College Football Preview – Iowa State Cyclones vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

The only game between two top ten teams this week will see Hawkeye State rivals clash when the Iowa Hawkeyes head to Ames to face the Iowa State Cyclones. Both teams are coming off Week 1 victories, but Iowa is feeling a lot better after its rout of Indiana. Still, the oddsmakers have installed the Cyclones as a short favorite, even though Iowa State is on a five-game losing streak in this rivalry.

College Gameday will be at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa for this game on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

College Football Betting Odds

Iowa +4.5

Iowa State -4.5

Total 45.5

Iowa was absolutely dominant in last week’s 34-6 thumping of Indiana. Riley Moss returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the defense was superb in shutting down Michael Penix Jr. and the Hoosiers’ offense.

It wasn’t nearly as easy for Iowa State in its narrow 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa. Star running back Breece Hall could only average 3.0 YPC, and Brock Purdy only had a couple big plays through the air.

When Iowa State Has the Ball

Brock Purdy was not at his best in the season opener. Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 199 yards, but the deep passing game wasn’t really there for this offense. Xavier Hutchinson was the top receiver with seven receptions for 88 yards, and the Cyclones are hoping to be able to stretch the field more on Saturday.

The ground game must do a better job of running the ball, even if that means using Purdy as a runner more often. If Breece Hall can’t find much success, Iowa will roll its safeties up and make things even more difficult for Purdy and the passing attack.

Iowa’s defense forced three turnovers and held Indiana to 4.7 YPA and 2.5 YPC last week. If the Hawkeyes do that again this Saturday, they are probably going to win the game handily.

When Iowa Has the Ball

This Iowa offense isn’t anything special. The Hawkeyes could only muster 303 total yards of offense last week as Spencer Petras had a hard time getting it going through the air. Petras completed just 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards, and most of that production came from tight end Sam LaPorta.

Tyler Goodson had a long 56-yard run, but he had just 18 carries for 43 yards if you take out that long touchdown. The ground game averaged a respectable 4.4 YPC, yet it wasn’t that effective once you take out the explosive plays.

Iowa State has a rock solid front seven and a linebacking corps that will make it hard to run the ball or find the tight end in the passing game. Mike Rose was the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and O’Rien Vance is very talented too.


The best bet in this game is the under. Neither offense will be able to do much against each defense, leading to a tight, low-scoring game.

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