By DYLAN MICHAEL BURN
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald will lead a bruised up Wildcats team into Kinnick Stadium on Saturday morning to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes and their power run game with Mark Weisman.
Iowa (4-3, 1-2) comes into this game having lost two straight games (last week at OSU and at home against Michigan State). The Iowa Hawkeye defense has been the strong point all season as they are allowing 19.3 points per game to opposing teams.
One key for the Hawkeyes for this Saturday is getting Weisman going again. Weisman has struggled in the last two games, gaining just 61 yards on 17 carries. Look for Iowa to get Weisman back on track as they take on a front four for Northwestern that allows 4.4 yards per carry and is banged up. Containing NU quarterback Kain Colter is another big key, if he plays. Ohio State was 10-of-14 on third down and OSU quarterback Braxton Miller had 18 carries for 102 yards. Ohio State did not punt during the game.
After a 4-0 start, the Wildcats (4-3, 0-3) have lost three straight games to Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They have played a majority of their season without dynamic running back Venric Mark, and he will sit out again on Saturday. Colter did not play against Minnesota, but could play Saturday.
Keys for the Wildcats are containing the Hawkeyes running game with Weisman and Damon Bullock. The defense is going to have to have some backups step up if it is going to do so. Getting reserve running back Treyvon Green going will be key as well, Green is averaging 6.2 yards per carry this season.
The game is a crucial game for both programs if they wish to stay in the mix in the Legends division in the Big Ten. Kinnick stadium can be a pain to play in, and with the Wildcats so banged up the Hawkeyes are a good pick to win this one.
Dylan Michael Burn is an Iowa Hawkeyes enthusiast and special contributor to DearOldGold.com