September will get here before you know it. You'd better be ready. We're here to help with early looks at each Big Ten team's opening opponent. Let's see whom the Iowa Hawkeyes have lined up for Week 1 (and it is a weak one).
Week 1 Opponent: Tennessee Tech
Coach: Watson Brown (fifth year, 18-27)
2010 record: 5-6 (4-4 Ohio Valley Conference)
Returning starters: 19 (11 offense, eight defense)
About the Golden Eagles: Tennessee Tech is an FCS team located in Cookeville, Tenn., about an hour's drive from Nashville. Brown took over his hometown program after several years at UAB. Brown uses a spread offense where the quarterback runs the ball a lot, and top two signal-callers Tre Lamb and Cass Barnes return this year. In fact, this is a very veteran team, with all those returning starters listed above and 50 players who will be either juniors or seniors in 2011. Standouts include linebacker Marcus Edwards, who led the OVC with 7. 5 sacks a year ago, and receiver Tim Benford, who caught 50 passes for 812 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tennessee Tech played two BCS bowl participants last season and was blown out by TCU and Arkansas.
Random factoid: The school chose its nickname in 1925, after the golden eagles that were visible over mountains in the Upper Cumberland region.
Series with Iowa: First meeting.
Totally unscientific percentage chance Iowa wins: 94 percent. Tennessee Tech is an FCS team, but all that returning experience could make this a tougher game than most expect. Remember Northern Iowa in 2009? Still, this is a mid-pack OVC team that shouldn't be able to hang with the Hawkeyes on the road for four quarters, assuming Iowa is focused and ready to go out of the gate.
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