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THE MORNING AFTER: NEBRASKA

Goodnight, Blackshirts.

Iowa v Nebraska
LARGE MAN DOES THINGS.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Every time Iowa beats Nebraska — which the Hawkeyes have now done three straight years, by an aggregate score of 122-44 — I go back to a quote.

You probably have an inkling as to which one I’m referring too. The words been parodied enough on social media, but I still think it’s important.

It’s from former Husker AD Shawn Eichorst, answering a question as to whether Nebraska’s 37-34 win over Iowa in 2014 contributed to Bo Pelini’s firing.

“Our kids showed great character and resiliency in a tough environment,” Eichorst said, “so it did play a factor. But in the final analysis, I had to evaluate where Iowa was.

As I looked back on the outcomes, I’m trying to look back at who are championship-caliber football teams at that moment and how competitive we were in those games.

We weren’t playing for a conference championship and neither was Iowa. I have great respect for Iowa. It’s a great institution and a wonderful football program. But in the final analysis, their record was where it was and ours was where it was. Fair enough?”

Fair enough.

Nebraska hasn’t beaten Iowa in three years and the Cornhuskers have been annihilated in the last two games. You can say what you want about where Kirk Ferentz’s program is, but every year they get up for this game.

Way up.

And I firmly believe that quote is written on the wall or at the very least burned in Ferentz’s memory. It was arrogant, insulting and still leaves a worse taste in my mouth than this Bud Light I’m nursing.

Nebraska isn’t good anymore. It isn’t what it used to be. We’ve all been saying this for years now, but it’s never rang more true than the last four seasons. I’ve little doubt Mike Riley will be out of a job in the coming days.

That makes two Cornhusker coaches the Hawkeyes have helped usher out the door. I don’t necessarily take pride in that fact, but it’s true all the same.

But I don’t appreciate the insulting arrogance that has manifested itself in the heads in the leadership at Nebraska. I’m hoping this changes with Bill Moos at the helm and I do think this has died down a bit as Iowa has laid the wood over the last couple years, but it’s still there.

Maybe all that is why I enjoy watching the Hawkeyes beat down Nebraska with a fervor that’s unmatched by any other game they play. That, of course, includes the Cy-Hawk game.

Speaking of our brothers and sisters and cousins to the west, they’re in a better spot than the Cornhuskers as far as national relevance right now. Think about that for a second.

I’m not really here to diss on Iowa State and it has found a quality coach. Matt Campbell has built a solid program out of the ashes with far fewer resources than what Riley has had at his disposal.

Nebraska will throw millions of dollars at a new coach, someone that might just get it back into that relevance and consistency it craves. But it’s going to take time.

After all, Nebraska hasn’t finished with 8 or more losses since 1957. That’s a deep hole to dig out of.


In the middle of the second quarter, Iowa went down 14-7 to Nebraska.

With 6:18 left in the half, Iowa got the ball and meticulously drove it down the field on one of its finest drives of the season. It spanned 5:58, took 11 plays and covered 75 yards.

Noah Fant capped it off with a four-yard touchdown grab.

Iowa would go on to score 42 more points in a row. Nebraska quit in this game for the second year in a row.

Including the four-yard Fant TD, Iowa scored touchdowns on four consecutive drives. Akrum Wadley couldn’t be stopped. None of Iowa’s backs could, really. Wadley was credited with 19 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Ivory Kelly Martin had 6-90, Butler 9-38.

Heck, even Nate Stanley had positive rushing yardage. He wasn’t sacked in this game and Nebraska had very little pass rush to speak of. His final line? 13-20-0-192 and two touchdowns.

That includes this beautiful 68-yarder to Fant.

Fant now has the record for most touchdown catches in a single season by a tight end in Iowa history. He’s sitting at 28 receptions, 486 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year with a bowl game to go.

This was a shellacking I did not see coming. It was utter dominance. It was beautiful and wonderful and fun.

The Hawkeyes piled up 505 yards of offense. Nebraska ran 63 plays for 267 yards. The Huskers turned the ball over 3 times, all Tanner Lee interceptions.

You could make an argument that should have been 4 turnovers, as Parker Hesse was close to scoring on the first play of the game. Hesse — who returned an interception for a touchdown in 2015 — picked up a loose ball and took it in for a score.

Anthony Nelson smacked Lee, forcing him to drop the ball. The replay officials said it was an incomplete pass. Honestly, I think this shook Lee’s confidence for the rest of the game.


So this... is it. I mean we still have a bowl game left, but we’ve reached the end of the regular season.

Isn’t that insane?

It feels like it was just last week the season started and we were writing our predictions, previewing positions and all that other offseason stuff. Crazy.

While I’m not entirely happy with how this season shook out... if you told me at the beginning of the season that we’d put up 55 on Ohio State and 56 on Nebraska I’d probably have laughed in your face. I’ve still got a whole lot of questions and there’s going to be plenty to replace next year, but there’s so much potential on this team.

There’s still the bowl game, however and right now I almost think that’s a must-win. The program needs to break this streak. Badly.

But I’m... content, for the most part. We should have probably had at least one more win this season and there were some incredibly frustrating moments, but, well, at least our program isn’t in the garbage can like Kansas or Baylor or Arkansas or North Carolina or Illinois.

Or Nebraska.