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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Pick & Prediction NOV 26TH 2021

Complete Memorial Stadium Lincoln
125Hawkeyes Iowa
126Cornhuskers Nebraska
OP
0
42.5
CU
1.5 -110
44.5o -110
ML
ML: 103
ML: -123
Partials
1 2 3
0 6 3 19
7 7 7 0
Score
28
21
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Iowa is one of three teams still alive for the Big Ten Conference's West Division title going into the final game of the regular season, and the Hawkeyes can do their part to stay in that race when they travel to Lincoln to face Nebraska on Friday.

The 16th-ranked Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) must win and hope No. 18 Wisconsin (8-3, 6-2) loses Saturday at Minnesota. Wisconsin holds the tiebreaker over Iowa after winning the head-to-head matchup 27-7 on Oct. 30.

Iowa has won three straight since then, beating Illinois 33-23 in its home finale on Nov. 20. The Hawkeyes only had 255 yards of offense, and for the season are last in the Big Ten in total offense at 293.2 yards per game.

"We find a way to win, that's still what the game is about," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Nebraska (3-8, 1-7) has the Big Ten's second-best offense, gaining 457.5 yards per game, but that hasn't translated into wins. The Cornhuskers have lost five in a row, and all eight of their losses have come by nine or fewer points.

The latest was a 35-28 loss at Wisconsin in which Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez became the school's career total yardage leader. The fourth-year junior has gained 10,792 yards via the pass and the run, with 3,388 yards coming this season.

That may end up being the final game of Martinez's Cornhuskers career, as coach Scott Frost said a shoulder injury suffered against Wisconsin will keep him out of the season finale.

"He's such a tough kid. I didn't expect him to play in the second half (against Wisconsin)," Frost said. "I feel terrible for him."

In his place will be freshman Logan Smothers, who has appeared in five games this season and is 7 of 11 for 119 yards.

Iowa, which has won six straight against Nebraska, has also had a recent change at quarterback due to injury. Sophomore Alex Padilla started the past two games in place of Spencer Petras, who has dealt with a shoulder injury, and Padilla is listed first on the Hawkeyes' latest depth chart.

"We've got two guys we feel we can win with," Ferentz said.

Ferentz, the longest-tenured coach in FBS, is 7-5 against Nebraska but 7-3 since the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten in 2011.

A loss for Nebraska would give it nine in a season for the first time since 1957. Frost is already the first Huskers coach to fail to reach a bowl game in four consecutive seasons since William Jennings didn't make one during his five seasons from 1957-61, but Frost is already assured to be back in 2022 after agreeing to a restructured contract that lowers both his salary and his buyout.

--Field Level Media

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Recap NOV 26TH 2021

No. 16 Iowa rallied from down 15 points late in the third quarter to keep alive its shot at a Big Ten West Division title, winning 28-21 at Nebraska on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb.

A 2-yard run by quarterback Spencer Petras, who took over for Alex Padilla after halftime, with 2:58 left gave the Hawkeyes (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) the victory after trailing 21-6 with less than 21 minutes remaining. They earned at least a share of the West title but need No. 14 Wisconsin to lose Saturday at Minnesota in order to clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game.

Petras' scoring run was Iowa's only offensive TD of the game. The Hawkeyes also scored on a blocked punt, recorded a safety and got four field goals from Caleb Shudak.

Nebraska (3-9, 1-8) lost its 18th consecutive game against a ranked opponent, losing by one score for the 20th time under coach Scott Frost. All nine losses this season have been by single digits.

Down 14-6 at the half, Petras led Iowa into the Nebraska red zone before Tyler Goodson -- who ran for 156 yards to become the first Hawkeye rusher to top 1,000 yards in a season since Akrum Wadley in 2017 -- lost a fumble at the 6-yard line.

The Cornhuskers turned that takeaway into points, with freshman quarterback Logan Smothers scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 21-6 with 5:54 left in the third quarter. During the drive he completed passes of 27 to Austin Allen -- who set the single-season school record for receiving yards by a tight end -- and 40 to Omar Manning, the latter as Smothers was hit hard in the pocket.

A 36-yard field goal by Shudak cut the deficit to 21-9 with 27 seconds left in the third. Four plays later, Joe Evans blocked the Nebraska punt and Kyler Fisher returned it 14 yards for a TD to make it 21-16 with 14:16 to go.

Smothers was called for intentional grounding in the end zone with 9:56 left, pulling Iowa within 21-18 on the safety, and the Hawkeyes tied it at 21 on Shudak's fourth field goal of the game, a 44-yarder with 7:21 remaining.

A 55-yard Goodson run got Iowa into scoring position on its game-winning drive, with Petras finding the end zone four plays later.

Smothers, starting in place of the injured Adrian Martinez, was intercepted by Iowa's Jermari Harris near the goal line with 43 seconds left to end Nebraska's comeback chance. Smothers threw for 199 yards on 16-of-22 passing and ran for 64 yards and two TDs.

--Field Level Media

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