HN Staff’s Six-Pack of College Football Games – Week 3

September 15, 2017

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Hawkeye Nation staff returns for another season of picking the outcome of six college football games against the Las Vegas line. These are for entertainment purposes only:

North Texas (+22) at Iowa

Rob Howe: It’s green but the North Texas defense is far from mean. It’s actually really bad. Hqwkeyes should run the ball at will, control the clock and move onto the primetime matchup with Top 5 Penn State unbeaten. They’ll cover the 22 points.

Last Week/Season: 3-3/5-7

Jon Miller: I think Iowa will win this game by 21 points. It’s a good week to work on some offensive line continuity, a good week toget Tristan Wirfs feet wet, and also get Toren Young some carries. How about working on the deep ball? I think Iowa can tinker with several things in a final tuneup before Big Ten play and get the win…North Texas covers, but barely.

Last Week/Season: 3-3/6-6

Sean Neugent: I am seeing a lot of “trap game” talk. Had the Hawkeyes crushed the Cyclones a week ago, I might buy that with Penn State next weekend. While the ISU game showed a lot of good things about this Iowa team, it also showed some need for improvement. This is another test for the Iowa defense as the Mean Green come into the contest averaging nearly 600 yards and 45.5 points per game. You can bet Josey Jewell and his defense will want to clean the bitter taste of last week out of their mouths and they will. I expect them to shut down QB Mason Fine and company. On offense, I expect the Hawkeyes to heavily impose their will on the ground. Look for Akrum Wadley to be more limited in this game, while James Butler carries the load. It is a high of 91 in Iowa City on Saturday, so I see the Hawkeyes wearing out a thin defense on their way to a 47-16 win.

Last Week/Season: 3-3/5-7

Mitch Smith: Hawkeyes will win this game handily, but I’m not convinced it will be by more than 22 points. This is a game to play around with some new schemes and rotate in some different guys. Iowa moves to 3-0 heading into the night game against Penn State, but they don’t quite cover the spread.

Last Week/Season: 4-2/8-4

David Schwartz: North Texas is better than a couple of years ago but still not a threat to the Hawkeyes. Iowa survived Ames, so who knows how they’ll play this week. Hawkeyes win, but North Texas covers.

Last Week/Season: 2-4/4-8

Wisconsin (-17) at BYU

Rob: There’s been much kerfuffle about Wisconsin’s willingness to play a tough non-conference schedule. Well, that’s not happened this year. The Badgers have faced mighty Utah State and Florida Atlantic so far, making this week’s matchup look like they’re playing Alabama. I think they’re overrated as well. Give me the Mormons and the points.

Jon: That’s a big number to lay on the road at a proud program, especially since Wisconsin didn’t cover at home against Florida Atlantic last week. But that box score looked how it was supposed to, it just didn’t result in more points. Vegas is begging me to take BYU, so I will go with Wisconsin. Remember; BYU’s offense didn’t cross midfield once in their season opening loss to LSU.

Sean: The early schedule for the Cougars has been relentless with No. 12 LSU (Lost 27-0), Utah who sits at No. 26 (Lost 19-13) and now No. 10 Wisconsin. That type of stretch can kill a team’s confidence at the beginning of the season. The BYU offense is brutal, averaging 11 points per game (PPG). On the other side of the ball, the defense has been the bright spot for the Cougars. They are holding opponents to 17 PPG, solid considering their offense has not stayed on the field. The Badgers will try and grind this game out on the ground with back Jonathan Taylor (8.9 ypc avg.). Wisconsin is favored by a lot on the road against a stout defense, but I don’t see the Cougars having many opportunities to score. I’ll take the Badgers 24-3.

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Mitch: Badger running back Jonathan Taylor is coming off a huge game (223 rush yards, 3 TDs) against Florida Atlantic. BYU hasn’t been great against the run this year, so I’ll take Wisconsin to have a big day on offense and win by more than 17.

David: Seventeen is a lot to give on the road. The Cougars lost by a touchdown at home last week to a decent Utah squad. BYU plus the points.

Iowa State (-9.5) at Akron

Rob: The Clones should roll here, right? I mean, they took Iowa to the wire and look much improved. I’ve fell for this before like Lucy yanking the football from Charlie Brown, however. Terry Bowden has a decent Zips team. I’ll take the 9.5 points.

Jon: Iowa State is 4-7 straight up in their games following the CyHawk game the past 11 years. Two of those losses have been at on the road at MAC opponents. I think ISU wins this, but I will take Akron to cover.

Sean: Head coach Matt Campbell has made huge strides in year two at ISU. The offense is tremendous with QB Jacob Park, RB David Montgomery and WRs Hakeem Butler and Allen Lazard. The Cyclones defense even made some key stops last weekend against Iowa, but will need to improve as the season goes on. The question is can ISU get over the Iowa loss? I think this team remains confident and they have every right to, considering they lost to the Hawkeyes by 39 a year ago. On the other side, the Zips lost 52-0 in week one before winning 52-3 against Arkansas Pine Bluff in week two. This team lacks big playmakers and will never have a chance in this one. ISU plays angry and drubs Akron, 49-24.

Mitch: The Cyclones have a lot of playmakers on offense — too much for the Zips to handle. I’ll take the Cyclones minus the 9.5.

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David: Akron somehow got thrown into the middle of last week’s James Franklin-Pitt dust up. LEAVE THE ZIPS ALONE, JAMES FRANKLIN. Still, the Cyclones cover the spread.

Purdue (+7) at Missouri

Rob: The Boilers look better and Mizzou appears stuck in sucking. South Carolina worked the Tigers last week in Columbia and they yielded 42 points to Missouri State in Week 1. I’ll take the Big Ten plus the points.

Jon: I’ll gladly take the seven points and Purdue.

Sean: Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm has already impressed in his first year after nearly knocking down Louisville in week one. His offense is averaging 36 PPG, mostly through the air. Purdue QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar have shared nearly the exact same workload with Blough completing a much greater pass percentage over Sindelar (75 percent to 47 percent). The Boilermakers have a deep receiving core that Missouri will have a tough time defending. The same can be said for the Missouri offense, which is also pass-happy with QB Drew Lock who has eight touchdowns through the air. Neither team has a good defense, although Purdue held Lamar Jackson and the No. 14 Louisville offense to 35, which all things consider isn’t a bad day. This should be a good game, but the first roadie for Brohm, which I believe is an advantage for Missouri. I’ll take the Tigers to win a close one, 37-34.

Mitch: This one is a no brainer for me — Purdue is a lock to cover in this game, and maybe even pull off an upset. The Boilermakers played well in a loss to Louisville, and then picked up a nice win against Ohio. Missouri’s defense has been atrocious, and will have a new Defensive Coordinator. The Boilers have improved immensely, and will keep this game close.

David: I grew up in St. Louis at a time when Mizzou football was the worst. The Tigers are starting to re-acquire that stench, which is what happens when your enrollment crashes 35 percent in two years. Unless Mizzou is your only option, who would possibly want to play for them at this point? They’ve given up an average of 37 points the first two games and will lose Saturday to Purdue. The Boilermakers plus the points.

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Tennessee (+5.5) at Florida

Rob: Thanks to hurricane Irma, the Gators received an extra week to prepare for this one. The way they looked against Michigan, they needed it. I think they find a way to win this one in ugly fashion but I’ll take the points and the Vols.

Jon: I can’t get a read on Florida, other than I think their head coach is a nutter. Give me the Vols to cover.

Sean: No. 24 Florida continues without top playmakers WR Antonio Callaway and RB Jordan Scarlett along with seven other players who are suspended. This obviously hurts and was obvious against No. 7 Michigan in week one. When you have that many players suspended it undoubtedly makes it tougher in the locker room and practice field to really focus. And, without Callaway and Scarlett, Florida lacks a real threat on offense. The Gators defense is going to have to really step up in this game against a balanced Volunteers offense, which can throw with QB Quinten Dormady and run with RB John Kelly. If the Gators can keep this to a field goal game, they have a good chance of winning with one of the best kickers in football in Eddy Pineiro. But, I think the Volunteers separate from the Gators in the second half and win on the road 27-20.

Mitch: The Vols aren’t getting a lot of respect in this game, despite being 2-0 and quite strong thus far. I’ll take Tennessee to keep this game close, and maybe pull off a nice road win against Florida.

David: I don’t get this spread, but given my prognosticating record so far this season, I clearly don’t understand most
point spreads. Tennessee is 2-0, including a win against Georgia Tech. The Gators lost their opener by two touchdowns to Michigan, had last week’s game postponed by Hurricane Irma, and are now favored? Even if the game is in Florida, I’ll take Tennessee plus the 5.5.

Oregon (-14) at Wyoming

Rob: The Cowboy fans have been waiting all offseason for this one. It’s the first time they’ve hosted a PAC-12 (10) team since ’93. I think the Ducks’ speed is the difference here. Fourteen points are a lot, but I’ll throw them here and take Oregon.

Jon: Oregon’s offense looked real good last week. I’ll take the Ducks and lay the 14.

Sean: Outside of QB Josh Allen, Wyoming just doesn’t have any playmakers, evident vs. Iowa in the opener. In week two, they only were able to score 27 on Gardner-Webb in a win. They do have a decent defense, but I highly doubt they will be able to handle the fast-paced nature of Oregon and RB Royce Freeman, who already has 6 TDs on the season, which is more than the Cowboys scored in two games. The Wyoming offense will struggle in this game and the Ducks will win this one easy on the road, albeit a lower score than their first two games, 34-10.

Mitch: I like Josh Allen and I think he’s going to make a very solid pro prospect, but the Cowboys won’t have the firepower to keep up with the Ducks. Oregon wins this one handily by more than two scores.

David: In real life I would never bet this game with this spread. I have no idea what the Ducks are after last week’s tale of two halves against Nebraska. Wyoming’s defense held Iowa to 20 less points in Kinnick than Iowa State could in Ames. I don’t know. This is a wild guess: Wyoming plus 14.

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