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College Football: Week 2 Preview

The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress

Iowa at Iowa State  11:00 AM CT  ESPN2

Saturday will mark the 65th meeting between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones in the Cy-Hawk Trophy Series. After an embarrassing 42-3 loss last season in Iowa City, Iowa State is hoping to end a two-game skid to the Hawkeyes and get to 2-0 for the first time since 2012.

(Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Jacob Park, who completed 27-of-35 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns against Northern Iowa, needs to have success through the air for a second straight week if the Cyclones have any chance of winning this one. Iowa State’s all-time reception leader, Allen Lazard, must get involved because of the Hawkeyes ability to stop the run.

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Josey Jewell put on a solid performance against Wyoming and helped the Hawkeyes hold the Cowboys to only 59 yards on the ground. That has to be a concern for Iowa State’s 1-2 punch consisting of running backs David Montgomery and Mike Warren.

While sophomore quarterback Nathan Stanley managed to throw three touchdowns in his first start under center for the Hawkeyes, he threw an interception and fumbled twice. That could be a potential advantage for the Cyclones, after they recorded three interceptions with two going for touchdowns against Northern Iowa. Despite Iowa State losing the last two contests in this series by an average of 26.5 points, this is a different team under Matt Campbell in Year 2 and Iowa is going to be on high upset alert.

Prediction: Iowa 27, Iowa State 24

 

Nebraska at Oregon  3:30 PM CT  FOX

Saturday afternoon will be a homecoming of sorts for third-year Nebraska head coach Mike Riley, who makes his return to Autzen Stadium for the first time since leaving his head coaching job at Oregon State. Riley ended a seven-game losing streak to Oregon last year when quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. scored on a 34-yard run with 2:29 remaining to give the Huskers a 35-32 victory. Oregon’s four failed two-point conversions against Nebraska was basically the beginning of the end for former head coach Mark Helfrich. While there is a new energy with Willie Taggart in place, it’s hard to forget that last year’s loss to the Huskers was the start of a five-game losing streak.

(Chris Poulsen / Eric Evans Photography)

The Taggart era began with a 77-21 pummeling of Southern Utah, which resulted in the most points scored in Autzen Stadium history. Oregon’s fast-tempo offense was in full force Saturday night, meaning it could be an uphill battle for a Nebraska defense that surrendered 36 points to Arkansas State last week.

With a season under quarterback Justin Herbert’s belt, the Duck offense appears to be in full force yet again. Much of that though has to do with a lethal backfield spearheaded by Royce Freeman, who rushed for 150 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener. The question in this contest will again come down to an unproven Jim Leavitt Duck defense.

While the Ducks will give up yards through the air to quarterback Tanner Lee and the Nebraska receiving corps, it will come down to Oregon causing turnovers and responding on offense by finding the end zone. That’s how the Ducks beat teams. Lee was 19-of-32 for 238 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in his debut with the Huskers. Tre Bryant (knee) and De’Mornay Pierson-El (shoulder), who are the Huskers top playmakers on offense, hope to be at full strength on Saturday afternoon as well. Bryant rushed for a career-high 192 yards and one touchdown in the Huskers’ 43-36 victory.

This has the making to be another good game between these two programs, as both teams should have no trouble putting points on the scoreboard. If this game turns into a shootout, that will be an advantage for the Ducks.

Prediction: Oregon 42, Nebraska 31

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