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How and what to watch for Northwestern vs. Iowa

Fresh off a disappointing loss, the Iowa Hawkeyes look to even up their record against the Northwestern Wildcats.

Monte Pottebaum of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs the ball during the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on October 24, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

After suffering a season-opening upset, the Iowa Hawkeyes return to action for a home matchup with the Northwestern Wildcats, who themselves come off a 43-3 demolition of the Maryland Terrapins.

While last week’s loss to Purdue garnered most of the headlines in Iowa City, the outcome overshadowed the debut the redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Petras. The Hawkeyes tapped him as the successor to Nate Stanley, but Petras carries more weight than just the burden of replacing a three-year starter. Three years ago, Iowa opted to take Petras over Zach Wilson, now the starting signal-caller at BYU and one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy. Petras’ performance in the coming months will go a long way toward justifying that decision or further underscoring the mistake.

The Wildcats have undergone changes at quarterback as well. Peyton Ramsey, a multiyear starter at Indiana, transferred into Northwestern this year and has looked the part thus far. A week ago against Maryland, Ramsey completed 23 of his 30 pass attempts for 212 yards and a touchdown while adding another 47 yards and a score as a runner. Iowa’s defense offers a more imposing challenge, however.

Northwestern has taken three of the last four tilts with Iowa, two of which took place at Kinnick Stadium. However the Hawkeyes own the all-time series, holding a record of 51-27-3 against the Wildcats.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Northwestern vs. Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, and you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Northwestern vs. Iowa (-2)
Point Total: 45.5
Money line: Northwestern (+108), Iowa (-130)

  • Since the start of 2019, the Wildcats are 4-9-0 against the spread.
  • In terms of hitting the over, Northwestern has gone 5-8-0 since the start of last season.
  • Dating back to last year, the Hawkeyes are 6-8-0 against the spread.
  • Iowa has also gone 4-9-1 in terms of hitting the over during the same time frame.

The Best Bet

While the 2020 Hawkeyes don’t appear to be one of the best teams of the Kirk Ferentz era, they have enough talent at home to cover a small spread against a squad like Northwestern. And a new quarterback at home should push some excitement into the home team.

Pick: Iowa -2

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