Despite another season riddled with losing and negativity, Nebraska is playing for bowl eligibility on Black Friday. An upset of Iowa would be a major boost for coach Scott Frost’s struggling program.
The Cornhuskers (5-6) stopped a four-game losing streak with a 54-7 win at Maryland last week, when Adrian Martinez passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 94 yards before leaving in the third quarter with the score 44-0. Nebraska was 0-7 against the spread in Big Ten play before the hapless Terrapins allowed the Huskers to pick up their first win since Oct. 5.
The Hawkeyes are sitting on eight wins after back-to-back narrow victories over Illinois and Minnesota. Iowa’s formula for winning is simple — defense and special teams. In a 19-10 victory over Illinois, Keith Duncan made four field goals. Duncan is 27-for-32 on field goals this season, and the Hawkeyes rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 12.2 points per game.
With a bowl trip as motivation, expect a maximum effort from the home ’dog. This figures to be an ugly game that could be decided by a field goal, and the Cornhuskers are capable of pulling the upset.
The play: Nebraska +5½.
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