The Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to East Lansing on Saturday to face the Michigan State Spartans where they will be hoping to breathe new life into their season.
The Michigan State Spartans sit happily with a strong 4-2 record on the season, but there are some who believe that the initial part of the season could have been better for the Spartans. It was a scary start as the Indiana Hoosiers dominated the Spartans, taking an early 27-14 lead at halftime. The story changed after the break when Spartans were able to take charge and block the Hoosier offense on the way to win 31-27. It was not the most efficient day for Andrew Maxwell, but the Spartan QB was strong throwing the ball with two scores and Maxwell managed to keep the ball away from the hands of the Hoosier defense Till now, in this season LeVeon Bell has remained the backbone of the Spartan’s offence and he continued with that last weekend, Bell finished with two scores and 121 yards. Defensively the Spartans were able to hold Hoosiers’ offense to 317 yards. Most important was that the Spartan defense made some key stops in the second half helping to fortify the Spartan win.
Similar Michigan State, the Iowa Hawkeyes have also faced a disappointing start to the 2012 season. The Hawkeyes have faced some very common problems to keep the running backs healthy, but this can also be a small blessing in disguise for the Iowa Hawkeyes as they discovered a diamond in the shape of Mark Weisman, the converted fullback. Weisman enjoyed yet another big day for Iowa last week when he ran for 177 yards and a score playing against the Gopher defense This was a very important day for the Hawkeyes as they needed a win badly to get back on track. It was icing on the cake to win back the Floyd of Rosedale from their unbeatable opponents the Minnesota Golden Gophers. QB James Vandenberg of Iowa has not been having a good season, but Vandenberg displayed a stronger grasp of the latest offense as he did not turn over the ball, when throwing for one score and almost 200 yards.
The Spartans are only 1-5 against the spread in their previous six games played at home and the Michigan State Spartans are also 1-5 against the spread in their past six games. On the other hand Hawkeyes are only 1-9 against the spread in the previous ten road games and they are overall 4-2 in their previous six games played with the Spartans. Spartans beat the Hawkeyes 37-21 in the last season at Iowa City.
There is a lot of change in the line already on this one, as at the opening Spartans were -13 which has now dropped to -10. Personally I believe some value is still here but it is better to be cautious. The Hawkeyes are displaying and understanding of the Greg Davis offensive and their new found running back can take off some pressure from QB James Vandenberg. My betting pick is on the Spartans but a double digit spread is a tough one to swallow.
(H/T Marcus from NFLBettingPicks.net for this guest post)