It wasn’t perfect, but the Iowa Hawkeyes played their most complete game of the season and avoided back-to-back losses at home to in-state rivals by defeating Northern Iowa 27-16.
Last week, the Iowa offense had fans hitting WebMD to identify the strongest, most obtainable over-the-counter antidepressants. After watching “little brother” walk off the field with the Cy-Hawk trophy, the Hawkeyes faced the very real possibility that without drastic improvement, their “undersized cousin” might finish them off two weeks before the beginning of conference play.
It is a unique challenge playing a dangerous FCS team, and Northern Iowa certainly fits that description. The Panthers went into Camp Randall Stadium, one of the conference’s toughest venues, and gave the defending Big Ten champions all they could handle in the first week of the season.
While the win will do little to change the national perception of the Hawkeyes, they answered the challenge in a big way. Here are some winners and losers from Saturday.