Someone has to lose this game, with both teams battling 4-3 records and a poor performance in the Big Ten, the Wildcats are going to look to switch things up a little on the offensive side in order to get around the Hawkeyes front line that knows how to keep backs down. Iowa has the ability to take away a team’s running game or frustrate them to the point where they take themselves out, so in order to avoid that I see the Wildcats passing the ball early looking down the field on first downs while Iowa sticks to their power running game to the outside and around the middle.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
12:00 PM ET, October 26, 2013
Kinnick Stadium, IOWA CITY, IA
Northwestern is coming off a late field goal loss to Minnesota, one I’m sure they would love to have back, the Wildcats are not known for their stunning defense but they have a decent secondary that makes other teams a little more hesitant to throw over the middle. Northwestern must keep their offense on the field in this one because they do not have the luxury to depend on their defense to pull out the stops they need, I expect them to look for short plays to the outside just to keep things moving along.
Iowa is a defensive savvy team, that powers through their opponents, they have two excellent pass rushers which also is the main issues with the Wildcats trying to run the ball, starting in the back field against Iowa is a difficult this to do. I like the Hawkeyes in this game to overpower the offensively weaker Wildcats team and take advantage of their lack of size in the receiving department.
What to Expect:
Iowa will move the ball well, they will find the way to get their running game going as well as the occasional deep pass down the line, completing a few of those might get them throwing a little more too… at -7.5, the Hawkeyes will control this game and come out on top, defense first.