Matchup Analysis: Iowa vs North Texas Defense

Breaking down the matchup of the Iowa offense against the North Texas defense.

Simply put, this is a battle that Iowa should win with relative ease. I expect the Hawkeyes to drive the ball on the Mean Green with a lot of regularity on Saturday. They're just a lot better on this side of the ball and it spells doom for North Texas.

I'm not going to come out and say that Iowa will put up a score in the 40s or 50s, just because their style isn't conducive to that. This year they've held onto the ball for long drives, chewing up clock, and managing the game in an efficient manner. They just don't have the consistent explosiveness to score quick enough to make this that one-sided. They will make this one-sided in the statistical categories. They'll have a ton of yardage.

The way to come out and win this from the jump is to dominate in the runnign game. North Texas is smaller up front, leaving them susceptible to be overpowered by the Hawkeye beef in the middle; Sean Welsh, Jordan Walsh, Austin Blythe, and even James Daniels. It is not known how much impact running back LeShun Daniels will have, but even if he is limited, Jordan Canzeri should be able to find a lot of running room early and often. Derrick Mitchell has a chance, too, if given the opportunity to do so. 

Once they loosen up the defense with the running game, watch the play action from quarterback C.J. Beathard. That is where the big plays could come from. Establishing the run early could soften up the defense for a lot of firepower through the air. Henry Krieger-Coble has the potential to be a huge threat in this contest. The play action should be open and he has big play ability. 

Iowa would love more than anything to get out to a fast start and build a comfortable lead so that they can build depth and rest some key players a week ahead of the Wisconsin game. They're not a team really made to do that, but as long as the defense does what they have done all year, I see a comfortable lead being opened up by the fourth quarter. 

The offense should have their way, but they like to move the ball methodically, not quickly. I think they can score in the high 30s in this one, which should be enough to provide rest for key contributors as long as the defense can stifle the Mean Green offense.


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