Iowa (11-0, 7-0) at Nebraska (5-6, 3-4)
When: Friday, November 27th 2015
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Time: 3:30 ET | TV: ABC
It’s been a while since the Iowa vs. Nebraska game has had this much meaning. The Hawkeyes, who are already off to their best start in school history, looks to keep a spot in the top 4 of the College Football Playoff rankings with a win today. Iowa has already clinched the Big Ten West title and a date with either Michigan, Ohio State, or Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Hawkeyes, who have scored at least 29 points in six straight games, are led by quarterback C.J. Beathard. He has won the first 12 starts of his career and doesn’t want this game to be his first loss. He’s not asked to put up big numbers for this balanced Iowa attack. Beathard has only thrown 287 passes this season, but has 13 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. Iowa leads the conference with 33 rushing touchdowns and have almost identical numbers in rushing and passing (2,291 yards rushing and 2,310 yards passing). Running backs Jordan Canzeri, LeShun Daniels, Jr, and Akrum Wadley have combined for 25 rushing touchdowns. The defense has allowed a Big Ten low 7 rushing touchdowns along with 13 interceptions and 21 takeaways. Cornerback Desmond King is tied for the FBS lead with a school-record tying eight interceptions.
Nebraska is not just playing for pride or to be spoiler today. They’re playing for a Bowl bid if they get their 6th win today and can beat two top 10 teams for the first time in 20 years. The Huskers came out with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Michigan State a few weeks back and followed that up with a 39-14 win at Rutgers. Nebraska also rallied from 17 points down last year at Iowa for a 37-34 overtime victory. Four of Nebraska’s losses this year have come in the last 10 seconds of the game or overtime. Junior tight end Cethan Carter enjoyed the best game of his career in the win over Rutgers with a touchdown catch and scoring on a 32-yard end-around. The Huskers may be without running back Terrell Newby, who is dealing with an ankle injury. Newby leads the team with 709 yards rushing and a 5.3 per carry average. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr. is having an almost identical season passing as he did last year, but his rushing yards have been slashed from 705 to 278 despite six rushing scores. Nebraska is ninth in the nation is rushing defense allowing only 109.8 yards a game.
This is a tough to call despite the difference in records. As we mentioned above, Nebraska has been in virtually every game this season. That’s something can learn from when the game gets tight in the fourth quarter. I still don’t know how good Iowa is this year. They’re undefeated yes, but they got very fortunate in the scheduling by missing Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Penn State. I’m going to take Nebraska in a mild upset, but its not one of my top plays.
Pick: Nebraska +2