The Iowa Hawkeyes return 14 starters to a team that finished 10-4 a year ago and has a 2022 win total of 7.5 at the online sportsbook.
Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured head coach in the country and hopes to capture a Big Ten West title for the second straight season. This is a team left with a sour taste after being blown out by Michigan in the Big Ten Championship and losing the bowl game to Kentucky.
They’ll need to find a quarterback who can accurately disperse the ball to a talented group of pass-catchers led by tight end Sam Laporta and featuring talented youngsters Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV. Tyler Goodson departs as a 1,151-yard back, but Gavin Williams appears primed to lead this rushing attack. The defense figures to be a top 10 unit once again, but the offense must improve.
Here’s a look at Iowa’s schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Date: September 3
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
The Jackrabbits went 11-4 a year ago with wins over Colorado State and eventual FCS national champion North Dakota State.
Week 2 – vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Date: September 10
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Iowa has won the Cy-Hawk Trophy a whopping six straight years. The Cyclones return only eight starters and rank 128th in returning production, as they are expected to take a step back this season.
Week 3 – vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
Date: September 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Nevada is due for a rebuilding season after losing most of the coaching staff and seeing much of the roster leave via the transfer portal. The Wolf Pack return just five starters and ranks 131st in returning production.
Week 4 – at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Date: September 24
It’s a manageable first four weeks of the season for Iowa, whose lone road game comes against Rutgers. The Hawkeyes have won both of the previous meetings against the Scarlet Knights.
Week 5 – vs. Michigan Wolverines
Date: October 1
This is a rematch of last year’s Big Ten Championship that Iowa will have circled on the calendar. The Wolverines won that game 42-3, but the Hawkeyes have won five of the last eight meetings.
Week 6 – at Illinois Fighting Illini
Date: October 8
Iowa has won 13 of the last 14 against lowly Illinois, who typically find themselves near the bottom of the B1G West. After falling behind 10-0, the Hawkeyes scored 33 of the following 41 points in last year’s 33-23 victory.
Week 7 – BYE
Week 8 – at Ohio State Buckeyes
Date: October 22
The Buckeyes will compete for a Big Ten title and National Championship in 2022. It doesn’t help their chances to win the B1G West that the Hawkeyes get both Ohio State and Michigan from the East.
Week 9 – vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Date: October 29
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Northwestern bottomed out a year ago but does return 14 starters. Iowa has won five of the last nine meetings in what is rarely an easy contest.
Week 10 – at Purdue Boilermakers
Date: November 5
Iowa has won 10 of the last 16 meetings against the Boilermakers. This is a potential look-ahead spot with rival Wisconsin looming the following week.
Week 11 – vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date: November 12
This figures to be one of the biggest games in the Big Ten in 2022. The Badgers return only eight starters but figure to challenge Iowa for supremacy in the West.
Week 12 – at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Date: November 19
The Golden Gophers have dropped seven straight games against the Hawkeyes but don’t expect his one to be easy.
Week 13 – vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Date: November 25
Iowa is 8-1 in their last nine meetings against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers figure to be more competitive after a 1-8 record in conference play a year ago. If they’re not, Scott Frost could remain on the college football hot seat throughout the year.
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