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

Shatel: Bullies from the Big 12 now singing a different tune about the Big Ten

You see it on their faces, as Nebraska football players leave the practice field and head to the whirlpool portion of their day.

Ouch.

You hear it in the bars ...

Barfknecht: Hot seat is awfully warm for a handful of coaches

Name tags will be required at next summer’s Big Ten football media days if all the head coaches supposedly under threat of firing actually are let go.

Could there ...

Lost in the maze: NU and Iowa meet again without title implications

LINCOLN — The game will end and the initial scene won’t surprise, as one team likely sprints toward a trophy and the other exits bowed and dejected.

But the thing ...

Former Husker Dominic Raiola fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness

NEW YORK — Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness for striking an opponent at New England on Sunday.

The play was ...

The Big Ten Roundup with Lee Barfknecht: Replay

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

Also, check out our Big Ten page ...

Big Red Breakfast: Ron Brown says Ameer Abdullah showed character with injury

For all that Ameer Abdullah had done this season — and through his Nebraska football career — Husker assistant coach Ron Brown said Wednesday that some of his truest character actually came ...

Husker center Ryne Reeves experienced despite being first-time starter

LINCOLN — Ryne Reeves didn’t need to take a deep breath or change his focus, because the Nebraska backup center had played plenty of snaps over the previous 10 football ...

From ’Canes to plains, Husker transfer Paul Kelly’s career anything but a snap

LINCOLN — Senior day at Nebraska. A small, notable class runs onto the field before the Minnesota game. Names Husker fans won’t soon — if ever — forget. Ameer Abdullah. Kenny Bell ...

Iowa preview: Hawkeyes ‘kind of do what they do’

By the numbers

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

5.53: Offensive yards per play (T-67th)

5.11: Defensive yards per play (T-31st)

Minus-3: Turnover margin (T-87th)

29 ...

Notes: Status still uncertain for Huskers Kenny Bell, Randy Gregory

LINCOLN — Coach Bo Pelini is still unsure if two key contributors will be healthy enough to suit up for Nebraska’s game Friday against Iowa.

Pelini labeled receiver Kenny Bell ...

Position change, Outland finalist help Nebraska product Drew Ott drive Iowa’s D-line

LINCOLN — The launching point for Drew Ott’s successful junior season goes back to a meeting last winter with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.

Ott requested a move on the Hawkeyes ...

Husker Talk Live: Replay

Replay Tuesday's "Husker Talk Live" chat with staff writer Sam McKewon to track a discussion of all the latest Husker headlines.

Live Blog Husker Talk Live: Noon

McKewon: Fresh sites can keep bowls from going stale

LINCOLN — I promise I’ll try to make sense of how the Big Ten now plans to select teams for its bowl games. I doubt I’ll do nearly as ...

De'Mornay Pierson-El working overtime to make Huskers better

LINCOLN — While most players on Nebraska’s offense found their place in stretching lines at the start of Tuesday’s practice, freshman De’Mornay Pierson-El stood hip-to-hip with his position ...

Barfknecht: Wisconsin-Minnesota game finally for more than Paul Bunyan's Axe

The last time Wisconsin and Minnesota faced off in a football game with as much meaning as this Saturday’s would have been, um ... well ... a really, really long time ...

Big Ten notes: Michigan State turns to receiver for help at cornerback

Michigan State senior Tony Lippett, a strong candidate for first-team All-Big Ten as a wide receiver, has doubled his workload.

On Saturday, he is set to become MSU’s first ...

Husker notes: Still improving, Randy Gregory faces decision

LINCOLN — The statistics don’t necessarily show it, but coach Bo Pelini said he thinks Randy Gregory has given NFL scouts plenty of worthy game film to salivate over.

It ...

Video: Nebraska Monday press conference

Watch video of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and select Husker players at the team's weekly press conference in advance of this week's Nebraska-Iowa game. Also watch NU volleyball ...

Lunch with Tom: Replay

Hungry for some sports chat? Replay the “Lunch with Tom” chat to get World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel's thoughts on Nebraska’s loss to Minnesota, the upcoming Iowa game and ...

NU’s Pelini deflects questions on his job status, says focus is on Hawkeyes

LINCOLN — Bo Pelini shut down the question like a cornerback would a wideout.

“Could we talk about Iowa, please?” Nebraska’s coach said early in Monday’s press conference, thwarting ...

Abdullah says good will come from injury

LINCOLN — Ameer Abdullah had done so many special things, and the Nebraska I-back was on his way to doing more.

Seeing that pursuit get derailed, though, has been only a ...

Q&A with Husker lineman Jake Cotton

The senior offensive lineman played his final home game Saturday and now prepares for his final regular-season game Friday at Iowa. It will be the 23rd career start at left ...

Nyatawa: 17 scholarships, little depth on Husker line

LINCOLN — It seems illogical to raise depth concerns about an offensive line unit that accounts for 17 scholarships, but Nebraska’s season-long commitment to a now-slumping starting group suggests there ...

Notes: Pelini uncertain whether Bell will play against Hawkeyes

LINCOLN — Nebraska could be without its record-setting receiver in the season’s final regular season game.

Senior Kenny Bell, the program’s career catches leader, suffered an apparent concussion on ...

Shatel: First Osborne award is a no-brainer

What do you give a man who’s done it all, won it all and been awarded every honor a coach can receive?

His own award.

The first annual Tom ...

Huskers drop out of both college football polls

Nebraska's 28-24 loss to Minnesota Saturday helped knock the team off the AP and Coaches top 25 polls in week 14.

Last week the Huskers sat at No. 21 ...

Barfknecht's Big Ten rankings, Nov. 24

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big Ten football teams as published in The World-Herald on Nov. 24.

* * *

1. Ohio State (10-1, 7-0)

Last week: beat Indiana 42-27. This ...

Husker QB Armstrong makes positive strides

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s starting quarterback heard the same message from almost everyone last week as he worked to rebound from back-to-back poor performances.

Coach Bo Pelini pulled him aside. Offensive ...

McKewon: NU will prove Griese right 
if it can’t stop power game

LINCOLN — Watching the game again. In the final seconds of Nebraska’s 28-24 loss to Minnesota, ESPN analyst and former Michigan quarterback Brian Griese said the following about a Friday ...

Barfknecht: Is Husker sellout streak the next cornerstone to tumble?

The best news about Nebraska football after the weekend is there are no more home games.

Imagine if the Huskers hosted Penn State this weekend, and the tired Nittany Lions ...