116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
LINCOLN, Neb. — A closer look at No. 16 Iowa's 28-21 win over Nebraska at Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Special, special, special teams.
Iowa was trailing 21-9 and at least had forced a Nebraska three-and-out early in the fourth quarter. Then, lightning.
Hawkeye senior Henry Marchese blocked William Przystup’s punt. Iowa sophomore Kyler Fisher caught the carom and trotted 14 yards for a touchdown to cut the Hawkeyes’ deficit to 21-16 with 14:16 left.
The game that had seemed out of Iowa’s grasp suddenly was well within it. Iowa’s defense started putting the clamps on Nebraska freshman quarterback Logan Smothers. The defense forced a safety with 9:56 left, and it was 21-18.
Iowa took the ensuing kickoff to its 38, then got Caleb Shudak’s third field goal of the game for a 21-21 deadlock with 7:21 left.
With three minutes left, the Hawkeyes got their first offensive touchdown of the game. Their defense held on, and the Hawkeyes were 10-2.
By the numbers
7 — Iowa has won seven straight games against Nebraska.
8 — The Hawkeyes’ Caleb Shudak has eight field goals in the last two games, five from at least 44 yards and two from 51.
8 — This was Nebraska’s eighth one-score loss of the season, an FBS record.
10 — It’s Iowa’s first 10-win regular season since 2015.
19 — Iowa had 19 fourth-quarter points, scored by special teams, defense and offense.
64 — Nebraska freshman quarterback Logan Smothers had 64 rushing yards in the first half. He finished with 64.
1,101 — Hawkeye running back Tyler Goodson rushed for 156 yards to bring his season total to 1,101. He is Iowa’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Akrum Wadley’s 1,109 in 2017.
100,000 — Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz gets a $100,000 bonus for the Hawkeyes assuring themselves at least a share of first place in the Big Ten West.
Spencer Petras replaced Alex Padilla as Iowa’s quarterback to start the second half. Iowa was down 14-6. Padilla had completed 6 of 14 passes for 76 yards.
Kirk Ferentz went back to the player who had 17 career starts. Iowa drove from its 25 to the Nebraska 14, thanks largely to a 26-yard rush by fullback Monte Pottebaum.
But then, Goodson fumbled the ball away on a carry to the Nebraska 6.
Nonetheless, Petras got the job done. He completed 7 of 13 passes for 102 yards and didn’t turn the ball over. His 2-yard carry with 3:00 left was for the Hawkeyes’ first offensive touchdown of the game and its first lead.
Nebraska’s first-time starter
Smothers had never started a college game or rushed for a college touchdown until the Huskers’ first possession Saturday.
By the end of Nebraska’s first drive, he had done both.
The Huskers rushed 10 times on their 12-play, 75-yard drive. The two passes were Smothers’ completions of 19 and 28 yards.
He didn’t throw an interception until his final pass of the game, the one that doomed his team to defeat.
Memorial Stadium music
Iowa called a timeout with 5:21 left in the first quarter and a third-and-goal at the Nebraska 8.
One reason for the timeout was for the Hawkeyes to make it clear to officials that they wanted piped-in music stopped before quarterback Alex Padilla was in his play-counts.
Tyler Goodson’s homecoming
Goodson had a homecoming of sorts. He lived in Nebraska for a few years as a young boy, then grew up in Georgia. Goodson’s grandfather was a pastor in Omaha for eight years.
After review ...
The Beatles “Let It Be” was played on the public-address system as officials reviewed a late fourth-quarter play that gave the Huskers a first down.
Hawkeye offensive tackle Mason Richman returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a leg injury.
Iowa safety Jack Koerner returned after missing a game. Hawkeye cornerbacks Matt Hankins (hamstring) and Terry Roberts missed another game because of injuries suffered earlier this month, and backup running backing Ivory Kelly-Martin (toe) was out.
The Hawkeyes will play someone, somewhere, at a date to be announced later. Maybe the Citrus Bowl. Maybe not.
Much will hinge on Saturday’s Wisconsin-Minnesota game. Should the Badgers lose, Iowa will proceed to next Saturday’s Big Ten championship game against Ohio State or Michigan on Dec. 4.
Should Wisconsin win, the Hawkeyes will learn their bowl destination on Dec. 5. As they will if the Badgers lose.