The Iowa Hawkeyes prepare for this weekend’s matchup against a Northwestern team that has dropped three consecutive games. A year ago the Wildcats dominated the Hawkeyes in posting a 28-17 win.  It was a loss that coach Kirk Ferentz says was representative of their entire season. “As a coach you focus on the things that keep you from having a chance to have success, and there were a lot of visuals in that game that really jumped out,” Ferentz says.

Ferentz says getting better started up front. The Wildcats ripped the Iowa defense for 349 yards or rushing, and he says they had problems in being in the right position and then missing tackle. Iowa is coming off a 35-25 loss at fourth ranked Ohio State and Ferentz says they need the same type of preparation this week.

He says the effort and preparation was good last week and they have to carry that forward and be ready every week in conference play. At one time Northwestern was a regular homecoming opponent but Ferentz says those days are long gone. The Wildcats won 10 games last season and have won three of their last four games in Kinnick Stadium. “They do what it takes to win, they’ve done a good job of that,” Ferentz says.

The Hawkeyes were successful with a three tight end set at Ohio State and Ferentz there will be more of the same going forward. He says it’s a group they feel comfortable about and says the tight ends continue to work hard and improve.

Iowa’s defense could not slow down Ohio State but Ferentz is confident that unit will bounce back. “You have to, because we have five tough games in front of us,” Ferentz says.