On Saturday at 6 p.m. CT, the Northwestern Wildcats will honor their seniors at Ryan Field before taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes, who were ranked in the top ten earlier this season. In preparation for the old-fashioned rivalry, we're breaking down the two programs by the numbers to see how they compare.
Northwestern: Pat Fitzgerald, 16th season, (109-86 all-time)
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz, 23rd season at Iowa, (174-108 as Hawkeyes coach; 186-129 all-time)
Northwestern: 3-5 overall, 1-4 Big Ten
Iowa: 6-2 overall, 3-2 Big Ten
Iowa definitely holds the advantage in the series against Northwestern over the years, as the Hawkeyes lead the series–which began back in 1897 with a 12-6 Iowa victory–51-28-3. In terms of games played in Evanston, home field advantage has not played out in the Wildcats' favor, as the Hawkeyes still lead the series 25-16-3 on the home turf of Chicago's Big Ten team.
Current Win Streak
Northwestern currently holds the one-game winning streak as they eked out a 21-20 Halloween victory in the 2020 matchup between the two teams. However, Iowa won the last game that took place at Ryan Field 20-0 in 2019. Since snapping the Hawkeyes' 21-game win streak back in 1995, the Wildcats have shifted the series their way, holding a 14-10 advantage in that time.
Other Numbers to Know
Scoring Defense: 16.1
The Hawkeyes currently lead the Big Ten and rank fourth in the country in scoring defense, and their total defense (297.4) ranks second in the conference and ninth in the country.
The Hawkeyes also lead the entire country in interceptions with 16, and have racked up 80 interceptions since 2017, which also ranks first across college football. Nine different Iowa players have at least one interception this season, with senior DB Riley Moss leading the way with 4.
Total Tackles: 98
Northwestern's Chris Bergin leads the Big Ten in total tackles by a considerable margin, as the nearest competitor is 13 tackles behind. Bergin has also racked up 60 solo tackles, which also leads the conference. He will most likely lead the charge yet again on the defensive front for the Wildcats, and we'll see if they can hold the Hawkeyes' damage to a minimum.
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