Northwestern 38, Iowa 31: The Horror

By Adam Jacobi on October 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm
Look at these guys.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Ifeadi Odenigbo.

That name will echo in Iowa fans' ears for the rest of the season, as Northwestern's rush end tortured Cole Croston for four of Northwestern's six sacks, and pressured CJ Beathard out of the pocket for the game-clinching interception in Iowa's 38-31 loss to the lowly Wildcats.

Clayton Thorsen, unquestionably one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the Big Ten, threw three touchdown passes to Austin Carr and rushed for another. That offense that was third-worst in the nation in points exploded for six scoring drives, five of them touchdowns, and three coming on consecutive drives of 70 yards or more in the second half as Northwestern swiftly turned a 24-17 deficit into a 38-24 lead.

Safeties Brandon Snyder and Miles Taylor looked lost at times, and that's a recipe for disaster against any offense, even if it's just Northwestern. Neither player is athletic enough to make up for the missed assignments and whiffed tackles that happened this week (and, if we're being honest, all season), and there's only so much Desmond King can do by himself. King had three passes broken up, at least. That was cool.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the game was Iowa's inability to get its ground game on track. Disregard the 1.9 yards per carry you'll hear over the coming week, as that includes the numerous sacks given up; LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley carried 31 times for 107 yards, just under 3.5 yards per rush, and that is plenty bad on its own.

Iowa didn't play like a Top 25 team yet again, and it's almost certainly not going to be a Top 25 team at any point in the rest of the season. Now the hope is just whether the Hawkeyes can get to the magical seven win mark. There's a lot of money riding on that, you know. 

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