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Facts about the Opposition: Iowa

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Getting to know Pitt's opponents a little better, game four - Iowa.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes

Game Information - September 20, 2014. Heinz Field.  Game time: TBA

Location - Iowa City, Iowa

Enrollment - 31, 065 (21,974 undergrads; 9,091 postgraduates)

Stadium - Kinnick Stadium. 70,585 capacity.

Notable Alumni - Tom Brokaw, journalist; Ashton Kutcher, actor; Harry Kalas, broadcaster.

Conference Affiliation - Big Ten (1900-present)

National Championships - One claimed, 1958.

Head Coach - Kirk Ferentz (108-79 16 seasons at Iowa, 120-100 overall)

Series History - Pitt leads 3-2, Iowa won the last meeting 31-27 in 2011.

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Iowa and Pitt will resume their recent history after a brief two year hiatus at Heinz Field on September, 20. The two have played twice since 2008 with the home team winning each game by a narrow margin. Pitt will travel to Kinnick Stadium to complete the four game series. Obviously, the recent trends suggest this will be another competitive game, and it is Pitt's featured game on the non-conference slate, and one of the best home games all year long.

Iowa is led by Kirk Ferentz, a coach with strong Pittsburgh roots. Ferentz graduated from nearby Upper St. Clair High School, and served as a graduate assistant for Pitt in 1980. The Hawkeyes are coming off a solid 8-5 season with a close loss to LSU in the Outback Bowl. The offense will have a good starting spot with Jake Rudock in his second season as the starting quarterback. Rudock had some moments, but still had an alarming 13 interceptions in 2013. In typical Big Ten fashion, Iowa has a good stable of running backs, and they would like to impose their will on the ground. Mark Weisman is a powerful 240 pound back that rushed for over 900 yards last season. Jordan Canzeri and Damon Bullock both return after each rushing for over 400 yards to compliment Weisman.

Also in typical Big Ten fashion, Iowa employs a physical defense that can keep them around in any game. The Hawkeyes only surrendered 18.9 points a game last season, which ranked top ten nationally. Iowa will have a strong defensive line with Drew Ott, Mike Hardy, Carl Davis, and Louis Trinca-Pasat all returning. The linebackers will have a lot of new faces, and that could make for the defense to take a step back in 2014.

As stated earlier, Iowa and Pitt have played in two competitive games in recent years, and the 2014 edition could be much the same. The way the schedule breaks down for both teams, it could be a real possibility that both will be 3-0 heading into this showdown. Iowa has a power running game, a reputable defense, and a well regarded coach. This could be a telling game for the kind of season Pitt will have depending on this outcome.

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