When watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play offense, some might say that they’re setting college football back 20 years. Well, oddsmakers aren’t exactly disagreeing this week. The total for their game this weekend against Rutgers is currently set at 33.5 points at BetMGM. If the total closes this low, it’ll be the lowest total between two FBS teams since 1995.
Both teams struggle offensively
You know a game is going to be a defensive struggle when one of the highlighted marquee matchups ahead of kickoff is between the two punters. However, when it comes to Rutgers vs. Iowa this weekend, Rutgers’ Adam Korsak and Iowa’s Tory Taylor are expected to star.
Iowa opened its season with a 7-3 win over South Dakota State. The Hawkeyes compiled those seven points with a field goal and two safeties. In their Week 2 loss to Iowa State, Iowa was once again held to just seven points. They took advantage of a short field due to a good punt return to punch in a touchdown early, but generated nothing else for the rest of the game. Last week, Iowa exploded for 27 points against Nevada, a team that allowed 41 points to Incarnate Word the week prior. Through three games, Iowa is averaging less than 14 points per game. Overall, their games are averaging just 18 points total.
Rutgers hasn’t been quite as bad offensively from a points perspective, though its numbers are inflated due to a 66-point explosion against Wagner. Last week against Temple as a double-digit favorite, the Scarlet Knights managed just 16 points and did not score an offensive touchdown. Rutgers has been very solid defensively though, allowing just 14 points per game.
Iowa ranks third in the country in terms of yards-per-play allowed. Rutgers ranks 16th. Both have very good defensive units. The offense is a different story. Iowa is averaging just 4.3 yards per play, which ranks 109th. Rutgers is even worse, ranking 111th with 4.2 yards per play.
This is a historically low total
The last time we saw a total this low in college football was 1995. Arizona and Oregon State closed with a total of 33 points, and the under hit as Arizona State pulled out a 20-11 victory.
Overall in games since 1995 that had a total of 34 points or lower, the under is 3-1-1. Last year, the total for Iowa vs. Wisconsin was 34 points. It pushed as Wisconsin won 27-7.
No Iowa game has gone over 27 points this season and the Hawkeyes are 3-0 to the under. These teams have met twice since Rutgers joined the Big Ten. Iowa won 0-30 in 2019 and 7-14 in 2016.
As for the game, the Hawkeyes are 7.5-point road favorites in Piscataway, New Jersey.