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September 21, 2013

Staff Predictions: Iowa

Western Michigan's final non-conference game of 2013 starts today at noon at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium. At 0-3, WMU is still searching for the first win of the P.J. Fleck era. BroncoBlitz.com takes a stab at the final outcome.

David James: I've got two immediate feelings that come to mind about this matchup. First, Iowa's offensive line and running game have a distinct advantage against the smaller WMU front seven. Secondly, Iowa's lack of explosiveness offensively is likely to keep the Broncos in striking distance all game.

Most logic would point to Iowa winning this one without excessive trouble. I don't think a blowout is likely, but this is a Hawkeye team that lost by only two to the MAC favorites and has taken care of business in a couple of other games as favorites.

It's my gut feeling that WMU is due to put things together for a whole game. There have been flashes in every game save maybe Nicholls. Mostly, though, I'm too stubborn to back down from my prediction that the Broncos take one of the Big Ten matchups, and it's going to have to be this one.

Western Michigan 24, Iowa 22

D.J. Duckett: This will be another tough test for this already reeling WMU team. Iowa is a big, strong opponent who will look to over power WMU with its huge offensive line and big bruising back, Mark Weisman. The question will be, does WMU have enough size to stop that attack. I think not.

The Broncos may stay in this game and stick around if Iowa takes them lightly, but I see them struggling as the game goes on and eventually getting worn down. I look for Iowa to pull away in the second half, which has been an all too familiar script for Bronco fans in recent years.

Iowa 28, Western Michigan 17

Brian Persky: All week we've been hearing about the Iowa running game, and with good reason. It's not a great matchup for the Broncos considering the Hawkeyes front five is probably as strong as any Big Ten team they've faced thus far, along with how thin and inexperienced WMU is up front in an attempt to counter. Nonetheless, it's a fairly manageable situation if they stack the box and leave WMU's strongest unit one-on-one in the secondary.

Against an always stingy, blue-collar Iowa defense, the Broncos will have no choice but to get the passing game going if they want to even compete in this game. To date, I haven't seen much evidence of that happening. However if Josh Schaffer continues to emerge, giving TVT another reliable target in the receiving corps, that alone could be enough to get this offense rolling.

An upset at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday isn't likely, but it also isn't impossible. Although it would seem like a trap game on the schedule for Iowa, something tells me the Hawkeyes will have no trouble getting up for this game. There's just too much pride on the line for a team that is 0-2 against WMU and has already lost to another MAC opponent this season (NIU). This is more of a gut call than anything, but I think Iowa wins fairly easily and WMU's offense continues to struggle. I think we see something similar to the Michigan State game.

Iowa 22, Western Michigan 10

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