Some kernels of wisdom on this Friday morning, 24 hours away from the 61st rendition of the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry. Several stats courtesy of Iowa State media relations.
The Cyclones have won nine of their previous 15 contests against the Hawkeyes, an advantage not indicative of the cumulative records of the two teams in the previous 15 years (Iowa State: 79-104, Iowa: 103-82).
Of course, right before that the Hawkeyes went an unbelievable 15 years without losing to Iowa State. Compare that to the longest streaks of other notable rivalries:
Texas-OU: Texas, eight games.
Michigan-Ohio State: Michigan, nine.
USC-Notre Dame: Notre Dame, 11.
Alabama-Auburn: Alabama, nine.
Army-Navy: Navy, 11.
The last two games have each been decided by three points, although the total sum has been drastically different (9-6 in 2012, 44-41 in 2011). In one game this season ISU scored 20 points and gave up 28, while the Hawkeyes are averaging 27.5 and yielding 22. Vegas has the over/under set at 48.
The Cyclones have a streak of 21 games in which their opponent hasn't broken the 40-point barrier. Expect that to reach 22. Iowa hasn't scored over 40 since the 2011 season. In only two of his last 28 games has Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis overseen a team score 40 or more.
Can Shontrelle Johnson break the 100-yard mark against the Hawkeyes, like he did in 2011? Unlikely, seeing as he'll split carries with three and possibly four other running backs. It'll be interesting to see how the carries are distributed as the season goes on. I'll watch game tape and delve deep into some nuanced statistics to argue which of the backs gives the Cyclones their best overall threat. After one game, and without watching the film to judge pass protection, that'd be James White.
If you have any questions about the chart, send me an email. This will be something I'll track weekly, among other things. It will be fully filled in once I get my hands on some film, which will happen next week. A quality carry is defined as one that goes for four-plus yards, a first down or a touchdown, i.e., four being the magic number to move the sticks if you ran on first, second and third down. I believe it's a better metric than rushing average — which can be bloated — and is a useful tool in tracking player efficiency and value, because every play is considered.
Luke Knott will make his first career start at weakside linebacker, replacing Jevohn Miller. who didn't record a tackle against Northern Iowa. Sam E. Richardson leads the team at this point with 10 unassisted tackles. Knott had two (six total).
Iowa is 21st nationally in opponent third down conversions, holding contending teams to 26.7 percent (8-for-30).
As of Friday morning the Hawkeyes are tied for 17th in total plays run, with 166. Above them on that list are six teams who have already played in three games.