Sutton Smith has a lot of confidence. It’s hard to become one of the best defensive linemen in the country without having a little bit of swagger.

The Northern Illinois defensive end isn’t afraid of competition either. And when the Huskies travel to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday to battle Iowa, he believes his team can escape with a victory.

In an interview with HawkCentral, Smith spoke confidently about Northern Illinois’ chances against the Hawkeyes and says his team plans to get after things early.

“It’s not like we’re going to go into Iowa thinking, ‘Man, I hope we can keep up with them,”’ Suton said. “That’s not our mindset. We’re coming in there to punch them right in the face, just like we did at Nebraska.”

Last year, the Huskies upset Nebraska 21-17 in Lincoln.

Iowa will have its hands full with Sutton, who recorded 30 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and forced three fumbles in 2017, especially with the Hawkeyes missing a few of their key pieces on the offensive line.

Northern Illinois and Iowa have met nine times on the field, with the Hawkeyes winning eight of those matchups. However, the most recent head-to-head clash came in 2013, a game the Huskies won 30-27 at Kinnick Stadium.

Saturday’s game between the Huskies and Hawkeyes is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff.