IOWA CITY - Kirk Ferentz considers it a Kodak moment.

The pictures of problems that Iowa has had dealing with Northwestern have been clear since last season.

From staring at a 28-3 deficit to inconsistencies in all phases of the game, what transpired against the Wildcats a year ago in Evanston is something the Hawkeyes have lived with for a year.

"All summer, there were signs up reminding us," defensive tackle Carl Davis said. "It's been a constant. We know we have to play better against those guys if we want to move up and compete in the Big Ten."

Iowa gets that chance Saturday when Northwestern visits Kinnick Stadium at 11 a.m.

The Wildcats rushed for 379 yards against Iowa last season and linebacker Christian Kirksey said it's like preparing for a track team even if running back Venric Mark will be out because of a high ankle injury and dual threat quarterback Kain Colter is listed as day to day because of his own ankle problems.

"They've tested us every year. We know what we are up against and it's never easy against them," Kirksey said.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said at his weekly news conference today that the Wildcats have the ability to create problems despite their injury situation and the three-game losing streak they will bring to Iowa.

"They have always done whatever it takes to win, and I'm certain they will have that mindset this week," Ferentz said.

Iowa will play without starting defensive end Dominic Alvis this week. Ferentz said he is being given the week off to heal a back injury.

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