Hawkeyes looking to protect their lead in the Big Ten West when Rutgers comes to Kinnick
Thu, Nov 9, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Rutgers (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) at Iowa (7-2, 4-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Line: Iowa by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Iowa leads 3-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Iowa leads the Big Ten West and likely will be favored in its remaining regular-season games. The Hawkeyes don't want to open the door for any of the three teams tied for second place. Rutgers, whose only bowl appearance since 2014 was as a five-win emergency fill-in for the 2021 Gator Bowl, could enhance its postseason position with a road win here.
Rutgers rushing offense vs. Iowa defense. The Scarlet Knights are right behind conference-leading Nebraska on the Big Ten rushing chart. They dented Ohio State for 232 yards last week, including seven runs of at least 10 yards. Kyle Monangai, averaging a league-best 100.3 yards per game, comes in off three straight 100-yard games. The Hawkeyes have steadily improved against the run the last month, holding the last two opponents to 2.2 and 2.5 yards per carry, and they've allowed just one rushing touchdown all season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Rutgers: ILB Deion Jennings, anchor of a vastly improved defense, recorded a career-high 13 tackles against Ohio State. He's the key to shutting down runs between the tackles and forcing Deacon Hill, who completes 42% of his passes, to throw.
Iowa: Keep an eye on CB Cooper DeJean to see if he plays more snaps on offense. DeJean lined up as a slot receiver for two plays against Northwestern and picked up 8 yards on a jet sweep. The Hawkeyes desperately need a spark on offense, and DeJean could be a real weapon, just as he is as a punt returner and defender.
FACTS & FIGURES
Iowa has won all three meetings with the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers did beat a Kirk Ferentz-coached Maine team in 1991. ... A win would give Rutgers four Big Ten wins, its most since it joined the conference in 2014. ... Rutgers has rushed for at least 250 yards in four of nine games, matching the number over 70 games from 2017-22. ... Among Big Ten quarterbacks, Rutgers' Gavin Wimsatt is first in rushing touchdowns (7) and second in rushing yards (411). ... Iowa has won 15 of its last 16 November games. ... Iowa has held 15 of its last 22 opponents to 14 or fewer points.
___ Get alerts on the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here ___ AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football"