No. 10 Iowa can take one more step toward a spot in its first Big Ten Championship Game as long as the Hawkeyes don't overlook a struggling Indiana team on Saturday in Bloomington. Iowa is -6.5 on JustBet's college football odds with a total of 60.5.
Hawkeyes Continue To Surprise
Iowa (8-0, 4-0) is the biggest surprise unbeaten team of the Power 5 Conference clubs left without a loss. And the Hawkeyes are going to win the Big Ten West Division unless they fall on their faces. They are favored in this game and will be vs. Minnesota and vs. Purdue. A trip to Nebraska on Nov. 27 could be tricky, but Iowa has to lose twice and Wisconsin win out for the Badgers to claim the division. Presumably, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, who entered the season squarely on the hot seat, will be the Big Ten's Coach of the Year.
The Hawkeyes are off a 31-15 home win over Maryland on Halloween. Iowa leading rusher Jordan Canzeri missed the game with an ankle injury so Iowa turned to a three-headed monster of Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels, and Derrick Mitchell. Wadley and Daniels combined for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries; Mitchell caught two passes for 24 yards and his only rushing attempt resulted in a key touchdown with nine seconds left in the first half for a 21-0 lead. That was essentially the game. C.J. Beathard was 12-for-23 for 183 yards for the Hawkeyes. It's not clear yet if Canzeri will play in this game.
Iowa picked off three Maryland passes and held the Terps to 241 total yards. The Hawkeyes are the only team in the country to allow just one rushing touchdown. Iowa yields an average of 85.8 rushing yards per game, second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally. Iowa limits its opponents to 2.8 yards per carry, which is No. 5 in the country.
Ferentz's club is 5-3 ATS on college football odds and 4-3-1 'over/under.'
Hoosiers In Tailspin
The good news for Indiana: basketball season starts next weekend. That team should be a Big Ten contender; as usual, the football team is not. The Hoosiers (4-4, 0-4) were fool's gold early this season in beating four very weak non-conference opponents. They gave No. 1 Ohio State all they could handle in the Big Ten opener before falling by seven. The wheels have fallen off since with losses at Penn State, home to Rutgers (IU blew a 25-point third-quarter lead) and last time out 52-26 at Michigan State on Oct. 24.
So Indiana comes off its bye week. That allowed star tailback Jordan Howard to heal up from an ankle injury that hampered him all of October. He has rushed 136 times for 787 yards and five touchdowns. but missed the Penn State and Rutgers games and was limited vs. Michigan State.
One thing Coach Kevin Wilson no doubt stressed during the bye was the fourth quarter. In the last three fourth quarters, the Hoosiers have been outscored 58-0. IU has outscored opponents 92-27 in the third quarter this season, but gets outscored 114-44 in the final 15 minutes. Indiana leads the Big Ten in total offense (467.6 yards per game) and is No. 1 at 287 passing yards per game. Senior Nate Sudfeld has thrown for 2,049 yards, 14 TDs and four picks. IU just can't stop anyone as it allows 37.2 points per game, more than any other Big Ten team.
Indiana is 4-4 ATS on college football picks and 5-2-1 O/U.
Indiana visited Iowa City on Oct. 11, 2014, and lost 45-29 to start a six-game losing streak. Hawkeyes QB Jake Rudock, now the starter at Michigan as a graduate transfer, threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Mark Weisman rushed 25 times for 89 yards and two scores. It was 28-7 after one quarter. Indiana got within 28-21 on a Tevin Coleman 45-yard TD run in the second quarter but then Iowa quickly pulled away again. Coleman, now with the Atlanta Falcons, rushed 15 times for 219 yards and three scores on the day so Iowa won't miss him. Sudfeld was 4-for-9 for 85 yards with a TD and interception before leaving the game with an injury. Iowa has won five of the last six meetings overall, but Indiana won 24-21 the last time the Hawkeyes visited Bloomington in 2012.
College Football Picks: Surprised this line is under a touchdown, even with Indiana off the bye. Take Iowa and go 'under' at JustBet. The Hawkeyes are 12-3 ATS in their past 15 road games. The Hoosiers have covered only three of their past 13 Big Ten games.