Nebraska football vs. Iowa preview

nebraska football

Nebraska football and the Iowa Hawkeyes have been headed in two different directions.

For the past five years, Husker fans have had to suffer embarrassing loss after embarrassing loss. The Hawkeyes on the other have witnessed some of the best football in program history. Being a Husker fan, I can’t even deny that fact. Iowa has been the better program for the better part of a decade.

Both sides have their different view of the game. Some might tell you it isn’t a rivalry. Others will say Nebraska only cares about the game because it lost so many times to the team in the East, but let me tell you what I see. Every year I see two teams take the field looking to prove to the other that they are better.

I know for a fact Husker fans circle this game on their calendars every year. If I had to guess, I am sure Scott Frost has a big red circle drawn around this Black Friday game every year. Since joining the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes lead the series over the Huskers 6-3 with Iowa winning the last five.

Who knows what will come Saturday? Either the Hawks will pummel the Huskers into the ground, or maybe the good guys will pull out a win for Dear Ole Nebraska U.

Last year’s matchup

Nebraska came into last year’s matchup sitting at 5-6 in search of its first bowl appearance since 2016. The Hawkeyes on the other hand cruised into Lincoln sitting at No. 17 in College Football Playoff rankings had just come off wins over Illinois and No. 8 Minnesota. On paper, it looked as though Iowa should cruise through this game, but this game means something more to these teams. It’s a rivalry, and that means bragging rights for the rest of the year.

It was an uphill battle for the Huskers as they had to come back from a 24-10 halftime deficit. Nebraska cut into the Hawkeye lead with consecutive runs from running back Derick Mills. Freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey entered the game and lobbed a 39-yard pass to wide-receiver JD Spielman, igniting the Huskers who then trailed by seven.

After the Huskers forced a quick three-and-out, Adrian Martinez led the Nebraska offense on a critical scoring drive. Martinez made an 11-yard pass to receiver Kade Warner. This then set up the game-tying score by running back Wyatt Mazour with a nine-yard run up the middle.

With the game coming down to the final seconds. Iowa set up for a game-winning kick as time expired. This solidified the Hawkeyes’ fifth consecutive win over the Huskers in a 27-24 win.

Game preview

After two consecutive losses, the Hawkeyes have rattled off three straight wins and find themselves ranked No. 24 in the nation. Iowa ranks third in the Big Ten in points per game sitting at 33. Mekhi Sargent led the Hawkeyes on the ground last week rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The Huskers are second to last in the conference in rushing defense.

The Hawkeyes are going to try to run, run, run the ball.

The questions for Nebraska first start at quarterback. After last week’s performance, many seemed to have already lost faith in the new QB1 for Nebraska football. Will Martinez come back to start for the Huskers? According to Frost, it will be another game-time decision.

Wandale Robinson is Nebraska’s leading receiver with a total of 152 yards. It will be up to Robinson to pick up the slack left by the QB room. The Huskers have slacked thus far this season in the passing game. An attempt to establish the run with be the key to how well this Nebraska offense succeeds.

Final thoughts

The Hawkeyes have won the last five matchups, yet both of the two previous wins came from last-second field goals. The Cornhuskers might be down, but a fight is not to be unexpected. The effort from Nebraska football will undoubtedly be superior to that from last week. The fight for the Heroes Trophy begins.

Game Info

Date: Nov. 27
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Spread: Iowa -13.5
Over/Under: 53.5