HN.com's 2005 Iowa Football Outlook

With the 2005 Iowa football season right around the corner, now is always a good time to toss our predictions. Jon Miller and Rob Howe did just that back in the Summer Issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine and we are going to share their thoughts with you here on the website. We are not just talking about wins and losses here...we take a stab at the score of each game as well as some anecdotes alone the way...

This story first appeared in the Summer Issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine, our annual Iowa football preview. On rare occasion, we will share a story that appeared in the magazine here on the website. That is not a regular practice, but from time to time we like to share the depth of detail that is included in each and every issue of the magazine to those of you who are not yet subscribers.

The Big Ten portion of Iowa's 2005 schedule is the most challenging of any would be title contender, as the Hawkeyes travel to Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin this year, plus they host Michigan and Wisconsin. Iowa avoids playing Penn State and Michigan State while welcoming back Northwestern and Indiana to the schedule. Iowa's early season battle in Ames against the Cyclones promises to be one of the better games in series history, at least on paper. Rob Howe and Jon Miller tackle Iowa's entire 2005 schedule, game by game.

 

Sept. 3 Ball State, TBA

Series: First meeting

Rob: You didn't think I'd avoid a David Letterman reference, did you? Maybe the school's most famous alum can do a Top 10 on why the Cardinals have no shot to win this game. This will look a lot like the Utah State game heading into the 2002 conference season. Score: Iowa 56, Ball State 0.

Jon: The Hawkeyes take on yet another team from the MAC to start a football season. I really like Iowa's mix of non-conference games this year, given how green they will be on the defensive line. This one should be another wax job. Score: Iowa 45, Ball State 7

 

Sept. 10 at Iowa State, TBA

Series: Iowa leads series 35-17

Last meeting (9-11-04):

Rob: The Cyclones enjoyed their five-year run, but Iowa has dominated this series and won two in a row. Iowa State is poised for a big year, and as we've said before, they put more stock into this game, whether they admit it or not. A lot of people will pick this as an upset special. I can see it happening, but I don't think it will. Iowa possesses more talent. Score: Iowa 24, ISU 14.

Jon: This is going to be a fantastic game in this year's installment of the Iowa Hatfield's vs. McCoy's. Dan McCarney gets his team sky high for this game, while Kirk Ferentz prefers to view it as the next game on the schedule. Don't take that to mean that Iowa does not take this game seriously, because they do. When you finish in the Top 10 for three years in a row, every game is very important, because you are in the hunt for a BCS bid. I promised myself after picking ISU to win by one in Kinnick in 2002 that if I ever felt like this game would be decided by a field goal or less, I would just go with Iowa. Score: Iowa 27, ISU 18 (three missed PAT's by the Clones).

Sept. 17 Northern Iowa, TBA

Series: Iowa leads 12-1

Last meeting (9-6-97): Iowa 66-0

Rob: Hey, anybody seen the Missouri Chickens? They were supposed to be in this slot, but ran scared. Iowa has reeled off 11 consecutive wins in the Northern Iowa series after losing that 11-5 decision in November of 1898. You remember it like it was yesterday, right? I'm not sure what the match-ups were like on that day, but currently, it's pretty one-sided. You'll hear how UNI has played ISU tough, and the in-state pride rhetoric leading up to this one. Disregard it. This will look a lot like the Utah State game heading into the 2002 conference season. Score: Iowa 49, UNI 0.

Jon: Missouri Chickens. I liked that line last year, and I still love it. Funny how the Chickens are looking to renew their series with Illinois for four more games isn't it? But I digress (and always will on this topic). The last time Iowa played UNI was in 1997 and Tavian Banks ran wild before a sellout crowd. Yes, it was a sellout. Hey, how about UNI vs. Ball State for intrigue? Score: Iowa 51, UNI 3.

 

Sept. 24 at Ohio State, TBA

Series: Ohio State leads 42-14-3

Last meeting (10-16-04): Iowa

Rob: I would like it a lot better if this game was being played Oct. 24. The Hawkeyes probably still will be working out some kinks, and The Shoe is just a tough, tough place to play. Ohio State circled this one after being handled pretty easily in Kinnick last year, and the Buckeye fans will be fired up for a nationally televised game. Score: Ohio State 20, Iowa 17.

Jon: It's been a long time since Iowa won at the Horseshoe, in addition to that being a very rare occurrence. Since 1960, Iowa is 2-17 in games played at Ohio State. It was Hartlieb to Cook in 1987, and Iowa's dramatic win at The Shoe in 1991 sans Tigerhawk emblems on their helmets, honoring those killed in the campus shooting incident. Iowa is just 6-30-1 overall against the Buckeyes since 1960. Like Rob, I feel that Iowa would have a better chance of winning were this game played later in the year. But that is not how it was drawn up. Score: Ohio State 27, Iowa 17.

 

Oct. 1 Illinois, TBA

Series: Illinois leads 37-26-2

Last meeting: Iowa

Rob: There's no truth to the rumor that Jon Beutjer is returning for a seventh year. It's too bad because that might have been the only item of interest on this day in Iowa City. Ron Zook might turn around the Illini, but it won't be happening for them this quick. A perfect bounce-back game for the Hawkeyes. Score: Iowa 34, Illinois 10.

Jon: Rumor has it that Ron Zook is very concerned with how to contain the running prowess that belongs to one Kyle Schlicher, so don't expect Schlicher to do much on the ground in this game. The good news is that Zook will not have had enough time to do much of anything with the Illini program he inherited from good guy Ron Turner, and Iowa will wash away the pain from Columbus with its first league win. Score: Iowa 27, Illinois 13.

 

Oct. 8 at Purdue, TBA

Series: Purdue leads 44-30-3

Last meeting: Iowa

Rob: As with the Ohio State game, I would feel much better if this one was later in the season. But it's not, and the Hawkeyes will have to cut down on the mistakes that have cost them at Ross-Ade in recent memory. The freewheeling Boilermaker offense will be licking its chops at the thought of Iowa's inexperienced D-line coming to town. I don't like the thought of that. Score: Purdue 24, Iowa 20.

Jon: No team has had Iowa's number over the last four years of the Kirk Ferentz era, save Purdue. The teams have split the last four games in this series 2-2, with each team winning at home. Purdue's home wins have been more convincing than Iowa's, and the Hawkeyes have had to rely on heroic efforts to get the job done, especially in 2002. Purdue might be the team that Iowa's players respect the most. Score: Purdue 23, Iowa 10.

 

Oct. 15 Indiana, TBA

Series: Iowa leads 37-25-4

Last meeting (10-19-02): Iowa 24-8

Rob: Terry Hoeppner is going to find out quickly that things were pretty nice in Oxford, Ohio after a few weeks of trying to get the hapless Hoosiers to compete in the Big Ten. Iowa will find it delightful to have Indiana back on the schedule and rebound nicely from the tough road loss at Purdue. Score: Iowa 38, Indiana 13.

Jon: The schedule makers certainly helped Iowa by lining up the Illini post Ohio State and the Hoosiers post Purdue. Indiana football has a long way to go, and though Hoeppner is a very good coach, he does not walk on water. Expect no miracles on this Saturday in October: Score: Iowa 41, Indiana 9.

 

Oct. 22 Michigan, TBA

Series: Michigan leads 38-10-4

Last meeting (9-25-04): Michigan

Rob: The Wolverines benefited from playing an Iowa team in transition last fall, but the Hawkeyes should be settling into their identity at this time of the season. Michigan no longer intimidates the Black and Gold the way that it used to, and Iowa believes it should beat this perennial power every time out. Yeah, Henne and Hart are the real deal, but Michigan lost a ton of experience, and the new guys might not understand how tough it is to play in Kinnick. Score: Iowa 27, Michigan 21.

Jon: Michigan will be coming off what I expect to be a tough game against a resurgent Penn State program the week before in Ann Arbor, so they will not have had the chance to look ahead to this game. The Hawks have dropped the Wolverines two in a row in Kinnick, and I expect Iowa to run it's home winning streak to 23 games win another win over Big Blue. 20 years plus three days since Rob Houghtlin kicked his way into history, I like Kyle Schlicher to do the same in 2005. Score: Iowa 30, Michigan 27.

 

Nov. 5 at Northwestern, TBA

Series: Iowa leads 45-18-3

Last meeting (11-9-02): Iowa 62-10

Rob: Chances are good that this won't resemble the massacre in Evanston from '02, but the ‘Cats must play a near perfect game to win this one. Norm Parker's defense seems to match up well with Northwestern's offensive schemes, and the Wildcats usually struggle to stop the Iowa attack. Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez is one of the better players in the league, but he'll need a super-human effort to end a three-game losing streak in this series. Score: Iowa 30, Northwestern 17.

Jon: I don't like playing Northwestern on the road and I am very glad that this game is later in the year. Ohio State dropped a night game in Evanston last year early on in the league season as their green defensive line was learning the ropes. Iowa's defensive line should have grown up by now, and this is the chance to spread their wings. As Rob said, Norm Parker knows how to play against spread offenses, and Iowa's three-speedy linebackers should shine in this game. Score: Iowa 37, Northwestern 16.

 

Nov. 12 at Wisconsin, TBA

Series: Iowa leads 39-38-2

Last meeting: Iowa

Rob: After losing five consecutive games in the series, the Hawkeyes have won the last three. Don't think that fact will be lost on the Cheese Heads. But as much as Wisconsin would love to exact some revenge for recent failures, the Badgers may have lost more talent than anyone else in the league. This by no means will be an easy one for Iowa, but it's money time, and when it is, I'll take Coach Ferentz and the boys. Score: Iowa 24, Wisconsin 21.

Jon: Camp Randall will look a lot different than it did two years ago when Iowa spoiled Bucky's shot at an Outback Bowl bid and punched their own ticket. The stadium renovations are completed, but the noise will not be enough to slow down Iowa's offense at this point of the season. The Hawkeyes should be running on all cylinders now that it's November, which has been a calling card under Ferentz. Bret Bielema will have fewer chess pieces to work with this year on defense, and Iowa will put together a three-game winning streak. Score: Iowa 31, Wisconsin 13.

 

 

Nov. 19 Minnesota, TBA

Series: Minnesota leads 58-38-2

Last meeting: Iowa

Rob: Floyd has forgotten what Minneapolis looks like, having been in Iowa since '01. And it looks like Floyd will be spending another year at his current residence. The Gophers find a way to tease their fans each September before imploding in the conference. Until that trend changes, and they figure out how to play defense, I'll keep expecting it. Hey, whose got those goal posts anyway? Score: Iowa 41, Minnesota 24.

Jon: Will this be the year that Minnesota finally defeats and upper division team in the Big Ten? It's been nearly five years since they have done that, and their impressive (albeit cupcake induced) non-conference records have been a house of cards. That might not be totally fair, as Minnesota has lost two gut-wrenching games against Michigan the past two seasons that seemingly turned their season around the wrong way. RB Lawrence Maroney will challenge Iowa's defensive line, but last year's Hawks gave up more than 300 yards on the ground against the Gophers and still came away with a win. I don't think they will have to have five field goals from Schlicher to keep Floyd grazing on the Iowa City turf. Score: Iowa 34, Minnesota 24.

 

Rob's Season Prediction: 9-2 (6-2 in the Big Ten)

Jon's Season Prediction: 9-2 (6-2 in the Big Ten)


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