Start Time: 2:30 p.m. Central
Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City IA
Records: Iowa 3-0, UNT 0-2. This is the first meeting between the two programs.
Live Stats: Here.
Betting Line: Iowa -24.5, O/U 110
NORTH TEXAS OUTLOOK:
In an effort to give fair and objective coverage, we're going to be entirely positive here, because to go the other way would be easy and, dare we say, predictable. These kids are out there giving 110%, and what are we doing? Sitting in an armchair drinking beer, that's what. What's good that we have to say about these guys this week?
Compared to week one against SMU, last week's Rice Owls games was an improvement. UNT put up 378 yards of offense against one of the top CUSA teams, had comparable rushing yards to RIce (189 vs NT's 175), and fewer penalties. It's a cliche, but yes, the score may have been much closer were it not for UNT's three turnovers.
Coach McCarney has ultimate faith in QB Andrew McNulty, evidenced by McNulty playing every snap in their first two games. This is the week we may see what the QB depth chart looks like, as UNT is largely not expected to win this game (see: betting line), and this gives them some chances to have some fun with it. Run a fleaflicker or do some choreography, I dunno. Have fun out there.
This is a team not as good as their 3-0 record, after easy wins over Iowa State and an FCS program, and a last-minute white-knuckle field goal to put them over Pitt, which is... well, Pitt. Just the same, this is a Big Ten team who will view this game as a warm-up to next weeks visit to Wisconsin, which will be on a real television channel of some type.
In terms of the UNT match-up, Iowa's QB C.J. Beathard (that can't possibly be his real name) has also played every snap, ringing up 258 passing yards in last weeks win. The Hawkeyes have twice as many rushing yards this season (575) as North Texas (287) and yes, Iowa has played one more game, but the P5 vs G5 gap will be heavy on display in Iowa City this weekend.
An above-average team in the Big Ten, Iowa has some things to figure out this season, but North Texas isn't one of them.
North Texas had a bye week for week one, so this is their legally-required, belated week one paycheck game, displaced to the end of the month. It's a showcase for North Texas talent, they're 0-2 but this is still the best team they've faced, and will show the 2015 roster just how bad things can get. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes should have a pretty good time.
The line is three times what it was last week, the challenge here is to see who covers. The line opened at 26.5 and has dropped two points, I feel comfortable saying Iowa wins by 24 and North Texas covers.
Compared to this, North Texas should find the following week against Southern Miss to be refreshing.