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: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
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Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
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Pipestone101624
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Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
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Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
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Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
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Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
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