Game Prediction: #10 Iowa Hawkeyes at #9 Iowa State Cyclones

Irish Breakdown makes predictions for the big in-state battle between Iowa and Iowa State
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There is a lot more at stake than just in-state bragging rights when #10 Iowa travels to #9 Iowa State. Both teams are looking to build possible College Football Playoff resumes, and of course conference bragging rights will also be on the line.

Irish Breakdown makes predictions for the matchup.


Prediction: Iowa State 24, Iowa 20

Iowa got a lot of credit for pounding an overrated Indiana (34-6) squad last weekend while many are jumping off the Iowa State bandwagon after the Cyclones beat Northern Iowa by just a 16-10 score.

Iowa's offense wasn't nearly as impressive as its margin of victory shows. The Cyclone defense returned two interceptions and had three more scoring drives covered less than 50 yards. Quarterback Spencer Petras completed just 48.1% of his throws against Indiana and the Hawkeye ground attack wasn't exactly great outside of one long run from star running back Tyler Goodson.

Iowa State wasn't any better but the Cyclones have a bit more firepower on offense and Matt Campbell is due for a victory in this series, so I'm going with his squad in this in-state battle.


Prediction: Iowa 21, Iowa State 14

This is an intriguing matchup for a number of reasons. First, I am still not sold on Iowa State. There were a lot of people on the hype train for Iowa State the past two years and when I saw them in person and the Camping World Bowl against ND I was not in any way impressed. Now it has been two years since then and Brock Purdy and Co. have had some time to grow and mature but I still need to see it. Their 16-10 win over Northern Iowa does not inspire enough confidence in me. 

The final reason this one is so interesting to me is because of what Iowa did to the media darling Indiana Hoosiers last week. That game was over moments after the initial kick. Iowa dominated IU in just about every phase of the game. Can this defense keep the Iowa State offense in check? More importantly, can the Iowa offense score. They need to show it in a big way in this one and I think they will.


Prediction: Iowa State 24, Iowa 16

This is one of the more under-appreciated rivalries in college football. After week one, it seems as though Iowa should win this game handily, after the Hawkeyes blew the doors off of top-25 ranked Indiana while Iowa State squeaked past Northern Iowa 16-10. But, I expect this game to be close and a battle of two great defenses.

Iowa State is going to need much more offensively than they had in week one if they want to beat Iowa for the first time since 2014, and the Hawkeyes defense forced three interceptions and held Indiana to just 77 total rushing yards. But, the same is true for Iowa and quarterback Spencer Petras, who was 13 of 27 for 145 yards and no touchdowns against Indiana. The Cyclones have a top defense in the country in a unit that returned 10 starters from last season. I expect Brock Purdy and Breece Hall to get the Cyclone offense going and the defense to do the rest. Cyclones take down Hawkeyes for the first time in a while.


Prediction: Iowa 23, Iowa State 16

Iowa State entered the 2021 season with more preseason expectations than at any time in the program’s history, and promptly almost squandered all that good will in Week 1, barely scraping by FCS Northern Iowa 16-10. On the flip side, Iowa enters this matchup with momentum, having destroyed then-#17 Indiana 34-6.

Though Iowa State has a strong coaching staff led by Matt Campbell that has excelled in getting the most out of the talent on the roster, the fact remains that outside of a couple positions, Iowa State is not as talented of a team as Iowa – and even more so when compared to other Power 5 programs nationally. The 247 Team Talent Composite ranking, which considers cumulative recruiting classes, transfers, and exits, ranks the Cyclones’ roster 57th in the country in 2021 in terms of talent, well behind Iowa (42nd), along with other “powerhouses” Northwestern, Illinois, SMU, and Oregon State.

If the Cyclones couldn’t get open or run the ball consistently against Northern Iowa (only 335 total yards), they won’t be able to against the more talented Hawkeyes, who are led by a stifling defense. Iowa will control the game from start to finish, taking the crowd at Jack Trice Stadium out of the game early and extending the nation’s longest streak of holding opponents under 25 points to 24 games.


Prediction: Iowa State 27, Iowa 17

The biggest shocker of week 1 had to be Iowa’s dismantling of the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes carried their momentum from last season into the season opener and it bodes well for them as they travel to Ames. Tyler Goodson and Breese Hall are the stars of this matchup, and I can see them both having some mild success, but the quarterbacks will decide this battle. The energy of a filled stadium was a definitive edge at Kinnick last week, but can the Hawkeyes respond to that energy coming from the opponent’s fans this week. Brock Purdy makes just enough plays to pull out a win late in the fourth quarter.


Prediction: Iowa 27, Iowa State 17

The Cyclones were overlooking a good UNI team last week. Meanwhile, Iowa dominate what was probably an over-hyped Indiana team.

The difference in this one will be Iowa’ back 7. They are elite, and it’ll be tough for Iowa State to get much done through the air. Breece Hall alone can’t beat Iowa.


Prediction: Iowa 28, Iowa State 17

Iowa looked fantastic in week one, dominating Indiana 34-6. Iowa State, on the other hand, narrowly squeaked by FCS foe Northern Iowa. I'm buying into Iowa. Their defense plays fast and aggressively. Running back Tyler Goodson is an ascending star in college football. I envision Brock Purdy running for his life a bit in this one. 

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