Utah State at No. 25 Iowa, Saturday at 12 p.m. ET (FS1)
Line: Iowa by 23 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Iowa leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Iowa better make some hay against one of the Mountain West's worst defenses or it's a bad sign for offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, whose amended contract calls for his firing if the Hawkeyes don't average 25 points per game. Michigan transfer Cade McNamara is an upgrade at quarterback, but his status was unclear as of mid-week as he recovers from a leg injury. RB Kaleb Johnson is a rising star. The Aggies are 1-6 against the Big Ten, with their only win coming against Wisconsin in 1968.
McNamara vs. Utah State defense. McNamara hasn't played since injuring his knee in Michigan's third game last season, and he gave the Hawkeyes a scare when he went down with a leg injury in a scrimmage in mid-August. Coach Kirk Ferentz said McNamara has been medically cleared, but he wasn't ready to declare him the starter. Utah State lost three quality pass rushers to the transfer portal and the secondary has had a revolving door since the spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah State: QB Cooper Legas will be on his biggest stage since he took over for Logan Bonner in the first half of a blowout loss at Alabama last year. Kinnick Stadium will be rocking, and he'll be facing one of the Big Ten's top defenses.
Iowa: DT Yahya Black assumed the starter's job on the left side because of the gambling-related suspension of Noah Shannon. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Black has appeared in 26 career games and made 11 tackles, including on sack.
FACTS & FIGURES
Kirk Ferentz has 186 wins through 24 seasons at Iowa and 198 including his two seasons at Maine. He needs two wins to become the 24th Division I head coach with 200. ... Iowa is 11-1-1 against current members of the Mountain West. Last year the Hawkeyes beat Nevada 27-0. ... The Hawkeyes have 218 interceptions since 2009, tied for the second most nationally. ... The Aggies are 6-65 against AP Top 25 opponents. Its last win over a ranked opponent was in the 2021 Mountain West title game against No. 19 San Diego State. ... Utah State has 59 new players, tied for sixth-most in the nation.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll