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.

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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

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Big Red Today coverage

Quarter by quarter: Minnesota 28, Nebraska 24

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa recap the key plays in each quarter of Nebraska's loss to Minnesota.

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First quarter

Mitch Leidner: Minnesota starts the game with ...

Nebraska-Minnesota: Five things we learned, don't know

Five things we learned and five things we still don’t know coming out of Saturday's Nebraska-Minnesota football game.

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FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

1. Nebraska’s inability to deliver ...

‘No loss is easy to take, especially in this state’

LINCOLN — Inside Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, fans dressed in maroon and gold were mingling about, taking pictures and celebrating a big road win. Life was good.

Outside, many of ...

Shatel: Writing's on the wall for Husker coach Bo Pelini

LINCOLN — This is the part where this computer is supposed to spit out fire and brimstone.

But there’s really nothing left to say.

This was the part where you ...

Nebraska-Minnesota: Tracking the Husker offense, defense

World-Herald staff writer Rich Kaipust takes a look at Nebraska's effort on both sides of the ball during the Huskers' 28-24 loss to Minnesota.

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TRACKING THE HUSKER OFFENSE

The ...

Video: Husker postgame press conference

Replay video from the the Nebraska-Minnesota postgame press conference with coach Bo Pelini and players Tommy Armstrong and Nate Gerry.

Gophers rally past Huskers; Pelini says NU 'didn't deserve to win'

LINCOLN — The Land of 10,000 Lakes has produced a team that can break 10,000 Husker tackles.

Nebraska had its chances. Minnesota made the plays. The Gophers won 28-24 ...

Husker Talk Live: Postgame chat replay

Replay Saturday's postgame edition of the "Husker Talk Live" chat with staff writer Jon Nyatawa to track the reaction to the Nebraska-Minnesota game.

Live Blog Husker Talk Live: Game ...

Notes: Pelini says deep pass on second-and-1 a 'bad call'

LINCOLN — Midway through the fourth quarter, with Nebraska leading 24-21 and humming along with its ground game, NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck dialed up a deep pass on second-and-1 at ...

‘Leaky yards’ lead to long drives for Gophers

LINCOLN — Leaky yardage.

Those pesky yards gained by Minnesota after a missed tackle or a blown or poorly executed assignment were cited by Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and Husker defenders ...

From the sidelines: Husker fans wake up to see seniors off

LINCOLN — A week after a disheartening loss at Wisconsin, the energy and enthusiasm inside Memorial Stadium were muted before Saturday’s game.

Plenty of seats in the student section and ...

Gophers go from afterthought to thinking of a title

LINCOLN — Donnell Kirkwood said the magnitude of what Minnesota had just done and what was ahead took little or no time to sink in Saturday.

The Golden Gophers didn’t ...

NU escapes NC State behind Green’s major

Competing in two locations in North Carolina on Saturday, the Nebraska wrestling team came away with a sweep of a pair of duals.

The win over Duke was a blowout ...

Chatelain: Football gods now smiling elsewhere

LINCOLN — The Tunnel Walk song blared over the North Stadium speakers. Ninety thousand people rose to their feet, clapping in unison. Nebraska’s offense huddled near its sideline, waiting to ...

Shatel: You — yes, you, Husker fans — must bounce back, too

Hey, good morning. Yes, you with the Nebraska football tickets.

You getting up at 7 a.m. to load up the car? Got the heavy coat, the gloves, the hat ...

Barfknecht: Two weeks remain, and the West is still wild

After all the things written about the Big Ten’s ability to screw up scheduling, regardless of sport, you’ve got to like that it lucked out on these final ...

Well-grounded Gophers: Kill’s group can trip up teams with talent

LINCOLN — Ohio State had Minnesota down 14-0 and 31-14 at different points last Saturday, and history might have suggested that the Big Ten bully with all of the talent and ...

Patience pays off for Husker senior Joey Felici

LINCOLN — Answering the questions was always awkward for Joey Felici.

The Nebraska walk-on had made it into just one football game — very briefly against Idaho State in 2012 — through four ...

Husker notes: Pelini proud of nephew Mark’s commitment to program

LINCOLN — Coach Bo Pelini’s not sure how he’ll react the moment Saturday that his nephew Mark is honored as part of Nebraska’s senior day festivities.

The senior ...

Husker seniors focused on win, won’t get lost in moment

LINCOLN — Save the nostalgia for after the season. Nebraska’s seniors are approaching Saturday’s home finale focused solely on getting a win.

There will be a day when the ...

Gophers powering way into Big Ten West picture

LINCOLN — Melvin Gordon has speed. Ameer Abdullah has moves. Indiana’s Tevin Coleman has a little of both.

The fourth guy on the Big Ten’s Mount Rushmore of 2014 ...

Kenny Bell: Getting wrapped up in scores and statistics 'will make you miserable'

LINCOLN — As important as it might be for the Nebraska seniors to go out with a bang on Saturday, receiver Kenny Bell has tried to remind them — and the rest ...

Minnesota preview: Blue-collar personality fits Gophers

By the numbers

7-3: Overall record (4-2 in the Big Ten)

5.48: Offensive yards per play (74th)

5.04: Defensive yards per play (28th)

+9: Turnover margin (T-11th)

47 ...

Husker notes: Callers get blunt on Pelini’s radio show; Salute for seniors

LINCOLN — Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini offered a matter-of-fact response Wednesday night on the radio show “Sports Nightly” to a caller questioning whether the Husker program was going in the ...

Huskers identify issues that snowballed vs. Wisconsin

LINCOLN — There actually were a few snaps when the Nebraska defense did everything right at Wisconsin, and highlighting them could prove to be quite valuable come Saturday.

That’s the ...

Nebraska drops to 23 in College Football Playoff rankings

Nebraska fell seven spots in the College Football Playoff rankings after losing to Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Huskers, ranked 16th last week, tumbled to 23rd this week. NU was tied ...

Husker Talk Live: Replay

Replay Tuesday's “Husker Talk Live” chat with staff writer Jon Nyatawa to track a discussion of the latest Husker headline.

Live Blog Husker Talk Live: Noon

Notes: Badgers, Gophers in control of Big Ten West

Two teams in the Big Ten West Division still control their destiny to get to Indianapolis for the Dec. 6 league championship game.

Nebraska isn’t among them.

The Huskers ...

Notes: Papuchis, players make call for some to shed their Blackshirts

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Of the 15 players initially awarded the black practice jerseys ...

Barfknecht: Abdullah no lock to make loaded All-B1G backfield

Let’s take today’s midweek run through Big Ten football in three quick steps.

1. Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah entered October with legitimate hope to earn first-team All-America honors ...