Iowa vs. Minnesota: Numbers

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It's time again to look at the statistics for the upcoming game. Things are pretty straight forward this week. When Iowa has the ball, it will be a pretty even match up between two mediocre units. But when Minnesota has the ball, Iowa's defense should have the huge upper hand.

Iowa Offense vs. Minnesota Defense

CategoryIowa OffenseMinnesota DefenseAdvantage
StatRankStatRank
Rushing Yards114.4598
155.0974
M
Passing Yards230.8248
226.7371
H
Passing Efficiency
123.4482
125.5259
M
Sacks2.0968
1.4594
H
Total Yards345.2787
381.8279
-
Scoring24.0984
25.7370
M
Turnovers24107
2222
MMMM
3rd Down Conversion40.7652
47.34111
HHH
Red Zone %84
48
80
44
-

This is pretty close across the board and the story is pretty clear...both teams are not very good. Besides turnovers and 3rd down conversion, Iowa's offense and Minnesota's defense rankings are nearly the same....all ranking in the 70-90 range.

Iowa's running game has not been extremely effective this year, but Wegher and Robinson should both be playing this week (the tandem hasn't been together since Michigan State). Minnesota has given up lots of yards on the ground and Iowa's offensive line should be able to get a good push against the Gopher front 4.

The Gopher front 4 is not very good, and for the first time in a long time
(maybe all season) there isn't really an elite defensive lineman that Iowa has to worry about. Minnesota does not get great pressure on the QB, which should mean good things for Vandenberg.

The one thing Iowa has to look out for (and that has doomed them in the losses) is turnovers. Minnesota has been able to stay close in games, despite their poor defense, by creating turnovers and Iowa has been all too cavalier with the ball.

Overall Advantage: Even (Maybe Iowa has a slight edge if the offensive line can play well)

Iowa Defense vs. Minnesota Offense

CategoryIowa DefenseMinnesota OffenseAdvantage
StatRankStatRank
Rushing Yards128.7343
102.09107
HHH
Passing Yards165.7310
202.3678
HHH
Passing Efficiency
96.026
120.2286
HHHH
Sacks2.1052
3.09110
HHH
Total Yards294.4511
304.45112
HHHHH
Scoring16.911723.5588
HHH
Turnovers268
24107
HHHH
3rd Down Conversion37.7252
37.4175
H
Red Zone %88
99
8
26
MMM

This is probably the most lopsided match up of the year.
Minnesota's offense is just plain bad and Iowa has one of the best defenses in the country. It all starts along the line for both teams.

Minnesota's offensive line has been very poor this year. They are unable to create holes in the run game and give up over 3 sacks a game. When he has time, Weber has been okay at quarterback, but does not put up any numbers that would scare Iowa's stout pass defense.

Iowa's defensive line should be able to create all sorts of problems for Minnesota. The wildcat has worked okay against Iowa so I wouldn't be surprised if Gray gets a lot of touches in this game.

Minnesota has been good in the red zone, but it is not likely that they will see much time on Iowa's side of the field. If Minnesota is able to put up more than 10 points I would be very surprised.

Overall Advantage: Iowa by a large margin

Iowa Special Teams vs. Minnesota Special Teams

CategoryIowa Special TeamsMinnesota Special TeamsAdvantage
Stat
RankStatRank
Kick Returns23.11
41
23.4138
-
Punt Returns 7.77
79
15.6716
MMM
Net Punting 38.10
18
39.269
-
Field Goal %69.6

61
78.6
36
MM

Both teams do a very good job punting and covering punts. Iowa will need to watch out for the Minnesota punt return...though they've only returned 6 punts all year, they have been big returns.

I thought Murray would be an advantage last week and it turned out the OSU's backup kicker made the game winning field goal while Murray missed a 22-yarder. So this week I going with Minnesota having an advantage in the kicking game. Though I don't think Minnesota will get in field goal range a lot, and I think Iowa will be scoring touchdowns.

Overall Advantage: Minnesota...very slightly

Prediction: Iowa may not do a whole lot on offense this game, but it won't matter. The defense will completely shut down Minnesota to the point that a 24 point effort by the offense may look like a blowout.

Iowa 24 - Minnesota 3
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