IOWA CITY, Iowa — Despite having two weeks to prepare for their matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Northwestern fell, 48-7, at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.
Iowa (6-2, 3-1 B1G) dominated the game on both sides of the ball, outgaining Northwestern (3-5, 2-3 B1G) 483 yards to 180 and sacking quarterback Trevor Siemian five times. The senior went a woeful 8-for-18 and 64 yards before being pulled in favor of junior Zack Oliver in the fourth quarter.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald did not say if Oliver would start next week, but took some of the blame off of Siemian.
“It starts with me, it starts with our staff,” Fitzgerald said. “We gotta look at things that we can do better.”
Oliver did not fare much better than Siemian — he completed just one of his six passes for 7 yards.
Iowa took the lead less than two minutes into the game, as Johnathan Banks took the kickoff return 54 yards. A penalty on the Northwestern special teams put Iowa on the 31-yard line to start the possession.
According to Fitzgerald, that bad start led to a domino effect of poor play on both sides of the ball.
“It just looked like we got down and all of a sudden now we try to make too many things out of one play,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald and a couple players said they did not expect to play so poorly coming out of the bye week.
Safety Godwin Igwebuike said the team actually had a great week of practice and were energized prior to kickoff.
“We just didn’t come out and play like we thought we should’ve and we thought we would’ve,” the redshirt freshman said.
Freshman running back Justin Jackson continued to impress in Big Ten play. He had 24 carries for 96 yards, as well as a 1-yard rushing touchdown that proved to be Northwestern’s only score.
Iowa too had a good day on the ground, led by senior Mark Weisman’s three touchdowns. The Wildcats had no answer for him in the first half, and in the second half Akrum Wadley inserted himself into the conversation with 115 yards and a touchdown. The Hawkeyes averaged 4.8 yards per rush while the Wildcats averaged 2.4.
Northwestern will host the Michigan Wolverines 2:30 p.m. next Saturday.