By Brendan Stiles
To get you all ready for Saturday’s game between Iowa and Western Michigan, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off at Kinnick Stadium.
At the end, I’ll provide what I think are three keys to an Iowa victory.
Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1) vs. Western Michigan Broncos (0-3)
Kinnick Stadium; Iowa City, Iowa
Sept. 21, 2013
11 a.m. Central
TV: BTN (Wayne Larrivee, Jon Jansen)
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Rob Brooks)
Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:
1. Keep the ground attack going
Last week, Iowa rushed the ball 60 times against Iowa State, with 35 of those carries coming courtesy of Mark Weisman. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes will face a Western Michigan defense ranked 105th nationally against the run, allowing an average of 245 yards per game on the ground. This week provides Iowa an opportunity to continue its success in the ground game, not only with Weisman, but with some of their other running backs as well.
2. Be aware of Davis
Corey Davis is a true freshman that also happens to have led Western Michigan in receiving during each of its first three games so far this season. Last week against Northwestern, he hauled in a 75-yard touchdown reception that at the time put the Broncos ahead before they ultimately lost that game. Iowa’s defense has had a tendency of not only giving up big scoring plays, but doing so to one particular receiver (see Northern Illinois’ Tommylee Lewis, Iowa State’s Quenton Bundrage). This is someone the Hawkeye secondary can’t afford to let get behind it on Saturday.
3. Finish strong
A likely hypothetical situation here: Let’s say Iowa possesses a fourth-quarter lead Saturday like it has in each of its previous three games, but not such an advantage that leads to both teams playing back-ups. The Hawkeyes have had a problem of putting teams away in the fourth quarter and this is something that has to change for Iowa before it enters Big Ten play because after Saturday, everything is only going to become more difficult for this team on both sides of the football. The last thing Iowa needs before going up to Minnesota is another instance where it sees a three-possession lead in the fourth quarter suddenly dwindle down to single digits like the last two weeks specifically.