Nebraska rush offense vs. Iowa rush defense
Nebraska’s run game has been in a funk since a decent performance against Wisconsin, and there’s no compelling reason to think an outing against Iowa will change that. Although the Hawkeyes’ defensive line — anchored by Howells grad Nathan Bazata — has been pliable at times, Iowa’s trio of linebackers has been excellent, and the man in the middle, Josey Jewell, is one of the nation’s best. Because of Devine Ozigbo’s ankle injury, Nebraska may only have two running backs healthy for the game and the offensive line remains a shuffle job. EDGE: IOWA
Nebraska pass offense vs. Iowa pass defense
Iowa has a risk/reward pass defense. The Hawkeyes have intercepted 16 passes this season, with cornerback Joshua Jackson snagging seven of those. Iowa has also allowed six passes of 40 or more yards. If Nebraska receivers Stanley Morgan, JD Spielman and De’Mornay Pierson-El can win some one-on-one matchups, quarterback Tanner Lee should be able to deliver some strikes. Can the Huskers be aggressive, like they were in the Penn State and Purdue games, or do they get too safe? The weather — warm and sunny — should cooperate with the passing game. EDGE: NEBRASKA
Iowa rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
The Hawkeyes have been hot and cold running the ball, plowing for 243 yards against Ohio State, but just 25 against Wisconsin and 19 against Michigan State. New offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz seems more willing to abandon the run if it isn’t there, but any team with a pulse would be wise to pound it at the Huskers, who have allowed at least 199 yards rushing in their last six games. Why would NU’s defense suddenly bow up against Iowa? Perhaps defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, a former Hawkeye, will attach special meaning to this game. EDGE: IOWA
Iowa pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley will be a good one. He’s a sophomore in his first year as a starter, and there’s enough great stuff on tape — especially that Ohio State win — to suggest, in two years, he may be among the Big Ten’s best. He’s elite in the red zone — 63.4 percent completion rate, 14 touchdowns, zero interceptions — and his top receiving targets, including Omaha South grad and sophomore tight end Noah Fant, are dynamic players. Nebraska’s pass defense allows a lot of easy completions and rarely disrupts a receiver or makes plays on the ball. EDGE: IOWA
Iowa’s coverage units are excellent — among the best in the Big Ten when it comes to limiting kick and punt return yards from the opponent — while Nebraska’s return units are a little better than the Hawkeyes’ counterparts. NU has the better kicker — senior Drew Brown — and the better punter in Nebraska’s Caleb Lightbourn, who has played his best in league play. EDGE: NEBRASKA
Iowa is playing for a warmer bowl destination and sheer dislike for Nebraska; the Hawkeyes surprisingly botched their own senior day game in a 24-15 loss to Purdue. NU’s players haven’t been living under a rock, so they’re playing for their coach, Mike Riley, who’s on a very hot seat, for the seniors, and, well, just to beat Iowa, which becomes Nebraska’s bowl game. Iowa has won three of the last four in this series, including two straight in Lincoln. Nebraska has nothing to lose. Neither does Iowa, really, aside from a game in warm weather. EDGE: NEBRASKA
Key matchup: Iowa’s run game against Nebraska’s hideous run defense
Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber said it best on Monday: Why would Iowa do anything else but run the ball, considering how the Huskers have defended it? So Iowa will pound the ball and NU will have to stop it. One difference: Stanley is not a threat as a runner. So the read option won’t be an issue. Maybe Diaco’s boys can rally.
Nebraska’s season has already ended in a cloud. Will there be a silver lining? That’s the question now, and inconsistent Iowa serves a reasonable foil. NU could send Riley out on an up note, but the Hawkeyes care about this game a lot and won’t take NU lightly. The game is still about blocking, tackling and toughness, and Iowa has the edge there. Thus, it squeezes out the win on Black Friday.
Our prediction: IOWA 23, NEBRASKA 19
Big Red Today coverage
One name among Nebraska coach Scott Frost’s team of assistants and administrators might puzzle you: Gerrod Lambrecht. How does someone who recently spent 17 years as a health care executive in Indiana fit into the rejuvenation of Husker football? Upon…
It depicts former quarterback Brook Berringer, who died in a plane crash in 1996, with his hand on Sam Foltz's shoulder. Foltz, the former punter, died in a car crash in 2016.
First-year defensive coordinator Erik Chinander's system might set the table for better production from the defensive linemen, who may be a pleasant surprise to the Husker coaching staff.
All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Friday's episode, Carriker reacts to the news that the Huskers gained 436 pounds of muscle, lost 389 pounds of fat and lost…
Miles played 12 years in the CFL with Montreal and British Columbia, winning a Grey Cup with both teams, and finished his career with 66 interceptions.
Nebraska football rises and falls on the strength of its run game, and there weren’t a lot of holes blasting open the last few years for the Huskers.
Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman give the Huskers a proven 1-2 punch, but the real question of the spring is: Who joins them?
All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Wednesday's episode, Carriker talks to Nebraska native and NFL veteran Danny Woodhead about his career accomplishments, playing in the Super Bowl and…
When Scott Frost begins teaching players his system, he gives them the entire playbook. No baby steps. No half measures. “We're going to give them everything," said assistant coach Sean Beckton.
The Indianapolis Colts have signed former Nebraska offensive lineman Matt Slauson.
Running Back U is in need of a polish. Maybe a lull should have been expected, but it definitely hit in 2017, when an injury to Tre Bryant sunk the Huskers’ run game.
Nebraska's coaches focused heavily on recruiting the southeast while at Central Florida. They've brought that strategy with them to Lincoln and won't be afraid to go head-to-head with SEC and ACC powers in trying to pull elite prospects out of…
All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Monday's episode, Carriker takes a deep dive into the Huskers' defensive personnel heading into spring practice and where the Blackshirts can improve.
Scott Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco have to find at least one guy — preferably two — who can run the high-octane, fast-paced spread system the way McKenzie Milton has at Central Florida and Marcus Mariota did at Oregon.
The offensive lineman had just finished the least enjoyable football season he could remember. His team lost games in bunches. If he wasn’t part of the worst line in program history, it felt that way.
As Nebraska’s new outside linebackers coach begins to pour out his mind and explain concepts, his words pick up pace and his ideas expand beyond the football field.
One of Nebraska’s biggest strengths when it joined the Big Ten has now become one of its biggest question marks — despite the return of the top four rushers from last season. And the one back who flashed the most…
Nebraska’s new football coach had to have a few cups of coffee Friday morning. His first spring practice began before sunrise.
Upperclassmen are going all in with the new coaching staff, coach Scott Frost said Friday morning, and those players will continue to be key as Nebraska makes a transition to new schemes on offense and defense this spring.
Scott Frost is all about walk-ons. He’s preached the importance of the walk-on program, he’s thrown around the idea of having 150 players at practice (meaning a large influx of walk-ons) and has said over and over he needs Nebraska…
Nebraska football announced its summer camp schedule Thursday, choosing to keep the Friday Night Lights event that was created and popularized by former coach Mike Riley.
Which Huskers are ready to evolve into valuable contributors and prove it during practices in the coming weeks? Here are five players to keep an eye on.
A smile crept across Carlos Davis’ face. The rumors are true, he said. Winter workouts under new strength coach Zach Duval were as hard as everyone’s heard. Maybe even harder.
Plug your nose, Nebraska traditionalists. Because this one might hurt. The fullback position at Nebraska is pretty much gone.
A former Husker — and NFL player — worked out at Nebraska’s pro day — cornerback Mohammed Seisay.
While many of his former teammates went through drills for NFL scouts at pro day on Wednesday, Nebraska's 2017 tackles leader sat in a balcony seat inside the Hawks Center and watched.
On Wednesday at the Hawks Championship Center, Tanner Lee threw on the run, he threw deep, he threw check downs, and in the end, completed 43 of his 49 passes.
More Canadian Football League scouts than usual attended Nebraska’s pro day Wednesday, focused on Ontario native and former Husker offensive tackle David Knevel.
Former NU standout Ndamukong Suh was officially released by the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday.
Nebraska gave members of the student body a shot at earning a spot on the football team Tuesday. On Wednesday, Scott Frost said he isn't yet sure whether any of those dreams would be realized.