Date: Friday, November 24
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
How To Watch: CBS
Record: Iowa (9-2), Nebraska (5-6)
Iowa knows what it’s doing next Saturday. Michigan and Ohio State don’t.
The Big Ten West champs - deal with it, America - are on a roll. They’re one somewhat questionable call on a punt return against Minnesota away from being 10-1 with the only loss coming to Penn State.
This defense continues to be unbelievable.
Instead of the focus being on the putrid offense that can’t keep things moving, give it up to a D that’s allowing just 12 points per game, doesn’t break when bends, and in a bizarre way, it’s doing it all now without forcing a ton of turnovers.
Meanwhile, Nebraska’s offense needed a last gasp score against Wisconsin just to get to 17 and overtime.
That makes it four times in the last five games - and eight times in 11 - that the team hasn’t broken 20. And with that defeat in Camp Randall, Nebraska is now 0-4 this year and 2-15 over the last three seasons and 3-17 in the last 20 in games decided by seven points or fewer.
Iowa doesn’t play as many one-score games as you might think.
The offense does enough to get by, the defense has kept everyone but Penn State to fewer than 17 points, and it does by just playing, letting the clock go - but without worrying about time off possession - and then, all of a sudden, it’s the fourth quarter.
However, out of those three games decided by seven points or fewer …
Nebraska 24, Iowa 17.
The Huskers kept the Hawkeyes from going to the Big Ten Championship last year with one of 2022’s most stunning wins.
How? It took a long touchdown pass and an offensive explosion on the way to a huge lead, and then the D hung on for dear life.
This time around the Huskers can play it straight. Few teams can speak Iowa style like Nebraska.
The defense has been fantastic. It held Maryland in check, the run D allowed four yards per carry to Michigan and no one else, and it’s able to force takeaways from time to time. Again, Iowa isn’t forcing turnovers - that’s everything to Nebraska.
The Husker O has given it away 18 times in the last seven games. There isn’t a penalty problem, the defensive front should live behind the Hawkeye line, and again, don’t expect anything from the Iowa ground game to work.
First score wins?
Iowa has bigger fish to fry next week, while Nebraska is one win away from going to a bowl game for the first time since 2016.
No program in America - even those with national title aspirations - has put more pressure on itself, especially being one win away from going bowling for over three weeks.
Shock of shocks, the two will play a tough, low-scoring battle, but Nebraska will - I know, I’ve said this for three weeks - will get to exhale in a cathartic Senior Day moment on a late touchdown after setting for a slew of early field goals.
Nebraska 16, Iowa 13
Line: Nebraska -2, o/u: 26.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating (out of 5): 42023-11-21T00:10:28Z dg43tfdfdgfd