Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 8, 2014, 12:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers +2 -- Over/Under:
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers play Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have won four of their last five games and all of a sudden find themselves in the Big Ten West race. Iowa is being led by a defense that’s allowing 20 points, 322.8 yards, and has forced 13 turnovers and 22 sacks. The Iowa Hawkeyes have won 13 of their last 14 games when allowing 24 or less points. Quinton Alston leads Iowa with 60 tackles and Drew Ott has 10.5 tackles for loss. Offensively, Jake Rudock is completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Rudock has thrown for five touchdowns and just one pick in his last three games. Iowa has 16 passing plays of 25 or more yards, while Kevonte Martin-Manley and Tevaun Smith have combined for more than 600 yards and three touchdowns. The Iowa ground game is averaging 3.9 yards per carry, as Mark Weisman has scored 13 of the Hawkeyes 17 rushing touchdowns.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have won four of their last five games and play similar to Iowa. Defensively, Minnesota is allowing 22.3 points, 351.6 yards, and has forced 19 turnovers and 14 sacks. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have won eight of their last 10 games when allowing 24 or less points. Damien Wilson leads Minnesota with 86 tackles and Briean Boddy-Calhoun has six pass deflections. Offensively, Minnesota lives and dies with running back David Cobb, who has 1,131 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Cobb leads a Minnesota ground game that’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and the Golden Gophers are 9-2 SU when he tops 100 rushing yards. Mitch Leidner is completing 51.1 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and six interceptions. Leidner has also rushed for six scores, including four in his last four games. The Golden Gophers have 16 passing plays of 25 or more yards, and Maxx Williams has caught four of Minnesota’s seven passing touchdowns.
The Hawkeyes are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 conference games and 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games in November. The Hawkeyes are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 meetings.
These two teams are pretty much the same, just in different uniforms. However, I really think Cobb is one of more underrated running backs in the country, and I also like Minnesota’s defense and the fact they’re at home. This is a coin flip game but I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Minnesota slightly more than Iowa and believe they’ll get the job done in front of their home fans. Forget the couple of points to increase your value of this pick.