Iowa looks to move to 4-0 on the year as they host North Texas inside Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes enter the contest with victories over Illinois State, Iowa State, and Pittsburgh, while the Mean Green have fallen to SMU and Rice.
The staple of Iowa's success early on has been their ability to run the ball efficiently on offense, and get the big plays when they need it. On defense, it's been about shutting down the opposing rush offense, allowing less than two yards a carry so far on the year.
If they stick to that mantra, the Hawkeyes should leave the stadium Saturday evening with a comfortable victory and a 4-0 record.
Having success on the ground should not be a problem for Iowa against the Mean Green. They are much bigger and much more physical along the offensive line than North Texas is up front. Establishing a solid rushing attack could pave the way for big offensive numbers. Once they solidify the running game with a combination of Canzeri, Daniels, and possibly even Mitchell, they should be able to pick apart North Texas in whatever way they want.
Regardless of how much North Texas devotes their game plan into stopping the run, Iowa should still be able to chew up chunks of yardage. That will only soften up North Texas even more and allow for more playmaking opportunities between C.J. Beathard and his group of wideouts. Iowa is a bit methodical when moving the ball, so they probably won't accumulate enough possessions to hang a crooked number on the board, but I expect them to be efficient and notch four or five touchdowns at least to pull away.
Defensively, they just need to keep doing what they've been doing. I don't see North Texas being able to throw the ball with much effectiveness on the Iowa secondary, and couple that with a stifling rush defense, it should be tough sledding for the Mean Green offense. I can see them scratching a touchdown across the board, but not much else until Iowa inserts their second and third units.
One thing to keep an eye on is how well Iowa can rush the quarterback with Drew Ott. Teams in the Big Ten will take Ott away, so this is a perfect opportunity for them to figure out how to make it happen.
FINAL PREDICTION: IOWA 38 NORTH TEXAS 16