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Northwestern Opponent Links, Week 7: Iowa Hawkeyes

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Learn some more about the undefeated Hawkeyes, who visit Evanston this Homecoming weekend.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

After a disastrous weekend in which they lost 38-0 to Michigan for their first loss of the season and saw cornerback Matthew Harris go down to injury, the Northwestern Wildcats try to get back on the right track tomorrow against Iowa at Ryan Field for Homecoming.

No. 17 Iowa has been every bit as surprising as No. 20 Northwestern this season, but quarterback C.J. Beathard is dealing with a groin injury that could seriously affect his play. If the Wildcats can take advantage of that, then they might be able to take this one.

Here are some last-minute notes and links on the Wildcats' upcoming Big Ten opponent:

  • Iowa senior running back Jordan Canzeri has established himself as a formidable rusher this season and one of the best in the Big Ten. Canzeri already has 697 yards and nine scores on the ground so far through six games.
  • Canzeri's backfield mate, Beathard, is having a good season overall (1,239 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions) but is not at 100 percent with a groin ailment that probably will diminish both his mobility and passing strength.
  • The Hawkeyes, outside of at quarterback, have a bunch of injury issues at multiple positions, which has coach Kirk Ferentz a little worried about depth heading into tomorrow's game.
  • Iowa's biggest injury concern is with starting defensive end Drew Ott, who is likely out for the season with a torn ACL. Ferentz hasn't confirmed this, but he has said Ott is out for tomorrow. In his place is redshirt freshman Parker Hesse, so that position may not produce much for the Hawkeyes.
  • Illinois was Iowa's latest victim, losing at Kinnick Stadium 29-20 last Saturday. The game had one Daily Illini writer thinking that Illinois' football program should take after Iowa's.
  • Finally, in premature College Football Playoff talk, NCAA.com thinks the Hawkeyes have an outside shot at finishing in the top four at the end of the season.