Huskers beat the Hawkeyes, 24-17, for the first time in seven years
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - A trip to the Big Ten championship game for the second straight year is on the line for the Hawkeyes as they host Nebraska in the final game of the regular season.
On the Huskers first possession of the game quarterback Casey Thompson connected with receiver Trey Palmer for a 14-yard gain followed by a 9 and 6 yard runs from running back Anthony Grant to get to Iowa’s 20 yard line. Unable to find the endzone, kicker Timmy Bleekrode misses a 32-yard field goal to keep the game scoreless early in the first quarter.
After not moving the ball beyond mid-field for the second straight possession, Iowa punts it to Nebraska’s 13-yard line. Next play, Thompson airs it out to Palmer for a 87-yard touchdown, the longest offensive play of the season for the Huskers. Nebraska gets on the board first, 7-0.
Three plays later, the Blackshirts come up big with cornerback Quinton Newsome forcing quarterback Spencer Petras to fumble. Freshman Ernest Hausmann recovered it at Iowa’s 31 yard line. Ensuing possession, the Hawkeyes hold the Huskers in the redzone again. This time Bleekrode hits the 21-yard field goal to put three more points on the board.
With under five minutes left in the first quarter, Iowa pulls Petras and puts in junior Alex Padilla under center. Later in the drive, linebacker Eteva Mauga-Clements forces the Hawkeyes’ second turnover of the game. Edge Garrett Nelson scooped the fumble and returned it 14 yards to Iowa’s 39 yard line. Four plays later, Thompson finds Palmer again for an 18-yard touchdown to go up 17-0. On the play, Palmer claims the Nebraska single-season record with 1,007 receiving yards, passing Stanley Morgan Jr. (1,004).
The Huskers go into halftime with a 17-0 advantage over the Hawkeyes. It’s the first time Big Red has shutout an opponent on the road since they played at Maryland in 2019.
In the third quarter, Iowa’s Arland Bruce IV drops a punt return and Alante Brown scoops the ball on the Hawkeyes third turnover of the game. Nebraska takes over at Iowa’s 18. Three plays later, Thompson connects with receiver Marcus Washington for a 14-yard touchdown. Big Red jumps out to a 24-0 lead early in the second half.
On the Hawkeye’s ensuing possession, running back Kaleb Johnson breaks off for a 44 yard touchdown run to put Iowa on the board. In the fourth quarter, Iowa strikes again with a 14-yard touchdown from Padilla to receiver Luke Lachey. Hawkeyes cut the Huskers lead to 10.
Nebraska back with the ball, running back Rhamir Johnson fumbles the ball and the Hawkeyes recover it at Nebraska’s 27. The Blackshirts hold strong and hold Iowa to a field goal, however, Hawkeyes just a score behind the Huskers, 24-17.
For the first time in seven years, the Huskers take the Heroes Trophy back to Lincoln. Nebraska finishes the season 4-8. The Hawkeyes have to wait and see if they still will back a trip to Indianapolis.
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