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Hawks continue slide, fall 14-10 to Northwestern

Wildcats clinch Big 10 title game appearance.

Posted: Nov 11, 2018 8:50 AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Northwestern clinched bowl eligibility and a spot in its conference title game on the same day.

Only in the Big Ten West.

Isaiah Bowser ran for 165 yards and a touchdown and Northwestern upset Iowa 14-10 on Saturday to clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship.

The Wildcats will now await their opponent for the league title game in Indianapolis next month.

Despite a 6-4 overall record, Northwestern downed the likes of Purdue, Wisconsin and Iowa to reach the top of the division with a 6-1 conference record.

"This team has overcome a ton of adversity," Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "We got beat up. We had a bunch of injuries, lost some tough games there. The brotherhood in that locker room is the glue that kept everything together."

Bennett Skowronek's 32-yard touchdown, which came off an incredible catch in the fourth quarter, gave the Wildcats a 14-10 lead they wouldn't surrender.

After a first half that yielded just three total points on a field goal from Iowa kicker Miguel Recinos, the scoring ramped up in the second.

Bowser hit a hole for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Wildcats their first lead of the game.

Bowser was the only Wildcat to surpass 45 yards from scrimmage other than quarterback Clayton Thorson, and his performance certainly gave Northwestern a boost after a first half in which it only posted 75 total yards.

"I think (the touchdown) got us going," Bowser said. "Obviously, not scoring in the first half, so coming out and scoring in the second half, that was big for our offense and big for our defense too, knowing that they had a lead."

After Recinos missed a field goal to respond, Iowa safety Jake Gervase intercepted Clayton Thorson's pass off a tip.

Iowa cashed in just two plays later with Nate Stanley's 28-yard touchdown pass to Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

The Hawkeyes had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth, but Northwestern's Cameron Ruiz forced Mekhi Sargent to fumble, and the Wildcats jumped on it.

Iowa had one final chance with under two minutes to go, but another fumble by Ivory Kelly-Martin ended the Hawkeyes' chances.

"They outplayed us," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "They've worked hard, they've invested and I thought they competed hard. But I guess it wasn't good enough."

Stanley threw for 269 yards and a touchdown for Iowa (6-4, 3-4), losers of three straight.

THE TAKEAWAY

Northwestern: Folks might chide the Big Ten for having a four or even five-loss team represent the league in its championship game. But the fact of the matter is that the Wildcats are 6-1 in the conference for the first time since 1996, when they won nine games and played in the Citrus Bowl.

Iowa: What a disastrous turn of events in Iowa City. Three weeks ago, fans were wondering if this was one of the most talented teams coach Kirk Ferentz has ever had. Now they're simply hoping to finish above .500 in the Big Ten.

MISSING MEN

The Hawkeyes were without receiver Brandon Smith, fullback Brady Ross, and tight end Shaun Beyer, while the Wildcats took the field down cornerback Trae Williams, safety Jared McGee and kicker Charlie Kuhbander. Cornerback Montre Hartage also left the game early, hurting the Wildcats' depth even more.

Kuhbander's injury could have been bad news for Northwestern, as punter Jake Collins missed a 38-yard field goal that would have given the Wildcats a lead. Northwestern's offense covered for him, though, scoring a touchdown on its next drive.

TURNING POINT

With a 3-0 lead, Iowa attempted to pin the Wildcats inside their own 5 and Josh Turner was there to down the ball, but it rolled into the end zone anyway. After gaining decent field position from a touchback, Iowa cornerback Matt Hankins was flagged for pass interference that set up Bowser's touchdown run to give Northwestern its first lead.

UP NEXT

Iowa plays at Illinois next week.

Northwestern faces Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333626

Reported Deaths: 3843
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin700691145
Ramsey29459521
Dakota23564198
Anoka23541236
Washington14864125
Stearns14564125
St. Louis9549121
Scott896460
Wright847548
Olmsted714637
Sherburne618746
Clay529960
Carver509715
Kandiyohi440828
Rice432338
Blue Earth431217
Crow Wing383339
Otter Tail338925
Chisago334516
Benton322753
Nobles316032
Winona297832
Douglas283040
Mower274823
Polk271527
Morrison246731
McLeod233721
Lyon232812
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Becker221521
Steele21038
Itasca206324
Isanti203917
Carlton201417
Todd190314
Nicollet172126
Mille Lacs164632
Freeborn16227
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Brown156115
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Pope5721
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Marshall5459
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Lake4518
Koochiching4216
Wilkin4175
Lac qui Parle4124
Lincoln3811
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Big Stone3392
Mahnomen3225
Grant2986
Kittson2518
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Lake of the Woods1071
Cook800

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 237371

Reported Deaths: 2571
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34873347
Linn14787169
Scott1184692
Black Hawk11288147
Woodbury10763137
Johnson985939
Dubuque947999
Story701924
Pottawattamie682474
Dallas661260
Sioux383829
Webster378339
Cerro Gordo373252
Marshall360950
Clinton345645
Buena Vista316614
Muscatine305172
Des Moines300623
Warren294115
Plymouth287044
Wapello265072
Jones237118
Jasper231546
Lee228719
Marion211922
Carroll204325
Bremer202713
Henry19367
Crawford183116
Benton175423
Tama157442
Jackson151117
Washington150216
Delaware147621
Dickinson145812
Boone144912
Mahaska133928
Wright13107
Clay12505
Buchanan123410
Hardin122812
Hamilton119514
Page11925
Kossuth11768
Clayton115510
Cedar114614
Harrison113432
Floyd111921
Mills11129
Calhoun10987
Fayette109812
Lyon10769
Butler10748
Winneshiek105513
Poweshiek103714
Iowa101414
Cherokee9674
Winnebago96325
Chickasaw9195
Hancock9138
Sac9068
Louisa90122
Grundy89514
Allamakee88413
Cass84725
Union8437
Mitchell8429
Appanoose81613
Humboldt8125
Shelby80511
Emmet79026
Guthrie78315
Franklin76421
Jefferson7635
Madison7265
Unassigned7090
Palo Alto6744
Keokuk6567
Pocahontas6024
Howard5859
Ida54915
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Taylor4833
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