FACTS & STATS: Site: Kinnick Stadium (70,585) — Iowa City, Iowa. Television:
Big Ten Network. Home Record: Northwestern 2-3, Iowa 3-1. Away Record:
Northwestern 1-1, Iowa 2-1. Neutral Record: Northwestern 0-0, Iowa 0-0.
Conference Record: Northwestern 2-2, Iowa 2-1. Series Record: Iowa leads,
GAME NOTES: Trying to end a two-game losing skid, the Northwestern Wildcats
will hit the road to take on their Big Ten Conference rival Iowa Hawkeyes at
Kinnick Stadium Saturday.
Northwestern defeated No. 17 Wisconsin early in October, but hasn’t been able
to pick up a win since, dropping consecutive games to Minnesota and Nebraska,
respectively. The Wildcats are coming off a bye week and will be looking for
revenge after an Iowa overtime win last year.
Iowa had a three-game win streak end in the team’s last outing back on Oct. 18
against Maryland, 38-31. But the Hawkeyes are looking to get back in the win
column after beating up Pittsburgh, Purdue and Indiana in consecutive contests
dating back to September.
The Hawkeyes are doubling up the Wildcats in the all-time series, 48-24-3. The
teams have split the last two meetings, with Iowa owning the most recent
victory in 2013. But Northwestern has won four of the last six games overall.
Northwestern has been at times a pass reliant team, but the passing game
wasn’t working well against Nebraska in the team’s most recent outing.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian completed 18-of-39 pass attempts in the loss for
173 yards and an interception. The Wildcats are averaging 223.9 passing ypg
behind Siemian’s 57 percent completion rate and 1,496 yards.
Siemian has just as many rushing scores as he does through the air. The
quarterback has thrown for four scores this season and has added another four
touchdowns on the ground. The running game has been a work in progress for the
Wildcats, who average 127.6 rushing ypg and have scored 11 touchdowns via the
ground attack in seven contests. Justin Jackson leads the team with 630 yards
and four scores, averaging 90 ypg and 4.7 ypc.
Siemian and the passing game has been relatively unproductive in seven games.
Siemian’s leading pass catcher is Dan Vitale, who has 282 yards and a
touchdown on 26 catches this season. Not one receiver on Northwestern’s roster
has more than one touchdown grab for a team averaging 20.9 ppg.
The team’s defense has helped it along to a 3-4 overall record with big wins
over Wisconsin and Penn State. Against a dominant run team in Wisconsin, the
Wildcats could hardly contain Melvin Gordon (259 yards, one touchdown) though,
and in the loss to Nebraska, Ameer Abdullah ran wild also (146 rushing yards,
four touchdowns). But the Hawkeyes don’t possess an overly strong run game, so
the team should be set.
Northwestern is averaging 20.4 ppg surrendered, although the defense has
allowed 24 and 38 points, respectively, in the last two losses. Chi Chi
Ariguzo leads the Wildcats with 62 tackles on the season, adding four tackles
for loss and three quarterback hurries to his stat line. Lineman Dean Lowry
has been a quarterback pest this season with five tackles for loss and 3.5
sacks, while Godwin Igwebuike (29 tackles) has a team-high three
interceptions. The Wildcats will be busy against an Iowa offense averaging 27
The 38-31 final score in Iowa’s latest outing versus Maryland reflects a much
closer outcome than was actually the case. The Hawkeyes trailed by a score of
38-21 when the team found the end zone with 2:58 to play, then a field goal
with just over a minute remaining cut the Terrapins lead to a single score.
The team’s passing game was strong led by Jake Rudock, who had 317 yards and a
pair of touchdowns with an interception in the loss.
The defeat snapped a three-game win streak for the Hawkeyes, who have some
tough oppoying meaningful basketball will be a welcome
In the offseason, it was revealed, after GM Danny Ferry read aloud a racist
scouting report about Luol Deng, that owner Bruce Levenson sent Ferry and
other Atlanta brass an e-mail years ago with racist overtones.
Levenson will be voluntarily selling his controlling interest in the team and
Ferry is away from the team during this storm.
The Hawks and Raptors split last season’s four meetings with the home team
holding serve. Despite the two losses in the great north last season, Atlanta
has still won seven of its last 10 trips to Toronto.