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Northwestern vs. Iowa predictions

Will Northwestern get the job done in Iowa City?

NCAA Football: Iowa at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Friedman: Iowa 27, Northwestern 23

Iowa’s massive defensive line is going to give Northwestern problems. I think it’ll be hard for Northwestern to get the intermediate-to-deep passing game going, and running the ball will be tougher than in past weeks. The Wildcats’ defense keeps NU in the game, but but it’s not enough. Plus, Kinnick is a tough place to be a visitor.

Matthew Albert: Northwestern 24, Iowa 21

I’m always ambitious on NU (I have picked them to lose once this season honestly because I somehow find ways to make myself believe they’ll win, which is exactly what I did going into this week). With that caveat, I think that the Northwestern rush defense is very effective against Iowa, and this game is an ugly one. Iowa has been on a slide recently and their pass rush has been less effective, Bowser continues to play on a very high level, running for another two touchdowns in Kinnick, as the Wildcats play spoiler to Iowa parents weekend.

Davis Rich: Iowa 24, Northwestern 17

The better defense will win this game, and I’m a little worried about NU’s secondary depth without Jared McGee and Trae Williams. Safety Travis Whillock has been good in McGee’s stead, but that second corner spot is tenuous. Iowa’s defense line is going to make things difficult for Clayton Thorson — how No. 18 adjusts to pressure will be critical for the visitors. I’ll give the advantage to the Hawkeyes.

Lia Assimakopoulos: Iowa 24, Northwestern 21

Eli Karp: Northwestern 23, Iowa 21

Iowa pretty much dominates every statistical category in this matchup and has the better team on paper: better offensive line, better defensive line, tight ends that are matchup nightmares and a tough home field. Despite its statistical eye candy — helped by beating down lesser opponents — Iowa is reeling after two straight losses, and Pat Fitzgerald holds a special animosity towards the Hawkeyes. Northwestern has been weirdly good in Big Ten road games, and this is the type of game in which it thrives. Give me a Thorson sneak and a JJ Jefferson touchdown grab en route to a second straight tight victory in chilly Iowa City.

Noah Coffman: Iowa 20, Northwestern 17

Northwestern has been sneaky-good on the road, and I’m starting to believe in the run game, but to beat a team as solid defensively as Iowa is, Clayton Thorson is going to have to have a better performance. I just don’t see a breakout game on the horizon from him. The Wildcats should keep it close, but Iowa will win an ugly one.

Lukas Stachtiaris: Iowa 23, Northwestern 17

Iowa’s defense has been one of the best in the Big Ten this season. If the ‘Cats are going to win this game on the road, they’re going to need a big performance from Clayton Thorson. I think that Northwestern will put up a great fight in this one, but come up just short down the stretch against.

Avery Zimmerman: Iowa 24, Northwestern 14

Despite Northwestern’s consistent success on the road, Kinnick Stadium is a different animal. Combine that with Iowa’s extremely solid defense and Northwestern won’t be able to come out with a victory. NU keeps it close but struggles mightily in the red zone, allowing Iowa to pull away in the end.

Martin Oppegaard: Northwestern 24, Iowa 23

Drew Luckenbaugh game winning field goal? I’m here for it.

Season Standings

Caleb Friedman: 6-3

Davis Rich and Noah Coffman: 5-4

Avery Zimmerman: 4-5

Matthew Albert, Lia Assimakopoulos, and Joe Weinberg: 5-3

Lukas Stachtiaris and Martin Oppegaard: 4-4

Spencer Levitt: 3-1

Eli Karp: 2-2

Graham Brennan: 1-1