College Football Preview: Spartans Look to Exploit Ailing Hawkeyes

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

A gutsy call was pivotal to Michigan State keeping their unbeaten record alive last week. They travel to Iowa on Saturday to face a team which fell afoul of a terrible coaching decision last weekend.

Hawkeyes will get some payback Mark Dantonio made a huge decision last week to call a fake punt as Michigan State rallied to beat Northwestern. Iowa meanwhile endured Kirk Ferentz wasting their final timeout as they ran out of time against Wisconsin. Mentally this puts the Spartans and Hawkeyes in very different places entering their showdown this Saturday.

The energized Spartans have ridden their luck and their talent to an 8-0 start. While fortune shone on Michigan State with their gutsy fakes against the Wildcats and Notre Dame, this team is no fluke. Dantonio has built a formidable outfit in East Lansing, one that is stout on defense while presenting tremendous balance on offense. That balance will be critical this weekend against Iowa’s stingy defense.

The Hawkeyes are giving up just 15.7 points per game. Despite the agony of last week’s defeat, Iowa have shown the ability to bounce back from defeat with style. The Hawkeyes’ road defeat at Arizona earlier this season was followed by convincing victories over Penn State, Ball State, and Michigan. I expect that same vengeful streak to be the difference this weekend. Bet on the Iowa Hawkeyes to win as -6.5 favorites with Sports Interaction.

Big Red remains a power in the Big 12 North Undefeated Missouri have their eyes on a potential run at the BCS National Championship. The Tigers must first negotiate a trip to Lincoln where Nebraska lie in wait. The Cornhuskers’ finally found an offense too hot for their defense last week as Oklahoma State forced Nebraska into a shootout. Freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez showed tremendous guile however to ensure Nebraska won with his best passing performance to date.

In many respects the win over the Cowboys was the best thing that could have happened to Nebraska after the Cornhuskers lost to Texas two weeks ago. Martinez needed to show he was a true dual-threat quarterback and not just a pair of legs. His 23 of 35 performance for 323 yards and 5 touchdowns silenced critics and was the perfect warm-up for this weekend’s crucial Big 12 North game. The defense meanwhile needed the kind of wake-up call they got from Oklahoma State’s up-tempo offense.

Missouri made history with their win last week over Oklahoma but I don’t like them to win this weekend, not in Lincoln against a Nebraska team that has shown it can deal with adversity. Bet on the Nebraska Cornhuskers as -7.5 favorites with Sports Interaction.