The number 11 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big 10 travel to Tucson, AZ on Saturday night (10:30 pm EST) to take on the number 23 Arizona Wildcats of the Pac-10 in a matchup of 2-0 teams. Neither team has come close to being tested this season with Iowa blowing out both Eastern IL and Iowa St. by scores of 37-7 and 35-7 respectively, and Arizona steamrolling Toledo 41-2 and the Citadel 52-6. This will be a big test for both teams, as both look to make the leap to serious contender for the BCS title. Iowa was victorious in last year’s meeting by a score of 27-17, as Arizona won ATS and the over came in for the meeting in Iowa City.
Both are led by solid, experienced quarterbacks in Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi and Arizona’s Nick Foles, a Junior transfer from Michigan St. Stanzi in his third year a s a starter, passed for 17 touchdowns with 15 INT’s a year ago, will have to avoid turnovers in the desert if he hopes to pull of a repeat of last year’s win. Foles has looked outstanding so far this year vs. sub-par completion, and threw for over 2400 yards with a 64% completion percentage a year ago and 19 TD’s with only 9 INT’s. The Wildacts running game is built around Nicholas Grigsby, who is averaging 8.4 yards a carry this season and appears to be back to the form he showed two seasons ago when he ran for over 1100 yards wit 13 TD’s. Foles’ top receiver is Junior Juron Criner, who is probable for the game with a shoulder stinger. Stanzi is complemented by running back Adam Robinson, who is averaging 7 yards per rush after playing significantly as a Freshman last season, and tight end Allen Reisner, the latest in a long-line of fine tight ends at Iowa.
Iowa is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games, 12-3 ATS against a team with a winning record. The under is 23-6-1 in the last 30 Iowa road games. The under is 8-3 in the last 11 Arizona home games. Iowa is always strong on special teams, and second team All Big-10 punter Ryan Donahue gives them a big advantage in a ball-control, field position type of a game.
Iowa vs Arizona Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Iowa Hawkeyes +1
@ Arizona Wildcats -1
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Iowa vs Arizona Prediction for Week 3 Saturday Evening Game:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – Take the Hawkeyes to cover the spread in this one as their superior strength upfront will allow them to grind out a tough road win. The Hawkeyes ball –control style translates well on the road, and they should be able to control the clock and keep the ball away from the dangerous Foles while taking the crowd out of the game. The late start minimizes the effect of the desert heat on the boys from Iowa City, and by the fourth quarter, the Wildcats will be the ones who are worn out by the physical Big 10 style of play. PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Iowa +1
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Over/Under Prediction– Go with the trend here and take the under in this one. The offense will not put up the points the way they did in the first two weeks of the season against each other. Iowa will look to run the ball and control the clock, keeping the score down. If Foles and company get the chance to spread their wings, look out, but Iowa will have the conservative game plan necessary to squeak this one out on the road. Take the under if desire to make a play here, this one will come down to the wire.