The Iowa Hawkeyes are set to open Big Ten play with a road trip to Piscataway, New Jersey to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday night. This is Iowa’s first game away from historic Kinnick Stadium in 2022, though it will be the Hawkeyes’ second straight game after Iowa beat the Nevada Wolfpack 27-0 in just over seven hours extending last Saturday evening and until Sunday. Morning.
Victory in the non-conference final gave Hawkeye’s offense a much-needed jolt in the arm. Iowa fired a trio of wide receivers to meaningful action and seemingly opened the passing game down. The result was three times as many offensive touchdowns as the team had produced in the first two weeks combined. While it’s a bright spot on Saturday, the Hawkeye offense remains highly suspect. Iowa still ranks 127th out of 131 teams in scoring offense and is still last in total offense in three games.
The abyssal offense was more than offset by a remarkable defense, which in many ways is the opposite of the offense. Phil Parker’s group ranks second nationally in scoring defense, allowing just over four points per game, and fourth in total defense.
Iowa may need that defense to show their best things in Week 4 as the Hawkeyes travel to Rutgers, who enter the competition at 3-0 and averaging nearly 35 points per game. match. This Scarlet Knight defense is only giving up 14 points per game, which means Iowa will either have to show further growth in their offense or use defense to keep Rutgers well below their season average.
Here’s a first look at what you need to know about this week’s game.
Date: Saturday September 24
Time: 6:00 PM CT
Match: Iowa Hawkeye (2-1, 0-0) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0, 0-0)
Location: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
Preliminary weather forecast: weather mid 60s, 5% chance of rain
DraftKings opening line: Iowa -7.5, O/U 35.5
Dimensions/lines subject to change. The T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for more details.
Saturday will mark only the third meeting between Iowa and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes have won each of the two previous meetings between the two schools, with the first meeting taking place in 2016 after the Knights joined the Big Ten in 2014.
The visit to Piscataway will be the second for Iowa but the first since the inaugural game in 2016. Iowa won this one 14-7. The Rutgers touchdown in 2016 is the only one the Knights have scored in the series. The Hawkeyes picked up a 30-0 victory in the only other meeting between the two schools in 2019.
Each of Iowa’s two previous wins over Rutgers have come against former coach Chris Ash. Coincidentally, these came in the early and late years of the Ash era. The Knights are now coached by Greg Schiano, who is making his second round with Rutgers after building a national brand from scratch over 11 seasons from 2001-2011 while the school was still in the Big East.
Pre-season preparation work
As we head into kick-off, be sure to check out our pre-season preview for this week’s game. There are plenty of important details and unique looks at this week’s opponent, including these great stats:
11th part of bowl: Even if it was due to a delay COVID abandonmentthe Scarlet Knights appeared (and lost big) in their 11th bowl game. 10 of them came since Greg Schiano was first hired, he was the head coach of 7 of them.
6.9 meters: The difference between 120th (Rutgers at 310.8) and 121st (Iowa at 303.9) offenses from 2021. The Hawks outscored them by 3.7 points/game, a difference almost exclusively attributable to non-offensive scoring (6 touchdowns and 2 safeties in my opinion – 3.3 points/game).
3rd senior season: Presumed starting QB Noah Vedral will be playing his sixth season overall, the third ranked like a senior year. COVID, red shirts and transfer rules have tied me in knots. He posted a 16:15 TD:INT ratio in his 20 games at Rutgers with a 60% completion percentage.
348 scrimmage yards: Shameen Jones is the number one option for the Scarlet Knights, but had just 334 receiving yards in his second senior season. Yes, it is also classified the same as Vedral. Lots of experience in this team even if the statistics are… disappointing.
It’s also worth pointing out that Rutgers is home to one of the Big Ten’s other big bettors. Adam Korsak has already clocked nearly 7 miles in his four years at Piscataway as the Knights set an NCAA record in net punt yardage a season ago. Get your popcorn ready for what might be the greatest punting show ever.
Here’s a look at the pre-season predictions for this one:
Staff prediction: Iowa Win, Unanimous
Fan prediction: Iowa Win, 99% of votes
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa 25.68, Rutgers 13.95 (Iowa -11.73), 87.2% chance of winning in Iowa
Stay tuned all week as we dive deeper into the players, games and stats you need to know as the Hawkeyes take on the Wolfpack.