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Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz has 143 wins under his belt at the University of Iowa, one away from the all-time record.

The Gazette will count down each win, as ranked by writer Marc Morehouse.

84

Iowa used Northwestern to flush the Dirty Sweat Sock Sandwich

Iowa 48, Northwestern 7 | Nov. 1, 2014

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley celebrates a tackle with teammate Desmond King (14) during the second half of a game against Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa running back Akrum Wadley celebrates a tackle with teammate Desmond King (14) during the second half of a game against Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Three cool things:

1. I’ve used the “dirty sweat sock sandwich” bit twice. The first time was after a loss. It was 2000 and the Hawkeyes lost at home to Western Michigan.

I think I’d just re-watched the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” I say “re-watched” because that movie came out in 1987 and is Stanley Kubrick. It’s a wonderful mix of irony and satire. Kubrick wielded that sword oh, so well.

OK, enough artsy.

Iowa lost to Western Michigan that day, 27-21, and I’m thinking, “Wow, even Wyoming goes to bowl games on occasion.” There’s a line in “Full Metal Jacket” that comes from the news/propaganda organization. It was the night of the Tet Offensive and the hard-boiled editor guy uttered the line, “It’s a big [bleep] sandwich and everyone’s gotta take a bite.”

That stuck with me. Of course, I had to modify it. That 2014 Maryland game, though, was dirty sweat sock sandwich. You know it was.

2. OK, remember how this “Northwestern being interested in being good at football” thing happened? Then-Northwestern Coach Gary Barnett got whupped by Hayden Fry and Hayden let slip, “Hope we didn’t hurt any of your boys.”

Of course, that made the Hawkeyes the No. 1 most hated for Northwestern. Yeah, yeah, Illinois still is trying to get its gloves off in this hockey fight.

It didn’t help that Iowa broke Northwestern’s future head coach’s leg in a game in 1995. That kept Pat Fitzgerald from playing in the Rose Bowl.

You know what? If Northwestern doesn’t come correct, Kirk Ferentz does the same thing.

Here are scores that show maybe Ferentz doesn’t think too highly of Northwestern:

— In 2001, Iowa won 59-16.

— In 2002 it was 62-10 Iowa.

— This game in 2014 was 48-7.

— Iowa’s 2015 took off with a 40-10 win at Northwestern.

That whole “hate” thing can run both ways, you know? Just because Ferentz doesn’t directly express that to reporters doesn’t mean the desire to trample Northwestern — you know, when it can — isn’t there.

I mean, 62-10.

3. This was Akrum Wadley’s third game as a Hawkeye and the first in which he carried the ball. He finished with 106 yards and a TD on 15 carries.

This was game 8 in 2014 and Wadley’s effort vs. Northwestern was Iowa’s first 100-yard effort of the season. It was game No. 8.

That is why 2014 sucked for you guys. Not Jake Rudock at QB. Not Greg Davis. When Iowa can’t make its mark running the ball, it’s really hard for Iowa to be Iowa.

Quote: On that Maryland game ...

“It just ate at us, because we knew we didn’t perform very well,” strong safety John Lowdermilk said. “I think we need to have something eat at us every week, so we can play like that all the time.”

Note: Sometimes, you pull a stat thread when you’re covering a game and you can’t stop.

The 180 yards total offense Iowa held the ‘Cats to in this one was their lowest at the time in 2014. It’s the lowest since Sept. 22, 2007, when they had just 120 yards in a 58-7 loss at Ohio State. It was their lowest in a span of 93 games.

That’s impressive.

Why No. 84? — Iowa hurt their guys. Be careful though, Northwestern knows how to fight back and it isn’t going anywhere.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THE GAME

Game story from 2014

IOWA CITY — The Hawkeyes had to suck on the dirty sweat sock sandwich that was the Maryland game for two weeks.

They hated that game. They hated their effort. Mistakes, turnovers, missed tackles. For two weeks, that sat in their gut like a burrito they found on a sidewalk and decided to munch on.

Their 48-7 victory over Northwestern was a three-hour flush.

Quarterback Jake Rudock completed 12 of 19 for 239 yards and a TD, the Iowa defense rolled up five sacks and held the Wildcats to a season low 180 yards and Iowa produced a 100-yard rushing performance before 66,887 fans at Kinnick Stadium.

Redshirt freshman Akrum Wadley took advantage of his first carries and finished with 106 yards and a TD, snapping a streak of 10 games for Iowa without a 100-yard rusher. Running back Mark Weisman clocked in with 94 yards and three TDs.

Most importantly for Iowa, it crossed off “win of consequence.” Having downed Northwestern, the first of five consecutive Big Ten West Division opponents, the Hawkeyes travel to Minnesota for the next round of the Big Ten playoffs.

Most immediately, the sour barbecued carp plate that was Maryland has been exorcised.

“It just ate at us, because we knew we didn’t perform very well,” strong safety John Lowdermilk said. “I think we need to have something eat at us every week, so we can play like that all the time.”

It’s going to be difficult to find any flaws coming out of this.

Rudock spun near perfection in the first half. He completed 9 of 13 with long throws of 43, 42 and 31, which was a TD pass to wide receiver Tevaun Smith, and spurred a commanding 38-7 halftime lead, which included a blocked punt and recovery for a TD by freshman linebacker Ben Niemann.

“Yeah, I thought (Rudock) was right on top of his game, and he made some really nice throws out there, made some nice checks for us, really had a good feel for what they were doing,” Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I don’t want to say flawless, but it looked like he played pretty well out there.”

It might have been his best game in an Iowa uniform. It was a career high in pass efficiency, checking in at 186.2 (topping his 185.71 against Western Michigan last year and best for an Iowa QB since James Vandenberg had a 290.3 vs. Indiana in 2011).

“Sure,” Rudock said when asked if this was, indeed, his best game. “That’s up to you guys, that’s up to whomever wants to judge it or critique it. We won, we won.”

These were the first carries of Wadley’s career. With junior Jordan Canzeri out with an ankle injury, the New Jersey native took advantage of his opportunity.

“I’ve been having dreams about this,” said Wadley, who had runs of 23 and 26 yards, the first Iowa player to have two 20-plus runs in a game this season. “When (running backs coach Chris White) told me to go in, I was like ‘wow.’ It’s crazy.”

Iowa’s offense built some beautiful numbers off a dominant effort from the offensive line, which this week went left tackle Brandon Scherff, guard Austin Blythe, center Tommy Gaul, right guard Jordan Walsh and tackle Andrew Donnal. Iowa averaged 6.8 yards on 71 plays, its best number there in 11 games. The 212 rushing yards also was its best in 11 games (last season vs. Purdue).

“They have two NFL players at tackle, there is no doubt about that,” Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “Scherff and the rest of the offensive line pretty much had their way with us all day long.”

The headlock Iowa’s defense put on the Wildcats is almost historic. The 180 yards total offense is not only the ’Cats’ lowest this season, it’s the lowest since Sept. 22, 2007, when they had just 120 yards in a 58-7 loss at Ohio State. That’s their lowest in a span of 93 games.

That’s your big, wow number of the day. Defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat had three sacks, another wow number. The secondary broke up a season-high eight passes, another wow.

This was one of those games when they really wanted to get up and get to the next play.