Iowa vs. Miami (OH) prediction and game preview for the opening contest of the 2016 season. Find out who’s projected to win the matchup between the Hawkeyes and the RedHawks.
Iowa vs. Miami (OH) Game Preview
When: Saturday, Sept. 3 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Matchup to Watch
Desmond King vs. Billy Bahl
King decided to return to Iowa after an All-American season that included finishing tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions. He now enters 2016 as one of the best defensive backs in the country.
Bahl had trouble completing passes against DBs far less talented than King last season. He connected on just 44.5 percent of his throws and finished with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Edge on Offense
C.J. Beathard completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and added six more TDs rushing as the Hawkeyes came within a victory of reaching the College Football Playoff. He’ll have his top two receivers back in Matt VandeBerg and Tevaun Smith, and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. also returns.
Bahl will need to be better in his sophomore season for a Miami unit that finished 12th in the 13-team MAC in total offense per game.
Edge on Defense
The Hawkeyes return linebacker Josey Jewell while safety Miles Taylor and cornerbacks Maurice Fleming and Greg Mabin complement reigning Thorpe Award winner King in the secondary.
Miami’s young defense is another year wiser after finishing sixth in the MAC in total defense per game.
Edge on Special Teams
The do-it-all King is expected field kicks again after finishing second in the Big Ten in average punt return yardage and fourth on kickoff returns.
Kirk Ferentz is tied with Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops as the longest-tenured FBS coaches having served at Iowa’s helm since 1999. He’s coming off his most successful year after the Hawkeyes were a stop away from winning the Big Ten championship game and appeared in their first Rose Bowl under Ferentz.
The RedHawks have won just five games in their first two seasons under former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Chuck Martin.
Iowa vs. Miami (OH) Prediction
Iowa simply has too much talent and wins easily 42-13.