Iowa Workmanlike in Historic Win Over Nebraska 28–20

It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t necessarily pretty much of the time. But it was one of the biggest wins in Hawkeyes Football history. The 28–20 Black Friday victory over Nebraska in Lincoln equaled regular season perfection for Iowa (12–0, 8–0). It also secured all four rivalry trophies for the Hawkeyes — with the Heroes Trophy returning to Iowa City as a result of this game. The team also has won five road games for only the 5th time in history.

Iowa will represent the Big Ten West Division in the conference championship game to be played next Saturday evening in Indianapolis — where a win there will almost certainly send the Hawkeyes into the College Football Playoffs for the national championship. Right now, that means Iowa is just three wins away from the national title in college football. The opponent in the title game is B1G East Co-Champion Michigan State (11–1, 7–1), which pounded Penn State in the regular season finale to secure its spot in Indianapolis.

If you only looked at the statistics — especially the offensive stats — you would wonder how the Hawkeyes won. For example, Iowa was 0–9 on 3rd Downs, Nebraska had nearly a 13:00 advantage in time of possession, and the Huskers had 433 yards of total offense compared to Iowa’s 250. But none of that mattered in the final analysis. What did matter, however, was the four interceptions Nebraska Quarterback Tommy Armstong, Jr., threw, including one pick-six, as well as eight Husker penalties for 95 yards.

Iowa Quarterback C.J. Beathard had a solid, if less than flashy, game, and he is the first Iowa QB in history to win to go 13–0 as the starter (6–0 on the road, 7–0 at home, 9–0 in the B1G). Senior Running Back Jordan Canzeri had two long touchdown runs: 28 and 68 yards on consecutive plays from the line of scrimmage.

This has been a magical season for Iowa and its fans — certainly one that no one in their right mind would have predicted back in August. But the Hawkeyes and Head Coach Kirk Ferentz changed a lot of things since last January — but not their core values as a program. Those changes have led directly to 12–0 for the first time in the program’s history. And this ride is far from over. One other note: Iowa’s win denied bowl-eligibility for Nebraska which finished its season 5–7, 3–5.

11/27/15 at 7:25 PM

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