Watch line play as the indicator for success

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Finally, game time is nearly here.

Two heated rivals. Two revved up fan bases. Two teams looking for a momentum building win.

The analysis is nearly done. Much has been said and written about schemes and individual match-ups on both sides of the ball. Opening week performances have been dissected every which way.

Honestly, schemes and match-ups don’t mean much if one team dominates the line of scrimmage. In the last two meetings, Iowa has had the upper hand in the trenches. That set the tone.

Because of significant personnel losses from a year ago (especially on Iowa’s defensive line) and significant personnel changes from last week (on both sides of the ball for ISU as several players return from suspension or injury), it’s hard to handicap the game along the line.

For an early clue as to how the game may play out, turn your attention to the men up front. It’s the action there which will determine what running back is most effective or which quarterback excels.

The stakes are high. The atmosphere – more than 55,000 fans are expected in Jack Trice Stadium – should be great. See you Saturday.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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