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Iowa Football: How Will the Hawkeyes Fare Against Utah State?

Can the Hawkeyes cover the massive spread in week one? And just how much will Brian Ferentz keep his foot on the gas?

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl - Memphis v Utah State
Will Brian Ferentz run it up against Blake Anderson and the Aggies?
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Iowa Hawkeyes fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

The first real game week of the college football season is officially upon us and with it comes the return of Iowa Hawkeye football. Your Iowa Hawkeyes are set to kick off their 2023 campaign in Kinnick Stadium as they play host to the Utah State Aggies. Be sure to check out the Game Center for all the details on Saturday’s game, including kick time, TV listings, as well as the links to every story on the site previewing or recapping the game.

The Hawks opened as 25-point favorites in this one. A number that has already climbed to 25.5 over at DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s a big number for the Hawkeyes, who are 1-4 against the spread in season openers over the last five years when the spread is greater than 20. This one is.... a lot more than 20.

But this season is not like other seasons. This season, Iowa’s offensive coordinator is on the hook for 25 points per game over the course of an entire season or he’s, theoretically, out on has butt looking for work. To hit 25ppg while playing a Big Ten conference schedule, the Hawkeyes are going to need some points in the games where they’re heavy favorites. Like, a lot of points.

With a 25.5-point spread and a 43.5-point over/under on the total points for this weekend, Vegas is expecting the Hawkeyes to be comfortably in the lead most of the game (some books are showing Iowa -23.5 for the first half). The implied score is roughly 35-9 in favor of the good guys.

But we want to know what you think, Hawkeye fans? We polled you a few weeks ago and 100% of respondents are calling for Iowa to win this one outright (a good bet with the Hawkeyes going 20-2 straight up in their last 22 season-openers and the only non-P5 loss coming to a 12-win NIU team in 2013). That’s in line with The Pants, where all of our staffers called for a win in their pre-season predictions (not to spoil anything, but don’t look for much to change in our weekly predictions).

However, will Iowa actually cover that big spread? And if so, will they do it naturally, or will we see Brian running up the score to boost his numbers for personal gain? Let us know in the survey and in the comments below!

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.