Northwestern and Iowa square off Saturday, October 21, 2017 in a Big Ten West game at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill. Both Northwestern and Iowa are looking for their second consecutive wins. Below find the time, tv channel and odds for the Week 8 game.
Northwestern-Iowa football TV channel, time, live stream
Northwestern-Iowa TV channel: ESPN2
Northwestern-Iowa time: 12 p.m. ET
Northwestern-Iowa live stream: The game will be live streamed on WatchESPN.
Northwestern-Iowa football odds, picks
Northwestern was listed as a one-point favorite favorite on Friday night.
Northwestern-Iowa football preview
The Big Ten’s two longest-tenured coaches go head-to-head for the 12th consecutive season in a heated, yet respectful, rivalry.
Iowa (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) remains on the edge of the Big Ten West Division race, while Northwestern (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) seeks to make a push toward a third consecutive season that ends with a bowl game.
The Wildcats won last year’s battle 38-31 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won the three previous games, including a 40-10 triumph in 2015 when both teams were ranked in the top 20. In the 11 previous meetings between Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, the Wildcats hold a 6-5 advantage.
Both coaches expect a fierce battle.
“Typical of Northwestern, you pretty much know what to expect,” Ferentz said. “They’re a good football team, they’ve got good players. This is a veteran Northwestern team. They’re very well-coached, play hard start to finish, and like you’d expect, it’s going to be a 60-minute ball game.”
“There is consistency, there is toughness, there is physicality,” Fitzgerald said. “There are playmakers across the board in all three phases. A lot of consistency when you think about Iowa. A lot of physicality.”
The teams feature two of the league’s best running backs. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson became the leading rusher in school history last week at 4,639 yards to move into ninth place in Big Ten annals. He needs just 47 carries to become the fifth player in Big Ten history to reach 1,000 career carries. Jackson has faced Iowa three times and rushed for a combined 295 yards and 2 touchdowns. Last year, he ran for 171 yards and scored on a 58-yard run.
“He’s one of the best backs to play in our conference,” Ferentz said.
Iowa is led by running back Akrum Wadley, who ranks 10th in Iowa history with 2,246 rushing yards. His 5.6 yards per carry rank third among Iowa running backs with at least 2,000 career rushes, behind Shonn Greene and Tavian Banks (5.9). In three games against Northwestern, Wadley has 345 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2015, Wadley rank for 204 yards and tied a school record with 4 rushing touchdowns.
“I think the best game was the Northwestern game that I played,” Wadley said. “That was probably at the top of the list.
“That was like a turning point. Yeah, that was my first and only 200-yard game. … So far.”
For the Wildcats, the game offers the team a chance to get over the .500 mark before facing a tough test the following week. Northwestern hosts No. 18 Michigan State on Oct. 28. It will be the team’s final game against a Big Ten East team this season.
Northwestern is hoping for another strong offensive performance following last week’s 37-21 win over Maryland. The 37 points were the most the Wildcats put up since a 49-10 blowout win over Bowling Green on Sept. 16.
Northwestern totaled 531 yards of offense in the win over the Terps. The team got 293 passing yards from quarterback Clayton Thorson and another 171 yards on the ground from running back Justin Jackson. It’s the kind of balanced attack Northwestern hoped to have all season.