Iowa leveled Indiana on Halloween in 2009, winning 42-24 at Kinnick Stadium to improve to 9-0. The Hawkeyes had another home game coming up and the No. 4 spot in the AP and BSC polls. The buzz level was high in Iowa City.
The Northwestern Wildcats showed up on Nov. 7 with Nittany Lions footprints still on their backs, fresh from Penn State’s 34-13 victory in Evanston, Ill., on that same Halloween day. This had all the makings of Iowa’s first 10-0 start — until the game started. The Wildcats scored 14 second-quarter points, knocked Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi out of the game and crushed Hawkeye dreams with the 17-10 victory.
At home in early November … 9-0 … big favorites against a conference rival … close enough to smell the top of the polls. If you sense that Iowa fans still have one foot on the brake, now you know why.