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2015 Illinois Football Opponent Scouting Report: Iowa Hawkeyes

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Here's a quick look at the Iowa Hawkeyes

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0, 1-0)

2015 Schedule & Results

Record: 5-0 | Second-order wins (diff.): 4.0 (-1.0) | S&P+ Rk: 23
Date Opponent Opp. S&P+ Rk Score W-L Percentile
Performance
Adj. Scoring
Margin
Win
Expectancy
5-Sep Illinois State N/A 31-14 W 88% 34.8 100%
12-Sep at Iowa State 53 31-17 W 85% 11.6 90%
19-Sep Pittsburgh 45 27-24 W 79% 7.8 80%
26-Sep North Texas 128 62-16 W 97% 33.6 100%
3-Oct at Wisconsin 16 10-6 W 58% -4.9 29%
Date Opponent Opp. S&P+ Rk Win
Probability
Proj.
W-L
Proj.
Margin
Proj.
Score
Cumulative
Proj. Wins
10-Oct Illinois 31 62% W 5.2 25.1 - 19.9 5.62
17-Oct at Northwestern 29 45% L -2.3 19.9 - 22.2 6.07
31-Oct Maryland 83 88% W 20.6 35.1 - 14.5 6.95
7-Nov at Indiana 55 62% W 5.4 33.0 - 27.6 7.57
14-Nov Minnesota 24 59% W 3.9 24.7 - 20.7 8.16
21-Nov Purdue 75 84% W 17.3 35.8 - 18.5 9.00
27-Nov at Nebraska 41 51% W 0.3 28.1 - 27.8 9.51
Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
S&P+ 31.8 48 18.8 21
Points Per Game 32.2 49 15.4 15

Offense

- Shockingly, Iowa's adjusted offensive pace is No. 95 in the country. Now is the time to mentally prepare yourselves for a mind-numbingly boring game on Saturday.

- Iowa isn't exactly the best third down team in the country. They perform well on first and second downs -- S&P+ rankings of No. 27 and No. 37, respectively -- but that figure plunges to No. 72.

- Junior quarterback C.J. Beathard has been really good for the Hawkeyes this season; through five games, he's passed for 1,039 YDS (64.1% completion rate) and 7 TD to just 2 INT. But Beathard has also rushed for 221 YDS and 3 TDS while becoming one of Iowa's main ground threats.

- Speaking of the Hawkeye's rushing attack, senior running back Jordan Canzeri already has already gone for 441 YDS and 8 TD this season. He's averaging almost exactly 5.0 yards per carry.

- Matt VandeBerg is the Hawkeyes' leading receiver and he's already hauled in 31 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown on the year. The six-foot-one junior is targeted on 30% of Iowa pass attempts, and he's posted a fairly staggering 79.5% catch rate. The other player to keep an eye on in the passing game is Tevaun Smith (12 REC, 235 YDS, 2 TD), who's targeted 16.9% of the time.

Defense

- Junior defensive back Desmond King has caught five of Iowa's six interceptions -- Illinois may want to avoid him as much as possible.

- Senior defensive lineman Drew Ott has 4.0 sacks on the year, and he's the team leader in that department.

- Iowa's team 'Havoc' rate is 18.3%, which ranks them No. 32 in that category. Havoc is the percentage of plays in which a defense either recorded a tackle for loss, forced a fumble, or defensed a pass (intercepted or broken up).

*****

For more, make sure to check out Iowa's advanced stats profile on Football Study Hall.