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Iowa at Minnesota (What to expect)

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

To get you all ready for Saturday’s game between Iowa and Minnesota, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off at TCF Bank Stadium.

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

Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-0)

TCF Bank Stadium; Minneapolis, Minn.

Sept. 28, 2013

2:30 p.m. Central

TV: ABC/ESPN2 (Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jeannine Edwards)

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

Weather: 64 degrees; slight chance of rain; winds from W around 12 MPH

Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:

1. Ball security

Iowa has lost four fumbles so far this season, including two in its last game against Western Michigan. Conversely, Minnesota has only lost one fumble in four games having run the ball nearly three quarters of the time. Simply put, the Hawkeyes have to be able to protect the football Saturday afternoon in a better manner than they have to this point and defensively, they’ll have to create some turnovers rather than bank on the Golden Gophers merely screwing up and gift-wrapping turnovers.

2. Red zone scoring

Think back to the last time these teams met in Minneapolis. Iowa received a career rushing day from Marcus Coker, yet the Hawkeyes found themselves coming up empty in the red zone on three occasions and ended up choking in the fourth quarter. Tying this in with the first key about ball security, Iowa has had a few empty possessions in the red zone this season because of turnovers. In a game where possessions are going to come at a premium, the Hawkeyes have to be able to come away with touchdowns in the instances where they do get inside the Minnesota 20-yard line.

3. Being more disciplined

Minnesota is the least penalized team in the entire Big Ten, having only committed 10 penalties. Iowa, on the other hand, had one game already against Missouri State where it committed 11 turnovers. While the Hawkeyes did limit penalties a lot better in a road win over Iowa State, Saturday’s going to provide a more hostile environment for them. Penalties — especially the kind such as false starts, delay of game, etc. — cannot happen in a game of this magnitude where emotions are bound to creep in on both sidelines.

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