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Live from Pittsburgh: What you need to know about Iowa-Pitt

Rick Brown
ribrown@dmreg.com
Kevonte Martin-Manley caught two touchdown passes the last time Iowa and Pitt met.

Hello from Heinz Field...

A gorgeous day in Pittsburgh for today's Iowa-Pitt game. Highs expected to be near 80. Players from both teams just starting to warm up.

Iowa's biggest advantage today is…

The defensive line. This will be the first true test for Carl Davis, Louis Trinca-Pasat, Drew Ott and company. Iowa's allowing just 65.7 rushing yards a game. But the Hawkeye defensive line has not faced an offensive line like Pittsburgh's, or a running back like James Conner, who is averaging 181.3 yards a game.

What could be their undoing? If Pittsburgh's running game is clicking, watch out. The Panthers average 344.3 yards on the ground, just 101.3 through the air. And Pittsburgh has a wide receiver to keep an eye on in Tyler Boyd (11 catches, 140 yards).

Who should we be talking about but aren't? Pittsburgh has a big-time kicker in Chris Blewitt. He hasn't missed in four field-goal attempts this season, three of them between 40 and 49 yards long. Sixteen of his 24 kickoffs have gone for touchbacks.

Final prediction: The Panthers will use their running game to win the time of possession and improve to 4-0. Pittsburgh 24, Iowa 13.