November 28, 2015

Huskers host Hawkeyes in Black Friday showdown

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

Nebraska closes out the regular season by hosting fourth ranked Iowa and there is plenty on the line for both teams.

The Hawkeyes are fourth ranked in the latest College Football Playoff rankings and stands 11-0 for the first time in school history. For the Huskers a victory would be their second in three games over a top ten foe and at 6-6 would lock up a trip to a bowl game.

Nebraska coach Mike Riley says it is not just about spoiling Iowa’s perfect season.

“Everybody is obviously aware of the ramifications for them”, said Riley. “For our guys my sense is they want to play to win and whatever motivates them I think it is about us more than anything.”

This is Nebraska’s fifth Black Friday encounter with Iowa since joining the Big Ten and the Huskers have claimed three of the previous four. Kickoff in Memorial Stadium is 2:30p.m. The game will be carried by ABC.



Huskers hope to prove themselves against Iowa

Tommy Armstrong

Tommy Armstrong

A roller coaster season could end on a high note for Nebraska when the Huskers host fourth ranked Iowa. Sitting a 3-6 at the beginning of the month the Huskers have won two straight and can lock up a bowl bid with a victory over the unbeaten Hawkeyes.

Junior quarterback Tommy Armstrong who says the Huskers are out to prove they are better than their record.

“You know we lost some close games but we have the talent to be very good”, said Armstrong. “We are a very good football team but we just have to put it all together and when we do it shows.”

Nebraska is 5-6. Iowa is 11-0 and needs a victory on Friday to stay in the playoff hunt.

Sean Callahan contributed to this story

Hawkeyes hope to make series with Nebraska a rivalry

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz

The Nebraska-Iowa series was renewed when the Huskers joined the Big Ten Conference and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it is up to the Hawkeyes to actually make it a rivalry.

Nebraska has won 29 of the 45 games played between the two schools, including three of the four Black Friday games that began in 2011.

“And really the chore for us is to get involved”, said Ferentz. “Our job is to be able to play with those guys and go out and compete with them. They recruit well and have had great teams in the past and have a really good team this year so our challenge is to be ready for them on Friday.”

The Hawkeyes enter Friday’s game 11-0 and ranked fourth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. The Huskers are 5-6 and need a victory to clinch a bowl bid.

Huskers wary of Beathard scrambles

Mark Banker

Mark Banker

Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard has completed 61 percent of his passes and thrown just three interceptions this season but it is the plays he can make with his feet that has Husker defensive coordinator Mark Banker concerned.

Beathard has gained 422 yards of rushing and his ability to scramble is one of the reasons the Hawkeyes have topped the 30 point mark in five straight games.

Banker says the key for the Huskers will be to put pressure on Beathard without opening up running lanes.

“We can’t take away from our pass rush but at the same time if you beat your guy you have got to have a clock in your head when it is time to close the pocket because he will take off”, said Banker. “He has a good sense of timing in the pocket and in about two and a half seconds if he doesn’t like what he sees he can take off on you.”

The Huskers take a 5-6 record into Friday’s game against a third ranked Iowa team that is 11-0.

Plenty at stake for Huskers against Iowa

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

Iowa will come in as the highly ranked team but there will be plenty on the line for Nebraska in Friday’s regular season finale against the Hawkeyes. A victory would be the Huskers third straight, their second over a top ten team in three games and clinch a trip to a bowl game.

“It would give a chance to continue practicing and work longer with younger guys in the development part of it and the guys that are redshirting we could spend more time with”, said Nebraska coach Mike Riley. “Just for this team it would be great and also for our upcoming team.”

Nebraska is coming off a 31-14 win at Rutgers and Riley feels the defense is playing its best at the end of the season.