Arizona-Iowa: It’s prediction timeby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 17, 2010, under Sports
I have been going back and forth with the Arizona-Iowa game all week. So have the gamblers and oddsmakers.
The Hawkeyes started as 1-point favorite, then the line switched to the Wildcats as a tiny favorite. Basically, it’s a toss-up.
Iowa out-played Arizona last season in Iowa City, winning 27-17, but it wasn’t as if the Wildcats didn’t have their chances.
Maybe if they don’t let Adam Robinson run for 43 yards on third-and-23 … or maybe if they score a touchdown when they have first-and-goal from the 1 … or maybe if they convert a fake field goal …
Anyway, the talent gap last season wasn’t so great that UA can’t overcome it, especially with quarterback Nick Foles and receiver Juron Criner being pretty much fully developed players now, which wasn’t the case last season against Iowa.
Plus the Cats have some real advantages — some heat, a crazy home crowd, late-night game (starts at 9:30 p.m. on Iowa’s body clock). But what I keep coming back to is Iowa’s strengths on both lines. To me, that’s always the most important thing, especially with everything else being fairly equal.
The Wildcats still need to pass this particular test — beating a tough, physical non-conference opponent (see, Holiday Bowl, 2009). At this point, Iowa is a little more established, a little more trustworthy.
Still, I like what UA co-offensive coordinator Seth Littrell said this week — and not just because he was channeling Dick Tomey with the “hair on fire” comment:
“We respect everybody, but we’re not going to fear anybody, either. We’re going to go out there and play with our hair on fire, and we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.”
Should be a great game … but Iowa 28, Arizona 24.
More predictions: Brad Allis of WildcatSportsReport.com picks Arizona-Iowa and all the other Pac-10 games.