The Iowa Hawkeyes are set for the stretch run of the Big Ten season and it begins this weekend with a visit to Northwestern. The Hawkeye defense will have a big challenge against a high-powered Northwestern offense that is led by quarterback Brett Basanez.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says Basnez is a heck of a football player that seems almost impossible to sack. He says he has the ability to keep things going and put the ball where no one else can get it. Ferentz says Northwestern forces teams to defend the entire field as they can also run the ball.
Ferentz says to be successful the Iowa defense will need to be sound in all areas. He says it puts you in a tough position when they spread you out, and he says when you try to cheat one way or the other, you give up something.
The Northwestern offense has put up big numbers but the Wildcat defense has yielded big numbers as well. Ferentz says that does not mean the Hawkeye offense should just expect to have a big day. He says people at Michigan State probably thought that until they looked up and saw the score was 49-7 against them. He says that type of thinking can get you in trouble.
Ferentz says this will be a tough football game as it’s like looking in the mirror when it comes to records. The winner will remain a game behind the Big Ten leaders, the loser will be out of title contention and will need to scramble to get bowl eligible.