SPORTS

Fun Facts: Nebraska-Iowa

Steely Dan, Amtrak, and football, too

 

Black Friday is for football, too. And Fun Facts.

 

1. Iowa averaged just 7.3 points per game in its previous seven games against Nebraska before hanging a 38 on the Huskers last year in Lincoln.

 

2. Last year, Nebraska outgained the Hawkeyes by six yards ... and lost by 21 points.

 

3. Bo Pelini’s record as the Huskers’ coach is 66-27. He is one win from his seventh-straight season of either nine or 10 victories. Yet, this could be his last regular-season game at Nebraska. But on any given day, this could be our last this or last that.

 

4. Pelini was an assistant coach for three years with each of these NFL teams: the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz was an NFL assistant for three years with the Cleveland Browns and three with the Baltimore Ravens.

 

5. Iowa has winning road records in back-to-back seasons for the first time in Kirk Ferentz’s 16-year tenure.

 

6. Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah is averaging 128.9 rushing yards per game. That ranks him 11th in the nation. Incredibly, Abdullah is just fifth among players Iowa will have faced, behind Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon (1st, 191.7 yards per game), Indiana’s Tevin Coleman (2nd, 173.3), Pittsburgh’s James Conner (4th, 145.5) and Minnesota’s David Cobb (9th, 130.0).

 

7. Abdullah has 6,798 career all-purpose yards, 18th in FBS history. No. 1 is Damaris Johnson of Tulsa, who had 7,796 yards in just three seasons, from 2008 to 2010.

Johnson was suspended shortly before the 2011 season because he was being questioned by Tulsa following his girlfriend’s arrest on an embezzlement complaint. Johnson was eventually charged with felony embezzlement. He pleaded guilty and was given a suspended sentence, but his college career was over. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 and made the team. He had a 98-yard punt return for an Eagles touchdown in 2012. He now plays for the Houston Texans.

 

8. Nebraska is 18-6 in Black Friday games since 1990, and is 8-3 on the road. The first six were against Oklahoma, the next 15 were against Colorado, and the most recent three were against Iowa.

 

9. “Black Friday” is a Steely Dan song, from the 1975 album “Katy Lied.” My favorite cut from the album, however, is “Doctor Wu.”

 

10. Amtrak serves Lincoln, Neb. The westbound California Zephyr arrives at 12:08 a.m. and the eastbound train comes in at 3:20 a.m. When it’s on time, that is. Its on-time performance is, well, <URL destination="http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train&mode=perf&overrideDefaultTemplate=OTPPageHorizontalRouteOverview">you be the judge.

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