Iowa Football: 3 takeaways from shutout of Northwestern in Week 9

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Iowa football went into Evanston and came out with a shutout win over the Wildcats. What’d we learn from the Week 9 win for the Hawkeyes?

Iowa Hawkeyes
Northwestern Wildcats

It hasn’t been pretty for weeks, but Iowa continues to get the job done against lesser opponents and that held true against Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, 20-0.

The Hawkeyes scored at least three points in each quarter against Northwestern, dropping the Wildcats to 1-6 while Iowa improves to 6-2. One team reached bowl eligibility while the other realized that it needs to win out in order to get to that point.

It’s been a rough season for Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats after going to the Big Ten title game a year ago, but there’s still some pride to be fought for.

What’d we learn from the Hawkeyes’ win over Northwestern?

3. Northwestern has the Big Ten’s worst offense

It’s tough to see a team like Northwestern struggle because it’s been cool to watch Pat Fitzgerald take the program to the top of the West over the years, but a lot of the issues have been on the offensive side of the ball.

Who could have guessed that the loss of Clayton Thorson would be the biggest game-changer in the Big Ten especially with a former five-star and Clemson transfer taking over? It has been far from pretty for the Wildcats’ offense this season and Hunter Johnson has been a severe disappointment.

But it was actually Aidan Smith who got the start on Saturday and he completed just 18-of-32 passes for 138 yards and an interception. He doesn’t have a ton of arm strength and it was clear on Saturday against the Hawkeyes’ defense.

The run game was even worse, rushing for just 64 yards on 35 carries.

This might just be the worst offense in the conference.

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