Wildcats host Hawkeyes for homecoming

By Nader Ihmoud

The Northwestern University Wildcats are in the midst of preparing for another crucial Big Ten conference opponent this weekend when they welcome the University of Iowa Hawkeyes for homecoming at Ryan Field on Oct. 24.

The Hawkeyes and the Wildcats are both still in the hunt for a regular season conference championship despite both losing to divisional opponents last weekend. Iowa is 2-1 in conference play, while Northwestern is 2-2 against other Legends Division opponents.

“Its two hungry teams that want to stay in the hunt for the division crown and this game is going to be critically important for that,” head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “It’s a big game. Homecoming, distractions go along with it, but you have to manage that the right way.”

The Wildcats are looking forward to bouncing back following the heartbreaking 29-28 loss to the Nebraska University Cornhuskers on Oct. 20.

“I think everyone’s pretty excited to get a chance, after last week, to put it together,” Wildcats quarterback Trevor Siemian said, “I don’t think we’ve put it together for a couple of weeks now.”

His team is 1-2 over the past three weeks. Northwestern’s offense has no plans to switch out of its two-quarterback system and Siemian believes that it’s up to him, fellow quarter back Kain Colter and the rest of the team to execute when the opportunities present themselves. He admitted that it is difficult to get into a rhythm switching in and out of the game, but is reluctant to use it as an excuse.

“It’s no excuse for poor play. [Colter and I] both know the situation,” Siemian said. “The fact is we have to come in and execute like every other guy.”

Northwestern is a tough team to beat when they are moving the ball efficiently against opposing defenses. This season the Wildcats are undefeated when they gain over 324 yards on offense. Last week they were held to only 301 yards of total offense and only 247 yards in their other loss against the Penn State University Nittany Lions on Oct. 6.

The Wildcats and Hawkeyes kickoff at 11 am.