Halftime reaction: Iowa 38, Northwestern 7

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Halftime reaction: Iowa 38, Northwestern 7

Iowa running back Mark Weisman carries in the first half. Weisman had three first-half touchdowns as the Hawkeyes raced out to a 38-7 lead over Northwestern.

Iowa running back Mark Weisman carries in the first half. Weisman had three first-half touchdowns as the Hawkeyes raced out to a 38-7 lead over Northwestern.

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Iowa running back Mark Weisman carries in the first half. Weisman had three first-half touchdowns as the Hawkeyes raced out to a 38-7 lead over Northwestern.

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Iowa running back Mark Weisman carries in the first half. Weisman had three first-half touchdowns as the Hawkeyes raced out to a 38-7 lead over Northwestern.

Joseph Diebold, Assistant Gameday Editor

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What went right:

Iowa’s punter fumbled a snap, gifting Northwestern seven points. Freshman running back Justin Jackson looked his usual spry self, scoring a touchdown for the third straight game.

What went wrong:

Pretty much everything else. NU’s offense wasn’t even in positive yardage until late in the first quarter, with Iowa’s defensive line disrupting the run and the pass and senior quarterback Trevor Siemian exhibiting the same problems that have plagued him all year.

The defense, which has been mostly stout this season, hemorrhaged yards through the air and on the ground to a mediocre Iowa offense, allowing 24 first-quarter points and giving up a long touchdown drive after NU scored and had a chance to climb back into the game.

The half ended almost exactly how it started for NU, with a Kyle Prater fumble gifting the Hawkeyes another short field and Mark Weisman capping the drive with his third touchdown run of the day.

In total, Iowa gained 298 yards of offense to Northwestern’s 55.

Not to be outdone, the special teams more than did its part in contributing to the halftime deficit. A long return for Iowa on the opening kickoff was compounded by a penalty, and junior punter Chris Gradone had a punt blocked and recovered for an Iowa touchdown. The Wildcats were thoroughly dominated in all three phases, and the scoreboard reflected it.

Email: josephdiebold2015@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @JosephDiebold

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