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Opponent Links: Week 9, Iowa

by Chris Johnson (@ChrisDJohnsonn)

The way Northwestern lost control of its 12-point fourth-quarter lead against Nebraska last week, it was hard to come away not feeling like the Wildcats let a statement-making win get away from them. It's a tough pill to swallow for the Wildcats, but another important game looms this weekend with scuffling Iowa visiting Ryan Field. What follows is a varied list to satiate your Iowa-centric reading interest in preparation for Saturday's game. Enjoy.

These excellent team profiles from Paul Myerberg's "Pre-Snap Read" blog are geared toward preseason reading interest. They are also thorough and detailed enough to warrant a spot in this space at this late stage of the season.

For more generalized preview material, check out this Blue Ribbon Preview on the Hawkeyes.

With so much attrition in Iowa's backfield -- for which you can thank AIRHBG -- its only fitting that Iowa's walk-on tailback Mark Weisman is fighting off an ankle injury heading into this weekend. The Gazzette's Marc Morehouse sheds some light on Weisman's status.

There are high standards in Iowa City. This year's Hawkeyes have not met them. Perhaps most disappointing, among a host of underperforming elements, has been the play of quarterback James Vandenberg. To wit: Vandenberg was booed during the Hawkeyes' 38-14  home loss to Penn State last week. Morehouse provides some perspective on Vandenberg's state of mind after bottoming out against the Nittany Lions.

When you get absolutely beat down at your home stadium, the best strategy is to move forward, to avoid a negative lingering effect. These Hawkeyes are doing just that, writes Steve Batterson of The Quad City Times.

More from QCT: An in-depth Q&A with coach Kirk Ferentz

One huge concern for Iowa, beyond the looming malice of AIRBHG, is the offensive line, in particular the losses of Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal. The Daily Iowan addresses that topic, plus the team's ongoing support for Vandenberg.

For your listening pleasure, a preview podcast from featuring our own Kevin Trahan.

Lost amidst the post-game disappointment was true freshman Dan Vitale's first-quarter touchdown against the Huskers. Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune profiles Vitale, touching on a variety of interesting topics and revealing how the Wheaton, Ill., native earned a scholarship offer.

A one-drive sample of Northwestern's offense is enough for a casual observer to find confusion, doubt and, yes, rotating quarterbacks. Josh Walfish of the Daily Northwestern digs into the Wildcats' offensive miscues of late.

The latest dispatch from the practice field, courtesy of's Nick Medline.

If you're a Northwestern fan on the fence about attending this weekend, Lake The Posts will help you reach a decision.