Crystal Ball Week 9

Spring practice is now a memory and fans are counting down until camp opens up in August. In our Spartan Digest Crystal Ball the Spartans are sitting with a record of 8-0 and are the talk of college football as the most surprising team of the season. Another road test awaits as the Spartans will travel to Iowa City to battle the Hawkeyes.

Iowa (Saturday Oct 30, 2010) Kinnick Stadium

2009 Record: 11-2 Big Ten 6-2

Last Game Against MSU: 2009 Score: 15-13, Spartan Loss

With a little less talk of Kirk Ferentz leaving, has many feeling the Iowa Hawkeyes are set again to battle for a BCS berth and Big Ten Championship. After having one of the luckiest seasons known in college football history, Iowa is set to be undefeated by the time the Spartans head to Kinnick Stadium for a Big Ten clash.

The Spartans will follow Wisconsin into Iowa City and that could help some. But with starting quarterback Rick Stanzi back, the Hawkeyes feel they have one of the top signal callers in the conference. Stanzi is not flashy and has shown the ability to make a mistake keeping teams in the game.

But like several other Big Ten programs the Hawkeyes will look for a solid running game and with Adam Robinson back they know they are solid at the position.

When Stanzi does throw the ball he'll look for Derrell Johnson-Koullanos as his main target. The Spartan staff knows all about the Ohio native as they worked hard to recruit him when they were at Cincinnati.

But much like the Spartans, Iowa lives by their defense. Adrian Clayborn is back after posting 11.5 sacks and is considered one of the best in the nation. He'll prove to be a player the Spartans will have to control and will give the Spartans offensive line a real test.

Not only will Clayborn test the Spartans front so will line mate Broderick Binns who registered six sacks of his own.

But while the Hawkeyes have talent up front, they lack experience at linebacker after the loss of two key players. Jeremiha Hunter was second on the team in tackles a season ago and will be looked to fill the void left by Pat Angerer.

Last season Iowa saw solid play from their defensive backs and much of the same will be expected this season. Safety Tyler Sash will be looked upon to be the leader after posting 6 interceptions a year ago.

Can Iowa match the level of play from a season ago?

Will they have the same luck they had a season ago?

Michigan State will be looking to turn the tables after a tough hard fought battle last season saw them come up short. This will not be an easy game and depending upon the health of the Spartans and Hawkeyes the outcome is a hard one to predict.

But Spartan Digest will give another victory to the Spartans and their magical season continues as they become the talk of the Big Ten and College Football with a record of 9-0. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans Win – 17-10

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