Iowa CITY, Iowa - Iowa drags a seven-game losing streak into Saturday's Week 2 contest against Missouri State at Kinnick Stadium ( 11 a.m, BTN). It's the longest skid in the Big Ten and the Hawkeyes worst stretch since dropping 13 in a row during the 1999-2000 campaigns.
It won't reach eight.
You'll hear a lot about the Davids beating the Goliaths last weekend. You can disregard that here.
The Bears are not North Dakota State, who surprised the college football world with a win at Kansas State a week ago. They're certainly not the Appalachian State team that won at Michigan in '07.
No, Missouri State is what most FCS schools are that travel to FBS institutions - a cupcake opponent in town to receive a big paycheck in exchange for a beat-down. That's the norm in these situations not the more publicized upsets that really are few and far between.
The Bears fell in their season-opener last week, 23-17, at home against Northwestern State in front of 10,147 fans. They allowed 458 yards of total offense and 24 first downs.
If this game is close, Missouri State played the game of its life. And the Hawkeyes regressed from last week's three-point loss to a talented Northern Illinois squad.
Both teams are 0-1. Neither of them is ranked.
Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
THE LINE: Iowa opened as a 24-point favorite at Covers.com and it had moved to 24.5 by Thursday night. The site listed the over-under number at 41.5.
-Missouri State is 0-5 Straight Up in its last 5 games on the road.
-Iowa is 1-6 Against the Spread in its last 7 games overall.
Iowa CB B.J. Lowery v. MS WR Dorian Buford: NIU's Jordan Lynch picked on the Iowa corners as the front generated little to no pressure on the QB. Lowery struggled with leg cramps and was beat more times than one would expect from the senior. Buford earned preseason first-team all-Missouri Valley accolades and caught five passes for 70 yards in the opener.
Iowa C Austin Blythe v. MS NT Eric Pearce: Sometimes the trenches are where mismatches can occur in FBS-FCS clashes. In this case, Pearce (306) has six pounds on Blythe. The interior of the Hawkeye line was inconsistent in the opener and looks to take a step forward. If Blythe can neutralize the middle man in the Bears' 3-4, he'll free up his mates to pick off blitz attempts.
Missouri State - Ryan Heaston (out, collarbone),
Iowa - Jordan Lomax (questionable, hamstring), Reese Fleming (doubtful, leg), Michael Malloy (out, undisclosed).
POINTS OF INTEREST
-Eighth-year head coach Terry Allen's father, Robert, played for the Hawkeyes in the late 1930’s before serving as the school's head men’s swimming coach for 16 years.
-Since moving to Division I status in 1982, Missouri State is 1-28 all-time against FBS programs. The Bears’ sole FBS win in that time frame came at UNLV (31-24) in 1990.
-MSU brings a seven-game losing streak against teams from the state of Iowa into Saturday’s game, with its last win coming at home vs. UNI (24-21) on Oct. 8, 2005. The Bears have not won a game on Iowa soil since defeating the Panthers (also by a 24-21 score) in Cedar Falls on Oct. 3, 1998.
-Over the last three seasons, MSU is 0-14 when scoring 20 points or less. The Bears are 5-4 when topping the 20-point barrier over the same span.
-SS Caleb Schaffitzel currently ranks third among active NCAA FCS players in career interception return yardage (216).
-Iowa's last win came on Oct. 13, 2012 at Michigan State.
-Iowa junior RB Mark Weisman is 85 yards shy of reaching 1,000 career rushing yards. He enters the game with 179 careers carries for 915 yards (5.1 avg.).
-Iowa is one of five Big Ten teams not to allow a sack in week one.
-Senior PK Mike Meyer has made a school-record 84 consecutive PAT attempts, the ninth longest streak in Big Ten Conference history.
-Junior WR Kevonte Martin-Manley recorded a career-best nine receptions against Northern Illinois, a total that leads the Big Ten and ranks 16th nationally.
-Dating back to last season, three of Iowa's last five defeats have been decided by three points (Indiana, 24-21; Purdue, 27-24; Northern Illinois, 30-27).
-Six Hawkeyes made their first career starts in the season opener against Northern Illinois - QB Jake Rudock, WR Don Shumpert, DE Drew Ott, DT Carl Davis, SS John Lowdermilk and CB Jordan Lomax.
An 11-month victory drought for Iowa should come to an end Saturday. If it doesn't, Hawkeye Insider will shut down its message boards for the evening (I kid).
The Hawkeyes' progress this week will be measured by how well they clean up mistakes and continue to grow their chemistry more than it will be reflected on the scoreboard against an obviously inferior opponent.
As much as the players tried to downplay the losing streak and disconnect last season ending with six losses and this one beginning with a setback, the group could use its confidence boosted. It will need it next week when it travels to Ames.
Iowa should be able to run the ball at will this week. That should allow some things to open up in the passing game where Rudock and his receivers can continue to get on the same page.
I know what some of you are thinking. I'm overly confident and it's going to jinx the Hawkeyes. Trust me. Don't worry.
SCORE: IOWA 34, Missouri State 10