IOWA: Five Days and Counting

Indiana (3-1) will try to get back on track Saturday when it takes on Iowa (2-2) at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. HoosierNation.com begins its day-by-day preview of the match-up with five numbers to note about the Hawks, including an uncharacteristic conference losing streak...

5 – Iowa's national ranking in scoring defense. While Coach Kirk Ferentz's team is off to a disappointing 2-2 start, the defense isn't to blame. Defensive Coordinator Norm Park are giving up only 8.75 points/game, and haven't given up more than 17 in any game this season (vs. Wisconsin in 17-13 loss). Iowa didn't allow a touchdown in its first three games and extended its streak to 13 straight quarters without surrendering a touchdown before Wisconsin scored just before the half. Led by All-America candidate Mitch King at defensive tackle, Iowa is giving up only 235.5 yards/game (6th nationally), including just 147.0 yards/game passing. Wisconsin's 304 yards of total offense over the weekend was the biggest output for any of their first four foes.

39.3 – rushing yards/game for Iowa starting tailback Albert Young during the last three games. Young opened the season with a 23-carry, 144-yard, one-touchdown effort in Iowa's season-opening 16-3 win over Northern Illinois, but has seen his productivity drop off significantly the last three weeks. In those games (W vs. Syracuse; L at Iowa State; L at Wisconsin) Young has also only averaged 11.7 carries per game. Iowa is using a pair of tailbacks as Damian Sims is getting nearly as many carries as Young, but he hasn't been much better. Sims is averaging 45.7 yards/game during the last three weeks. Young missed last year's game against IU in Bloomington, and Sims responded with a 22-carry, 94-yard, two-touchdown effort in the Hoosiers' 31-28 win.

+1.25 – Iowa's turnover margin, which ranks 16th nationally. That's something to note considering the three fumbles and one interception Indiana lost in Saturday's 27-14 loss to Illinois. This marks a significant turnaround for the Hawkeyes, who were ranked 111th out of 119 Division I teams last year with a -.85 turnover margin. The biggest issue a year ago was the 19 interceptions that Iowa quarterbacks threw, including 13 by starter Drew Tate. The Hawkeyes have been much better with that this season, as starter Jake Christensen has thrown only one interception in the first four games.

5 –number of starters Iowa could be without for Saturday's game. In the first quarter of this weekend's loss at Wisconsin, Iowa lost tight end Tony Moeaki (dislocated elbow), receiver Andy Brodell (hamstring) and guard Julian Vandervelde (sprained ankle) to injuries. On top of that, kicker Austin Signor (hip pointer) and receiver Trey Stross (hamstring) were already sidelined. The most likely to return appears to be Vandervelde, but the other four could very well miss the match-up at Kinnick Stadium.

6 – consecutive Big Ten losses for Iowa. The third-winningest program in the Big Ten since 2003 behind Ohio State and Michigan, the Hawkeyes have fallen on hard times as of late. It all started last October, when Indiana knocked off then-No. 15 and 5-1 Iowa, 31-28, in Bloomington. Ferentz's team then promptly lost league games to Michigan (20-6), Northwestern (21-7), Wisconsin (24-21) and Minnesota (34-24) before opening this season with the 17-13 loss to the Badgers. Before that run, Iowa had gone 18-6 in its previous 24 Big Ten games dating back to 2003.

What's coming up:

On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

Peegs.com Top Stories