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

Memorial service celebrates Sam Foltz’s lasting impact

Family, friends, teammates, coaches and Nebraska athletic department members were among those who crowded inside a sanctuary Saturday to memorialize punter Sam Foltz at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

Sam Foltz's best friends, nephew share hugs, memories of Huskers punter

It isn’t quite Memorial Stadium, but considering the circumstances, it’s almost perfect.

Midlands ties hard to miss at Rutgers

Though Rutgers is as East Coast as you can get in the Big Ten, the football program has Midlands connections rivaling many schools in the league.

Chatelain: Badgers won’t bemoan their brutal schedule

Aaron Rodgers, king of the Hail Mary, probably didn’t need a kiss from the scheduling gods to win big in 2016. But he got one. The Packers’ slate, according to last year’s records, is the easiest in the NFL. Only…

Thanks to exchanges with Fake Bo Pelini, Nebraskans got to know the real Mike Sadler

It all started randomly, like everything Faux Pelini does. Two days before Christmas 2013, one of college football’s great characters (and caricatures) tweeted at Michigan State’s All-America punter, Mike Sadler.

Barfknecht: Illini A.D. lovingly chose alma mater’s coach, but work to be done on the field

When Illinois hired Josh Whitman as athletic director five months ago, he needed no research to learn what kind of football program he inherited. He played in it from 1997-2000 as a four-year starting tight end.

Former Husker kicker Kris Brown, four others chosen for Nebraska Hall of Fame

As Kris Brown prepared for one of the most important kicks of his college career, the goalposts were still moving a little. “As if it weren’t hard enough,” the former Nebraska kicker said.

Recruiting: Huskers dive back into recruiting with recent offers

After a quiet month of July with Nebraska coaches taking much-needed time off, the Huskers seem ready to dive back into the world of recruiting.

Big Ten notes: Fant makes good first impression with Beathard, Hawkeyes; Memorial Stadium memories and more

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was eating dinner with three of his players in Chicago on Monday when his quarterback brought up an impressive freshman tight end from Omaha.

Nebraskans pay tribute to Sam Foltz at site of accident

Omahan Dennis McCann was in Wisconsin last weekend to visit his daughter, her husband and his two grandsons. The family also took in a Cubs-Brewers baseball game in Milwaukee.

In Sam Foltz's hometown, loss is 'like a death in the family'

When he trotted onto the field at Memorial Stadium, the announcer boomed: “Sam Foltz. Punter. Small-town, USA. Greeley, Nebraska.” If a town could cry, tears were pouring down the face of Greeley on Monday.

Shatel: Tragedy brings Huskers, Big Ten closer together

What was striking was the number of other media types and school officials who stopped me in the hallways to see how Nebraskans were doing. You could see the pain in their eyes. They wanted to help. And some had…

Accident takes Husker kicker Drew Brown’s close friend — Sam Foltz, his ‘hero’

Late Saturday night, Foltz died as the passenger in a fiery car crash on a wet, two-lane road near Merton, Wisconsin. Brown, who also worked at the Kohl’s Kicking Camp over the weekend with Foltz, learned of the crash before…

Shatel: B1G TV deals take away any excuses Nebraska, Big Ten not to excel

Hold onto that lotto ticket, Nebraska. No news is still good news for the Big Ten, but the lack of fireworks here Tuesday was surprising. Conference media days are where splashes are made, and we expected Jim Delany to do…

Nyatawa: Sam Foltz was an impressive player and person

I arrived early to Husker practice just so I could watch Sam Foltz kick. That’s what I told an NU assistant when he walked up and asked why I was standing by myself on the Memorial Stadium sideline.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany mum on TV details, but hints he may not be around to negotiate the next deal

Jim Delany held to his policy of not confirming any speculation on dollar amounts for the new contracts signed with FOX and ESPN.

Nebraska special teams coordinator Bruce Read, punter Caleb Lightbourn still following Sam Foltz’s lead

At the end of the specialists’ portion of football practice, Nebraska special teams coordinator Bruce Read would sometimes gather his kickers, punters, snappers and holders for a brief word. When Read was done, he said, he’d turn to Sam Foltz.

Huskers come together to grieve Sam Foltz: 'A part of everybody in the state died over the weekend'

Players and coaches will feel the impact most, sports psychologist Jack Stark said. And working through stages of grief — from shock to an eventual, gradual acceptance — will take time. At some point, Stark said, players will feel anger,…

Barfknecht: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh can let his team's talent do the talking

The load of star power is why Michigan has been a surprise entry in many preseason top 10s. Bring it on, Harbaugh says. “We want our dreams to be big and our goals to be lofty,” he said.

Big Ten notes: No Huskers make preseason watch list; Claeys kicking around idea

For the first time since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Huskers do not have a representative on the league’s preseason watch list. The conference doesn’t release an official coaches’ poll or a position-by-position all-league squad. Instead, the Big Ten…

Sam Foltz was part of elite group of Husker walk-ons who earned scholarships

“We saw the ball coming off his foot and we were like, ‘Man, I think he’s a punter,’ ” said former Nebraska walk-on coordinator Jeff Jamrog. Foltz was also a part of a 2012 walk-on class that ranks among the…

Big Ten media days open with somber tone after accident claims lives of Sam Foltz, Mike Sadler

The unofficial start to the league’s football season was still worth celebrating, but seemingly everyone — whether behind a camera or in front of it — wanted to take a moment to express sympathy and support for the two conference…

Big Ten coaches extend sympathy to Huskers, say there are no easy answers after losing a player

At Big Ten media days Monday, Nebraska’s peers extended sympathy following Sam Foltz’s death. None, however, spoke with as much experience as Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, who understands the challenges Mike Riley will face over the coming months — and the…

Shatel: Like Brook Berringer, like Brian Hiemer, Huskers again deal with stunning loss of Sam Foltz

One of the benefits of following college football is being around these young men at a great time in their lives — for many, it’s the time of their lives. It’s truly a joyful thing, and a terrific escape from…

Barfknecht: Big Ten media days will have refreshing theme — football

Let’s get something straight about Monday and Tuesday’s Big Ten media days. Regardless of what happens — even if (or when) Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh rides in on a unicorn to tell of a satellite camp on Mars — it…

Husker punter Sam Foltz — 'universally loved and respected by everyone he touched' — dies in car wreck

Over the weekend, Foltz was working a punting camp in Wisconsin, and died as a passenger in a car that struck a tree in Merton, Wisconsin.

McKewon: Don’t get defensive (or do) over 2016 list of top Big Ten players

On the eve of Big Ten media days, here’s a bold prediction: The league might be even better on defense than it was last season. And last season was pretty terrific, with five teams in the nation’s top 20 scoring…

Senior back Terrell Newby determined to deliver better Husker ground game

Terrell Newby outlined his mindset for his senior season at NU and improving the Huskers’ running game, a key to the team bettering its 6-7 record from last year. “It’s time to get to a graduate level of knowing this…

Shatel: Huskers at home in Big Ten, ignoring call from the past by Big 12

Enough already. Folks, it’s not happening. Nobody in charge at NU wants to return to the Big 12. Very few Husker fans I know or hear from want it to happen. The vessel is pointed north and east after the…

Former Husker coordinator Tim Beck saw year of adjustments at Ohio State

Many months removed from last season — OSU finished 12-1 with a 17-14 last-second loss to Michigan State — Beck is excited and optimistic about his second season in coach Urban Meyer’s program.