Iowa hosts Northern Illinois in key opener


August 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s one-point win over Northern Illinois in last season’s opener felt like an escape for the Hawkeyes. Iowa would view a similar result today (Saturday) in Iowa City, as a sign of progress.

Nearly everything about these programs has changed in the 12 months since they last met. The Hawkeyes finished last season with a six-game losing streak, while Northern Illinois responded with 12 straight wins, a Mid-American Conference title and a berth in the Orange Bowl.

The Huskies enter Kinnick Stadium with a new coach in Rod Carey. But the expectations for Northern Illinois remain high — and hardly anyone would be shocked if the Huskies finish Iowa off in the rematch.