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Iowa Football Predictions 2020

Written by: Ben Pekay

Sept. 5 Northern Iowa-Win

Sept. 12 Iowa State- Loss

Sept. 18 @ Minnesota- Loss

Sept. 26 Northern Illinois- Win

Oct. 3 Michigan State-Win

Oct. 10 @ Ohio State- Loss

Oct. 17 @ Penn State-Loss

Oct. 24 Northwestern- Win

Nov. 7 @ Illinois- Win

Nov. 14 Nebraska- Win

Nov. 21 @ Purdue- Win

Nov. 28 Wisconsin-Win

Record: 8-4

The 2020 Iowa football season will be more of the same. Since 2015 Iowa has had a combined 47-19 record. Iowa’s Starting Quarterback will be Spencer Petras who was Nate Stanley’s backup last year. In his senior year of high school, Spencer Petras threw for 4,157 yards and 50 touchdowns. He is talented and has potential. Iowa returns Wide Receiver Brandon Smith who had 439 yards and 5 touchdowns in 8 games last year and Wide Receiver Ihmir Smith-Matsette who had 722 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. Iowa returns their top four receivers this year. They are one of Iowa’s most talented receiving groups ever. They also return Left Tackle Alaric Jackson who was 3rd team All-big ten last year and Tight End Sam LaPorta who had 188 yards last year and is poised for a big season this year. At the running back position, they return Tyler Goldson who had 638 yards last year. On the defensive end, they lost 3 starters including Defensive End A.J. Epenesa who was drafted in the 2nd round by the Buffalo Bills. Replacing him will be Defensive End Chauncey Goldston who had 47 tackles last year and 3 sacks. He will have a bigger role on the team with Epenesa gone. They also return Defensive Back Jack Koerner who had 81 tackles last year and 5 pass deflections. Their defense will be solid this year but their offense could take them to another level.

Iowa starts with FCS Northern Iowa. They went 10-5 last year and lost to James Madison in the playoffs. Northern Iowa returns Quarterback Will McElvain who threw for 2,778 yards last year and 20 touchdowns, and Wide Receiver Isaiah Weston who had 1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. Iowa cannot underestimate Northern Iowa. Last year Northern Iowa took Iowa State to triple overtime in a loss. I think Iowa will win in a close game that will come down to a game-winning drive or kick because of the talent on their team. Next up for Iowa is rival Iowa State. Last time Iowa State beat Iowa was 2014. Last year, Iowa recovered a fumbled punt to clinch an 18-17 win. Although Iowa State only returns 5 starters on offense, their future is very bright. Iowa State returns Brock Purdy who had 2,982 yards and 27 touchdowns last year. He will be one of the best quarterbacks in college football this year. They return Running Back Breece Hall who had 897 yards and 9 touchdowns in only 8 games last year. They also return all three of their tight ends who had a combined 971 yards and 10 touchdowns last year including Charlie Kolar who had 697 yards and 7 touchdowns last year. Kolar is one of the best tight ends in the country. Iowa State will have a very potent offense this year. Iowa State returns 8 starters on defense this year. They return JaQuan Bailey who has 18.5 sacks throughout his whole career. They also return Greg Eisworth II who was on the f1st team All-Big 12 last year. The Iowa State defense will be good this year. I believe Iowa State will prevail over Iowa, but this game is always a toss-up. This game will be low scoring, but Brock Purdy will play better than Spencer Petras thus helping Iowa State beat Iowa. Next up for Iowa is Minnesota. They return Tanner Morgan who threw for 3,253 yards and 30 touchdowns last season and Rashod Bateman who was the Big Ten’s receiver of the year last year. On defense, they return Jordan Howard who had 57 total tackles last year with 6 pass deflections. Minnesota will beat Iowa because they have a more explosive offense and Minnesota’s defense will make just enough stops to win.

Next up for Iowa is Northern Illinois. Last year, Northern Illinois went 5-7. They return Ross Bowers who threw for 2,130 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. Iowa will win because of the talent on their team. After Northern Illinois, Iowa has Michigan State. Michigan State’s starting quarterback will be Rocky Lombardi who was Brian Lewerke’s backup last year. They also return Running Back Elijah Collins who ran for 988 yards last year and 5 touchdowns. They have an inexperienced group of wide receivers and will struggle to create offense throughout the season. On the defensive end, they lost 8 starters. The defense will also struggle because the backups are inexperienced and need time to develop. Iowa will win this game because of the strong play of their offense and the poor play of Rocky Lombardi. After Michigan State, they face the gauntlet of Ohio State and Penn State. Ohio State is insanely talented. Ohio State returns preseason Heisman candidate Quarterback Justin Fields who threw for 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns and Wide Receiver Chris Olave who caught 12 touchdowns last year and had 848 total yards. On the defensive end, they return Cornerback Shaun Wade who had 25 tackles last year and 8 pass deflections and is probably a future first-round draft pick. Iowa will lose this game because of a talented Ohio State team and the Iowa defense won't be able to stop the Ohio State offense. Next up for Iowa is Penn State. Penn State is also insanely talented. They return Quarterback Sean Clifford who threw for 23 touchdowns and 2,654 yards and Wide Receiver Jahan Dotson who had 488 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. On the defensive end, they return Linebacker Micah Parsons who had 109 tackles and 5 sacks last year who is arguably one of the best linebackers in the country. Penn State will beat Iowa because Sean Clifford will outplay Spencer Petras.

After Penn State, Iowa has Northwestern. Northwestern starting quarterback will be Indiana transfer Peyton Ramsey who threw for 2,454 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. They have little talent on their offense around Ramsey and will struggle scoring points. On the defensive end, they return Linebacker Paddy Fisher who won first-team Big Ten in 2018. Iowa will beat Northwestern because of the solid play of their defense.

Next up for Iowa is Illinois. Illinois returns its starting quarterback, Brandon Peters, who threw for 1,884 yards and 18 touchdowns, and its best wide receiver, Josh Imatorbhebhe, who caught 9 touchdowns and had a total of 634 yards last year. On the defense, they return Linebacker Jake Hansen who had 72 tackles last year and 7 forced fumbles. I think the Illini will keep it close with Iowa for the beginning of the game but eventually, Iowa will extend the lead because of the good play of their offense. Next up for Iowa is Nebraska. Nebraska returns Quarterback Adrian Martinez who threw 9 interceptions last year and 10 touchdowns and Wide Receiver JD Spielman who had 898 yards and 5 touchdowns last year. The defense will not be amazing this year with some of their top players leaving or going to the NFL draft. I think Iowa will win a close game because Spencer Petras will outplay Martinez.

Next up for Iowa is Purdue. Purdue has a very capable offense. They return their starting quarterback Jake Plummer, their 2018 All-American Wide Receiver Rondale Moore and Receiver David Bell who was the 2019 freshman of the year. The problem with Purdue is their defense. Last year the defense allowed 31 points per game and was second-to-last in the Big Ten in total defense. Their defense will not be much better this year. Iowa will win because of the poor play of Purdue’s defense and the strong play of Spencer Petras. Lastly, Iowa has a home game against Wisconsin. Wisconsin returns Starting Quarterback Jack Coan who threw for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns last year and Running Back Nakia Watson who had 331 yards and 2 touchdowns last year. Watson will have a bigger role this year because Jonathan Taylor left to go to the NFL. On defense, they return Linebacker Jack Sanborn who had 80 tackles and 5.5 sacks last year. This Wisconsin team is very talented and has a chance to win the Big Ten West this year. Iowa will pull off a close victory against Wisconsin because Spencer Petras and the offense will have a good game and the Iowa defense will do just enough to help Iowa win.

This season will be more of the same for Iowa. They will be competitive with every team they play this season. The game against Iowa State will be an indicator of how the rest of the season goes. With a victory in that game, they will have momentum and confidence for their conference games. In a very competitive Big Ten West where any team can win the division, Iowa is going to have to make few mistakes if they want to win their division.

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