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Four Factor Friday: Minnesota

There's only a few hours left on this Friday, but there's still time for the four factors.

Get early pressure

In each game this year the Iowa defense has come out and stayed in its base 4-3 for the opponents entire (if not entire, close enough) first drive, and the past 3 weeks those drives have ended in the opponent scoring. To Iowa's credit, they have made great halftime adjustments and have played excellend second half defense. But Iowa needs to make adjustments quicker on defense to avoid faling in a big hole like last week against CMU.

So how to do that? It starts with pressure on the quarterback. A lot of the second half adjustments have been finding ways to help the struggling defensive line get in the backfield. It would be great if Iowa didn't have to send in blitzers, but after a month of football, we've seen that they do. So don't wait until the second half to mix it up on D.

The good news for Iowa is that MarQueis Gray suffered a high ankle sprain a couple weeks ago and will likely not play and definitely not start. So in his place is the much less mobile Max Shortell. He's got a good arm and can move around in the pocket a little, but isn't going to be as big of a threat to run a sweep on 4th-and-goal from the 2 in the final minute of the game and score a game-winning TD.

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2012 BlogPoll: Week 4

There are just 26 unbeatens (27 if you count newly FBS Texas at San Antonio) left after 4 weeks of play so somebody had to be left out. Sorry Minnesota. Outside of the top 10 or so, I'm not too confident any of these teams will stick around much longer. But at this point you can't argue with zero losses.

Last week it looked like Alabama and everyone else. But Oregon and Florida State both had nice wins and are starting to look more and more like contenders. Kansas State and Notre Dame have also impressed.

Northwestern is the only team I have ranked that is left on Iowa's schedule. If Iowa was good this year, that would be a good ting. But alas, even all the unranked teams are going to be hard.

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A strange and awful game

Let me start off with the couple of positive things, but the rest of this post is going to be a long, long stream of negative. Mark Weisman was in beast mode for the second week in a row. He had 217 yards on 27 carries and 3 TDs. He made the right reads, broke tackles, and even showed a little speed on some of his longer carries. I'm not sure if he'll still be the starter when Bullock is back, but he's at least shown that he deserves to be a big part of this offense.

A lot of credit too, should go to the offensive line and Brad Rogers. They were creating big holes for Weisman and kept Vandenberg upright. If there was one aspect of the game that looked like B1G vs. MAC, it was Iowa's O-line against CMU's front 7. It was domination.

The offense did respond in the 4th quarter when it needed to, to first take the lead, then "seal the game" with a long Mike Meyer FG into the wind and a Weisman TD respectively. And, the defense once again made good second half adjustments. They were completely shutting down CMU until the closing minutes of the game.

A couple of others: Meyer set the Iowa record for consecutive PATs. So, congrats there. And John Wienke has become a pooch punting machine. He should have had 2 downed inside the 1.

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Four Factor Friday: Central Michigan

Iowa can't really afford to sleep on any team at this point, but if there is a best bet on the schedule, this is probably it. Central Michigan only won 2 games over FBS opponents last year, and those were Northern Illinois and Akron. The Chippewas are coming off a bye week, but a week prior they got bulled over by Michigan State. The Chippewas defense somehow made a team that only scored 17 on Boise State and 2 against Notre Dame look like offensive juggernauts and made Andrew Maxwell look like a good QB. So this is the week that Iowa really need to get the offense on track and get everything tightened up for the B1G season.

Oh, and reminder: wear green for Greenwood if you're going to the game tomorrow.

Throw a touchdown pass

There are definite holes in Central Michigan's defense. They gave up 24 first half points to Southeast Missouri State and were trailing by 2 TDs before rallying. MSU's Maxwell went 20/31 for 275 and 2 TDs before the Spartans pulled their starters.

CMU does employ a 4-2-5 so there will be defensive backs a-plenty. Usually one of the hybrid guys lines up in the box and he probably will live there against Iowa to try to stop the run. Plus they like to blitz. So there should be some openings to pass the ball if Iowa can pick up the blitzers. And maybe this will be the week where Iowa takes advantage of its bigger TEs against a smaller secondary.

And Iowa needs to work on its passing game. It looked a lot better last week when it back to its roots and mostly just passed off of play-action. We know Vandenberg can throw TDs, he threw 25 last year, but we need to see it in the new offense if only to build a little confidence before the B1G schedule starts next week.

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Tweet For Iowa: Wear green for Greenwood

So wear green on Saturday as Iowa takes on Central Michigan. Also check out the Brett Greenwood Foundation.

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