Each week during the season the Hawkeye Headquarters staff will predict the outcome of the Iowa football game.
Blake Hornstein (6-1): Expecting Iowa to score double digit points is a shaky expectation at best. It’s only happened in four out of the Hawkeyes seven games this season. Say what you want about the Wildcats, but they held No. 11 Penn State to just 17 points at Beaver Stadium.
I don’t see this being a “get right” game for the Hawkeyes. More like, “Let’s score our 10 points and get the heck out of here.” And for all you sports gamblers out there, 37.5 points is a GENEROUS over/under.
Prediction: Iowa 10, Northwestern 3
Ryan Jaster (4-3): The totally irrelevant prediction (3-4) says the Hawkeyes win 17-12. It wasn’t until I looked up some series history that I realized that score exactly matches last year’s Iowa win in Evanston. The PS2 probably thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did. Seems unlikely to have a repeat, but three games since 2009 have ended with 17-10 scores, so never say never.
Wading deeper into the weeds only brings the pain. Pat Fitzgerald has a winning record over Kirk Ferentz. Both have two division titles. And consider this: The Wildcats had only beaten Iowa 19 times since they first played 1897 — ever — when Fitz took over in 2006. Now they have nine more. Seven of the Iowa losses have been by single digits and the other two were by 11 and 14. Talk about close shaves.
After expressing concern that an Illini win might signal a swap in status, it seems that Northwestern, despite its wild seasonal shifts, has at least pulled even with Iowa as a program, even if they haven’t yet won a game in the United States this year. The Hawks should emerge victorious, but it won’t be painless. Playing the Wildcats rarely is anymore. The Hawkologist’s prognosis is a 3 on the 6-point pain index.
Here’s a look at what others from near and far expect, starting with the weather from Local 4’s Tyler Ryan:
Steve Batterson: Iowa 21, Northwestern 10. It won’t be pretty, but Iowa avoids its first four-game losing streak since 2012 with a win over a Northwestern team that has struggled on both sides of the ball. The strength of Iowa’s defense will be the difference maker in this one.
Bill Connelly: Iowa 29, Northwestern 11
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mark Ross: Iowa
Ben Weinrib: Iowa
Max Escarpio: Iowa 26, Northwestern 14
Cody Hills: Iowa 17, Northwestern 10