Michigan State Preview
Iowa and Michigan State square off in an important Big ten battle on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are trying to rebound from a 23-14 loss to Purdue, while Michigan State has had two weeks to prepare for the game. Iowa is still struggling with injuries in key positions. Ladell Betts's sprained foot, which visibly hampered him against Penn State and Purdue, is still not 100%, and Aaron Greving may see more carries. Also, Alonzo Cunningham is expected to return to action, athough he has still not cracked the starting lineup. Chris Smith joined the team for pre-game drills against Purdue, and will probably return to the playing field against Michigan State. Although T.J. Duckett is having a quiet season, averaging only 98.3 yards per game, he's still the same T.J. Duckett that rolled over Iowa for well over 200 yards in last year's 21-16 win for Iowa. Iowa's defense has been tremendous against the run, allowing just 95 yards per game on the ground. The battle between Duckett and the Iowa defense will be a huge key in who wins this ballgame. Michigan is missing its top two cornerbacks, the latest hit coming when Jason Harmon went down for the year with a broken ankle. Also, cornerback Cedric Henry was declared academically ineligible before the year, so the cornerback position is thin for the Spartans. Considering Iowa's reliance on Kahlil Hill, as he has gathered 23 catches for 276 yards, this bodes well for the offense. The weather should be a factor as well, as the forecast calls for scattered showers and 70 degrees. Game time is 11:10, and it will be televised on ESPN2.
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