Iowa Offense vs. Arizona Defense
|Category||Iowa O: Stat||Iowa O: Rank||Arizona D: Stat||Arizona D: Rank||Advantage|
|3rd Down Conversion||56.00||10||36.36||63||+|
|Red Zone %||80.00||70||50.00||7||+|
Arizona's defense has been absolutely dominant thus far. They have not given up a single touchdown and the only two scores that came on the defense were two late field goals against The Citadel. They have been stifling against the pass and held The Citadel to just 22 yards through the air. The run defense has been slightly less effective as Toledo's running back averaged 5.0 yards per carry and The Citadel's averaged 4.8.
Iowa has been cruising along on offense as well as I can ever remember this early in the season. Stanzi has been sharp thus far but will need to be patient and smart against Arizona's talented secondary. Iowa should have an advantage running the ball. Robinson has been averaging 7.0 yards per carry in his two games and Hampton averaged 4.2 last week. If Iowa can match the average of the two backs Arizona has faced thus far, then it should help Iowa's offense immensely.
Overall Advantage: Pretty even...slight advantage to Arizona in the air, slight advantage to Iowa on the ground
Iowa Defense vs. Arizona Offense
|Category||Iowa D: Stat||Iowa D: Rank||Arizona O: Stat||Arizona O: Rank||Advantage|
|3rd Down Conversion||30.00||34||60.87||5|
|Red Zone %||50.00||7||83.00||61||+|
Arizona has been rolling on offense under the command of QB Nick Foles. Foles has completed a ridiculous 83% of his passes this year for 574 yards. However, he has only thrown 3 touchdowns and has been picked off twice. Foles is a pocket-passer and his goal is to get rid of the ball quickly. Unlike many of the spread offenses Iowa will face this year, Foles at QB is not a threat to run the ball. They do have a good running back though in Nic Grigsby who is averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He is also a good receiver coming out of the back field.
Defensively, Iowa has been its stellar self. There seems to be little drop off at linebacker with Edds and Angerer now in the NFL and the D-Line has been living up to its high expectations. Iowa's defense should match up pretty well with the Wildcat's offense. Iowa will sit back and let Foles dink and dunk waiting for a mistake. The D-Line should be able to get some pressure or at least disrupt passing lanes which could throw off the timing between Foles and his receivers. Iowa shouldn't have much trouble shutting down the run. Last year, with the exception of one long run, Grigsby was not able to get much going.
Overall Advantage: Slight advantage to Iowa, especially in the run game
Iowa Special Teams vs. Arizona Special Teams
|Category||Iowa ST: Stat||Iowa ST: Rank||Arizona ST: Stat||Arizona ST: Rank||Advantage|
Arizona has a good place kicker in Alex Zendejas that has proven his worth in the past. He connected on 17/22 field goals last year and is 1/1 this year. Mossbrucker on the other hand hasn't kicked a field goal in a game since middle of the 2008 season. He red-shirted last year and wasn't needed the past 2 weeks. Murray could be back from injury, but I wouldn't count on that. If the game is on the line for a kicker to make a field goal, you'd probably take Zendejas over Mossbrucker at this point.
Net punting has been nearly identical between the two teams, but Iowa really does have an advantage with Ryan Donahue. He had 2 punts get caught up in the wind last week for touchbacks, which impacted his net punt average quite negatively. He is averaging about 10 yards further in actual punt yards than Arizona's punter, Keenyn Crier.
Iowa has had some issues with kickoff coverage but that will probably be corrected this week. Ferentz said last night on his call-in radio show that Bruce Davis and Jeff Tarpinian have been installed on the coverage team. You may recall from last year that these two were absolute missiles on special teams (like that hit Tarpinian laid in the Michigan game).
For kickoff distance, Iowa should hold the edge there with freshman Mike Meyer who has been consistently getting the ball near or past the goal line. Arizona's kicker only averaged 63 yards on his kickoffs.
Overall Advantage: About even, though Iowa's kickers may have stronger legs