THE BREAKDOWN: Indiana

It's rarely an easy game for Iowa not matter what the standings say. Indiana tends to give the Hawkeyes fits. HI Publisher Rob Howe takes a look at this weekend's match-up in The Breakdown.

IOWA CITY, Ia. - It's a classic let-down scenario for Iowa. The Hawkeyes head to Indiana this weekend fresh off of a win against then-No. 5 and previously unbeaten Michigan State. The Hoosiers are winless in the Big Ten.

"Right now we're worried about prosperity," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. "A week ago we were worried about being in the ditch.  There's always something to worry about.  That's just how it goes.

"Last week (after the Wisconsin game), I'm sure there was some negativity, I'm just guessing, out there as our guys went around campus, read newspapers, all that type of thing.  This week I'm sure we're heroes.  The truth is somewhere in the middle usually. Last week can get forgotten real fast.  I know that.  That's sports and that's life."

Iowa embarks on November action in the race for a Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State all have one loss. More often than not, Iowa plays its best football this month.

"Last week was a good week," Ferentz said. "I hope this one's a good week.  You look back to '06, that wasn't such a good (November) there.  We didn't do much in November that year.

"If you're going to have a good team and have a good season, you have to play well in November.  I think that goes without saying.  We'll find out where we're at in three and a half weeks."

TELEVISION: The Big Ten Network (HD) will televise the contest. Tom Werme and Derek Rackley and Stacey Paetz will call the action.

RECORDS, RANKINGS: Iowa (6-2 overall, 3-1 Big ten) is 15th in the AP and 16th in the USA Today coaches poll. The Hawkeyes are 16th in the BCS standings. Indiana (4-4, 0-4) is unranked.

HISTORY: Iowa holds a 40-27-4 advantage in the series that began with a 13-6 Iowa victory in 1912. The Hawkeyes have won 16 of the last 24 games, including five of the last seven. Iowa holds an 18-17-1 advantage at Bloomington. Iowa has won two of the last three games at Memorial Stadium.

THE LINE: The game opened at the Las Vegas Hilton with Iowa giving 17 points. It hasn't budged.

Since the start of the 2004 season, the Hawkeyes have won three road games by more than 17 points (Iowa State '09, Minnesota '08, Indiana '08).

That's a lot of points for an Iowa team that plays things close to the vest and has been prone to errors this season. I can see this game going either way in terms of the point spread. I wouldn't touch it if I were a gambling man.

Trends…

Hawkeyes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.

Hawkeyes are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games.

Hawkeyes are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater.

Hawkeyes are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite of 10.5 or greater.

Hoosiers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.

Hoosiers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater.

Hoosiers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a home underdog of 10.5 or greater.

KEY MATCH-UPS:

Iowa CBs Shaun Prater, Micah Hyde vs. IU WRs Tandon Doss, Terrance Turner, Damarlo Belcher - - Don't let the Hoosiers' shortcomings this season and in the past fool you. They produce quality receivers. This trio might be the best group a Ferentz Era team will face this season.

Doss possesses outstanding hands and deep-threat ability. Belcher is a big, physical kid who does well underneath and over the middle. Turner is talented enough to burn teams that pay too much attention to his running mates.

Iowa's defensive backfield played well in the win against Michigan State. It will need to do it again with uncertainty at linebacker.

Indiana LG Aaron Price vs. Iowa DT Karl Klug - Iowa's senior has experienced a relatively quiet season. Some teams have taken it at him with big linemen, fullbacks and the running game.

Klug doesn't have a strong rushing attack with which to contend this week. He could be let free to get after Hoosier QB Ben Chappell with an inexperienced blocker in front of him.

Indiana DE Darius Johnson vs. Iowa LT Riley Reiff - Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi has become quite comfortable in the pocket this season. He's thrown three touchdowns passes in each of the last three games and often has had time to eat a sandwich while doing so.

Iowa's offensive line, anchored by Reiff, has protected its QB very well. Take out the bad game at Arizona, and the Hawkeye front has built a moat around him.

The Hoosiers could be in for a very long afternoon if they can't pressure Stanzi. Johnson is coming off of a career-high 11-tackle effort against Northwestern last week and has two of the teams 10 sacks.

Indiana CBs Matt Earnest, Greg Heban vs. Iowa WRs Marvin McNutt, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos - Heban started his first game against Northwestern. Ernest switched from WR to CB in the spring.

Corner might be the softest spot on the IU defense and that's not good when the Hoosiers are facing one of the better 1-2 punches at WR in the league. DJK is enjoying his best overall season and McNutt is starting to hit his stride after being slowed by injury.

Indiana KR Tandon Doss vs. Iowa Kick Coverage - The Hawkeyes looked much improved in this area last week after many early-season struggles. But did they get over the hump?

Doss will test the Iowa coverage unit. He ranks 32nd nationally with an average of 25.7 yards per return. His running mate, Duwyce Wilson, also is capable of breaking off a long one.

INJURIES:

Indiana - Ben Chappell (foot, probable), James Brewer (ankle, probable), Richard Council (knee, probable), Chris Adkins (ankle, questionable), Max Dedmond (knee, out), Ted Boiser (concussion, questionable), Adrian Burks (hip, questionable), Nick Freeland (hip, questionable), Lenyatta Kiles (groin, questionable).

Iowa - Adam Robinson (concussion, questionable), Jeremiha Hunter (leg, probable), William Lowe (ankle, questionable), Tyler Nielsen (neck, out), Adam Gettis (leg, questionable), Julian Vandervelde (leg, probable), Jeff Tarpinian (neck, probable), Jordan Bernstine (leg, questionable).

THE SKINNY:

Indiana -

-Head Coach Bill Lynch needs one more win to reach 100 in his head coaching career.

-This is Indiana's senior day at Memorial Stadium. The Hoosiers only play three conference games in Bloomington this season after agreeing to give up a home gate for one against Penn State at FedEx Field in Washington DC.

-Indiana starting CBs Heban and Ernst also are starting pitchers on the Hoosier baseball team.

-Chappell is fourth national in completions (26.8), fifth in passing yards (305.6), sixth in total offense (307.3), tied for sixth in attempts (41.5), seventh in total passing yards (2,445), tied for 16th in touchdowns (18), tied for 22nd in points responsible for (15.0), 33rd in passing efficiency (140.0) and 34th in completion percentage (64.5).

-Doss ranks sixth in the country in all-purpose yards (169.3), 32nd in kickoff returns (25.7) 34th in receptions (5.7) and 46th in receiving yards (71.9). Classmate Damarlo Belcher is tied for ninth in catches per game (7.3), tied for 12th in receptions (58) and 28th in receiving yards (82.0), while fifth-year senior Terrance Turner shares 47th in catches (5.3). Indiana is the only team in the country with three receivers in the top 50 in receptions per game.

-The Hoosiers rank seventh in fewest penalties (4.3), share seventh in fewest penalty yards per game (36.8), eighth in passing offense (312.9), are tied for 14th in sacks allowed (0.9), share 15th in fewest fumbles lost (4), 17th in time of possession (32:03), 21st in third-down conversions (47.8) and 27th in kickoff returns (23.9).

Iowa -

-Iowa's roster includes two players from Indiana, sophomore Jewel Hampton (Indianapolis) and sophomore PK Trent Mossbrucker (Mooresville). Hampton will miss the remainder of the season due to injury. The Indiana roster includes no Iowans.

-Iowa ranks fifth nationally in rushing defense (84.5), eighth in scoring defense (14.5), 12th in total defense (292.3) and 20th in pass efficiency defense (112.08).

-Iowa has scored 30 or more points in three consecutive Big Ten Conference games for the first time since 2005.

-Iowa has been guilty of just five turnovers (three lost fumbles, two interceptions) and does not have a turnover since the first quarter of the Oct. 2 win over Penn State. Only Oregon State, with four, has less turnovers than the Hawkeyes.

-Johnson-Koulianos needs just one catch to become Iowa's all-time leader in career receptions. He's tied with Kevin Kasper at 157.

-Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz would reach 100 career head coaching victories with a win this weekend.

-Iowa has won 21 of its last 25 games and 23 of 28, dating back to the middle of the 2008 season.

THE PREDICTION: A classic 'let-down" spot for a team in Iowa's position. Are the Hawkeyes susceptible? Sure.

I'm just not sure the Hoosiers have the bullets to take advantage of any sluggish play by the Hawkeyes. Indiana is banged up, missing a running game and is hampered with holes on defense. It's bringing a butter knife to a gun fight.

Iowa would need to shoot itself in the foot as it did in its two losses this season. And I think they'd have to make even more mistakes than it did in those contests and ones that are very critical to drop this contest.

Indiana is big up front on offense and Chappell is a seasoned veteran who has the patience to find holes in Iowa's zone defense. The receivers also are a handful. I just don't think the Hoosier attack will do enough to offset what Iowa will do to their defense.

If Iowa jumps out to a big early lead like it did against Michigan State, that will further hamper the Hoosier offense, allowing a tough Hawkeye defense to tee off. The home team's best chance is to hope the visitors make mistakes, take advantage of them and make this game be decided late.

There really isn't a home field advantage in Bloomington. That sometimes can work against the visiting team that can feel like its playing in a morgue. These Hawkeyes are pretty self-motivated and seasoned on road action. It should't be an issue.

IOWA 34, Indiana 17

Team Statistics

Indiana

Iowa


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