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Iowa Hawkeyes 20, Northwestern Wildcats 0: Shutout

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We didn’t have to hear that stupid Wildcat growl for an entire game!

Iowa v Northwestern Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Just a friendly reminder, I write all of this in real time and I don’t edit before posting because editing is for Monday’s and there’s beers to drink. Basically, I want you to read this as a running diary of the game. All (over) reactions must be accepted and forgiven as I am just an optimistic fan boy that gets to write for a blog. Thank you.

Pregame

Jim Cornelison of Chicago Blackhawks fame did the National Anthem at Northwestern today and I don’t like that one bit. Maybe my 40-6 prediction was a little too optimistic. Football God’s forgive me.

1st Quarter

Everyone and their mothers experienced technical difficulties with ESPN2 so we all missed Iowa go 3-and-out to start the game. This is going to be a terrible, no good day isn’t it?

And before I could even blink and get comfortable after freaking out about having to watch crappy baseball highlights, Chauncey Golston picks of Aidan Smith and takes over on the Northwestern 21-yard line. This is an elite defense and while our offense might have struggles, there is no way Northwestern is scoring enough today. Cornelison and ESPN2 difficulties be damned.

LOL I’M SO BAD AT THIS. STANLEY JUST GOT SACKED WITH PRESSURE (YPU GUESSED IT) RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE AND LIMPED OFF THE FIELD AND DUNCAN MISSED THE FIELD GOAL. I HATE PLAYING THIS GOD FORSAKEN TEAM.

How do you manage to lose 7-yards when your amazing defense sets you up like that? HOW?

Northwestern takes over, moves the ball slightly before going for it on fourth and a few on the 50-yard line and right on queue they fumble the football. Can the Hawkeyes finally reward this Top-10 defense?????

Facing 3rd-and-10 (and not running the football again), Stanley finds Tyrone Tracy who spins out of a tackle and takes it 50-yards for a huge touchdown. Settle down there boys. This Northwestern team, at least defensively (and after that poor tackling on the Tracy scamper maybe defensively too) is a literal bag of vomit and there is no reason NOT to win by 35.

Northwestern Northwestern’s and is forced to punt it away.

On the next Iowa drive, Nate Stanley finds freshman tightend LaPorta who hauls in a 34-yard gainer, but after review the refs with little to no evidence whatsoever change the call to an incomplete pass. Michael Sleep Dalton comes out, shanks a punt and all of the good feels turn back into not great feels. In all honesty, the review should’ve never happened if Stanley actually leads him down the field (it was under thrown) and then gets down the field faster to snap the ball.

Northwestern Punt lol. Nothing matters what we do today.

Facing yet another third down, Stanley calls a timeout and then finds Ihmir Smith-Marsette for the conversion. It is also moves ISM over 1,000 career yards at Iowa. This dude who was so suspect his first season or two has literally become one of the most sure handed wideouts in the Big Ten. Stanley has leaned on him so many times this season when he needs a play and he’s delivered. Saying I love this kid is an understatement. After a pass interference to move the chains on third down, Sargent rattles off 13-yards to move the chains again and get Iowa back into Wildcat territory before the end of the Q.

Everybody wave.

2nd Quarter

Iowa stalls after a 3rd down pass to Mekhi Sargent gets batted down at the line. Keith Duncan redeems himself with the field goal.

10-0, Hawkeyes.

On the next drive, Northwestern elects to go with the “Give it to Bowser and hope Iowa missed a boatload of tackles” offense that eventually stalls out with a Cedrick Lattimore sack on Aidan Smith. Credit AJ Epenesa for getting pressure to force Smith to basically fall right into Latty’s arms. The Wildcats punt and down it inside the 2. A long drive almost seems necessary here. Take these guys completely out of this one and wear them out.

After a Toren Young run, Brian decides to get a little ballsy and calls a play action pass play out of the endzone that goes for 41-HUGE yards to Sam LaPorta. Did we just find new Hock? A few plays later, Iowa faces a 4th-and-1. It looks like Nate is going to go before Kirk elects for a delay of game and a punt. The Dark Knight plays right into The Joker’s hands yet again.

There are 3-minutes left and Northwestern has 66-total yards. Another 3-and-out. Another punt. Putting up another tuddy here would be divine.

4th and 1. Kirk calls a timeout to punt. Halftime.

3rd Quarter

Northwestern punts to start the half and Iowa elects to get Goodson rolling who breaks off a couple huge runs where he flashes his speed, shiftiness and patience. This kid is going to be elite as soon as next year. I love the way he runs the football so much. After a few plays that go nowhere, including a screen play that goes for negative yards (of which the ESPN2 booth said was set up perfectly), Kirk finally elects to go for it on 4th down and they convert with yet another tight end pass. I love tight end play. That is 100% the missing piece for this offense this year despite so many playmakers at WR. From a yard out after Goodson does all the work, Sargent cleans it up and punches it in for 6. Now that’s an Iowa drive.

17-0, things are going swimmingly.

Northwestern looked as though they found their offense a little and then Geno Stone laid the smackdown and it gave Iowa yet another shot in the arm. On the Iowa 29-yard line and facing 4th-and-9, Iowa holds and its a turnover on downs.

ELITE!

4th Quarter

Not going to lie, I installed a lantern light on my house for the start of the quarter, but I came back in time to see Tyrone Tracy make a big time catch down the field and Keith Duncan kick another field goal. I probably said it about 500 words ago, but the level of young playmakers on this team is outstanding right now.

20-0, please shut these you know whats out.

The best part is, this has been a fairly restful game for the defense. The offense is starting to do somethings that all Iowa fans will enjoy with the running and play action while Wisconsin is getting thrashed by Ohio State in a big time rock fight.

On the next Northwestern drive they figure out a way to move the ball a little again and eventually gets into Iowa territory, But, as Iowa is want to do, they shut\ the valve off and clamp down to force yet another turnover on downs.

Iowa is forced to punt and an unnamed Iowa assistant gets an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty... we all know who it was despite the booth saying it was “a guy in a black hoodie”...

He ain’t wrong tho.

The Iowa defensive line shuts down Northwestern and they punt (not well might I add after the snap flies over the punters head).

Iowa has the ball This ish is OVAH as “Let’s Go Hawks” chants break out.

That’s the first time Iowa’s shutout Northwestern since 1981 and it never felt more sweet.

PLAY THE DAMN POLKA!