CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. (KCRG) -
Game: Middle Tennessee (1-2) at. #14 Iowa (3-0)
Kickoff: 11:05 a.m. CT
Venue: Kinnick Stadium
Saturday will be the first ever meeting between Iowa and Middle Tennessee. The Hawkeyes are 6-1 all-time against Conference USA opponents.
Iowa Tidbits: Iowa offense continues to roll scoring in all 12 quarters they have played this season. Quarterback Nate Stanley is leading the way with six touchdown passes on the season and no interceptions. His 58 career touchdowns is third all-time in program history, three behind Dre Tate and 16 behind Chuck Long.
The Hawkeyes are hoping to repeat history they made in 1957 on September 28th, scoring a school record 70 points against Utah State. Ihmir Smith-Marsette leads the team with three touchdowns on the season on 194 receiving yards.
With Iowa’s secondary still battling injuries, the Hawkeyes will once again lean on freshman D.J. Johnson who was named Co-Freshman of the Week in the BIG10 for his performance against Iowa State. Johnson recorded a career high eight tackles adding two pass break-ups.
Coming into the season, special teams was a big question mark for Iowa but that’s no longer the case. Keith Duncan has solidified himself as the starting kicker connecting on all eight of his field goal attempts this season and going 8-8 on PATs. Duncan is one of just five kickers in the nation to be perfect on at least eight field goal attempts.
Winning the turnover battle is crucial in any game and so far this season the Hawkeyes have relief on DB Michael Ojemudia who is tied for the Big Ten lead with two interceptions. As a team, Iowa has three interceptions which is tied for fifth best in the conference.
A look at the opponent: Middle Tennessee Quarterback Asher O’Hare is the Blue Raider’s top threat to opposing defenses as O’Hare has led the team in rushing yards for all three of their games this season. Also a threat from the pocker, O’Hare has completed 70.8% of his passes averaging 261.7 yards through the air and throwing for eight touchdowns.
The Blue Raiders pride themselves in disciplined football. The team only has committed seven penalties in their last two games and 15 on the season which ranks second best in C-USA.
Wide receiver Ty Lee has caught a pass in 43 straight games for the Blue Raiders which equals the school record. With one more catch he will own the MTSU record out-right. The all-time NCAA record is 54 set by Bryan Anderson from Central Michigan.
Iowa’s offensive line will be tested by senior Khalil Brooks who has been a force at his time at MTSU. Brooks is fourth all-time in MTSU history with 15 sacks and also ranks fourth in tackles for loss (35).
While he has a few years to catch up to Kirk Ferentz, MTSU head coach Rick Stocksill is in his 14th season at the helm for the Blue Raiders, making him the longest tenured coach in Conference USA.