Game Day: Nebraska vs. Iowa

Staking a claim to win No. 9

The weight of nine wins has been debated, but there's no doubt that a "W" vs. Iowa would be big for NU coach Bo Pelini. Nearly 50 Nebraska teams have won at least nine games since 1962, Bob Devaney's first season. Pelini has won at least nine games in each of his first five seasons, a mark the Huskers can reach again with a win over the Hawkeyes on Friday.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Jon Nyatawa

Nebraska rush offense vs. Iowa rush defense

There are only three Big Ten teams that have averaged better than 5 yards per carry so far. NU's one. Iowa's faced the other two already -- Ohio State and Wisconsin each ran for more than 200 yards. Iowa's given up just six rushing plays of 20-plus yards (tied for ninth nationally). But then again, the Hawkeyes haven't faced Ameer Abdullah yet. Advantage: Nebraska

Nebraska pass offense vs. Iowa pass defense

NU has taken a low-risk approach in the passing game in two matchups against Iowa, throwing 36 times and averaging 6.3 yards on those plays. The Hawks rank 11th nationally in passing yards allowed (180.9 per game). And only 10 throws have gone for more than 30 yards against Iowa (tied for seventh nationally). NU may not take many chances. Advantage: Iowa

Iowa rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Not counting the sack yardage, NU has allowed 4.4 yards per carry in league action. They've given up more rushing touchdowns (13) during that stretch than all but three Big Ten defenses. Jordan Canzeri, with 273 yards in the last three games, has emerged to take some of the workload off Mark Weisman's shoulders. Advantage: Iowa

Iowa pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

The Hawks have the reputation for being a run-heavy group, but they run 59.2 percent of the time -- that's 31st nationally. By percentage, they throw more often than NU. But Jake Rudock has thrown nine interceptions in seven Big Ten games. And NU is first in the conference in opponent completion percentage (48.2) during league action. Advantage: Nebraska

Special teams

Iowa has more punt return yards than any other Big Ten team. Junior Kevonte Martin-Manley is averaging 6.7 yards per return in league action. Far better than NU. The Huskers did return a kickoff for a TD last week. And Pat Smith's emerged as a clutch field goal kicker. But NU's special teams units have been largely unreliable all year. Advantage: Iowa

Intangibles

It's Senior Day at Nebraska, so the Huskers will have plenty of reasons to put on a good show. The increased speculation over coach Bo Pelini's job status should motivate the players to perform well, too. Iowa, meanwhile, has a 7-11 record in true road games the past four seasons. The Hawkeyes haven't won in Lincoln since 1943. Advantage: Nebraska

Key matchup: Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz vs. Nebraska's linebackers

Set aside the four long touchdown pass plays of 45-plus yards for Iowa in Big Ten play. Fiedorowicz has been on the receiving end on four of the team's other seven passing scores. Sophomore David Santos will draw the assignment most often, but it'll likely take a team effort to limit the 6-foot-7 pass-catcher.

Nebraska wins if ...

It can generate a couple of big plays on offense to get the crowd involved. The defense has to be stingy in its own territory.

Iowa wins if ...

It wins the field-position battle, capitalizes on mistakes and makes key plays on passing downs.

Our take

It's supposed to be a rivalry, but the series needs some kind of drama. The first two games were competitive, but their slugfest nature drained away at the buzz. Turnovers usually decide these contests, but the Huskers have found a way to overcome their own mistakes all year.

Our prediction: Nebraska 24, Iowa 17

Live updates

 

Photos

World-Herald fan photos »

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Big Red Today coverage

Exclusive audio: Listen to Bo Pelini's speech in final meeting with Husker players (Explicit content)

Warning: The following audio has explicit content.

* * *

In a closed-door meeting, former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini addressed the Husker players two days after his Nov. 30 firing.

Listen to Pelini ...

Shatel: One more round of drama for Bo Pelini, Husker football

» EXPLICIT: Listen to Bo Pelini's final speech to the Husker players

» Read the full transcript of Pelini's comments here

» University of Nebraska statement: 'We are extremely disappointed' in ...

Hansen: Pelini talks of core values but lacks more than a few

» EXPLICIT: Listen to Bo Pelini's final speech to the Husker players

» Read the full transcript of Bo Pelini's comments here

» University of Nebraska statement: 'We are extremely disappointed ...

Pelini slams Eichorst in vulgar talk during final meeting with players, says A.D. 'has no integrity'

» EXPLICIT: Listen to Bo Pelini's final speech to the Husker players

» Read the full transcript of Pelini's comments here

» University of Nebraska statement: 'We are extremely disappointed' in ...

Former Nebraska A.D. Steve Pederson fired by Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steve Pederson deftly guided Pittsburgh through conference realignment from the crumbling Big East to the rebuilt ACC. The longtime athletic director could never find stability for the football ...

Nebraska response: 'We are extremely disappointed' in Bo Pelini

» Bo Pelini insults A.D. Shawn Eichorst in expletive-filled talk during final meeting with players

» Read the full transcript of Pelini's comments here

» Instant reaction: Former players, media, fake ...

Bo Pelini transcript: I'd rather work at McDonald's, former Husker coach says

» EXPLICIT: Listen to Bo Pelini's final speech to the Husker players

* * *

In a closed-door meeting, former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini addressed his former players two days after his Nov ...

The Big Ten Roundup with Lee Barfknecht: Replay

Replay Wednesday's "Big Ten Roundup" chat with World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht to see his take on news from around the conference.

Also, check out our Big Ten page ...

Video: Bo Pelini introduced at Youngstown State

Watch Bo Pelini's introductory press conference as head coach at Youngstown State the university's YouTube channel.

See more on the former Husker coach's hiring at Youngstown State ...

Paul Chryst returns to Wisconsin, leaves Pittsburgh after three seasons

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Paul Chryst is back at Wisconsin, settling into familiar surroundings in his hometown.

This time, with a bigger office.

Chryst was hired Wednesday to coach the Badgers ...

Lineman Mike Moudy says Huskers motivated, ready to let loose

LINCOLN — Bowl games that don’t impact the national championship can be a time for fun and experimentation.

So when it was suggested to Nebraska guard Mike Moudy that he ...

Bo Pelini pumped to go to Youngstown State, work for Jim Tressel

LINCOLN — A reporter asked Bo Pelini about the terms of his still-developing contract at his introductory press conference Wednesday, and the new Youngstown State coach joked that he’d already ...

Bo Pelini officially named Youngstown State coach

LINCOLN — Former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is headed home.

Youngstown State, an FCS program in Pelini’s hometown, officially announced the hiring Tuesday afternoon. Pelini’s taking over the Penguins ...

Huskers Ameer Abdullah, Randy Gregory named AP All-Americans

The accolades keep coming for Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory.

Abdullah earned second-team All-America honors from the Associated Press on Tuesday. Gregory was awarded third-team All-America honors after ...

Husker Talk Live: Replay

Scroll through the "Husker Talk Live" chat with staff writer Sam McKewon to get his take on the latest headlines, including new Nebraska coach Mike Riley and former coach Bo ...

Warren set to remain part of Huskers’ staff

LINCOLN — Charlton Warren appears set to remain part of the Nebraska football coaching staff, news that hasn’t been announced officially but was confirmed Monday night by Husker defensive back ...

Husker notes: Mike Riley checks out bowl practice

LINCOLN — Mike Riley watched his future team practice Tuesday, and the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 will be the Huskers’ last game before the former Oregon State head coach takes ...

Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck has pride and no regret

LINCOLN — Tim Beck had no comment Tuesday when asked what happens after Dec. 27, sharing nothing about who he has contacted since Mike Riley was named the replacement for Bo ...

Lunch with Tom: Replay

Hungry for some sports chat? Join the “Lunch with Tom” chat at 10 a.m. as World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel discusses the future of Husker football and more.

Live Blog ...

Riley says staff will include some from Nebraska

LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Mike Riley told national radio host Tim Brando that he’s already going after one assistant on the previous Husker staff and may soon reach out to ...

Tales from the hiring of Devaney

Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst’s hiring of Mike Riley as football coach was accomplished quickly and quietly.

“Devaney: Birth of a Dynasty” by The World-Herald’s Henry J. Cordes ...

Newest Husker recruit talks softly, carries big skill set

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s newest commit for the 2015 recruiting class opts for brevity when asked for his favorite high school football memory.

Dedrick Young, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound athlete from Peoria ...

Shatel: Forecast is bright for UNO hockey but a little foggy for CU and NU basketball

The local weather gurus have their winter forecast. I have mine. The difference: My six-inches-of-snow/65-degrees line runs through the middle of the CenturyLink Center. My forecast for:

» UNO hockey ...

Nebraska-USC tie in 1970 proved important

Nebraska and USC will play for the fifth time in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 with the Trojans holding a 3-0-1 record in the series.

But that 1970 tie ...

For Nebraska, it's easy to get pumped for USC

LINCOLN — In the days leading up to Nebraska’s bowl announcement on Dec. 7, senior safety Corey Cooper wasn’t all that curious about the Huskers’ destination.

The “where” didn ...

McKewon: In Bo Pelini era, nothing was a snap for Huskers

LINCOLN — The simplest — and, in a sense, most essential — aspect of any offensive play is the snap. If you don’t get the snap right, forget the rest of it ...

High school coaches hoping in-state offers will increase with Mike Riley

LINCOLN — Nebraska high school coaches are ready to welcome Mike Riley and will share one simple request for the new Husker football coach: As you come into the state, don ...

Husker coach Mike Riley has solid history with high school coaches

LINCOLN — It had hardly been an hour or two after Nebraska football announced the hiring of Mike Riley on Dec. 4, and Darin Boysen of the Nebraska Coaches Association already ...

Shatel: After two nights with college football's best, some clarity on Huskers' place

Some people want to win the Heisman or the Masters. I’ve always wanted to be a bowl scout for a day.

Wear a loud blazer. OK, I already do ...

Tom Osborne: Huskers should embrace challenges; 'adversity is not your enemy'

LINCOLN — Tom Osborne spent nearly a half-hour at the Big Red Breakfast on Friday describing the philosophies and principles that kept Nebraska among college football’s elite for three decades ...