Minnesota does a lot of what other teams have done to Iowa early on, which is using a lot of misdirection. They'll give a jet sweep look, but will turn and hand to the running back. That has been a problem for Iowa early on because they can't seem to catch back up after getting behind the eight ball.
The'll use a lot of play action, which turn into quick throws. Leidner starts in the gun, will fake to his running back, and then look for a receiver on a quick slant or a skinny post. This shouldn't be a problem for the Iowa corners, but it will be something to look out for.
Another big take was that the offensive line does a good job of giving Leidner the time he needs in the pocket. That offensive line has given up just three sacks through four games. Some of it may have to do with Leidner's mobility and the fact that he gets the ball out quickly, but either way the offensive line has done a good job of keeping their QB standing.
If the Gophers are going to beat Iowa, they'll be doing it on the ground. They don't have the weapons to beat Iowa through the air. When you couple that fact with Iowa's experience and talent at corner, it makes it hard to believe that they can have a ton of success down the field with the pass. They're probably going to try quicker passes, to go along with that solid running game they have.
Both Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks see their fair share of carries. Heck, Kobe McCrary even sees some carries. And the funny thing is, there isn't much drop off between all three of them. They have great lateral quickness and if Iowa doesn't contain them, it will be trouble. Tracy Claeys and company do a good job of setting these backs up for success. They can go between the tackles and get out on the edges. Look for a lot of the run on Saturday.
They do a good job of getting pressure up front on the QB, but in the game against Penn State Trace McSorely was just too mobile to contain for them. This could be a different story on Saturday considering C.J. is not quite as mobile as McSorely is. Minnesota has nine sacks through their first four games.
I've talked all week about how they have one of the worst pass defenses in the Big Ten and that was evident in the game in Happy Valley. They gave up many big plays through the air to the Nittany Lions. Penn State receivers got behind the Minnesota defensive backs several times, which would result in big plays.
The Hawkeyes don't have quite the weapons that Penn State does, but if they can get Jerminic Smith and Jay Scheel behind this defense a couple times it will obviously help, especially when it comes to running the football.
Not too flashy on defense and they don't do anything to really be cautious of other than rushing the QB. They aren't suffocating when it comes to getting to the QB, but with how shaky Iowa's offensive line has been it's something that is going to play a major role on Saturday.