Nevada vs. Iowa: Get To Know the Hawkeyes
Expect a low scoring game.
What does Iowa do well?
Nevada goes on the road to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. This Iowa team has struggled on offense but have an elite defense so the big question is if Nevada can break through.
To get to know the Hawkeyes better we spoke with Rob Howd of Hawkeye Nation to get to know this Iowa team.
1. With the offense struggling, why are the coaches sticking with Spencer Petras at quarterback?
The issues on that side of the ball stretch beyond the signal caller. The offensive line has not been good and the team is missing two of its top three receivers. Couple those shortcomings with a very loyal head coach, and that’s why there hasn’t been a change. According to Kirk Ferentz, the decision is partly based on how the quarterbacks are practicing. If you take him for his word, that means the backup quarterbacks have not earned an opportunity with their performance in workouts.
2. Who are the key players to know on this team?
Defensively, MLB Jack Campbell was one of the nation’s leaders in tackles a year ago. He paces the Big Ten in stops per game (10.5) so far this season. Cornerback Riley Moss is the defending Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year. He shares the team lead with Campbell for solo tackles (10) in 2022.
On offense, it’s tight end Sam LaPorta. He led the team in receptions in 2021. His 10 catches are the most on the squad this year. Receiver Arland Bruce IV has six catches for 77 yards, the most for Iowa.
3. Are there any significant injuries that could impact this game?
As mentioned earlier, the receiver position has been hit hard. There’s a chance that starters Nico Ragaini and Keagan Johnson could play for the first time this season. Ragaini is the more probable of the two.
Starting outside linebacker Jestin Jacobs is out for a second game in a row after suffering a leg injury in Week 1. He is on the Butkus Award watch list. Starting cornerback Jamari Harris has not played in ’22, and it was announced this week that he would be out for the rest of the season after having surgery.
4. What is an area that Nevada can exploit against Iowa?
I would be surprised if the Wolf Pack finds much success against the Hawkeye defense. The Iowa offense is ranked dead last in the FBS in points per game, yards per game and yards per play. The visitors will need to take advantage of Iowa’s struggles on that side of the ball by creating turnovers, winning the field position battle and providing their offense with as many opportunities as possible.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
If Nevada can hang in early and force Iowa to punt, there’s a good chance the Kinnick Stadium crowd will reign down boos on the hometown guys in frustration as it has through the first two weeks. I really think it comes down to how the Wolf Pack defense performs against the Iowa offense. On one hand, you have a unit that was shredded by Incarnate Word. On the other, you have one that has managed 10 points through two contests (the defense has two safeties). I’m going to go with a hunch that the home team prevails in that matchup and slowly pulls away as the game advances. It could be a field position battle early, but eventually the Hawkeyes wear down the visitors and come away with a 26-3 victory.