The Iowa Hawkeyes kicked off the 2023 season with a bang as two plays into the matchup with Utah State, Cade McNamara found Seth Anderson in the endzone for one of his two passing touchdowns on the day. The euphoria was real, though it lasted for little more than a quarter. In the end, Iowa came away with a 24-14 win over Utah State in their season opener.
Now the Hawkeyes head to Ames for their first road test as they face off with the Iowa State Cyclones. ISU is fresh off a 30-9 win over UNI in their season opener. That game seemed to run away from the Panthers as Iowa State kicked things off with a pick-6 on UNI’s opening drive and never looked back. The Cyclones built a 30-0 lead before Northern Iowa got things going in the second half.
But much like the Hawkeyes, Iowa State did almost all its damage offensively on two drives. The Cyclones, who finished last season well outside the top-100 in offensive production just like Iowa, scored only 24 points on offense with 10 coming on short fields aided by a late first half interception and a great punt return early in the third quarter.
In fact, for all the concerns over Iowa’s offense, the Hawkeyes out-gained the Cyclones in week one despite playing higher level competition. They nearly doubled up Iowa State in first downs while it was the Cyclones who converted just two third downs in week one.
Based on the limited offensive output by both teams, this one is shaping up to be a defensive showdown, much like the 7-3 affair we saw a season ago. Vegas seems to agree as our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook opened the over/under for total points at 36.5 points. The Hawkeyes opened as 4-point favorites despite being on the road.
The weather this weekend is shaping up to be much better than the heat wave we saw in the opener. Thank goodness given the afternoon kick.
Here’s a look at all the details for Saturday’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, September 9th
Time: 2:30 pm CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0, 0-0) at Iowa State Cyclones (1-0, 0-0)
Location: Jack Trice Stadium - Ames, IA
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the low-80s, 10mph winds
DraftKings Opening Line: Iowa -4, O/U 36.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
This weekend will mark the 70th all-time meeting between Iowa and Iowa State. The Hawkeyes hold the series lead with 46 wins to 23 for the Cyclones. ISU won the matchup a season ago 7-3 in Kinnick Stadium. However, the Hawkeyes have won six of the last seven and seven of the last nine matchups over Iowa State, including the last five games in Ames dating back to 2013.
Those five straight road wins have come by an average of 6.8 points with two decided by three or fewer points. The last five games overall in the series have been decided by 27 total points - fewer than one touchdown per game. The Cyclones have only won three games in the all-time series by more than three TDs. The Hawkeyes have thirteen such victories.
The Cy-Hawk Trophy is the first of four trophy games for Iowa this season. The Hawkeyes are 24-8 in their last 32 regular season trophy games against. Both Iowa State and Nebraska broke long losing streaks to the Hawkeyes a season ago.
Beyond the trophy, head coach Kirk Ferentz will be playing for a bit more this week as he is one win shy of the 200-win milestone for his career. Ferentz will be the 24th Division I coach to reach the 200-win mark. Former Hawkeye head coach Hayden Fry finished his career with 236 wins.
Preseason Prep Work
As we march toward kick off, be sure to check out our preseason preview for this week’s matchup. There’s loads of important details and unique looks at this week’s opponent, including this great set of stats:
20.2: the Clones scored & allowed the same per game number of points. The offense ranked 114th while the defense was 18th. The offensive concerns were addreseds, as described below. The defense faces its own set of challenges as they’ll have to replace mainstays Will McDonald (their first first round draft pick since a long time agos days) and O’Rien Vance.
1: After ISU’s worst points/game output since 2007 (still better than Iowa’s!), Matt Campbell’s staff experienced an overhaul on the offensive side of the ball. Just one coach is in the same position he was in last year (TE coach Taylor Mouser) as Tom Manning and others were shown the door. Nate Scheelhaas has been promoted to offensive coordinator and they’ve brought in outside help at offensive line, wide receivers, and running backs.
1978: the last time an Iowa State coach left Ames with a winning record was Earl Bruce and his .529 mark. If Matt Campbell has another 4-8 season, he’ll be right at .500 for his Iowa State career.
-0.7: Iowa State’s 2022 turnover margin, which ranked 117th. Under Matt Campbell, they’ve had positive turnover margins just twice (2017 & 2020).
And here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one.
Staff Prediction: Iowa win, 100% of the vote
Fan Prediction: Iowa Win, 100% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa State 13, Iowa 9
Be sure to check back in throughout the week as all preview and postgame stories will be published to this stream.