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Thursday College Football Preview
Thursday College Football Preview. Tate to start for Hawkeyes. By Betwwts and Ecobika Free College Football Picks
The prestigious Cy-Hawk Trophy is anyone's to win - as usual.
Once again, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones are set to do battle for bragging rights in the Tall Corn State. The Big Ten Hawkeyes used to have a stranglehold on this series, but Iowa State has slowly but surely become one of the better teams in the Big 12 under the tutelage of Dan McCarney.
The Cyclones have won the Cy-Hawk six times in the last eight seasons; however, Iowa was pegged as an 8.5-point favorite at the open for this year's matchup, and that line ballooned to 13.5 points before being taken off the board at the time of publication.
The big question mark that may have caused this game to go off-board was the status of Iowa quarterback Drew Tate. He missed last week's 20-13 overtime win over Syracuse with an abdominal strain, but is now expected to get the nod against the Cyclones after being named an offensive captain for the matchup.
That's big news for Hawkeyes supporters. With backup QB Jason Manson at the helm, Iowa failed to cover the 15-point spread versus the boys in Orange. Manson threw just one touchdown pass alongside four interceptions; it took the stout Hawkeyes defense to keep Syracuse out of the end zone during the two overtime sessions.
What's good news for Iowa is about the last thing the Cyclones needed to hear. They were very fortunate in the season opener to beat the tough Toledo Rockets in triple overtime, then a questionable referee's decision on a would-be winning UNLV touchdown allowed ISU to escape last week with a 16-10 win. The Cyclones were favored by 14.5 in that tilt.
Those performances will be tiny specks in ISU's rear-view mirror by the time the team gets to Kinnick Stadium. The Cyclones almost always come up with a big effort when they face their hated rivals. But the focus Saturday is squarely on Tate and his sore abs. When Manson had to take over for Tate during last year's Cy-Hawk battle, he went just 10-for-31 as the Cyclones pulled off the 23-3 upset. Anything less than a healthy Tate will probably produce a similar result.
Kick-off is at noon Eastern Time on ESPN.
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Ecobika Free College Football Picks
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