1)STOP THE RUN-The Hawkeyes could only muster up a 2.8 yards per carry at home against Northern Iowa which is awful. There is no reason that the Cyclone defense should let redshirt freshman running back Adam Robinson come into Ames and have a big game. This game should be a very good test to see if the Cyclone defensive line has made any real improvement from last season.
2)DOMINATE THIRD DOWN-Iowa only converted three of twelve third downs against Northern Iowa and this should be a huge factor in Ames on Saturday. This was a problem for the Cyclones last year and they must step up on third down if they expect to beat the Hawkeyes. The key in doing this will likely be shadowing Hawkeye tight end Tony Moeaki who had ten catches last week for 83 yards and a touchdown. In order to improve their third down percentage it's likely Iowa will look for Moeaki on a very consistent basis.
3)SECONDARY MUST STEP UP-Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi is not a star but he clearly can make plays which means the Cyclone secondary will have to step at crucial times on Saturday. The secondary was a disaster much of last year and Saturday will provide a very solid measuring stick for how much our young cornerbacks have improved and for how well newcomer David Sims can play against solid competition.