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Iowa vs Michigan State Line a Toss Up As Hawkeyes Look to Stay Unbeaten
Michigan State hosts Iowa in Big 10 action this Saturday as the Hawkeyes look to stay unbeaten on the year. The betting line at most sportsbooks has this game a toss up with an over/under total of 43.
This Iowa Hawkeye football team is the poster child of winning ugly. They
don’t wow you on the field, but they know how to win and that’s what is most
important. They have looked very good at times with wins over Michigan and
Wisconsin, but they have also looked very bad at times with close wins over
Northern Iowa and Arkansas State.
With them beating Penn State, and Ohio State falling to Purdue this past weekend they are now in the driver’s seat for a Big 10 title. They have a showdown with Ohio State in a few weeks, and they need to be sure to not look ahead and take it one game at a time.
Michigan State has had a roller coaster season. After their opening win against Montana State they dropped 3 straight against Central Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, but since then they have won their past 3 games against Michigan, Illinois, and Northwestern. Both teams are looking to keep their winning streak intact, and we should have a good game on our hands come this Saturday.
Iowa has been able to stay undefeated for one reason, defense. They are only allowing 295 yards per game and just 15 points per game which puts them #3 in the Big 10 in both categories.
Not only do they play great sound defense they are also winning the turnover margin. Iowa is +11 in turnover margin. The next closest team is Northwestern at +4. They are going to need to continue their dominant ways, because this Michigan State offense has been putting up some impressive numbers.
Michigan State is #3 in the Big 10 scoring 30 points per game, and is averaging 417 yards per game. Michigan State is also #1 in the Big 10 is pass offense throwing for 280 yards per game.
QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 1283 yards in 6 games completing 170/267 for 9 TD’s. Cousins is not a QB who is a threat to beat you down the field all game, but he is a very efficient passer. He completes 63.5% of his passes and has great vision on the field. The good news for Iowa fans is that pass defense is the strength of this Iowa defense. They are #2 in the Big 10 in pass defense allowing just 167 yards per game. Whoever is able to win this battle is going to be very difficult to beat.
THE FINAL VERDICT
If you are looking for an exciting team to watch Iowa is not the team for you. They win games through tough defense and winning the turnover battle. Michigan State is a very good team offensively and Iowa will be tested this weekend. Michigan State’s offense’s strength is their passing game, and Iowa’s defense’s strength is their pass defense. We don’t expect either team to change what they do, so expect an exciting battle.
There's one well known tout, with a large following and a weekly newsletter that likes to refer to turnovers as an excuse for a teams wins, rather than a reason. In other words, in a game write up, he may say something like, Iowa beat Penn State, BUT they had the benefit of 3 turnovers. We couldn't disagree with that logic more. Turnovers are not accidents. They are caused.
Sure, in any given game, a team can drop a wet ball, or the QB may throw a floater, but when a team finds themselves at the top of the charts in turnover margin mid way through a season, it's no accident. The team is doing something right. The are getting after the ball and they are causing turnovers. Be it as a result of getting pressure on the QB or just attacking the ball, again, it's no accident.
Here we have a game that's a toss up according to the betting line, yet we have one team, Iowa, ranked #4 in the Nation in turnover margin and another, Michigan State, ranked 95th. Uh, we'll take Iowa pk over Michigan State please. Thank you.
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