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The Battle for Bragging Rights: Cyclones v. Hawkeyes, Saturday in Ames

Clash of state foes is set for tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. Tell us your prediction.

Records: University of Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0, last game defeated Tennessee Tech 34-7); Iowa State University Cyclones (1-0, defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers 20-19)
Kickoff Time:
11:00 p.m. CST
Television:  Fox Sports Net

Here is a link to more details about the game, , and here is an article about tailgating rules.

Summary: Rivalry games are usually extremely difficult to predict even when the gap of talent between the two teams is obvious. With the strange openers for both Iowa and Iowa State last week, the outcome becomes even more unclear.

Last week Iowa State, missing several starters for various reasons, struggled in the home opener against Northern Iowa, needing a clutch fourth-quarter drive from new quarterback Steele Jantz to prevent an upset loss.

That drive was one of the few things that went right for Jantz, a coveted junior-college recruit, as he completed just 18 of 40 passes with three interceptions in his debut. 

Question: Was this shakiness due to the missing players (some of whom should return Saturday) and first game unpleasantness? Or does it point to some systematic weaknesses for the Cyclones that it will take more than a week to solve?

On the Iowa side, the Hawkeyes looked fairly competent against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, although they failed to score as much as they might have due to key mistakes. Of course, that might have something to do with the Biblical level of rain that was unleashed from the sky during the game.

So, the Hawkeyes soundly beat a bad team in terrible weather. What does that mean as a predictor? Probably even less than first games usually do, which isn't much.

Questions: Can Iowa running back Marcus Coker hang on to the ball this game? Is quarterback James Vandenberg ready for his first road win as signal caller? How will the young but talented Iowa defense do against the Cyclone spread attack?

Your guess is as good as mine. (In fact, your guess is probably better.) Want to make a prediction? Leave yours in the comments area below.

Predictions:

Iowa City Editor Stephen Schmidt: Iowa wins, 20-13. I expect if Iowa wins the margin of victory will most likely be between 3 and 10 points, which is probably why those sly devils in Vegas have the line set at 6.

Associate Regional Editor Brian Morelli: Iowa wins, 35-10. I expect to be mowing my lawn by the third quarter.

Iowa Regional Editor Todd Richissin: Iowa wins, 31-17. The only thing more certain than the final score is the number of turnovers, which I'm putting at five total.

Ames Editor Jessica Miller: Iowa State wins, 100 to negative one hundred-and-eleventy-11. I hope Iowa State wins because it's the first and only time I will be watching live.

Jessica Miller September 11, 2011 at 03:18 PM
I was right! You all were wrong!!
B.A. Morelli September 12, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Yes. Yes. Luckily for me I had no money on the line.
Stephen Schmidt September 12, 2011 at 12:44 AM
Yes, but it looks like I picked the keys to the game pretty well. What we learned: Was this shakiness due to the missing players (some of whom should return Saturday) and first game unpleasantness? Looks like it was a combo of both. Or does it point to some systematic weaknesses for the Cyclones that it will take more than a week to solve? Not against Iowa. However, their depth still isn't great, and their schedule is brutal. Can Iowa running back Marcus Coker hang on to the ball this game? Kind of. Is quarterback James Vandenberg ready for his first road win as signal caller? Not quite. How will the young but talented Iowa defense do against the Cyclone spread attack? Not well.

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