Prediction 101: Arizona 24 - Iowa 20

Wait until we post our piece about the writer's picks tomorrow.  This is not mine but I was close:

NBCSPORTS.COM Writer John Tamanaha has the following prediction:

No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Hawkeyes beat the Wildcats 27-17 last season in Iowa City. But that was a different Arizona squad as that contest represents the conclusion of the "BF" time period -- "Before Foles."

After that stagnant performance, which saw the Wildcats earn only five first downs in the first three quarters, Nick Foles was inserted into the starting lineup and the team hasn’t been the same since.

Overcoming Iowa would represent yet another benchmark. Arizona hasn’t hosted a game between a pair of ranked teams in more than a decade. During that span, the Wildcats also haven’t beaten a non-league opponent from a BCS automatic qualifying conference.

We fully expect the Hawkeyes to be up to the challenge that Foles presents, even though defensive coordinator Norm Parker won’t be making the trip to Tucson (hospitalized with severe back pain).

But the Wildcat defense hasn’t been too shabby this season either, having yet to allow a touchdown.

Opening point spread: Iowa by 1.5

Pick: Arizona 24-20

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