And just like that, the end of the 2021 football season is within sight. While it seems like just yesterday we were gearing up for what was supposed to be a difficult matchup with a ranked Indiana team in the season opener, we now find ourselves on a shortened holiday week preparing for the annual Black Friday matchup with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Hawkeyes enter Friday’s showdown at 9-2 and riding a three-game winning streak since Alex Padilla stepped in for an injured Spencer Petras. Iowa needs a win over the Huskers to remain in contention for the Big Ten West, but also need 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 riding a 5-game losing streak. That’s a bit deceiving, however, as three of those losses have come against top-15 opponents and all but one have been by a single score.
We did learn on Monday that the Huskers will enter this matchup without starting quarterback and leading rusher Adrian Martinez. Martinez has been an integral part of Scott Frost’s offense for the last several years and his absence will no doubt play an impact in this game. Vegas agrees as this game opened up with Nebraska favored by 4-points at home, but flipped to Iowa favored by 1 point after the Martinez injury news broke.
Here’s a look at the key details for this week’s season finale from Lincoln.
Date: Friday, November 26th
Time: 12:30pm CT
Matchup: #17 Iowa Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-8, 1-7)
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Preliminary Weather Forecast: sunny with temps in the upper-50s, 3% chance of rain with winds gusting up to 17 mph
DraftKings Betting Line: Iowa -1, O/U 44.5*
The rivalry between Iowa and Nebraska dates back 1891 when the Hawkeyes defeated the Huskers in the inaugural meeting 22-0. But this series has been on again, off again for much of the time since. The two teams faced off every year from 1891 to 1899, making up nearly 20% of the total meetings between the two programs.
In fact, that was the longest consecutive stretch of meetings between the two schools until the Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten and have played Iowa every season since 2011. The current iteration has seen Iowa and Nebraska face off 10 straight times with Iowa winning seven of those ten meetings. That includes the current streak of six straight wins over the Huskers.
However, Nebraska does hold the all-time series lead at 29-19-3. Just eight of those 29 victories for the Huskers have come since the end of World War II.
The six-game winning streak by Iowa ranks second in the series history. Nebraska rattled off eight consecutive wins from 1931 to 1941. The Cornhuskers also boast the largest margin of victory in the series in a 57-0 thrashing of Iowa in Hayden Fry’s second hear at the helm.
Iowa’s largest margin of victory came in a 56-14 win in Lincoln back in 2017. That victory is part of the current winning streak, wherein the Hawkeyes have outscored 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 late game heroics from the Hawkeyes. Nebraska head coach Scott Frost is 5-19 in games decided by one score.
Nebraska hasn’t defeated Iowa in Lincoln since their inaugural season in the Big Ten back in 2011.