Pregame predictions for MSU vs. Iowa
Jesse: Earlier in the week, I did a quick Q&A with The Daily Iowan in which they asked me to predict today’s game. Then, I guessed the Spartans (4-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) would eke out a 24-21 victory over the Hawkeyes (3-2, 1-0). Now, after walking 20 minutes in the pouring rain to Spartan Stadium and watching both teams warm up in that same rain before about 2,000 students and maybe 100 total other fans, respectfully, I’d like a mulligan.
The fact of the matter is, neither team is an offensive juggernaut. MSU has begun to see its passing game click, but that doesn’t really do you a lick of good when it’s raining and sloppy down there. Both teams will have to rely on their running games, and I’d say that puts both teams on about even footing.
Iowa’s had some serious issues with its running game as the Hawkeyes have had such a bad run of luck, a veritable “Iowa running back curse” theory is in play. This fall, they’ve lost three backs already, and will be going against the Big Ten’s top rushing defense in MSU. However, Iowa has a strong offensive line and walk-on running back Mark Weisman has the potential to wear down the D with his powerful running style.
Meanwhile, MSU obviously will be led by junior running back Le’Veon Bell, who enjoys leaping tall defenders in a single bound. However, Bell and the rushing game have struggled since the offensive line has been riddled with injuries, and Bell may find himself in position for another 40-carry game.
As it stands, this game will still be close. But expect a sloppy, drag-it-out brawl between the two teams with just barely enough scoring to declare a winner. Spartan fans, you might not want to hear it, but this game likely will swing on the leg of senior kicker Dan Conroy.
MSU barely edges the Hawkeyes on Homecoming, 9-6.
Josh: I’d have to agree that a day of miserable weather deserves miserable football.
Both of these teams enjoy playing ugly, old school, Big Ten football, and the weather should oblige.
This is a big game for an MSU football team looking to find a rhythm before the toughest gauntlet of their schedule begins next week.
Clicking on all cylinders won’t be easy, but I see the Spartans scratching out a hard fought win, 13-10.