IOWA: Five Days and Counting

Indiana (2-3/0-2) looks for its first win in a month when it takes on Iowa (3-3/0-2) Saturday at Noon at Memorial Stadium. HoosierNation.com kicks off its day-by-day preview of this weekend's match-up with "Five Numbers to Note" about the contest…

11.2 – points per game that Iowa is giving up this season, which ranks second nationally. While Iowa is off to a disappointing start with three straight losses, the blame can't be placed on Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker's unit. Iowa is giving up only 98.8 yards/game rushing and 182.3 yards/game through the air, and they've surrendered only seven touchdowns in the first six games. They've been especially good inside the red zone, where opponents have scored touchdowns on only six of 15 opportunities. The Hawkeyes' defense is anchored by defensive tackle Mitch King, a first-team All-Big Ten choice a year ago who has 24 tackles and a team-best six tackles for loss.

9 – combined points Iowa has lost its three games by in the last three weeks. After starting 3-0, the Hawkeyes lost to Pitt 21-20, Northwestern 22-17, and most recently 16-13 at Michigan State. Iowa has had great chances to win each of the past two weeks - against Northwestern it had a first-and-goal at the Northwestern eight-yard line in the final two minutes, but quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw four straight incompletions. This past weekend Iowa had a 4th-and-1 at the Michigan State 21-yard line with 2:16 remaining, and instead of attempting a game-tying 38-yard field goal was stopped on a fourth down run. The three straight narrow losses extends a disturbing trend for Coach Kirk Ferentz, who is now 3-9 in his last 12 games decided by 10 points or less dating back to the 2006 season.

3 – players from the state of Indiana who are playing prominent roles on the Hawkeyes this season. A.J. Edds is a 6-4, 244-pound outside linebacker from Greenwood H.S. who has started all six games this season and ranks sixth on the team with 26 tackles, 2 ½ tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. The other significant contributor is freshman kicker Trent Mossbrucker, who has been handling most of the short-range placekicking responsibilities as of late. Mossbrucker started the year by alternating with veteran walk-on Daniel Murray on a quarter-by-quarter basis, but that changed after a 35-yard second quarter miss by Murray against Pitt. Mossbrucker has handled the placekicking duties since and is 8-of-9 on field goals this season (all attempts inside 39 yards) and a perfect 9-of-9 on PATs. The third Indiana native on the Hawkeyes is former Warren Central running back Jewel Hampton, who is second on the depth chart and has 30 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

13 – seniors on the rosters of both teams, making Iowa and Indiana two of the youngest teams in the country. The only teams in the country with fewer seniors are Alabama (9), Middle Tennessee State (9), Central Michigan (10), Toledo (10), North Carolina (11), Minnesota (11), Arizona (11), Central Florida (12), Illinois (12), Fresno State (12), UTEP (12). Iowa depends on its seniors more than Indiana, though, as eight of Iowa's seniors are starters. Indiana, meanwhile, has only three senior starters – running back Marcus Thigpen, defensive tackle Greg Brown, and linebacker Geno Johnson.

9 – sacks recorded by IU's defense against Iowa in last season's 38-20 win in Iowa City. Jammie Kirlew led the way with 3 ½ sacks in the game, while Greg Middleton had 2 ½, and Ryan Marando, Keith Burrus and Tracy Porter had one apiece. Iowa has been much better in keeping its quarterbacks on their feet this season, as opposing teams have totaled only 10 sacks in the first six games. A year ago Indiana did its damage against quarterback Jake Christensen, who remains on the Iowa roster. But he's been splitting time with sophomore Ricky Stanzi, who has started the last two games for Coach Kirk Ferentz.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction


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