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Opponent Links: Week 9, Iowa

Although this Iowa team looks very similar to – you know – almost every other Iowa team, here are some links for you to get to know them a little bit better:

- Last season, Northwestern torched Iowa's defense in a 28-17 win at Ryan Field. The Hawkeyes have tried to use that game as motivation and to learn from their previous mistakes.

- In Iowa's 34-24 loss at Ohio State last week, Iowa's offense began to use multiple tight ends sets in the passing game. Northwestern has struggled against play action this season and Iowa's tight ends are licking their chops at the opportunity as they hope more of these sets are present in Saturday's game plan.

- Like Northwestern, Iowa is 4-3 and at a critical juncture in its season. A loss to Northwestern this week could spell disaster for Iowa's bowl hopes this season after a tough loss to Ohio State.

- Linebacker Christian Kirksey has developed into leader for Iowa in his senior season while shedding his normally quiet persona.

- Iowa is in the same company as some of the top teams in the nation in Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Louisville, Missouri, Nebraska and Oregon. For what? Those eight teams – including Iowa – have led at halftime in each of their games this season.