Hawkeye HQ predictions and pregame: Secret weapon prevents losing streak

Hawkeye Headquarters
Kevonte Martin-Manley 2011

IOWA CITY, IA – NOVEMBER 5: Detail view of special American flag decal worn on the Iowa Hawkeyes helmets before the game against the at Michigan Wolverines at Kinnick Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 24-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

 

The Hawkeyes lost a game two weeks ago. They lost one last week, so that’s two in a row. If they lose one today, that’s called a losing streak. But Iowa announced it’s breaking out a secret weapon to prevent it.

The red, white and blue Tigerhawk (seen above in its 2011 debut on our celebrity predictor Kevonte Martin-Manley). No word on alternate uniforms, but wings (also seen above) are always a good choice. And it’s a blackout, so bringing back the 2015 look (also above) would also work.

When announcing the return of the colorful helmet sticker, Iowa noted it has won six of seven games while wearing “alternative Veterans Day decals.” 

2011: 24-16 win against No. 13 Michigan

2012: 27-24 loss to Purdue

2013: 38-14 win at Purdue

2014: 48-7 win against Northwestern

2015: 35-27 win at Indiana

2016: 14-13 win against No. 2 Michigan

2017: 55-24 win against No. 3 Ohio State

Now, I don’t recall the Ohio State uniforms being called “Veterans Day alternates.” Only “blackout” uniforms with very different helmets that did not include an American flag. But we’ll let them slide since it was a 31-point win.

But what about the scores this week? Let’s go to the experts.

Celebrity prediction
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for a second season of picks.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 28, Northwestern 7

Featured predictions
Hawkmania

Steve Batterson: Iowa 27, Northwestern 21
Iowa’s defense, particularly against the run, is the difference against a Northwestern team which seems to find ways to win. Statistically, the Wildcats aren’t much to look at but do expect seasoned quarterback Clayton Thorson to keep Northwestern in the game in his 49th straight start. He’ll help the ‘Cats hang around until the fourth quarter against an angry Iowa team that has let chances to win slip away late the past two weeks. Expect an energized Iowa performance in its return to Kinnick.

Hawkeye Headquarters
Adam Rossow: Iowa 28, Northwestern 13
Dan Vasko: Iowa 31, Northwestern 17

National predictions
SBNation
Bill Connelly: Iowa 30, Northwestern 18

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa 
Mitch Light: Iowa 24, Northwestern 17
Mark Ross: Iowa 

Bleacher Report
David Kenyon: Iowa 29, Northwestern 24

CBS Sports
Dennis Dodd: Iowa
Jerry Palm: Northwestern
Tom Fornelli: Iowa
Chip Patterson: Iowa
Barton Simmons: Iowa
Barrett Sallee: Iowa
Ben Kercheval: Iowa

Sports Illustrated
Andy Staples: Iowa
Ross Dellenger: Iowa
Joan Niesen: Northwestern
Laken Litman: Iowa
Eric Single: Iowa
Molly Geary: Iowa
Scooby Axson: Iowa
Max Meyer: Iowa

Hawkeye State predictions
The Athletic
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 27, Northwestern 17

The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 20, Northwestern 13

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 34, Northwestern 14

Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Iowa 37, Northwestern 34

All Hawkeyes
Pat Harty: Iowa 27, Northwestern 23

#IowaSim18 simulation 
Cody Hills: Iowa 24, Northwestern 17

Irrelevant prediction
@Hawkologist
And finally, the totally irrelevant prediction based on playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2004 on a PS2, as is the tradition since 2015.
Ryan Jaster: Hawkeyes 31, Northwestern 21. Some are expecting big games from the Iowa tight ends, but this simulation belongs to a running back. 169 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Northwestern strikes first with a potent passing game, then Iowa gets into field goal position quickly with two runs of 20-plus yards — but stalls. The Hawkeyes take the lead with a 28-yard pass to the running back with 9 seconds left in the half, then open the second half with a 10-play, 74-yard drive capped by a 4-yard TD pass to the TE. The Wildcats answer with a 69-yard touchdown pass to close within 17-14, and Iowa flirts with danger by fumbling the kickoff at the 32. Crisis averted as the game-tying field goal attempt bounces off the right upright. Iowa works the clock, field position and the scoreboard until Northwestern returns the kickoff-fumbling favor to secure a Hawkeye victory.

Prognosis: A little surprised that the national experts are more confident about Iowa against Northwestern than me. The Hawkeyes are 10-point favorites against a team that controls its own destiny in the division. When I lived in Chicago, friends often refused to watch the Hawkeyes at Ryan Field with me out of the expectation of disappointment. And they were right. My Evanston viewing experiences started with a 28-27 loss in 2005 and ended with a 21-17 loss in 2010 and only one win in between. 1-5 overall in that span. This game is at home, which makes all the difference to the experts and oddsmakers. In truth, the trend isn’t better recently, with the Hawkeyes losing their last two by a touchdown each. I read every one of those stories linked above — and you should, too — and I’m still not convinced this will be as easy as it sounds. But they will have those special helmets. Not much pain is predicted but I can’t help but feel that’s overly optimistic.  

For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season. We’re the only Quad-Cities station to follow Iowa at home and on the road, so travel with us to Illinois for the final road game of the season on November 17 and join us at Kinnick Stadium on November 10 and November 23 as the Hawkeyes host Northwestern and Nebraska.

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