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Northwestern at Iowa
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa’s run at the Big Ten West Division title has hit a speed bump heading into Saturday's game versus visiting Northwestern. The Hawkeyes saw a 14-point lead and an unblemished conference record fall by the wayside in a mistake-laden 38-31 loss at Maryland on Oct. 18, and the ensuing bye week brought no relief with multiple tailback injuries cropping up along with the disciplinary suspension of starting linebacker Reggie Spearman following his arrest for driving a moped while impaired by alcohol. “A bye week, sometimes we think it's going to be sitting around and drinking tea and eating crumpets, but it doesn't quite work that way,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said during his weekly news conference. “… At least in season there is a routine, so it's good to be back in a game-week routine, quite frankly.”

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald can echo those sentiments this week after he also had to suspend a player – reserve linebacker Brett Walsh – for a bye-week underage-intoxication arrest. The Wildcats did get off to a 3-2 start, including impressive Big Ten wins over Penn State and Wisconsin, but losses to Minnesota and Nebraska followed. Northwestern now needs to win three of its final five games to avoid a second straight bowl-less season.

TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Iowa -4

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten): Scoring an average of 20.9 points per game, the Wildcats rank 106th nationally and only above Michigan (20.4) in the Big Ten. But don’t blame Justin Jackson, who has posted three consecutive 100-yard rushing games and ranks sixth among all FBS freshman tailbacks with his average of 90 yards per contest. Defensively, the Wildcats are only allowing 20.4 points per outing and are tied for second in the Big Ten with a plus-five turnover differential.

ABOUT IOWA (5-2, 2-1): The Hawkeyes are banged up in the backfield with LeShun Daniels Jr. suffering a season-ending foot injury in practice last week and Jordan Canzeri regarded as “dicey” for Saturday with an ankle injury sustained in the loss to Maryland. As a result, freshmen Jonathan Parker and Akrum Wadley could be pressed into action Saturday to lighten the load of leading rusher Mark Weisman. On the flip side, stopping the run has been a problem of late for Iowa as the Hawkeyes have been gashed for 528 yards and six rushing touchdowns over the last two games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Iowa holds a healthy 48-24-3 lead in the all-time series, including a 17-10 overtime home win last season, but Northwestern has prevailed in six of the last nine meetings overall.

2. With a combined 25 seasons in their respective positions, Ferentz (16) and Fitzgerald (nine) are the two longest-tenured head coaches in the Big Ten.

3. Northwestern LB Collin Ellis, the team’s fifth-leading tackler, will miss a second straight start as he recovers from his second concussion of the season.

PREDICTION: Iowa 24, Northwestern 21

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Northwestern 3-4 L2 20.9 20.4 2-3 1-1 3-3 0-0 2-2
Iowa 5-2 L1 27.0 21.9 3-1 2-1 2-1 0-0 2-1
Last Meeting
Northwestern Iowa
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/26/13 NW 10 IOWA 17 329 225 104 305 136 169
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern K. Colter 78.6 104 1 0
Iowa J. Rudock 70.4 169 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern S. Buckley 17 99 5.8 0
Iowa M. Weisman 13 56 4.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern D. Vitale 4 52 13.0 1
Iowa K. Martin-Manley 5 45 9.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern D. Vitale 1
Iowa D. Bullock 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern T. Siemian 57.0 1496 4 6
Iowa J. Rudock 64.8 1325 9 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern J. Jackson 134 630 4.7 4
Iowa M. Weisman 113 427 3.8 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern D. Vitale 26 282 10.8 1
Iowa D. Powell 12 278 23.2 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern J. Jackson 5
Iowa M. Weisman 10
Quickchart Matchup
Northwestern Off vs  Iowa Def
351.4 yards
343.1 yards
3.4 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
5.8 yards/attempt
6.4 yards/attempt
Iowa Off vs  Northwestern Def
388.7 yards
374.9 yards
3.8 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
6.5 yards/attempt
6.5 yards/attempt