Iowa @ Northwestern – Pregame Thoughts

Saturday mornings didn’t used to feel this good.

There isn’t a better feeling than waking up on a Saturday excited for the game ahead. As soon as I woke up, I sprung out of bed to get ready for the day so I could watch as the Hawkeyes battle it out with Northwestern in a game that is essentially the deciding factor for the winner of the Big Ten West. A lot rides on this game, and I really like the Hawkeyes chances.

Big news came from Kirk Ferentz today, Senior WR Tevaun Smith has been cleared to play. This is great news for the Hawkeyes, but I feel that Iowa’s passing game would have been excellent without T. Smith back. We now have 3 amazing wide receivers that will be able to do damage against Northwestern’s poor pass defense.

Northwestern is a team that that can run the ball well, but they can’t really pass. They have an excellent run defense, but they don’t gave great pass defense. Iowa is a team that struggles with pass defense, but both part of our offense will work well, assuming that Beathard can pass the ball with his injuries. Iowa’s offense should cause problems for Northwestern, but it will still be a close game.

Speaking of injuries, Iowa has plenty of them. Both offensive tackles are out, which will make it harder to get Beathard time to pass the ball. Of course Leshun Daniels is still out. Drew Ott tore his ACL last week against Illinois. CJ Beathard got hit pretty hard last week and he has had to take some time off in practice this week, but people are saying that he has looked good on the field before the game.

What about my predictions for the game?

  1. Another slow first half. I don’t think either team will break double digits in scoring in the first half, and I don’t think a team will hit the twenty’s. Both teams have a great defense, but Iowa’s run defense might be hurting without Drew Ott.
  2. Iowa passes a lot. I don’t know that Iowa will be able to run very well without 2 great running backs, and with Smith back, we might stick to winning this game through the air.
  3. Beathard gets hit. Hard. Northwestern likes to play dirty, and Fitzgerald has sent players for our quarterbacks before. Remember when a Northwestern player broke Stanzi’s leg in 2009 to end our perfect season?

I think Iowa will win this game with a score of 13-10. It will be close. I have a lot of confidence that Iowa will win, however.

 

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