Iowa vs Arizona
Betting Line: Iowa -2
The Iowa Hawkeyes burst on the scene in 2009 with an overall record of 11-2 and a win in the Orange Bowl. Kirk Ferentz team is a perfect 2-0 so far in 2010 with wins over Eastern Illinois and Iowa State. Their first real test of the season will come on the road against a strong Arizona Wildcats team. Mike Stoop’s Wildcats cruised to easy wins over The Citadel and Toledo to start the season. These teams met last year with Iowa taking top honors 27-17. Arizona will be revenge minded as the host. They are better this time around and will want some payback.
The Arizona Wildcats started 2010 with their first road win outside of Pacific 10 play in 9 years. They rocked the Toledo Rockets 41-2. QB Nick Foles had 360 yards and 2 TD passes. The junior is under the tutelage of QB coach Frank SCelfo who had 3 QB’s drafted while he coached at Tulane. Foles is going to improve as the season goes on. Senior RB Nic Grigsby had 53 yards on 8 carries and 2 TDs against Toledo. WR Juron Criner posted a whopping 187 yards on 11 catches and 1 TD. He is clearly Foles favorite target. The Arizona offense is strong and can get points through the air or the ground.
Mike Stoops’s defense has back just 4 starters from last year. They’ve allowed a mere 6 points in 2010. DE Rickey Elmore was 2nd Team All-Pac-10 last year after getting 10.5 sacks. It will be up to him to keep pressure on Ricky Stanzi and pass rush off the edge. The LB corps are strong and have been a staple of the program at Arizona. The DBs have replaced a lot of starters, but are still strong thanks to CB Trevin Wade. He had 5 INTs in 2009. The most important thing this defense can do is keep pressure on Ricky Stanzi the whole Game.
QB Ricky Stanzi did a wonderful job in week 2 play against rival Iowa State. The senior passed for 204 yards and 2 TDs on 11/18 passing. He completed a 66 yard pass to Marvin McNutt, and a 55 yard pass to Allen Reiser. Clearly this Hawkeyes team can work the long ball. While Stanzi played well, it’s arguable that sophomore RB Adam Robinson was even better. He busted loose on a 75 yard run and ended the Game with 156 yards and a TD. Jewel Hampton was also strong rushing for 84 yards and a score. Iowa’s offense doesn’t make many mistakes and its hard to rattle them. That could change oNCe their inexperieNCed offensive line meets up with a rough defensive line.
The best part of the Iowa defense is DE Adrian Clayborn. The senior had 11.5 sacks last year and was named 1st Team All-Big 10. SS Tyler Sash was also given 1st Team Big 10 honors after intercepting opposing QBs 6 times last year. FS Brent Greenwood was 2nd Team Big 10. Needless to say, this defense is spotted with stars and will cause trouble for ANY offense. Putting up points against them will be quite the task. They shut down a potent Georgia Tech offense in the Orange Bowl. That means they can stop anyone when things are going good.
The line currently has Iowa as a 1.5 point favorite. The Hawkeyes are as good as they were last year when they won 11 Games and beat this team 27-17. The Wildcats have also improved and will be hosting the Game. Both HC’s Stoops and Ferentz are excellent at what they do and will ensure this is an exciting Game.
We think this is a bad matchup up for Arizona. Arizona has two new cooridinators on both sides of the ball this year, New schemes, new players, new troubles. Yeah, they looked good so far this year but things figure to get a little bit more difficult this week The Arizona offense is fine, but they’ll be going up against a very good Iowa defense. But where this Game really figures to be won, is with Iowa’s offense against this Arizona defense. Or, Arizona’s lack of defense. Iowa may be known for defense but they have a veteran offense and are loaded with talented backs and receivers.
The Iowa defense does enough to slow down the Arizona offense. The Arizona defense does nothing to stop Iowa. Iowa -1.5