Iowa Football

Game Report: Iowa Hawkeyes 26, Nebraska Cornhuskers 20

Late fumble seals Hawkeyes' 6th straight win over Huskers

IOWA CITY — A closer look at Iowa’s 49-7 win over Michigan State on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

Turning point

Palms were sweating at Kinnick Stadium on a 42-degree day with a wind of 13 mph.

With about 90 seconds left and Iowa leading Nebraska 26-20, the Huskers had a first down at the Iowa 39 after an 18-yard pass from Adrian Martinez to Wan’Dale Robinson.

That was after Nebraska’s defense had stopped forced Iowa to a fourth down from the Huskers’ 32, and Keith Duncan’s 50-yard field goal try clanked back after hitting the goal post.

So Martinez dropped back to pass. Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston whipped around Nebraska guard Matt Farniok with apparent ease, and plastered Martinez. The ball flipped into the air. Fellow Hawkeye end Zach VanValkenburg, who has made a lot of big plays in Iowa’s four-game winning streak, juggled the carom just a bit, but reeled it in as he fell forward for what was officially a fumble recovery at the 32.

With Nebraska owning just one timeout, the game was effectively over and it was kneel-down time for the Iowa offense. It was Golston’s fourth sack of the season and Van Valkenburg’s fourth fumble recovery of the year.

It was the game-clinching play.



• A runner-up for Play of the Game was when Iowa’s Terry Roberts recovered a muffed punt by Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt at the Nebraska 38 with 10:15 left in the game and Iowa up 23-20.

“He dropped the ball,” Roberts said. “See ball, go get ball.”

The Hawkeyes got a 37-yard Duncan field goal on their subsequent possession.

It was Roberts’ second recovery of a fumbled punt this season.

“Coach (LeVar) Woods told us all week at some point they’re going to put one on the ground,” said Roberts. “There it is, they put one on the ground for us.”

• Duncan remains a Husker slayer. He made two long field goals at Nebraska last year, the second with one second left in a 27-24 victory. He was 4-of-5 Friday, including a 48-yarder five seconds into the fourth quarter that broke a 20-20 tie.

• Iowa tight end Shaun Beyer made perhaps the Hawkeyes’ showiest catch of the year on their first possession. The senior tight end from Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Shellsburg had a leaping one-hand stab of a Spencer Petras pass on the Hawkeyes’ second play of the game, good for 22 yards. It was a showstopper.


• Petras had a lot of poor passes among his 12 incompletions, but the worst was in the second quarter when he was intercepted by Nebraska cornerback Dicaprio Bootle. Under pressure that wasn’t severe, Petras did a 360-degree spin, then ran out of the pocket before underthrowing a pass directly at Bootle. It was the senior’s first career interception in his 41st game and 29th start.


• Duncan has had his fair share of heroics in his career, but he hasn’t scored a touchdown. Nonetheless, the Fox television graphics said he did on Iowa’s first TD of the game, which came on a Tyrone Tracy catch. Tracy and Duncan both wear No. 3.


In fact, No. 3s accounted for all 13 of Iowa’s first-half points, since Duncan had two field goals and a PAT in the half.

• This was the last of 10 straight Black Friday games between the two teams. Iowa is scheduled to close the 2021 season against Wisconsin, while Nebraska will do so against Minnesota.

The Hawkeyes and Huskers are scheduled to again finish their regular seasons against each other from 2022 through 2025. After that, consult your local psychic.

• The Hawkeyes are 18-4 in trophy games since 2015. They’re 17-0 against Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska, 1-4 against Wisconsin.

By the numbers

1 — The Hawkeyes were outgained for the first time this season, 338 yards to 322.


4 — This is Iowa’s third winning streak of at least four games in the last 15 months.

6It was Iowa’s sixth-straight win over Nebraska, the longest such streak in the 51-game series.

6 — Iowa has played six games, twice as many as Wisconsin.

12 — The Hawkeyes’ streak of games with an interception was snapped at 12. Nebraska completed 21 of 25 passes.

26 — Its 26 points was Iowa’s lowest total in its last four games. The Hawkeyes have averaged 37.8 points in their win streak.

111 — Iowa’s Tyler Goodson rushed for 111 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season.

Social summaries

From Twitter

“In what’s becoming a fall tradition in the Midwest. Iowa beats Nebraska in football and corn production. Again.” — @ShotgunWillard

“Frost Warning Cancelled.” — @jnoller92

“Hawks continue Duncan’ Huskers.” — @TonyBussan


Injury report

Iowa was without starting offensive tackle Mark Kallenberger, who appeared to get rolled up on at Penn State the week before. Sophomore Jack Plumb took his place and made his first career start.

Plumb is 6-foot-7, 293 pounds. His height hasn’t changed, but he’s gained a lot of weight since he got to Iowa from his Green Bay, Wis., home.

“A lot of eating, trust in the strength coach,” Plumb said.

Offensive lineman Kyler Schott returned to the field after being out for three games with an injury. Fellow O-lineman Coy Cronk missed his fourth game in a row.

Defensive end John Waggoner was out for the third-straight game.

Next game

Iowa is at Illinois (2-3) next Saturday in Champaign at a time to be determined this weekend. The Hawkeyes will seek their seventh-straight win and 12th in their last 13 meetings with the Illini, who are scheduled to host Ohio State Saturday.

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