No. 25 Hawkeyes are big favorites in their home game against Western Michigan
Western Michigan (1-1) at No. 25 Iowa (2-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Line: Iowa by 28 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Western Michigan leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Iowa is unbeaten but its offense hasn’t clicked. The Hawkeyes are yet to generate 300 yards in a game or score 25 points. Western Michigan under first-year coach Lance Taylor is one of the Mid-American Conference’s worst teams. This is Cade McNamara’s chance to break through against a defense that’s shown no ability to stop the pass.
Western Michigan RB Jalen Buckley vs. Iowa defense. Buckley is first in the MAC and third nationally with 140.5 yards per game. He’s tough to bring down, having forced eight missed tackles and making 123 of his 281 yards after contact, according to Pro Football Focus. The Hawkeyes were uncharacteristically leaky against the run in their opener against Utah State but tightened things down to allow 2.8 yards per carry against Iowa State.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Western Michigan: CB Keni-H Lovely is a veteran presence, and he’ll probably cover Iowa’s top receiver, Nico Ragaini. Loveley gave up a couple long completions to Syracuse.
Iowa: RB Jaziun Patterson had a breakout game against Iowa State, running 10 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. If he gets going again, it opens up a passing game featuring TEs Luke Lachey and Erick All.
FACTS & FIGURES
Hawkeyes are back in the rankings after a one-week absence. … Lachey and All have combined for 16 catches for 178 yards and one TD. … Iowa has won 65 of its last 67 games when leading by eight points at any point of the game. … The Hawkeyes have won their last five games against teams from the MAC. Iowa’s last loss to a MAC team came against Northern Illinois, 30-27, in 2013. … Broncos S Tate Hallock, a transfer from Michigan State, has a team-leading 17 tackles after making 10 against Syracuse. … WMU opponents have scored on all eight of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll
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