Nebraska (3-8, 2-6 Big Ten) in Iowa (7-4, 5-3), Friday, 4 p.m. EST (Big Ten Network)
Iowa at 10 1/2.
Series record: Nebraska leads 29-20-3.
WHAT’S AT Stake?
Iowa returns to the Big Ten championship game as the western champion when it defeats the Cornhuskers for an eighth straight season. The Hawkeyes were 1/3 in conference play a month ago and a trip to Indianapolis in December seemed impossible as upstart Illinois picked up victories. But the Illini have lost three straight and the Hawkeyes are on the doorstep after four straight wins.
Iowa Defense Line vs. Nebraska Offensive Line. Deontae Craig, Lukas Van Ness and Joe Evans have combined for 9 1/2 of the Hawkeyes’ 14 sacks in their last four games and are part of a front that gave up just 89 yards per game before most recently meeting Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim Week. Ibrahim had a career-high 263 of the Gophers’ 312 yards on the ground. But Nebraska doesn’t have a running back like Ibrahim, and his offensive line is one of the lowest in the nation.
PLAYER TO SEE
Nebraska: QB Casey Thompson was beaten all season and missed two games with an elbow nerve injury. Though his right pinky is still numb, he’s easily the Huskers’ best quarterback, giving them their best shot at beating Iowa for the first time since 2014.
Iowa: LB Jack Campbell, if he hadn’t already, secured his place in Hawkeyes history with his 10 tackles and forced fumble and interception in the fourth quarter against Minnesota. He’s on track to lead the Big Ten in tackles for a second straight year and will look to make it big in his likely Kinnick Stadium finale.
Iowa has won 14 straight November games and has gone 18-5 in November games since 2017, including a 9-2 at home. … Iowa has held nine of 11 opponents to 13 or fewer points and has four defensive touchdowns. … The teams play for the Heroes Trophy. Iowa has won by a touchdown or fewer in each of the last four years. … Edge rusher Caleb Tannor will play in his 56th game in Nebraska, which would tie Cameron Meredith’s school record for games played (2008-12). … Nebraska is playing Black Friday for the 33rd year in a row. The Huskers have played the day after Thanksgiving in Iowa for the past 12 seasons. Before that they played in Colorado (1996-2010) and Oklahoma (1990-95).
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