Iowa vs Montana Preview

The Iowa Hawkeyes entertain the Grizzlies from Montana on Saturday in Kinnick Stadium. It's teh first official game in the newly renovated complex. Iowa's players will be walking by a 16 foot tall replica of Nile Kinnick...this is a game that Kinnick would see half time; that will be the case for Iowa's starters this week.

This will be the least glamorous prview of the year. Not because we are not trying, but because Iowa is playing the Grizz.

Not because the Grizz are not a great team; they are.

But the Grizz come from the ranks of Division 1-AA.

Here is the things you should look for.

If Iowa doesn't average 5.0+ yards per play, worry. The Hawkeyes should rip off yards from the line of scrimmage like a chimp ripping off a banana peel. Will Albert Young go for his 8th straight 100 yard game? He would if he gets 20 carries. But he probably gets 15. If he can do some Tavian Banks-like damage there, he pulls the trick. We think he will.

Iowa's passing game will be plain vanilla: Don't look for much from this unit, because Iowa will be able to run. That does not mean that the big play is out of the playbook for this contest. Iowa will have at least three long passes. It's just that those three plays will be the bigger part of three touchdown drives. Teams like Montana will stack the box against an Iowa, and look to take away the run. Look for Andy Brodell or Calvin Davis to top the 100-yard receiving mark in the first half.

Stuff the run: Iowa's defensive line will force Montana to go through the air. It happened last year against UNI, it will happen again this year. Look for Montana to be less successful than UNI.

IOWA 45 Montana 10

Here is the prediction from Scout.com's College Football News:

Montana at Iowa  12:05 pm  ESPNU September 2, 2006 
Why to Watch: Montana is coming off a good 8-4 season and is expected to be one of the best in D-IAA and a threat for the national title. That doesn't mean too much to an Iowa team flat-out obliterates inferior teams in the home opener. Even so, this might not be the normal D-I pasting of a D-IAAer since the Grizzlies are better than about 25 D-I teams and the Hawkeyes will be trying out several new starters. This has to be the game Iowa tunes everything up before going to Syracuse next week and Iowa State on the 16th.
Why Montana Might Win:  The September 2nd Hawkeyes are far different than what the November Hawkeyes will be. The receiving corps and corners have talent, but little experience, while the linebacking corps needs to replace Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway. Montana might be the sharper of the two teams and has enough transfers with D-I experience to make this interesting.
Why Iowa Might Win: How good is Iowa in its home opener? Over the last five years, the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 224 to 31 for an average score of roughly 44 to 6. The Hawkeye offensive line should dominate from the first drive getting speedy running back Albert Young in space way too often for Montana's liking. Expect at least one 50+-yard run from Young.
Who to Watch: Montana quarterback Josh Swogger has the potential to have a big day against the inexperienced Iowa secondary. The transfer from Washington State is big, experienced and just talented enough to make things interesting if he gets time to throw. Iowa's star defensive end Ken Iwebema is suspended for the game, so pressure will have to come from other spots.
What Will Happen: Montana will throw a few haymakers, but Iowa will be too fast and QB Drew Tate will be too sharp for this to be close into the fourth quarter.
CFN Prediction: Iowa 49 ... Montana 14


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