Iowa vs. Pittsburgh Prediction, Game Preview

    Iowa vs. Pittsburgh prediction and game preview. The 2-0 Hawkeyes host the 2-0 Panthers in a battle between teams from the ACC and Big Ten.

    September 26, 2016

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    The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Iowa Hawkeyes are both after 3-0 starts this Saturday night in Iowa City. We break down the pair of unbeatens below in the Iowa vs. Pittsburgh prediction and game preview.

    Iowa vs. Pittsburgh Prediction & Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, September 19
    Game Time: 8:00 ET
    Network: Big Ten Network

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    For Iowa and Pitt, a pair of unbeaten and unranked teams, this weekend’s game at Kinnick Stadium represents a potential fork in the road. Should the Hawkeyes and the Panthers be taken more seriously? Both teams will have a chance to answer that question in Week 3. Pitt, who’s playing without star RB James Conner, is coming off a 24-7 road win over Akron, while Iowa scored the final 21 points in Ames to knock off rival Iowa State, 31-17.

    Why Pittsburgh Will Win

    The Panthers have injury issues, but so do the Hawkeyes who could be without their starting running back, LeShun Daniels, and best D-lineman, Drew Ott. Head coach Pat Narduzzi has so far done a solid job with the no-name Pitt defense, which has produced nine sacks and allowed just one touchdown pass. Narduzzi’s impact on the Panther D has been swift and notable.

    Why Iowa Will Win

    Can Pitt move the ball on this Iowa defense? The Panthers plan to use both quarterbacks, Nathan Peterman and Chad Voytik, and clearly miss Conner. Plus, corners Greg Mabin and Desmond King are capable of neutralizing Pitt’s best weapon, WR Tyler Boyd. Hawkeye, QB C.J. Beathard, meanwhile, has started fast, with help from his favorite target, Matt VandeBerg.

    Player Who Matters

    Can Peterman be Narduzzi’s Connor Cook at Pitt? Peterman is a more statuesque pocket passer than Voytik, which could help the Panthers unlock all of Boyd’s enormous potential. Peterman was 12-of-17 for 148 yards and a touchdown last Saturday, and he was taking a lot of first-team reps at practice this week.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Put two similar teams in the same building, and a 60-minute tussle is almost a foregone conclusion. Iowa and Pittsburgh will lean on the defenses and the ground games, both hoping to overcome injuries to get to 3-0. The Hawkeyes are playing a little better at the line of scrimmage right now, and will benefit from the home crowd to earn a hard-fought victory over the Panthers.

    Iowa vs. Pittsburgh ScorePrediction

    Prediction: Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 23, Line: Iowa -5.5, o/u: 47

    Must See Rating: 5: Republican Debate, Second Round – 1: Republican Debate, First Round … 2.5

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 2

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