Iowa football vs. Nebraska: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score
Hawkeyes battle Cornhuskers
LINCOLN, Neb. – More than half of Kirk Ferentz's teams in 21 seasons at Iowa have won at least eight games, so it's no wonder he finds his name among Big Ten coaching royalty. The 20th-ranked Hawkeyes will attempt to give their coach his 97th conference win on Friday when they seek a fifth straight victory in their rivalry with Nebraska on Friday in the battle for the Heroes Trophy.
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Iowa -5.5
Iowa reached the eight-win mark for the 12th time under Ferentz, riding yet another strong effort from one of the nation's stingiest defenses in a 19-10 victory last weekend over Illinois and allowing the four-time conference coach of the year to pass his predecessor, Hayden Fry, for fourth place on the Big Ten all-time coaching wins list. "If you had asked me in 1981, I didn't know where Iowa was, why anybody would live there, and I think if you asked Coach Fry the same thing in 1970, he'd probably tell you the same thing. It's interesting how life goes sometimes," Ferentz said. Second-year coach Scott Frost saw his shorthanded Cornhuskers end a four-game losing streak and move one win away from qualifying for a bowl game for the first time in three seasons with last weekend's 54-7 rout of Maryland. "I was really happy with the team just having the enthusiasm they had, playing for each other. This team could have shut it down, turned it off, stopped caring, stopped playing hard. They're not doing that," Frost said.
ABOUT IOWA (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten)
Nate Stanley ranks second in the conference in passing yards (2,639) after throwing for a season-high 308 against Illinois, leaving him 10 shy of becoming the fourth Hawkeye to pass for 8,000 yards in his career. Freshman receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr. (34 catches for 569 yards) has emerged as Stanley’s favorite target in recent weeks with three straight efforts of at least five receptions and 77 receiving yards. Junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa (seven sacks, eight tackles for loss and three forced fumbles - all team highs) is considered the best player on a unit that has held eight of 11 opponents to season-low point totals and ranks fifth in FBS in scoring defense (12.2 points).
ABOUT NEBRASKA (5-6, 3-5)
Frost told reporters after the Maryland game that his travel roster changed “about eight times” due to injuries and illness; while all-purpose dynamo Wan’Dale Robinson (hamstring) and Kanawai Noa (knee) did not play, leading receiver JD Spielman and leading rusher Dedrick Mills managed to play well despite feeling ill all week. Noa has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a torn meniscus, while Robinson’s status remains up in the air for the regular-season finale, Spielman (46 catches for 864 yards and four touchdowns - all team highs) became the first player in school history to post three 800-yard receiving seasons after accumulating 104 yards against Maryland; he needs four receptions Friday to become the first Nebraska player with three 50-catch seasons.
1. With a victory on Friday, Ferentz will trail only Ohio State's Woody Hayes (153), Michigan's Bo Schembechler (143) and Chicago's Amos Alonzo Stagg (115) on the conference's all-time wins list.
2. The Cornhuskers have amassed 200 yards passing and rushing in the same game five times this season, matching the number of instances by the other six teams in the Big Ten West combined.
3. Hawkeyes PK Keith Duncan has converted a Big Ten-record 27 field goals this season, leaving him four shy of tying the NCAA record set by Georgia’s Billy Bennett back in 2003.
PREDICTION: Iowa 24, Nebraska 20
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