Iowa Analyst: Big Ten Race "A Dogfight"

Iowa hopes to return to Indianapolis for the second time in four seasons

October 26, 2018 - 7:58 am

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No. 18 Iowa (6-1) is once again in the thick of the Big Ten title hunt, and its defense is a big reason why. The Hawkeyes have allowed seven points or fewer in three games this season, including last week’s 23-0 shutout against Maryland. The Terrapins had just 115 total yards – on 39 plays.

“I don’t know if in 40 years of covering the Hawkeyes I’ve ever seen them hold a team to 39 plays, but it is what it is,” Iowa football play-by-play voice Gary Dolphin said on Ferrall on the Bench. “This Iowa defense is legitimate. It really is one of the better teams in the country.”

The Hawkeyes won their first three games before dropping a heartbreaker to Wisconsin at home. They have since won three straight with two tough games upcoming: at No. 17 Penn State (5-2) on Saturday and at Purdue (4-3) on Nov. 3.

“Iowa still feels they have a legitimate chance,” Dolphin said. “But when you look at that traffic jam, you got Purdue, you’ve got Northwestern, the Hawks, Wisconsin has a couple losses – it’s going to be quite a dogfight. The next two weeks will really define Iowa football as to whether they’re playing on Jan. 1 or whether they’re playing at a very nice bowl somewhere else. But at State College, at West Lafayette – two teams that are playing at a high level right now. Even though Penn State has had a little up and down run the last few weeks, they’re still very good at home.”

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET.