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Iowa vs. Missouri (What to expect)

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

To get you all ready for Tuesday’s Insight Bowl between Iowa and No. 14 Missouri, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

At the end, I’ll provide what I think are three keys to an Iowa victory.

2010 Insight Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) vs. No. 14 Missouri Tigers (10-2)

Sun Devil Stadium; Tempe, Ariz.

Dec. 28, 2010

9 p.m. Central

TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Matt Millen)

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Rob Brooks)

Weather: 58 degrees

Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:

1. Offensive balance (run the ball)

Iowa cannot afford to be one-dimensional offensively against this Missouri squad. Yes, the Hawkeyes will be without the services of Adam Robinson on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean they should shy away from giving Marcus Coker the football. If he gets 20-25 carries, he should be able to do enough in terms of Iowa successfully moving the chains and more importantly, keeping the ball away from the Tiger offense.

2. Pressure Gabbert

Whether it’s by throwing in some blitzes, or just the defensive line overpowering Missouri’s offensive line, the Hawkeyes need to get in quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s face as much as possible. Give him enough time to throw, and he is dangerous enough to carve this Iowa defense apart. Force him into quick decision-making, and Gabbert is more susceptible to turnovers.

3. Red zone execution

Missouri has one of the top red zone defenses not just in the Big 12, but in the entire country. In the month of November, this was an area where the Iowa offense struggled. If the Hawkeyes are ever fortunate enough to get opportunities inside the Tiger 20-yard line Tuesday night, they need to come away with touchdowns if they’re going to win. Settling for field goals against an opponent with the offense of a Missouri won’t get the job done, especially with the Iowa defense having the issues it has had throughout the season in late-game situations.

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