The 2023 “Wildcats Classic” was supposed to be a home game for Northwestern. Instead, Hawkeye fans turned it into Kinnick East. Iowa’s fan base dominated the Friendly Confines and helped the Hawkeyes walk off with a 10-7 win.

“I thought it was pretty cool, to be honest.” Cooper DeJean said. “It’s a little smaller than a football stadium, but I kind of liked that. It was a cool environment to play in.”

“That’s why I love sports,” Drew Stevens said. “It was unmatched. Any time everybody’s happy, you’re happy.”

“We’ve got some of the best fans in the nation,” Leshon Williams said. “They travel all over the world. It felt like a home game for us, they were getting booed coming out of the tunnel and I could’ve sworn this was an away game for us.”

“Last but not least, I appreciate the fans turning out the way they did,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It was probably a better experience for the fans than it was the participants in terms of logistics.”

The Hawkeyes will be back at Kinnick “Central” this upcoming Saturday against Rutgers.

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Fans watch the first half of an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Northwestern, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)