Iowa Hawkeye Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Northwestern

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Iowa Hawkeye Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Northwestern
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

They say the true measure of a team's character is how it responds to adversity.

Well, the 2012 Iowa Hawkeyes are in about the most adverse conditions the program has seen in a while.

Iowa is 4-3. Last week, the Hawks received their worst home-game beatdown—regardless what the score said—since 2000.

Three games before, Iowa lost a home game to MAC doormat Central Michigan, a team that has not won a game since beating the Hawkeyes.

Against PSU, Iowa lost two starting offensive linemen for the year (per the San Francisco Chronicle), the passing game is a wreck and the defense, while it is improving, is young.

At this point, getting to six wins looks to be a stretch.

Meanwhile, 6-2 Northwestern still has a shot—though a long shot—of winning the division and getting to the Big Ten Championship game.

The recent history between these two teams has been dramatic, but this game is something of a role-reversal in which Iowa has the chance to be the spoiler.

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