Northwestern Wildcats (3-4) at Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 1, 2014, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Iowa Hawkeyes -4.5 -- Over/Under:
The Northwestern Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes play Saturday afternoon at Kinnick Stadium.
The Northwestern Wildcats have had a couple of weeks to recover from back-to-back losses and try to get their offense back on track. There’s little wrong with Northwestern’s defense, which is allowing 20.4 points, 374.9 yards, and has forced 13 turnovers and 14 sacks. The Northwestern Wildcats have won 13 of their last 17 games when allowing 24 or less points. Chi Chi Ariguzo leads Northwestern with 62 tackles and Dean Lowry has five tackles for loss. Offensively, Trevor Siemian is completing 57 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and six interceptions. Dan Vitale and Kyle Prater have combined for 52 receptions, more than 500 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The lack of offensive explosiveness has held Northwestern back, as the Wildcats have just seven passing plays of 25 or more yards and have scored a combined 24 points in their last two games. Northwestern’s ground game is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 630 yards and four touchdowns.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have also had a week off and look to improve to 3-1 in conference play. Like Northwestern, Iowa relies on a defense that’s allowing 21.9 points, 343.1 yards, and has forced 12 turnovers and 17 sacks. The Iowa Hawkeyes have won 12 of their last 13 regular season games when allowing 24 or less points. Quinton Alston leads Iowa with 55 tackles and Drew Ott has 9.5 tackles for loss. Offensively, Jake Rudock is completing 64.8 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Rudock has thrown four touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and Iowa has 12 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Damond Powell and Kevonte Martin-Manley have combined for 548 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Iowa’s ground game is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and Mark Weisman has rushed for eight touchdowns in his last four games.
The Wildcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 conference games. The Hawkeyes are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games in November and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games. The home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings, while the underdog is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 meetings.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are simply the better and more balanced football team, and are only 10 points away from being an undefeated team. Meanwhile, Northwestern has shown little signs of life offensively and has lost to a lost worse teams than Iowa. Give me the Hawkeyes by a touchdown at home.