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Game Day

9/17/2014

Iowa (2-1) vs. Pittsburgh (3-0)

When: Saturday, Sept. 20

Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kickoff: 11 a.m. CDT

The fourth game of the season isn’t usually make-or-break — usually. But for Iowa, which suffered its first loss of the year, a 20-17 setback at the hands of in-state rival Iowa State last Saturday, a road contest against an undefeated Pittsburgh squad could be a foreshadowing of things to come. If Iowa can kick-start its stagnant offense and bounce back with a good showing, all will be well in Hawkeye Nation. If not, watch out. Quarterback Jake Rudock’s inability to throw downfield against a porous Iowa State defense had Iowa fans wiping their collective glasses wondering if the ghost of Jake Christensen had reappeared. Better hope not. Pittsburgh will continue to rely on its ground game, ranked fifth in the nation (344 ypg) and led by running back James Conner (544 yards, 8 TDs). Their schedule has been soft, but a big win over the Hawks will be a boost to their confidence — and a hammer to Iowa’s.

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UNI (0-2) vs. Northern Colorado (1-1)

When: Saturday, Sept. 20

Where: UNI Dome, Cedar Falls

Kickoff: 4 p.m. CDT

The University of Northern Iowa has been the “what if” team in the state thus far. Had they held on to their lead against Iowa in the season-opener, and had their fourth quarter comeback against Hawaii last weekend — despite two fourth touchdown passes by quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen — not fallen three points short, they’re 2-0 instead of 0-2. But, as it is, the Panthers will enter this Saturday’s game looking to get into the win column. The positive side is that they’ll be hungry. The Big Sky Conference Bears are coming off a 28-20 win over Houston Baptist, but this will be their toughest test to date by far. And one they will fail.

Nebraska (3-0) vs. Miami, Florida (2-1)

When: Saturday, Sept. 20

Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska

Kickoff: 7 p.m. CDT

Nebraska rebounded from a near-disaster against McNeese State two weeks ago to throttle Fresno State 55-19 last Saturday. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. has thrown for 773 yards and seven scores thus far this season, rushing for an additional 258 and two scores. Miami of Florida comes to Lincoln on a two-game win streak following a season-opening loss to Louisville. Problem is, the wins were over Florida A&M and Arkansas State, two programs that don’t exactly send shivers down opponent’s spines. Freshman Hurricane quarterback Brad Kaya had an impressive stat line last week (16-24, 342 yards, 4 TDs) and will need to make it a double if the Hurricanes have a shot.

Drake (1-2) vs. Marist (0-3)

When: Saturday, Sept. 20

Where: Drake Stadium, Des Moines

Kickoff: 1 p.m. CDT

Drake held its own against Western Illinois last weekend, trailing just 14-10 at the half before being outscored 24-3 over the final two quarters. This week, the Bulldogs open Pioneer Conference play against winless Marist, which is coming off a 27-7 loss to Georgetown. The Red Foxes have yet to score more than seven points in a game and have been outscored 77-14 thus far this season. CV

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