The Wyoming Cowboys are 12 point underdogs heading into Saturday's season opener at Iowa. Here's what we can expect from the Hawkeyes.

Strengths:

Running Game - The best offensive line in the Big Ten Conference last year could be even better, with all five starters returning. Running back Akrum Wadley is coming off a 1,000-yard season and is a big play threat whenever he gets the ball.

Defensive Line - The strength of the stout Iowa defense is their pass rush. With three of their best defensive lineman returning along with All-Big Ten linebacker Josey Jewell, the Cowboys will need to protect Josh Allen.

Potential Weaknesses:

New Offense - Coach Kirk Ferentz recently installed his son Brian as Iowa's new offensive coordinator. In past seasons, the Hawkeyes have been criticized for being too conservative. While they plan to open up the offense this year, they will have to do it with a new quarterback and a young, unproven receiving corps.

Secondary: While Iowa's defense is strong up front, they are replacing three starters in the defensive backfield. Look for Wyoming to avoid cornerback Manny Rugamba, who had a key interception in last year's upset win over #2 Michigan.

Outlook: 

Typically, a Big Ten powerhouse coming off an 8-win season would be a lock at home, especially against a Mountain West opponent. However, three of Iowa's five losses last year came at Kinnick Stadium. With an inexperienced quarterback learning a new offense, Wyoming may have caught Iowa at the right time.

If the Pokes can protect Allen from the vaunted Hawkeyes pass rush, they should be able to make some big plays downfield. On defense, Wyoming will need to contain Wadley. If they can neutralize Iowa's most potent weapon, it should be a close game.

Prediction:

Wyoming 34, Iowa 31. Go Pokes!!!