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Game Day

11/12/2014

UNI (6-4) vs. Southern Illinois (6-4)

When: Saturday, Nov. 15

Where: Saluki Stadium, Carbondale, Illinois

Kickoff: 2 p.m. CDT

Purple and gold it is! The only major college team in the state of Iowa to actually show up for a game last Saturday won headlines and hearts following a 23-3 win over top-ranked North Dakota State. The victory also snapped NDSU’s 33-game winning streak and, combined with the Panthers’ win the previous week over then-previously unbeaten Illinois State, begs this question: Does UNI have the best football team in the state? The answer will be revealed after this week’s game against Southern Illinois. Both teams sport identical overall records (although UNI is one up in the league standings at 4-2) and it’s a road game following one of the biggest wins in school history. The Panthers have proven to be giant killers and four of five. A win here will officially cement their status as “The Team All Others Should Be Worried About.”

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Iowa State (2-7) vs. Texas Tech (3-6)

When: Saturday, Nov. 15

Where: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames

Kickoff: TBA

On the heels of Iowa State’s 34-14 loss to Kansas last weekend, the biggest questions that remain are these: How much leeway does Paul Rhoads have, exactly? And when does basketball season start? For all intents and purposes, the loss to the Jayhawks ended a Cyclone season that has been wrought with disappointment. Wait, there are three games left, you say? On paper, yes. In the Cyclones’ hearts, though, it looks as though that ship has sailed. Texas Tech comes to town this weekend sporting a 3-6 record, so, technically, there’s a chance for a win. Does it matter? Not really. After that, it’s two games against two ranked teams. There’s no difference between two and three wins unless it’s a tipping point in job security, and Rhoads had better hope it’s not, because at this point it is what it is: over and ugly.

Iowa (6-3) vs. Illinois (4-5)

When: Saturday, Nov. 15

Where: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Illinois

Kickoff: 11 a.m. CDT

And speaking of underperforming, in Iowa City, Hawk fans (not known to be the most patient bunch in the first place) are back on the “Fire Ferentz” wagon following a beatdown at the hands of Minnesota last weekend. After one quarter of playing possum (or is it gopher?), Minnesota buried the Hawks with 28 straight points for a 35-7 halftime advantage. Considering the conference and bowl implications that were at stake, one would have thought the Hawks would have played like there was no tomorrow. Well they didn’t, and with any more performances like that, there won’t be. Next up is Illinois, on the road. The Fighting Illini, losers of four of their last five, nonetheless will arrive with a certain amount of spring in their step considering two weeks ago they beat — you guessed it — Minnesota. The only sure-fire thing about this one is that Teflon Kirk will survive no matter what the outcome. Everything else is off the table.

Nebraska (8-1) vs. Wisconsin (7-2)

When: Saturday, Nov. 15

Where: Camp Randall Stadium,

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CDT

One of the biggest, and best, games to be played this weekend will be the showdown between No. 13 Nebraska and No. 25 Wisconsin. The teams are locked in a three-way tie with Minnesota atop the Big Ten West with identical 4-1 records. Should the Badgers win and beat Iowa the following week, it could possibly set up a season-ending showdown with the Gophers of Minnesota for all the marbles. In the way, though, is Nebraska. So as fun as a Varmint Showdown might sound, it won’t happen. Huskers bring it and then some. CV

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