Just like that, the end of the 2023 college football season is within sight. The Iowa Hawkeyes are done playing in Kinnick for the season after sending off the seniors with a 15-13 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini. The win secured Iowa’s second Big Ten West division title in three years.
But now the Hawkeyes move past their final home game of the season and travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for the final regular season game of the year. There, they’ll face off with a Nebraska Cornhusker team that enters the week at 5-6 overall and one win shy of bowl eligibility, something they haven’t achieved since 2016.
While the Huskers have been know for their highly-touted recruits and of late, their high-powered offense with sometimes porous defense, things have changed course this year. First-year head coach Matt Rhule has the Huskers playing more stout defense with Nebraska giving up just 18.7 points per game - good for 19th nationally. On the other side of the ball, the Huskers have struggled all season with turnovers and are somehow averaging fewer points per game than the Hawkeyes, who remain the last place team nationally in total offense.
The two are set to square off in a matchup that has little on the line for the Hawkeyes outside of pride. Pride, and the Heroes Trophy, which left Iowa City for the first time in a while last year.
Here’s a quick look at the details for Saturday’s matchup.
Date: Friday, November 24th
Time: 11:00 am CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-6, 3-5)
Location: Memorial Stadium- Lincoln, NE
Preliminary Weather Forecast: cloudy with temps in the upper-30s, 15% chance of rain
DraftKings Opening Line: Iowa -1, O/U 27.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Friday’s matchup between the Huskers and Hawkeyes will mark the 54th meeting between the two programs. Nebraska leads the all-time series, which dates all the way back to 1891, 30-20-3.
While the Huskers hold the all-time advantage, the Hawkeyes have dominated recent history, winning seven of the last eight and eight of the last ten matchups in the series. The lone win in the last eight meetings came a season ago when the Huskers snapped a seven-game losing streak to Iowa in a 24-17 win inside Kinnick Stadium.
As Iowa looks to start a new winning streak in the series, Nebraska looks to end another. The Hawkeyes have won each of the last five meetings between the two programs in Lincoln with Nebraska’ last home win in the series coming back in 2011 under then head coach Bo Pelini. Despite the drought, the Huskers hold a 15-7-1 all-time lead in games played in their hometown. Iowa’s win in Nebraska back in 2013 was the first since 1943. They’re undefeated there since.
Nebraska’s win over Iowa a season ago also put a blemish on another streak for the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won 17 of its last 18 games played in the month of November, dating back to 2019. The lone loss came last Black Friday in Iowa City.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz comes into the week fresh off his 195th career win, which pushed him into a tie for third place among Big Ten coaches alongside Michigan’s Bo Schembechler. Ferentz now trails only Amos Alonzo Stagg (199) and Woody Hayes (205). Looking for his 196th career win, Ferentz now faces the first team he squared off with as head coach of the Hawkeyes back in 1999. The Huskers won that initial meeting, as a member of the Big 12 conference, 42-7 in Iowa City under then head coach Frank Solich. Since that initial meeting, Ferentz has faced five different Nebraska coaches. Rhule will become number six on Friday.
As we move toward kickoff on Friday morning, here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one.
Staff Prediction: Iowa Win, 80% of the vote
Fan Prediction: Iowa Win, 77% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa 23, Nebraska 13
Be sure to check back in throughout the week as all preview and postgame stories will be published to this stream.