at the end of the year - four spots ahead of Iowa despite losing their Outback Bowl matchup with Ole Miss 26-20. The Hoosiers now look to improve upon their success in 2020 as they return a slew of key members from last year’s squad.
That includes starting QB and 2nd Team All-Big Ten selection Michael Penix, Jr. as well as a pair of his top targets, 2nd Team All-Big Ten WR Ty Fryfogle and 3rd Team All-Big Ten TE Peyton Hendershot. On the defensive side of the ball, Indiana had all four defensive backs make the All-Big Ten teams in 2020 and return three of them in Tiawan Mullen, Devon Matthews and Jaylin Williams.
Date: Saturday, September 4th
Time: 2:30pm CT
Matchup: Indiana Hoosiers (0-0, 0-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (0-0, 0-0)
Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
Preliminary Weather Forecast: 82 with a 35% chance of rain early in the day
Opening Line: Iowa -3.5, O/U 46
*Note the above odds table is dynamic and updates in real time. You can also click any listed lines to be redirected to that particular sports book. Please bet responsibly.*
This meeting will mark the first between the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers since 2018. Iowa has won three straight in the series and seven of the last eight matchups overall. However, the teams have played just once over the last five years with Iowa 1-0 all-time against current Hoosier head coach Tom Allen. Indiana hasn’t won in Iowa City since taking home a 38-20 win over the Hawkeyes in 2007.
Iowa’s average margin of victory in those seven wins in eight seasons has been just over 18 points. The Hawkeyes, which are traditionally known for a lower-scoring, ground and pound offense, have scored 35 or more points in six of the last eight meetings. Iowa won all six matchups that topped 35 points for the Hawkeyes.
That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some close calls mixed in, however. Iowa is 1-1 in games where the Hawkeyes scored fewer than 35 points with a 24-21 loss in Bloomington in 2012 and an 18-13 win over the Hoosiers in 2010.
And that’s before we get to one of the greatest comebacks in Iowa history in 2009.
Here’s hoping the 2021 matchup involves fewer heart palpitations for Iowa fans.