The freshly ranked and road-tested Hawkeyes get welcomed home for homecoming Saturday, hosting Maryland. 

Some Iowa players shared their turtle experiences with Hawkeye Headquarters reporter Adam Rossow earlier this week, and not all of them came away as fans:

+ Keegan Render: “A couple times a snapping turtle would come up and latch on… that wasn’t such a good experience.”

+ Toren Young: “I didn’t touch it. I stayed away from it. It looked pretty scary.”

But never fear, the experts think this week’s outcome with the Terrapins will be much more positive.

And for good reason. Since Maryland joined the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes have never lost to the Terps at Kinnick.

Yes, they’ve only played twice overall in conference play, losing their first matchup on the road in 2014 but winning a year later at home. Small sample size, but I like their chances.

Still, Maryland beat Texas this season and as you might have heard, “Texas is back” after beating Oklahoma just five weeks later. In fact, the Longhorns are 6-1 and ranked No. 7 in this week’s AP Top 25. But hey, the Hawkeyes are 5-1 and ranked No. 19 with a chance to beat the team that beat the No. 7 team in the country. Can’t complain. Play the teams on the schedule. 

Let’s get to the picks.

Celebrity prediction
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for a second season of picks.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 27, Maryland 7

Featured predictions
Steve Batterson: Iowa 31, Maryland 17
Defensive discipline will be a deciding factor this week against the big-play potential of the Maryland offense. There are lessons to be learned from how Michigan and Temple dealt with the Terps and how Texas struggled to do so. With what Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson have going with Nate Stanley and the return of a full stable of healthy running backs, the Hawkeye offense has enough firepower to add to Iowa’s collection of Big Ten victories.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 30, Maryland 13
Dan Vasko: Iowa 35, Maryland 24

National predictions

Bill Connelly: Iowa 31, Maryland 21

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mitch Light: Iowa 33, Maryland 24
Antwan Staley: Iowa 34, Maryland 24

Bleacher Report
David Kenyon: Iowa 33, Maryland 20

CBS Sports
Dennis Dodd: Iowa
Jerry Palm: Iowa
Tom Fornelli: Iowa
Chip Patterson: Iowa
Barton Simmons: Iowa
Barrett Sallee: Iowa
Ben Kercheval: Iowa

Associated Press
Ralph D. Russo: Iowa 35, Maryland 14

Hawkeye State predictions
The Athletic

Scott Dochterman: Iowa 31, Maryland 16

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 33, Maryland 17

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 27, Maryland 14

Go Iowa Awesome
RossWB: Iowa 34, Maryland 21

All Hawkeyes
Pat Harty: Iowa 34, Maryland 20

Black Heart Gold Pants
Max Brekke: Iowa 24, Maryland 17
Jordan Hansen: Iowa 35, Maryland 24
Hello Jerry: Iowa 34, Maryland 24
Matt Cabel: Iowa 32, Maryland 24
BoilerHawk: Iowa Iowa 28, Maryland 6
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 27, Maryland 17
Doug Saye: Iowa 37, Maryland 20
Trez: Iowa 45, Maryland 23
Matt Reisener:Iowa 35, Maryland 20

#IowaSim18 simulation
Cody Hills: Iowa 34, Maryland 15

Irrelevant prediction
And finally, the totally irrelevant prediction based on playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2004 on a PS2, as is the tradition since 2015.
Ryan Jaster: Hawkeyes 57, Maryland 23. A missed extra point looms large early as the teams trade touchdowns and field goals. Iowa takes a 12-10 halftime lead and quickly builds a 9-point cushion off a turnover to start the second half before Maryland capitalizes on two straight Hawks turnovers inside their own 20 and takes a 23-19 lead. Then it gets out of hand — literally for the turnover-prone Terrapins — as Iowa scores the final 38 points, 31 of them in the fourth quarter. Big plays dominate the game, as the Hawkeyes score on passes of 62, 86 & 54 yards, but the defense comes up huge. Four of the Hawks’ seven turnovers are returned for touchdowns: 7-, 56- & 79-yard fumble returns and a 46-yard interception return. It’s a stunning finish to a game that was close for 2 1/2 quarters.

Prognosis: You know it’s a special season when the Hawkeyes have no detractors among the experts on a regular basis. National, regional, local or virtual, all eyes see an Iowa win. No pain predicted.

For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on all season. We’re the only Quad-Cities station to follow Iowa at home and on the road, so travel with us to Penn State, Purdue and Illinois to finish off the season.