Northwestern upsets Iowa for the second straight year

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats encourages his team as they take on the Michigan State Spartans at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The last time Iowa faced Northwestern was last year when the Hawkeyes were 9-0 and streaking towards a date with Ohio State for the chance to play in the Rose Bowl.

But the Wildcats ruined Iowa’s dreams then and then did it again this year.

For the fifth time in the last six meetings between these two teams, Northwestern was able to get the best of Iowa in a dramatic 24-17 win at Ryan Field in Evanston. The Wildcats were trailing 17-7 after Hawkeyes’ quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw two touchdown passes early in the third quarter. But Brian Peters picked off Stanzi near the goal line in the fourth quarter and the Northwestern comeback was on.

Dan Persa found Jeremy Ebert on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:21 remaining in the game to cut Iowa’s lead to 17-14, then Persa threw up a jump ball that Demetrius Fields snagged for another score with just 1:22 on the clock. Stanzi drove the Hawkeyes into Northwestern territory, but a 4th-and-16 Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete with six seconds left and the Wildcats hung on for the win.

Outside of Ohio State, Northwestern is the only other team that Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz has a losing record against. Without a chance to win the Big Ten, Iowa will try to ruin Ohio State’s chances next week at home at 3:30PM ET.

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Iowa’s Stanzi hurt against Northwestern

Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi left the Hawkeyes’ game against Northwestern early in the second quarter with an apparent foot injury.

Stanzi was hurt when Wildcats’ defender Corey Wootton sacked him in the end zone. He fumbled and Nwest Marshall Thomas recovered the ball in the end zone for a Northwestern touchdown to cut Iowa’s lead to 10-7.

Backup quarterback James Vandenberg immediately came in and threw an interception to set up another Wildcats score. Northwestern is currently up 14-10 at halftime and at least for the moment, No. 6 Iowa is once again in trouble.

Although hey, they’re always in trouble at halftime; they’ve trailed at halftime in almost every game this season.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2009 College Football Week 10 Predictions

I’ve been on a roll of late, going 8-0 straight up the last two weeks and 7-1 against the spread. Let’s hope I didn’t just pour a big cup of jinx over everything this week.

No. 9 LSU at No. 3 Alabama, 3:30PM ET
A win this week secures the SEC West title for Alabama, while a victory for LSU puts them in the driver’s seat in the West, as well as keeps their national title hopes alive. While they eventually won the game thanks to a blocked field goal, there were some glaring issues with Alabama’s passing game in their victory over Tennessee two weeks ago. Mark Ingram is one of the best players in college football, but he can’t be expected to carry the offense week in and week out. Quarterback Greg McElroy must become more efficient in the passing game and test defenses vertically more than he has. The Tide beat the Tigers last year, but they had previously lost five straight to LSU so that’s a concern for Nick Saban. I don’t think the Tigers have enough offense to overcome the Tide’s No. 4 ranked defense, but this game is going to be close throughout and this might be another contest that isn’t decided for ‘Bama until the final seconds.
Odds: Alabama –7.5.
Prediction: Alabama 16, LSU 13.

No. 16 Ohio State at No. 11 Penn State, 3:30PM ET
This was supposed to be the game that decided things in the Big Ten. But with how well Iowa has played this year, one of these two teams will likely be knocked out of contention with a loss. It’s hard to imagine that OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor will walk into Beaver Stadium the way that he has struggled this year and beat a good Penn State defense…with his arm. Pryor isn’t going to win this game throwing for 250 yards (does he ever throw for 250 yards?), but if he can keep the chains moving with his legs and not turn the ball over, I bet Ohio State wins this game with its defense. This is going to be your classic Big Ten defensive struggle and the Buckeyes are due to pull off an upset of this magnitude. Penn State knocked off Ohio State last year on its home turf, and I’m calling for the Buckeyes to return the favor this season.
Odds: Penn State –3.5
Prediction: Ohio State 17, Penn State 16.

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