SOC - Iowa 2022
This will be a very short SOC. I mean, it will take you a long time to get through it - there's a 20 minute video in here - but the text on the screen, that will be minimal. I'm thinking maybe something around 400 words or so. I don't think I've been under 500 words since maybe 2011.
The reason it will be short: I usually start rambling about a topic, then transition to the game, then give a prediction. This will be video, then game, then prediction.
What video? The road trip last week to Wisconsin. I talk about these trips all the time, so I figured maybe we'd film one. I partnered with Eric Holmer - great decision there - and we came up with a concept for a road trip video. After that, it was pretty much all Eric. Everything you'll see was his doing. All I had to do was travel to Madison and watch us win.
The title comes from something Carmen always says - you'll meet Carmen in a bit here - about our fanbase. No matter how bad we are, we travel. I don't know why, but this is a fanbase that travels. Go to any road game and you'll understand.
So before I get to the game prediction, may I present to you...... WE TRAVEL:
OK, now let's talk about the game.
I feel like it will be close. I think we're going to win, but I think it's going to be close. We rode three turnovers to a lot of points at Wisconsin, but this is now a better defense (and an offense that probably won't hand us the ball three times). So I can see this one being a field position battle. There will be a lot of three-and-outs, and where those three-and-outs happen on the field will mean everything.
This is likely the best defense we will face this season, so I don't think we get anywhere close to 34 points again. This is also maybe the worst offense we'll face this season, so I think they'll struggle to find the endzone. My worry, however: their defense finding the endzone. That pick six in the Iowa game last year still stays with me (as have other Iowa defensive touchdowns over the years).
I think I know where I'm going with the score prediction here, so I'll just talk about how I see this game playing out and then I'll get to the score.
I think I see Iowa getting 16 points. A touchdown by their defense and three field goals. We can still claim that our defense hasn't given up a touchdown at home this season, but they'll get seven on some dumb fumble recovery. 9 will jump to 16.
I think I see us struggling on offense (much more than last week), but I do think we can punch a few in. Put me down for the Illini getting to the endzone twice.
That means I'm at Iowa 16, Illinois 14. Will we get a field goal somewhere in order to pull out the win? I think we will.
Illinois 17, Iowa 16