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.

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

Pick Six Podcast: Is Husker hoops an attractive job? And a spring football update

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Chris Heady tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast.

McKewon: Minnesota's P.J. Fleck rows the boat hard to catch up with Nebraska's offensive flash

Minnesota’s offense, which started eight freshmen in its bowl win over Georgia Tech, averaged 5.68 yards per play last season, ranking ninth in the Big Ten. That’s UM’s highest average in a decade.

Former Husker Brent Qvale re-signs with New York Jets

Two yards can make or break Nebraska' offense, so Huskers focus on 'plus-twos'

Ask around the offense, and "plus-twos" are as important as any conventional statistic coaches and players track. Moving a defender two yards can demonstrate a strength advantage and extra effort on an individual level.

Former Husker Ameer Abdullah re-signs with Minnesota Vikings

Former Husker running back Ameer Abdullah re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

Carriker Chronicles: If I could bring back any former Husker to play today, here's who I would pick

On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses which players in Husker football history he'd most like to bring back to play for Nebraska today, and which one's would fit the current system best.

Monday Rewind: Older, wiser, more urgent Husker defenders set good tone in spring camp

Twenty-one of the 33 upperclassmen scholarship players play defense. And 11 of that 21 are seniors. Big, bold vocal seniors who have played a lot of football. With that experience comes urgency. Wisdom. Responsibility.

Tony Tuioti offers three Husker football scholarships to Hawaiian three-star prospects

The Tony Tuioti effect for Nebraska football recruiting is in full swing.

Husker safety Deontai Williams learning to play smart, while 'putting his pads on people'

Deontai Williams said, he’s the “OG” of the safety group. He’s right, too — he and junior Marquel Dismuke are the veterans while redshirt freshmen Cam’ron Jones and CJ Smith learn and sophomore Cam Taylor bounces among safety, nickel and…

After 'miserable' first season back at Nebraska, Barrett Ruud expects 'big jump' in year two

His boss got all the attention during last fall’s miserable start, but put yourself in Barrett Ruud’s shoes for a moment. Nebraska’s all-time leading tackler returned to his alma mater and hometown in 2018 to coach his old position —…

Carriker Chronicles: If I could change one play in Nebraska football history...

On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker explores some of Nebraska football's hardest losses, and narrows down what one play in Husker history he'd choose to change.

JoJo Domann is finally healthy and Husker coaches are ready to use Cinco's versatility

JoJo Domann is one of Nebraska’s most versatile defenders. And his coaches need an array of colorful language to describe him. Leaning against a wall on the second floor of the Hawks Center, defensive backs coach Travis Fisher said Domann…

Former Nebraska running back Greg Bell transferring to San Diego State

Former Nebraska running back Greg Bell — who left the program four games into the 2018 season — is transferring to his hometown school, San Diego State.

Husker notes: Defensive line finds 'alpha males' in Daniels brothers; Defense creates pass rush

Nebraska defensive line coach Tony Tuioti wants a consistent daily mindset from his players, where linemen “press the reset button” after each practice to gear up for the next one with the same energy and enthusiasm.

Husker practice report: Defense creating turnovers; Jovan Dewitt discusses battle with cancer

If the first two weeks of spring practices are any indication, Nebraska's defense has some playmakers.

Carriker Chronicles: What Husker fans can expect from the Huskers' D-line during spring football

On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker previews the Blackshirts' defensive line personnel for spring football, reasonable expectations for the group and much more.

Cancer can't keep Husker assistant Jovan Dewitt off the practice field

Even if Jovan Dewitt can’t make every meeting — even if, during practice, he has to take a knee and “get some hydration” — he’s going to be at every practice he can.

Recruiting: Iowa D-line commit Logan Jones lands Husker offer

Nebraska has given Logan Jones something to think about. The Council Bluffs Lewis Central defensive lineman tweeted Tuesday he has received a scholarship offer from the Huskers after committing to Iowa last month.

Huskers have a new group of leaders up front. This spring they're finding their voice

It's a spring of transition on the offensive line, which lost several leaders from last year's team. Now a trio of juniors holds that responsibility, and this spring is an important step in their development.

Video: Nebraska spring football practice, March 11

Videos include an interview with Scott Frost, a recap of the the practice by Sam McKewon and Evan Bland and an update on Maurice Washington.

Husker notes: Jaylin Bradley makes most of opportunity; Mike Williams vies for starting spot

Circumstances are aligning for Jaylin Bradley to prove himself. Now coaches are anxious to find out if the running back can.

Husker tight ends need to be a receiving threat. This is how they'll make that happen

Attack. That’s a buzzword for the Husker tight ends this spring. Collectively, they’re the offense's most experienced group. But there’s a higher level the coaches expect these tight ends to reach.

Husker QB coach Mario Verduzco lauds Luke McCaffrey's early progress, Adrian Martinez's velocity

So far, so good for true freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey. Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco said McCaffrey, an early enrollee, has done well in spring practices to pick up the offense.

Husker practice report: Nebraska ahead of last year, but competition heavy on offense

Scott Frost doesn't even want to say the Oklahoma word. But the drill Nebraska threw out in front of the media Monday morning did look a whole lot like the infamous Oklahoma drill.

Timeline details Maurice Washington investigation and when Nebraska became aware of it

This timeline of events in the Maurice Washington investigation is based on allegations outlined in court documents, investigator reports and officials' statements.

Sights and sounds from Nebraska football spring practice, March 11

Nebraska was in full pads for its fourth practice of the spring Monday morning. The media were allowed inside practice for the first 30 minutes. Here's what we saw.

Carriker Chronicles: My favorite game in Husker history while skiing down a mountain

On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker skis down a mountain and shares the story of his all-time favorite Husker football game.

Husker RB Maurice Washington self-surrenders in California, court date set for April

Husker running back Maurice Washington returned to California over the weekend to self-surrender to authorities, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Shatel: Do the high schools need a shot clock? There is no shortage of opinions

This column might be a shot-clock violation. But I received so much feedback from emails and on Twitter last week on the idea of a shot clock in high school basketball that I thought I would spill over into this…

McKewon: Adrian Martinez has shown signs of being a leader, but Scott Frost wants more

Adrian Martinez’s head coach, Scott Frost, wants more. Much more, based on his comments last week. Don’t gloss over them. If Frost is bullish on Martinez’s potential — talking him up as potentially one of the best, if not the…