Solid College Football Pick for Iowa vs. Iowa State Short Spread Battle

Troy West

Saturday, September 12, 2015 2:02 PM GMT

Saturday, Sep. 12, 2015 2:02 PM GMT

Join Troy West in this betting preview on today's rivalry between Iowa & Iowa State. Check inside as this capper not only will he breakdown the odds but he'll also serve a free college football pick.

Could Iowa State actually be good? It’s a lot to dive into one win over an FCS team and think big things are about to follow, but with a great receiving corps and the hope for an improved defense, this could be a great start with Toledo up next followed by the Kansas free space and Texas Tech. With the brutal part of the schedule to come in the second half, every win is a big deal – especially when it’s over the hated in-state brother.

Really, the win over Illinois State was better than you might think. The defense swarmed all over the FCS title contender, while the offense was good enough to make it a laugher. With Pitt and North Texas up next – and both games at home – putting away Iowa State could lead to a huge start before going to Wisconsin. It’s only after one game, but this looks like the type of team that should rise up and improve in a big way as the season goes on. Losing to Iowa State for a second year in a row, though, would be devastating.

The Hawkeyes put the clamps down on former Indiana quarterback Tre Roberson and the Illinois State passing game, and it has the talent and potential to close down the terrific Iowa State receivers – or at least slow them. The concerns about the losses on the defensive front, at least so far, are gone. Iowa’s line held the Redbirds to 35 yards on 28 carries, helped by five sacks and ten tackles for loss. Iowa State needs time to make the passing game go, and it’s probably not going to get it.

The Cyclone passing game should be able to spread it around. Sam Richardson has done this before, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s win over Iowa, and throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the near-miss in 2013. Razor sharp to start the year, he hit 21-of-29 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, and he should be able to keep his cool and use most of his options once again.The hope was for Iowa State to find more pop for the pass rush from somewhere, and Dale Pierson came through in the opener. The 6-2, 249-pound senior had a breakout game with three sacks against Northern Iowa, and he even came up with an interception. The former JUCO transfer only came up with two sacks last season with 29 tackles, and now the spotlight is on to see if he can keep his game going on a regular basis. He needs to get into Iowa QB C.J. Beathard’s face from the start.

It’s Iowa vs. Iowa State – it’s going to be a close, tight battle. The Cyclones will move the ball through the air, but the Hawkeyes will stuff the ground game cold and will take advantage of two big turnovers to pull out a thriller.

 

Predicted Final Score: Iowa State 24 Iowa 21

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