The Iowa Hawkeyes got back into the win column with a 10-7 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats in week ten. Like the game before in a 12-10 loss to Minnesota, the Hawkeyes were largely devoid of offense, but unlike in their prior outing, Iowa’s offense was able to come up with a big play when it mattered to set up a special teams play that couldn’t be overturned.
As a result, the Hawkeyes sit alone atop the Big Ten West standings with three games remaining. Losses from both Minnesota and Wisconsin in week 10 mean Iowa holds a one game lead with the tiebreaker over the Badgers and the Gophers still poised to head to Columbus next weekend. Which is to say, Iowa can lose one of their final three games and still finish the year ahead of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The catch? The Nebraska Cornhuskers are also on Iowa’s tail at 3-3 in the conference, tied with the Badgers and Gophers. So Iowa can lose a game and still win the West, they just can’t have that loss come to Nebraska.
With the table set, the Hawkeyes now return to Kinnick Stadium for their second to last home game of the 2023 season as they play host to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is fresh off a matchup with Ohio State of their own.
The Knights fought valiantly and actually led the Buckeyes at the half, but ultimately fell 35-16 at home. It was a matchup that saw QB Gavin Wimsatt struggle passing, but the Knights managed an impressive 232 yards on the ground against the Buckeye defense.
Rutgers enters the week in the top-20 nationally in total defense, but perhaps more impressively from an Iowa perspective, the Knights are averaging 27 points per game. That’s been fueled by Wimsatt, who is a true dual threat QB averaging just over 140 yards per game through the air on 49% passing and another 46 yards per game on the ground. As a team, the Knights are rushing for nearly 185 yards per game.
Here’s a quick look at the details for Saturday’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, November 11th
Time: 2:30 pm CT
Matchup: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-3, 3-3) at Iowa Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2)
Location: Kinnick Stadium- Iowa City, IA
Preliminary Weather Forecast: partly cloudy with temps in the low-50s, 5% chance of rain
DraftKings Opening Line: Iowa -1.5, O/U 29
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Saturday’s matchup between Iowa and Rutgers will be just the fourth all-time between the two programs. While Rutgers may be the birthplace of college football with the first ever collegiate game played in New Jersey between Rutgers and Princeton, the Scarlet Knights are a relatively new member of the Big Ten and have not had a long history with the Hawkeyes.
The two teams first faced off seven years ago when Iowa won in Piscataway 14-7 back in 2016. The Scarlet Knights then traveled to Iowa City for the first time back in 2019, where the Hawkeyes emerged victorious 30-0. Three years later, Iowa returned to Jersey for the third all-time meeting and again won. Thus, the Hawkeyes have never lost to Rutgers.
This season is poised to buck the trend after each of the first three meetings happened three seasons apart. Iowa and Rutgers are playing in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever.
This meeting will also mark the firs time Iowa has faced coach Greg Schiano. While Schiano has spent 14 seasons as the head coach of Rutgers, he was not with the Knights in any of the three prior meetings, having left for the NFL in 2012 after 11 seasons in Piscataway. Schiano returned three seasons ago and is now poised to face Iowa for the first time.
In this the fourth meeting between Iowa and Rutgers, Schiano will be the fourth different coach of the Knights Iowa will face.
In each of the three prior meetings between the two teams, the games have been played in the month of September. This will mark the first meeting in the month of November, where Iowa seems most comfortable. The Hawkeyes have won 15 of their last 16 games in the month.
The Hawkeyes are 7-2 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten Conference play. Iowa leads the West Division with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
As we move toward kickoff on Saturday afternoon, here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one.
Staff Prediction: Iowa Win, 100% of the vote
Fan Prediction: Iowa Win, 100% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa 27, Rutgers 6
Be sure to check back in throughout the week as all preview and postgame stories will be published to this stream.