Iowa vs. Northwestern preview: Hawkeyes look to stay in the Big Ten West hunt against the struggling Wildcats.
On Saturday, October 1 at 12 p.m. E.T., the Iowa Hawkeyes host the Northwestern Wildcats at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, which has a listed capacity of 70,585. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
According to ESPN's matchup predictor, which is based on the network's Football Power Index, Iowa has a 79.8-percent chance to defeat the Wildcats. Iowa won last year's matchup 40-10. Northwestern last defeated the Hawkeyes in 2012. Iowa has 49-24-3 lead in the all-time series. According to OddsShark, Iowa opened as a 12-point favorite in this one, and that line has moved up to 13.5 at most sportsbooks.
Read on for our Iowa vs. Northwestern preview.
Spread: Iowa -13.5
Game Time: 12:00 p.m. E.T.
Iowa vs. Northwestern preview:
Iowa may not be quite what it was in 2015, when the Hawkeyes went undefeated until running into Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game, but Kirk Ferentz's team is a solid favorite in this one. After a 10-win 2015 season, Northwestern has really struggled this year, with losses to Western Michigan, Illinois State, and Nebraska. A win over Duke, which beat Notre Dame on Saturday, looks pretty good, but the Wildcats have definitely taken a step back this season.
Iowa has struggled in recent weeks. FCS power North Dakota State notably beat the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on a last-second field goal. Last weekend, Iowa struggled with Rutgers on the road, eking out a 14-7 win over the Scarlet Knights.
Still, C.J. Beathard is one of the more consistent quarterbacks, with 741 yards, eight touchdowns, and just one interception so far this season. The Hawkeyes also have an impressive two-headed rushing attack in LeShun Daniels Jr. (301 yards, three touchdowns) and Akrum Wadley (274 yards, four touchdowns). Iowa struggled on offense against Rutgers. It has a chance to rebound against Northwestern at home.
Iowa vs. Northwestern prediction:
Northwestern's defense is ahead of its offense, but Iowa should be able to find some success against the Wildcats. On the other side, we don't see much from the Wildcats offense. Iowa should win a fairly ugly one at home, and keep pace in the Big Ten West.
Iowa 24, Northwestern 10