IOWA CITY, Iowa – One of the more sobering moments to the Iowa football team’s 2018 season happened when the Northwestern players celebrated winning the Big Ten West Division title on the field at Kinnick Stadium.
The Wildcats had just defeated Iowa 14-10 in the 10th game of the season to clinch the West Division title, and it was tough for the Iowa players to watch as the celebration unfolded.
Iowa and Northwestern will meet again on Saturday in Evanston, Ill., but the Iowa players appear to harbor no bitterness or resentment about Northwestern’s post-game celebration from a year ago.
“They earned that,” said Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley said. “I think if it was the other way around and we just secured the Big Ten West title we would have done the same thing. I have no problem with that. They earned it. They put in the work like we did. So I have no problem with them celebrating like that.”
Northwestern has won the last three games in the series, and has held Iowa to just 10 points in each of the past two games.
However, the Wildcats are struggling this season, especially on offense, and are 1-5 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
Iowa gained some much-needed momentum by defeating Purdue 26-20 this past Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The victory came after back-to-back losses to Michigan and Penn State by a combined 12 points and improved Iowa’s record to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
Stanley on Oliver Martin: Sophomore receiver Oliver Martin caused quite a stir when he transferred from Michigan to Iowa in June.
It isn’t often that a former four-star recruit leaves a program like Michigan to transfer to Iowa.
But Martin’s case was unique with him being an Iowa City native.
He wanted to finish his college career in his hometown, and Hawkeye fans were thrilled to have him.
And though he has just five catches for 28 yards and one touchdown while playing sparingly this season, Martin is performing well in practice, according to Stanley.
“He’s been doing a really good job,” Stanley said. “He’s been working extremely hard and putting in a lot of attention to detail in running his routes and finishing his routes, and then getting in and blocking guys in the run game as well.
“We ask our receivers to do a lot of that and he’s bought into that and has stepped up and is doing it well.”
Here are multiple player videos from Tuesday’s weekly press conference: