Northwestern 14, Iowa 10
What Happened: Northwestern won the Big Ten West with a brilliant 32-yard touchdown catch from Bennett Skowronek, a huge day from Isiah Bowser and the ground game, and two timely late forced fumbles.
Down 3-0 at halftime, Northwestern got a 34-yard touchdown dash from Bowser, but Iowa answered a few minutes later with a 28-yard scoring catch from Ihmir Smith-Marsette. But early in the fourth, Clayton Thorson connected with a divine Skowronek for what would be the West-winning score. Iowa had a few more chances, but the Wildcats were able to come up with stops with the turnovers.
What Mattered: Clayton Thorson completed 15-of-30 passes for 122 yards and a score with two picks, but it was Isaiah Bowser who took over, running 31 times for 165 yards and a score.
– The Wildcat defense held Iowa to just 64 yards rushing and nothing longer than 11 yards. Mekhi Sargent led the team with 27 yards. Nate Stanley completed 27-of-41 passes for 269 yards and a score.
– Iowa outgained Northwestern 333 yards to 306, and the two teams each turned it over twice, but the Hawkeye fumbles came at the worst times. The Wildcat D was better on key plays, especially third downs.
What It All Means: Northwestern is playing for the Big Ten Championship?! With Purdue losing, the Wildcats are in no matter what happens in the final two games. However, now it’s time to look the part and keep the momentum going with Minnesota and Illinois to close. Both of those teams, though, will be desperate for a win.
– Iowa is already bowl eligible and now it’s just playing out the string. Like Northwestern, it’s going against two motivated teams with a trip to Illinois and a date against Nebraska. This is now the team’s third straight loss after starting out 6-1. That’s bad, but lose to Illinois? That would make things far, far worse.
NEXT: Minnesota 41, Purdue 10