Minnesota (4-0) at Iowa (2-2) (3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN 2)
Line: Iowa -7
Last meeting: Minnesota 22, Iowa 21 (2011)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Mark Weisman (RB, Iowa): The Hawkeyes just may have found something in their fullback turned halfback. Weisman ran wild over Central Michigan last week, racking up 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns. If Iowa can establish him early, it could help them stretch the field with the passing game, something they have struggled to do at times this season.,
2) Max Shortell (QB. Minnesota): The sophomore has done an admirable job of stepping up in the absence of of MarQueis Gray. No doubt that Shortell is a different style of quarterback, but the Gophers offense has still been functional with him at signal caller. If he can continue to take care of the ball, Minnesota should have no trouble staying in the game.
3) Donnell Kirkwood (RB, Minnesota): Kirkwood collected 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Syracuse last week. Though he has broken the 100-yard rushing mark just once this season, Kirkwood doesn't necessarily need a breakout game, he just needs to be effective enough to keep the Hawkeye defense honest.
This is possibly the most intriguing match up of the weekend in the Big Ten. Sure, the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy is on the line, but two very important questions will be answered. Can Minnesota really be this good? Are the Hawkeyes as bad as they have looked?
This will be the first road start for Minnesota's backup quarterback Max Shortell. Given the harsh environment at Kinnick Stadium, the door is open for the Iowa defense to make things happen.
My pick: Minnesota 24, Iowa 21
Rest of Staff's Picks:
Andy: Minnesota 27, Iowa 17
Cole: Minnesota 21, Iowa 17
Kevin: Minnesota 18, Iowa 17
Will: Iowa 21, Minnesota 17