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Iowa vs. Maryland Predictions: Iowa should be on upset alert

A big game in the BigTen on Friday night as Iowa take on Maryland
A big game in the BigTen on Friday night as Iowa take on Maryland
By Neil Monnery

The first big game of the Week 5 CFB slate sees #5 Iowa go into Maryland in a battle of two unbeaten BigTen teams and Neil Monnery has some concerns...

Danger, Danger. Iowa fans should have more than a modicum of concern surrounding their Friday night trip to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins. The #5 team in the land have two good wins on their resume but this game screams trap game ahead of a potential top-five match-up with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

That alone causes me to have some serious doubt about how this game will play out. That doesn’t even include the fact Iowa struggled last Saturday against Colorado State. The Hawkeyes were behind at the Half and would only go on to win by ten points.

Iowa QB Spencer Petras still has plenty of questions surrounding whether he can win a shootout. In their opening two games of the season - against teams we thought at the time went more than decent - he went 13 of 27 and 11 of 21. That isn’t good enough to get the job done against really good opponents unless the Hawkeye D really steps it up. Of course they have so far but our perception of Indiana and Iowa State has fallen off a cliff in recent weeks.

On Friday they travel to an undefeated Maryland team led by an under-the-radar Heisman candidate in Taulia Tagovailoa. Tua’s younger brother has cleared the 300 yard mark in three games of the four. He would’ve gone four for four but he was benched in the blowout of Howard to give his backup some reps. This will be Iowa’s biggest test of the season so far - certainly on the defensive side of the ball. Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus are absolute ballers at the WR position.

One note however. Two years ago - Maryland started hot and hosted a Friday night game against Penn State. There was lots of buzz that this was going to the night the country saw that the Terrapins were a force to be reckoned with. Classes were cancelled. College Park was a buzz. The home team lost 59-0. So buying Maryland stock is always a nerve-racking notion.

Spread:

Maryland+4 is the number and I think this is just a massive game for both teams. If Iowa win then they’ll gain confidence heading into next week. Should they go down then how will they react? I hate buying Terrapin stock but I think the home team should be the favorites - yes even over a #5 ranked team. Give me the home side plus the points.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

Bet Rivers in Iowa as Maryland at +165 to win. Decent value that.

Over/Under Points Totals:

46.5points is the early week number and my initial score prediction is 28-17 so that is the under. I think Spencer Petras struggles and the visitors struggle to put up points.

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