Monday, 24th June 2024

Iowa at Northwestern (What to expect)

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

To get you all ready for Saturday’s game between No. 13 Iowa and Northwestern, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off inside Ryan Field.

At the end, I’ll provide what I think are three keys to an Iowa victory.

No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-1) at Northwestern Wildcats (6-3, 2-3)

Ryan Field; Evanston, Ill.

Nov. 13, 2010

11 a.m. Central

TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Chris Spielman, Bob Griese)

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Rob Brooks)

Weather: 57 degrees

Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:

1. No turnovers

Considering how Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz kept alluding to turnovers being the difference in the last two contests against Northwestern, this key is pretty obvious. The good thing here is the Hawkeyes have done a solid job all season of keeping turnovers to a minimum, and as long as nothing uncharacteristic happens on Saturday, there’s no reason to think that won’t continue. Even in rainy conditions and on a wet grass field, I expect Iowa to do a much better job of handling the football, especially with Adam Robinson back in the mix.

2. Win field position battle

This is going to be a challenge considering how much of a dual-threat quarterback Dan Persa is. But Northwestern’s plan is simple offensively — the Wildcats are looking to get positive yards on first down and make it so second and third downs only need a short amount of yards to move the chains. Iowa needs to force Northwestern into 2nd-and-long, 3rd-and-long situations. That, and it’s important for special teams to not have any mistakes and do their part in helping Iowa win the field position battle on both sides of the ball.

3. Big time players must step up

You know who the clutch players on the Hawkeyes are by now, so I’m not going to list them. But the big thing here is this: They all need to come up big in this game. If Iowa is going to finally end this funk against Northwestern, the playmakers on this team (both sides of the ball) need to play great. Not good, but great. Even when Northwestern won last year, I still recall Pat Angerer recording an absurd amount of tackles for Iowa. If the leaders on this team come to play, Iowa should be able to execute, win this game, and set up that mammoth showdown next week that has had everyone in Iowa City talking for a good year now. But first things first, the Hawkeyes have to handle their business this Saturday at Ryan Field.

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