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Iowa Hawkeyes Vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Free Pick 8/31/13

Northern Illinois Huskies (0-0) at Iowa Hawkeyes (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm (Kinnick Stadium)

The Line: Iowa Hawkeyes -3 --- Over/Under: 53 See the Latest Odds


The Northern Illinois Huskies are coming off an impressive season last season, going 12-2 on the year overall. The Hawkeyes were able to deal the Huskies their lone regular season loss last season, and you can bet that the Huskies will have that on their minds come Saturday.

The Iowa Hawkeyes had another disappointing season last year as the Hawkeyes went just 4-8 last season. Ferentz is viewed as one of the top coaches in the nation, but watching this team last season, it is starting to look as the game may be starting to pass this squad by. The passing attack was abysmal last season, averaging just 187 yards per game, giving the Hawkeyes the 102nd ranked passing attack in the nation. The ground game also was sluggish for Iowa, as the Hawkeyes also had the 102nd ranked ground attack in the nation. The Hawkeyes have named Jake Rudock as their starter for the season opener against the Huskies. Rudock is viewed by many as the safer option for the Hawkeyes. Greg Davis doesn’t have a ton of talent to work with as the receiving corps have had problems generating space from DB’s in the past, but reports are from camp that this unit is starting to show signs of improvement, but honestly, let’s wait and see.

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Iowa Hawkeyes Vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Free Pick 8/31/13

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies had just one loss in the regular season last year, and that was in week one to these Hawkeyes. Think the Huskies will have that on their mind when they head to Kinnick on Saturday? The Huskies had one of the better ground attacks in the nation last season, averaging an impressive 238 yards per game. The Huskies run an up tempo offense, which could give this Hawkeye defense problems as the Big Ten does not have many of these spread-option, up tempo attacks to defend. The Huskies also play very well defensively, giving up just 19 points per game on average last season. Northern Illinois is definitely a fun team to watch, and with a very favorable schedule in 2013, it is tough to see this team dropping off much, despite the loss of key talent on both sides of the ball.

In their last ten games, the Huskies are an even 5-5 against the spread while going an impressive 8-2 in their last ten outings. The Hawkeyes are just 5-10 against the number in their past three seasons, while going 9-6 overall in that stretch.

Kinnick stadium is a tough place to play for anyone, but I just can’t see the Hawkeyes giving points to the Huskies. Northern Illinois is a very solid team and with their defense and ground game, should be able to cover this small number, if not get the win outright against the Hawkeyes. I would watch the money line closely here as there should be some value on the Huskies as Northern Illinois should field the better team on Saturday.

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