Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Game Day


Iowa State (2-5) vs. Oklahoma (5-2)

When: Saturday, Nov. 1

Where: Jack Trice Stadium

Kickoff: 11 a.m.

Fall is the best time of the year. You get Thanksgiving, fall colors and, of course, football. Oh, and the one big Iowa State win of the year. Which leads us to the obvious: an Iowa State win this Saturday against No. 19 Oklahoma. Out of our mind, you say? Well, suck on these stats a bit first: The Sooners are losers of two of their last three, but keep in mind who the losses were to: No. 25 TCU and No. 14 Kansas State, two quality opponents. That said, however, sandwiched in between the losses was a narrow 31-26 win over lowly Texas. Yes, that’s lowly Texas. ISU, while not burning up the win column, is playing competitive ball, their last game being a 48-45 road loss to the lowly Longhorns (it feels so good to type that not once, but thrice). It’s Saturday afternoon contest, a chill will be in the air, and Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads already has his tear-inducing postgame victory speech prepared. It’s like knowing the end of a movie before having seen it. Be prepared to weep Cyclone Nation. Here comes the Big One.

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Iowa (5-2) vs. Northwestern (3-4)

When: Saturday, Nov. 1

Where: Kinnick Stadium

Kickoff: 11 a.m.

Iowa continues its march down the Parade of the Inept (also known as the Big 10) this week against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes’ last gridiron foray was a loss to Maryland, 38-31. The Wildcats are trying to snap a two-game skid at the hands of Minnesota (24-17) and Nebraska (38-17). Both teams had bye weeks and time to heal, but the Hawks, looking ahead, need to win six. Badly. What would be a season without a berth in the (insert whatever irrelevant name you’d like here) Bowl? That alone will fire the Hawks up and get them to six. It won’t be easy. Never is against the Wildcats, who dealt No. 17 Wisconsin a big ol’ “L” on Oct. 4. That cannot be discounted. But if Hawk Nation was concerned that the boys in black were fatally wounded by the loss to the Terrapins, those thoughts were eased recently with the suspension of starting linebacker Reggie Spearman, who was busted by the local PD for an alcohol-related issue. Ahhhhh. Back to normal. Get ready to rip it up, Iowa City. You’re bowl-bound again.

UNI (4-4) vs. Illinois State (7-0)

When: Saturday, Nov. 1

Where: UNI Dome

Kickoff: 4 p.m.

David Johnson busted out 160 yards and two touchdowns for the University of Northern Iowa as the Panthers climbed back to .500 with a 27-13 win over Western Illinois last Saturday. UNI evened its record at 4-4, including a 2-2 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play. Next up? Undefeated Illinois State. The Redbirds (7-0) are tied with North Dakota State atop the MVC with identical 4-0 marks, but the teams will not meet during the regular season. However, after the Illinois State game, UNI does indeed get a shot at North Dakota State. Naturally, Illinois State will be rooting for UNI to knock off NDSU, thus doing them a huge favor in the conference race. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves — that’s assuming Illinois State beats UNI this weekend. But if that happens, the Panthers will have little incentive to give Illinois State that little favor against NDSU. Confusion reigns, Illinois State wins, let’s end it at that.

Drake (5-3) vs. San Diego (6-1)

When: Saturday, Nov. 1

Where: Drake Stadium

Kickoff: 12:30 p.m.

The last four weeks have been equivalent to a hard liquor bender for the Drake Bulldogs. Not beer. The hard stuff. When it’s going down the pipe, it tastes heavenly, kinda like the last three weeks have been for the Bulldogs. All wins. All good. A 21-19 win over Butler last week pushed Drake to 5-3 on year, and spirits are high. That is, until the freight train comes. And when it hits, it hits hard. All is suddenly not well, and the high, well, it’s gone. For Drake, that buzzkill is called San Diego (6-1) this Saturday. Ouch. Aspirin anyone? CV

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