Iowa vs. Michigan State: Game Day

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The need to know
What: Iowa vs. Michigan State
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City
When: 2:30 PM
TV: ABC/ESPN (Coverage Map)

Iowa injury report
Out: Jewel Hampton (torn ACL), Bruce Davis (torn ACL), Jason White (sprained knee)
Questionable: Jeff Tarpinian (stinger), Jeremiha Hunter (knee)
Probable: Troy Johnson (minor undisclosed injury)

Key to the game
(I apologize in advance for the terrible Halloween references)

Trick or Treat: Michigan State likes to run fakes and trick plays probably more than any other team in the Big Ten and Coach Dantonio has no problem calling for the high risk trick for the highly rewarding treat. With Iowa's vulnerability on covering fakes, I expect Iowa to be in punt safe, field goal safe, everything safe all day. Don't expect the defense to come off the field until the ball is securely in the offense's hands. However, Northwestern was in punt safe last weekend when Michigan State pulled off a fake punt that was part of a big comeback, so the corner backs are going to need to be on high alert at all times.

Beast mode: Michigan State's offensive line is probably weaker than the others that Iowa has faced in the Big Ten. The defensive line needs to take advantage of that and play like the beasts that they have been touted as. QB Kirk Cousins is a pocket passer and is very efficient when he has time to scan the field. Iowa needs to put pressure on him and get him out of his comfort zone. Unlink many of the other quarterbacks Iowa has faced this year, he is not going to beat you with his feet.

Iowa's defensive line also needs to be disruptive against the run, especially with the likely very inexperienced linebacking corps behind them. Michigan State has struggled to establish the run the past couple of weeks against Illinois and Northwestern. If the d-line doesn't control the line of scrimmage, the Michigan State has a trio of running backs (Baker, Bell, and Caper) that can punish Iowa.

BRAAIINS: Iowa doesn't want to act like zombies at all, but will need to use their brains better than last weekend. Iowa can't afford to make similar mental errors to those made last week. Iowa needs to limit the penalties (especially in key situations), win the turnover battle (which they actually did win last week), not fall for fakes, and if necessary manage the clock effectively.

Prediction
  • Iowa will give MSU a dose of its own medicine, using a trick play to provide a big spark.
  • The defense registers 3 sacks and pressure on Cousins forces an interception.
  • Stanzi continues to be extremely effective and connects with DJK for 2 more TDs bringing their total to 10 for the year.
  • Adam Robinson goes for 100 yards for the 3rd straight game and 6th time this season.
Final Score: Iowa 28 - Michigan State 23
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