2009 Predictions: Iowa vs Iowa State

Something new to whet our appetites before the Hawkeyes take the field for real on September 5th: My final preseason game predictions for the 2009 campaign, with mock game recap projections to illustrate how I believe the Hawkeyes will fare this season. Iowa handled UNI in the opener. Up next, Iowa State.

If Iowa is to compete for a Big Ten championship this year, they are going to have to win on the road. While Saturday's opponent does not play in the Big Ten, it was Iowa's first road test of the 2009 season, road games in Ames, Iowa have been a big time test for the Hawkeyes in recent years.

Iowa knocked off Iowa State in Jack Trice Stadium for the first time since 2003, beating the Cyclones 24 to 10 on a picture perfect early fall Saturday.

Iowa quarterback Rick Stanzi was steady in the game, completing 17 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two scores, to just one interception, his first turnover of the season.

Stanzi hooked up with Derrell-Johnson Koulianos on Iowa's first possession, a 51 yard strike down the right sideline on a stop and go move that had been set up by back to back 7-yard out completions to DJK. What's more impressive is the move came against Cyclone cornerback Leonard Johnson, one of the most talented cover corners in the Big 12 conference.

Iowa State battled back on their first possession of the game, as quarterback Austen Arnaud moved the Cyclones down the field in short order with Iowa State's new non-huddle spread offensive attack. Iowa State had a 1st and goal at the Hawkeye nine yard line when Norm Parker's charges dug in their cleats, and the endzone became a 12th defender. Iowa State tried to power the ball into the line of scrimmage on its first two plays, but running back Alexander Robinson gained just three yards on two carries. Arnaud tried to find Marquis Hamilton on a fade route in the corner of the endzone, but free safety Brett Greenwood was there to break up the play on a perfectly timed leap. ISU had to settle for a chip shot field goal to make the score 7-3.

Both teams traded punts as the 50,000-plus fans began to settle into their seats, and Iowa struck paydirt again on their third possession, the final of the first quarter, as a heavy dose of Jeff Brinson and Adam Robinson bullied their way downfield behind the massive Hawkeye offensive line. Most of the damage came over the right side, as Dace Richardson teamed up with Kyle Calloway, who was playing in his first game of the year after serving a one game suspension for an out of season OWI arrest. The drive culminated with a Stanzi pass to an uncovered Tony Moeaki from eight yards out to make the score 14-3. The score remained the same as the teams went into the locker room.

Iowa State came out firing in the second half, as Sedrick Johnson got between Iowa's two deep zone coverage for a 15 yard pickup, but cornerback Greg Castillo was unable to make a clean tackle and safety Tyler Sash did not take a clean angle on the tackle and Johnson scampered an additional 35 yards for the touchdown to tighten the score at 14-10.

The Hawkeyes decided to put on their blue collars for the rest of the game and pound the ball on the ground. It was a solid move, as Iowa State showed it could move the ball downfield in short order with their high tempo offense, so the Hawkeyes controlled the time of possession battle in the second half by an impressive 19:11 to 10:49 margin. Brinson was the workhorse on Iowa's final touchdown drive, gaining 44 yards on seven carries, including a touchdown run from the ISU three to make it 21-10.

The Hawkeyes also made the Cyclones pay attempting a long field goal at the end of the ensuing drive. ISU attempted a 54-yard field goal with an 11 mile per hour tailwind, but the kick was wide of the mark and shot. Iowa took over close to midfield and drove the ball 30 yards before Daniel Murray knocked one through the uprights from 47 yards, at the start of the fourth quarter and after the teams had switched sides of the field.

Iowa gained 398 yards of total offense on the day. Brinson had a team high 17 carries for 101 yards, while DJK had five receptions for 112 yards and the lone touchdown.

Iowa's defense played a solid brand of ‘bend-don't-break' on the day, as Iowa State was effective between the 20's; ISU gained 358 yards on the day, much of it through the air and via the short pass. Brett Greenwood also recorded an interception for the Hawkeyes, his first of the year.

A side note lost in this game; Iowa allowed its first touchdown against Iowa State in nearly three full calendar years. Iowa State scored early in the 2nd quarter in Iowa City on September 16th, 2006. Since then, the Hawkeyes had kept the Cyclones out of the endzone for 10 straight quarters.

NOTES: Offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde saw his first action of the year, splitting time at guard. He missed the first game due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the off season…Jewell Hampton missed his second straight game, and Kirk Ferentz said that a determination as to whether or not he will redshirt would be announced in a few days…Iowa committed its first turnover of the year, but they forced two against Iowa State. That leaves them +5 on the season after two games.

Next Up: Arizona on Thursday

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