Daniel Olinger: Iowa 17, Northwestern 10
The rest of the West has finally figured out that if you have a competent offensive identity, you can eventually score on the brick wall that is Iowa’s defense while the Hawkeye offense bails you out with their own ineptitude. Purdue attacked the soft cornerback coverage with repeated intermediate throws to their talented wideouts. Wisconsin did beefy O-Line Wisconsin stuff. But Northwestern... Northwestern does not have an offensive identity outside of “spam Evan Hull runs against teams that suck” (meant as a critique of the unit, not Hull himself, who is very good). It won’t be particularly fun, but NU can at least put up the semblance of a fight in this one unlike last week when they were rowed over by P.J. Fleck’s Gophers. Progress!
Ben Chasen: Iowa 16, Northwestern 14
You ever stub your toe and then, when you look down at your foot in pain, there’s a $100 bill just sitting there on the ground? So, naturally, you bend down to pick it up, but in doing so you injure your back so badly that you need expensive surgery? Yeah, that’s how this game is gonna go. Northwestern will have many opportunities to capitalize against an Iowa team that simply lacks much of an offense. The ‘Cats probably will score a few times and might even hold a lead or two. But when all is said and done, I expect NU to walk away with a close loss, feeling even more defeated than it would’ve had the margin been wider.
Mac Stone: Northwestern 14, Iowa 13
Yeah, I’m doing it. If the ‘Cats are going to beat a ranked team this season, it’s going to be Iowa. The reality of the situation is that while Northwestern is not a good football team, Iowa is also not a good football team. The Hawkeyes’ offense is horrible, and I’m firmly believe that if Andrew Marty plays that the ‘Cats will have the advantage at quarterback. Iowa’s probably going to throw the ball no more than 10 times and just let Tyler Goodson work out of the backfield. If the Wildcats are able to slow him down, we could see an extremely ugly game offensively. Coincidentally, that’s just about the only way Northwestern has a chance of winning. Roll Kitty.
Jacob Brown: Iowa 27, Northwestern 3
Iowa isn’t very good, but Northwestern is bad. Spencer Petras will throw the ball 8 times and Iowa will run it down NU’s throats. Andrew Marty tried his best to make something happen against the Iowa defense, but ultimately gets benched for Hilinski at the half, and we’re back to the QB carousel again.
John Olsen: Northwestern 16, Iowa 13
Ask anyone who’s had the pleasure of watching a Northwestern game with me — I am not very high on this team, and that’s putting it lightly. Having said that, I can’t shake the feeling that the ‘Cats will pull out an upset against the Hawkeyes on Saturday night. The main rationale behind this feeling? Iowa’s offense has been one of the worst units in the country the past two weeks, scoring just 14 points in two games. Recently, Jim O’Neil’s defense has looked like it would struggle to stop a nosebleed, let alone a Big Ten offense, but that won’t be a problem when the opposing team has zero firepower to hit back with. While it is no longer Halloween, Fitz will have some tricks up his sleeve at the start of the game to energize his floundering offense. Those surprises, along with a career day for Charlie Kuhbander (yes, I did just utter those words), will give the ‘Cats just enough to vanquish Kirk Ferentz and co.
Colin Kruse: Northwestern 9, Iowa 6
In my retirement from Inside NU, I haven’t been consistent with submitting predictions. So, let’s get wacky with it.
Bradley Locker: Iowa 16, Northwestern 7
Ever since Iowa climbed all the way up to No. 2, this game has been circled on my calendar. During Wildcat Welcome, I remember telling members of my PA group that Iowa would win 44-10; it’s clear that the Hawkeye offense is nowhere near as high-octane as once thought, but I still see this contest ending with the same result. I envision a good old-fashioned defensive slugfest on Saturday, but not because Jim O’Neil’s defense has made many strides; rather, this Iowa offense is absolutely pitiful, scoring just 14 points and posting seven turnovers in its last two games. Northwestern’s lone hope is Stephon Robinson Jr. continuing to dominate, but that’s a tall order against Matt Hankins and the 9th best defense in the country. Like last week, the ‘Cats go down 13-0 and can’t enjoy the Marty Party enough to get a win.
Andrew Katz: Iowa 17, Northwestern 14
It’s not out of the question that the ‘Cats could win this game but then again this year’s team has been like every experience I’ve had at Northwestern dining halls. There are only some options I like and maybe a few things look good, but whatever I get, I’m constantly underwhelmed. Oooh, that pasta (whoever is playing quarterback) could be good, or that cookie (occasional pass breakup) looks promising. In the end, I am always left disappointed, but I come back every time because it’s all we’ve got and, who knows, maybe next time it’ll be better.
Liam Hubbard Iowa 17, Northwestern 13
This week Northwestern is taking the L “Under the Lights” as their recent advertisements have proudly proclaimed. Ryan Field should be looking at lot more filled than in recent weeks with the various factors coming to head. That’s not even counting the hordes of bumble-bee-looking folk who are sure to arrive in full-Hawkeye attire. Regardless of outcome, the atmosphere should be great. When it comes down to Northwestern’s chances of victory, a lot of it comes down to Stephon Robinson Jr, as he’s listed as a game time decision. Assuming he plays, that gives the NU offense a prominent threat to attempt breaking through the top-rated defense. Even if he does play, however, I don’t think it won’t be enough to slay the Hawkeyes, and Iowa will squeak out a slim victory despite their poor offense.
William Karmin: Iowa 24, Northwestern 14
Northwestern is bad. I actually think Iowa is bad too, but just not as bad as Northwestern. Marty gets Northwestern two touchdowns; one or two more than HJ or Hilinski would have mustered.
Gavin Dorsey: Iowa 24, Northwestern 9
I was actually more excited about Northwestern’s prospects of pulling off an upset a few weeks ago when Iowa was No. 2 in the country, but a stretch of unflattering games by both sides has me agreeing with my fellow writers that this one will probably ugly. The Hawkeye offense is bad, but it can’t be worse than Northwestern’s defense, prompting a horrible game all around.
Myles Gilbert: Northwestern 13, Iowa 10
The turnover battle will decide who wins this game. I think Andrew Marty and the ‘Cats take care of the football. Spencer Petras throws an errant interception to Brandon Joseph in the secondary because he loves to give the ball away. Kuhbander shakes off his early-season struggles to hit a couple big field goals when Northwestern drives stall out in the redzone. Chris Bergin, in his final game at Ryan Field, notches 20 tackles and forces a big fumble late. Under the lights, at home, on parents weekend, Fitz and Co. play spoiler once again against the Hawkeyes and escape this slugfest singing the fight song.
Jacob Brown: 7-1
Mac Stone, Bradley Locker, Andrew Katz: 6-2
Daniel Olinger, John Olsen: 5-3
Ben Chasen, Will Karmin: 4-4
Gavin Dorsey: 3-2
Michael Barthelemy: 2-0
Meredith Revsine: 1-0
Eli Karp, Myles Gilbert: 2-1
Didi Jin: 2-2
Colin Kruse, Liam Hubbard: 1-1
Lia Assimakopoulos: 1-2
Sarah Effress, Brian Paget, Nik Mehrotra, Isaac Diaz, Sydney Supple, Jackson Gordwin: 0-1