And just like that, the end of the 2021 football season is in sight. While it seems like just yesterday we were gearing up for what was supposed to be a tough game with a ranked Indiana team in the season opener, now we find ourselves on a shortened vacation week for preparing for the annual Black Friday game with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Hawkeyes enter Friday’s showdown at 9-2 and on a three-game winning streak since Alex Padilla stepped in for an injured Spencer Petras. Iowa needs a win over the Huskers to stay in contention for the Big Ten West, but also needs the Wisconsin Badgers to drop their season finale against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
For their part, the Nebraska Cornhuskers enter the week at 3-8 and on a 5-game losing streak. It’s a little disappointing, however, as three of those losses have come to top 15 opponents and all but one have been by a single scoreline.
We learned Monday that the Huskers will enter this game without starting quarterback and first rusher Adrian Martinez. Martinez has been an integral part of Scott Frost’s offense for several years and his absence will no doubt have an impact in this game. Vegas agreed as this game opened with Nebraska favored by 4 points at home, but returned to Iowa favored by 1 point after news broke of Martinez’s injury.
Here’s a look at key details from this week’s season finale of Lincoln.
Dated: Friday, November 26
Time: 12:30 CT
Match: #17 Iowa Hawkeye (9-2, 6-2) against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-8, 1-7)
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Preliminary weather forecast: sunny with temperatures in the high 50s, 3% chance of rain with winds blowing up to 17 mph
DraftKings betting line: Iowa -1, O/U 44.5*
The rivalry between Iowa and Nebraska dates back to 1891 when the Hawkeyes defeated the Huskers in the inaugural game 22-0. But that series has been revived, revived for much of the time since. The two teams played each other every year from 1891 to 1899, accounting for nearly 20% of the total encounters between the two programs.
In fact, it was the longest back-to-back meeting streak between the two schools until the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten and faced Iowa every season since 2011. The current iteration has seen Iowa and Nebraska play each other 10 times in a row, Iowa winning seven. ten meetings. That includes the current six-game winning streak against the Huskers.
However, Nebraska holds the all-time series lead with 29-19-3. Only eight of those 29 victories for the Huskers have come since the end of World War II.
Iowa’s six-game winning streak ranks second in series history. Nebraska won eight straight from 1931 to 1941. The Cornhuskers also had the biggest margin of victory in the series in a 57-0 thrashing of Iowa in Hayden Fry’s second inning at the helm.
Iowa’s biggest margin of victory came in a 56-14 win at Lincoln in 2017. The victory is part of the current winning streak, in which the Hawkeyes beat Nebraska 208-116. However, the last three contests have been much closer, with Iowa winning by a combined 12 points. That includes a pair of games decided by the Hawkeyes’ endgame heroics. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost is 5-19 in games decided by score.
Nebraska hasn’t beaten Iowa at Lincoln since its inaugural Big Ten season in 2011.