NCAA Football Free Pick: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Northwestern Wildcats
(7-2, 5-4 ATS)
(6-3, 2-7 ATS)
Last season, the Northwestern Wildcats ended any hopes of the Iowa Hawkeyes winning the National Championship. This year, they can end Iowa’s Rose Bowl dreams once again if they can pull off the college football upset of the week in Week 11.
The Hawkeyes have actually only played three road games this year, and save the trip to Arizona, this is probably the hardest of the bunch. There is a huge question as to whether RB Adam Robinson is going to be playing in this game or not after suffering a head injury last week in a narrow escape on the road from the Indiana Hoosiers. If Robinson is in the lineup, he is one of the best backs in the nation, as he has rumbled for 806 yards and 11 TDs this year. QB Ricky Stanzi has thrown for 2,212 scores and is pacing the nation’s No. 43 offense at 409.8 yards per game. Iowa is outdoing its opponents by over 100 yards per game on average, and that’s something that HC Kirk Ferentz plans on keeping up as the weeks go on. Iowa has only let three foes score more than 13 points this year against it, and Northwestern is going to have its hands tied, as its offense just isn’t as good as those of the Wildcats, Michigan Wolverines, and Wisconsin Badgers.
For Northwestern, this isn’t a game with a heck of a lot of meaning to it, save for the fact that you always want to win your home games and want to improve your bowl positioning. The Cats have lost three of their last four games SU and have been dropped six straight times on the college football odds. there really isn’t an impressive game yet in the Big Ten, as the only wins have come against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Indiana Hoosiers. The only impressive showing at home all season long really wasn’t that impressive either, as beating Illinois State 37-3 doesn’t do anything for us, or for the hometown faithful in Evanston. QB Dan Persa is still doing his job this year in a great way. This junior is well on his way to some great things for Northwestern next year. He is completing 73.4 percent of his passes for 2,263 yards and 13 TDs against just three INTs, and he leads the team in rushing attempts (146), rushing yards (469), and total touchdowns (8). Watch out for WR Jeremy Ebert in this one. The junior is coming off of a game in which he caught six balls for 111 yards, and he has seven TDs on the season.
Iowa has to be careful in this one, as Northwestern is a particularly stingy team. We aren’t saying that the Cats are going to be able to pull off another upset in this series, but they should be good enough to stick inside of this hefty number. For Iowa on the road, laying double digits is never a good idea.
College Football Expert Pick: Northwestern Wildcats +10
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