The Iowa Hawkeyes did some heavy lifting on Saturday. It was an ugly slog in the best kind of way as Iowa took down Wisconsin 15-6 to keep the Heartland Trophy in Iowa City for a second straight year and leave Madison with a W for the first time since 2015.
Now the parallels to that magical 2015 season begin to emerge as the Hawkeyes sit atop the Big Ten West standings. Not only are they at the top, they hold a commanding lead over the Wisconsin Badgers, who have yet to play Ohio State and now face the remainder of the regular season without starting QB Tanner Mordecai after he broke his throwing hand against the Hawkeyes. The Badgers will need two losses from Iowa down the stretch to regain the top spot in the West.
Behind the Badgers sit Northwestern, Nebraska, and Iowa’s opponent this week: Minnesota. Each already has a pair of losses in conference play already, meaning an Iowa win against each all but eliminates them from the West race. Iowa now begins their quest for the West crown by facing off with each of those opponents down the stretch.
That begins this weekend as Iowa plays host to the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the battle for Floyd of Rosedale. While the Gophers boast a more potent offense than the Hawkeyes, averaging 313 yards per game, they have similarly struggled to put points on the board. The Hawkeyes come into the week at 103rd nationally with 20.9 points per game. That’s just two spots below the Gophers, who are averaging 21.7 points per game on the season.
Those two, combined with Iowa’s remarkable defense, which ranks 8th nationally allowing just 14.9 points per game, are a driving force behind the remarkably low over/under total points Vegas has thrown on this week’s matchup. Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook opened this one with Iowa as home favorites with a line at -5.5 points.
More importantly, they opened the over/under at 32.5 total points. That’s the third lowest point total since tracked betting data began being recorded in 1995. It’s just a half-point higher than the second lowest over/under, which was the 32 points for Iowa’s bowl game against Kentucky last year. The top spot? The last time Iowa played Minnesota last November at 31.5 total points.
The Iowa-Minnesota total is currently 32.5— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) October 16, 2023
That is currently the third-lowest total in college football history
The second-lowest total in history was Iowa’s bowl game against Kentucky in Drcember
The lowest ever was Iowa’s game the month before against.. Minnesota
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The top three spots all belong to Iowa games and all have come in less than a calendar year. Notably, Iowa won each of the top two games.
The Hawkeyes and Gophers are set to kick off on Saturday at 2:30pm CT. The game will be broadcast on NBC.