Each week during the season the Hawkeye Headquarters staff will predict the outcome of the Iowa football game.

Blake Hornstein (4-0): I’ve been feeling a lot of déjà vu lately. It’s hard to put into words –but bear with me.

Last season, Iowa travels to No. 2 Ohio State. Never had much of a chance. Gets killed, fans want Kirk fired — and journalists are screaming nepotism. The offense had reached an all-time low, and some wondered if it was time for the head Hawk to ride off into the sunset.

And then, the sun rose the next week. Iowa’s offense looked good enough to score a season-high 33 against Northwestern — and looked arguably its best the following week against Purdue. And yes, Spencer Petras, many of us had you dead two weeks ago.

I understand everybody’s pain. And yes, Iowa will most likely un-pants themselves again if, say, they make it to Indy after all to face whichever Goliath comes out of the other division. But Mel Tucker’s not coming to Kinnick this week, and a 2-2 Michigan State groveling in its own dysfunction is just what the doctor ordered.

No new playbook necessary this week, Kirk.

Prediction: Iowa 30, Michigan State 14

Ryan Jaster (3-1): There’s nothing like the catharsis of “Kinnick After Dark.” Iowa doesn’t win them all, but a good time is usually had by everyone. It’s just what the doctor ordered (whoa, déjà vu) after the trip to Penn State came up empty. And there might be no better opponent than Michigan State.

There are some epic games in the series, but the two teams haven’t played much since the Big Ten Football Championship Game eight years ago – and never at night in Iowa City.

The Spartans are reeling, and the Hawkeyes – despite fan sentiment – rarely do. The opportunity to bounce back, pad stats and win back black hearts in black pants during a blackout is there.

The Totally Irrelevant Prediction doesn’t think it will be close, thanks to the defense. Two fumble returns for touchdowns give the offense room to breathe — and score two of their own — in a 31-14 win. For Iowa fans’ sakes, let’s hope the Hawkeyes come through with a similarly easy stroll to victory. Signs point to yes: The Hawkologist’s prognosis is a 2 on the 6-point pain index.

Here’s a look at what others from near and far expect, starting with the weather:

David Eickholt: Iowa 20, Michigan State 10. It’s tough to bet on Iowa’s offense at this point, but Michigan State is a program that is free-falling, especially with the firing of Mel Tucker. The Hawkeyes have always been a great bounce-back team and there’s no better time for Kirk Ferentz. It’s put up or shut up time.

Bill Connelly: Iowa 23, Michigan State 15

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Joe Vitale: Iowa
Luke Easterling: Iowa

Bleacher Report
David Kenyon:
Iowa 23, Michigan State 14

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Wide receiver Jayden Reed #5 of the Michigan State Spartans is brought down in the second half by defensive backs Kaevon Merriweather #26, Reggie Bracy #7 and Daraun McKinney #14 of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on November 7, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)