Happy Saturday Hawkeye fans!
We are back and on the road this week as your Iowa Hawkeyes are set to travel to Ames to take on the Iowa State Cyclones in the annual Cy-Hawk battle. Iowa is coming off a 24-14 win over Utah State that felt great for the first 15 minutes, but slowly crept into the less than comfortable win category.
For the Cyclones, they’re coming off an impressive 30-9 win over the UNI Panthers, wherein they jumped out of the gate with a pick-six and never really looked back. While the Iowa State offense didn’t do much statistically, they didn’t really need to.
Now the two teams who lacked flair on offense in week one are set to face off in their biggest game of the season to-date in what is expected to be a defensive struggle. The Cyclones come in with new QB Rocco Becht getting the nod after former starter Hunter Dekkers lost his eligibility related to the ongoing gambling scandal that has involved both schools.
For the Hawkeyes, it’s start number two for former Michigan starter Cade McNamara. In his Hawkeye debut, McNamara got off to an efficient start, going 13 for 17 in the first half with a pair of TDs, including on his first career pass as a Hawkeyes. He becomes the first Iowa player to do so since Chuck Long.
While his opening half was efficient, the wheels started to come off the Iowa offense in the second half. Meanwhile, in Ames, Becht kept the efficiency up all game, though at significantly lower volume. He finished with 10 completions on 13 total passes with 2 TDs of his own.
Which of these two will prove more effective as the defensive pressure builds this week? Vegas thinks McNamara will prevail. DraftKings Sportsbook has Iowa as a 4-point favorite. That line has held steady all week. Similarly, the over/under has been firm at 36.5 total points. That’s a low number and a nod to the quality defenses both teams possess, as well as the unproven nature of both offenses.
As we get ready for the first road kickoff of the season for the Hawkeyes, here’s everything you need to know about today’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
Updated Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the low-80s, 10mph winds
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Iowa -4, O/U 36.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Keep an eye out for the availability report, which is set to be published at 12:30 pm CT. Recall that’s a new item in the Big Ten this season with availability reported two hours before game time. A week ago, that’s when we learned Iowa corner Jermari Harris would be out the first two weeks of the year.