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Still in control of its Big Ten West fate, No. 9 Hawkeyes prepare for Wisconsin

Despite a loss against Purdue, the Hawkeyes are still in the driver's seat of the Big Ten West, tied with Minnesota.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa was glad to get some time off last weekend after its home loss to Purdue on Oct. 16

The defeat knocked the Hawkeyes out of the top 10 in the AP Top 25 for one week. The Hawkeyes are back in at No. 9 this week

"It's like running a five-lap race as opposed to seven. Five is a hell of a lot easier," head coach Kirk Ferentz said this week. "This is like a 400 [meter] I guess ... I never ran track in high school but it's just basically run as hard as you can for the whole race and that that's where we're at now."

"Just full speed ahead and then we'll see where we're at when it's all over."

They’re preparing for the final five weeks of the regular season still in control of their own fate in the Big Ten West. Iowa and Minnesota lead the division.

"It adds a little something extra you know. These ones are really meaningful. There's a lot of history in these games," offensive lineman Kyler Schott of the Heartland Trophy on the line Saturday. "So out there we got to an old saying of ours is 'Rent's due and the trophy's not owned, it's rented.' And we got to go pay rent this weekend."

Wisconsin and Purdue are tied for third at 2-2 and Illinois is fifth at 2-3. 

If the Hawkeyes win out, they win the West.

Iowa (6-1) kicks off at Wisconsin (4-3) at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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