Back-to-back road games after four straight home games to start the season is no simple task, especially when you consider the stakes of last week’s win.
Sure, no one picked Minnesota to win — and they didn’t. But Iowa won’t have that luxury this week.
With Floyd of Rosedale safely returned to Iowa City, the focus shifts to Indiana before coming home again for homecoming against Maryland. A trap, perhaps? The last time I attended a game in Bloomington, Ricky Stanzi, Marvin McNutt and the Hawkeyes won on a dropped pass in the endzone in the final seconds that was “way-too-close.” It was Kirk Ferentz’s 100th. So anything can happen.
But let’s see what the experts say.
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for a second season of picks.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 35, Indiana 7
Steve Batterson: Iowa 27, Indiana 24. Indiana has no shortage of offensive firepower, but the ability of the Iowa defense to grind running games to a halt can provide the Hawkeyes with an edge once again Saturday. That played into Ohio State’s hands a week ago, when the Hoosiers became a one-dimensional team in a 49-26 win over Indiana. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey, capable of beating opponents with his arm or feet, threw for 322 yards in the loss, but the Hoosiers collected just 84 rushing yards. If Iowa can match that effort – the Hawkeyes are allowing 84.4 yards per game on the ground – expect Iowa to enjoy a game-deciding defensive difference.
Early kickoff time at Indiana means @danvasko and I get our @HawkeyeHQ predictions out a little earlier. Can the #Hawkeyes keep rolling at the #Hoosiers Homecoming? pic.twitter.com/2IJIR2l3Fz— Adam Rossow (@AdamJRossow) October 11, 2018
Bill Connelly: Iowa
David Kenyon: Indiana 27, Iowa 24
Hawkeye State predictions
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 34, Indiana 27
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 31, Indiana 27
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 31, Indiana 24
Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Iowa 31, Indiana 27
Pat Harty: Iowa 31, Indiana 23
Black Heart Gold Pants
Max Brekke: Iowa 30, Indiana 22
Jordan Hansen: Iowa 38, Indiana 17
JPinIC: Iowa 38, Indiana 31
Hello Jerry: Iowa 42, Indiana 31
Matt Cabel: Iowa 21, Indiana 17
BoilerHawk: Iowa 34, Indiana 28
Benjamin Ross: Iowa 31, Indiana 27
Doug: Iowa 35, Indiana 24
Trez: Iowa 38, Indiana 24
Cody Hills: Iowa 24, Indiana 21
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 28, Indiana 17. Iowa’s productive first drive ends suddenly, with three sacks and a failed fake punt. Indiana capitalizes with a field goal. The Hawks respond with a 74-yard touchdown pass, followed by 75- and 32-yard TD passes for 21 consecutive points. Indiana makes it interesting with two late touchdowns — one on a fake field goal — but a fumble at the 10 followed by a 10-yard strike seals it.
This week’s totally irrelevant prediction: #Hawkeyes 28, Indiana 17. 3 sacks & a stopped fake punt help Hoosiers strike 1st w/ FG, but Hawks answer with 74-, 75- & 32-yard TD passes for 21 consecutive points. It gets interesting late, but a fumble at the 10 sets up final Iowa TD. pic.twitter.com/7mXcHsrx5c— HawkeyeHQ.com’s Ryan Jaster (@Hawkologist) October 13, 2018
Prognosis: The experts don’t have the confidence in the Hawkeyes they had a week ago, with many close scores and comebacks expected. (Don’t forget to click all of those links above for the details.) And if the national expert load hadn’t lightened a bit this week there might have been even more Indiana upset picks. But overall they feel Iowa will return from the road practically unscathed again. This might hurt a little: Slight pain predicted.
For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season. We’re the only Quad-Cities station to follow Iowa at home and on the road, so travel with us to Indiana on Saturday, then Penn State, Purdue and Illinois later in the season.