IOWA: Five Days and Counting

Indiana (4-4/1-3) has to find a way to recover from a heartbreaking loss on Saturday when it takes on No. 6 Iowa (8-0/4-0) at Kinnick Stadium. Hoosier Nation looks at Five Numbers to Note about this match-up...

42 – years since Indiana beat a team ranked as high as Iowa. The Hawkeyes entered last week's games ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll and figure to remain there following their last-second 15-13 win at Michigan State Saturday night. The last time Indiana knocked off a team ranked No. 7 or higher was on Nov. 25, 1967, when it topped No. 3 Purdue 19-14 in front of 52,770 at Memorial Stadium to secure its one and only Rose Bowl bid. Indiana will also be looking for its first win over a top-10 team in 22 years, dating back to "The Darkest Day in Ohio State History" - a 31-10 Indiana win over No. 9 Ohio State in Columbus on Oct. 10, 1987.

15 - interceptions for the Iowa defense, best in the nation. Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker's unit is led in the category by strong safety Tyler Sash, who ranks sixth nationally with five interceptions. Free safety Brett Greenwood (3 interceptions), cornerback Amari Spievey (2 interceptions), and linebacker A.J. Edds (2 interceptions) also have multiple picks, while there are seven players total with at least one interception. Add those interceptions to Iowa's seven fumble recoveries and Iowa has 22 takeaways total compared to only 11 turnovers, ranking Coach Kirk Ferentz's team sixth nationally in turnover margin with a +1.38/game. Iowa has lost the turnover battle only once this season, turning it over twice compared to one takeaway in its season-opening 17-16 win over Northern Iowa.

1 - game Iowa has won this season by more than 11 points. The Hawkeyes are off to their first-ever 8-0 start, and road victories at Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State have clearly established them as the class of the Big Ten. But they've hardly been dismantling the competition along the way. Other than a 35-3 victory over Iowa State, every one of Iowa's victories haven't been in doubt until the fourth quarter. Two of the wins have come on the game's final play, including two blocked field goals in the final seconds in the one-point win over Northern Iowa and a 7-yard Ricky Stanzi-to-Marvin McNutt touchdown pass on the game's final play against Michigan State. It all adds up to a +8.8 scoring margin, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten behind Penn State (+21.3), Ohio State (+16.1) and Michigan (+10.4).

10 – Iowa's Big Ten ranking in total offense. Iowa is averaging just 342.1 yards/game, including 123.0/game on the ground (9th in the Big Ten) and 219.1/game through the air (6th). Coach Kirk Feretz's team has zero games of 450 total yards this season (Indiana has done it against Michigan and Illinois) and they've been held to less than 300 total yards in three of four Big Ten games. Instead of relying on an explosive offense, Iowa has instead counted on a turnover-producing defense and very reliable special teams units.

+62 Iowa's scoring differential in the second halves of games. The Hawkeyes have outscored its first eight foes by only nine combined nine points in the opening half (76-67), but they've dominated the second halves of games to the tune of a 113-51 edge. That late production has been critical, as Iowa has trailed at halftime three times this season and its been either tied or trailed in the fourth quarter four times in its first eight games. Indiana, by contrast, is a -17 in scoring differential in the second halves compared to a -6 in the first halves.

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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