Nebraska Rallies Past Iowa in OT

Box Score

Nov. 28, 2014

Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery 1 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 2 media-icon-photogallery.gif

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By JAMES ALLAN
hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nebraska rallied from a 24-7 third quarter deficit to hand the University of Iowa football team a 37-34 overtime defeat in “The Hy-Vee Heroes Game” on Friday afternoon inside Kinnick Stadium.

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“Both teams competed hard out there, fought and competed,” said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “We just didn’t make enough plays to win and made too many bad plays. That makes it really tough to win on top of that. That’s kind of the story of the game.”

After taking a 31-28 advantage on a 5-yard swing pass to junior Jordan Canzeri with 1:49 remaining, the Huskers drove 69 yards over eight plays for the game-tying field goal. Junior quarterback Tommy Armstrong completed consecutive passes to Cethan Carter (14 yards) and a 35-yarder to Brandon Reilly for 35 yards to the Iowa 12.

Iowa’s defense kept the Huskers out of the end zone, stopping the Huskers on three rushes, including a run for no gain by running back Ameer Abdullah on third-and-1 from the 3. Nebraska’s Drew Brown connected on a 20-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining to tie the game at 31.

The Hawkeyes suffered a setback on its first play of overtime with a false start, but it wasn’t costly. Two Mark Weisman rushes set up a third-and-4 and a Nebraska holding penalty gave the Hawkeyes a first-and-goal from the 9.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
12-footbl-recap-graphics-200-neb.jpg 0 7 7 17 6 37
12-footbl-recap-graphics-200-iowa.jpg 0 10 14 7 3 34
Stat Comparisons neb-sm-40x35.png 12-footbl-recap-graphics-sm-iw.jpg
First Downs 13 24
Rushing Att.-Yds 31-161 50-142
Passing Yds 202 230
Passing (C-A-I) 12-28-2 19-38-1
Total Offense 59-363 88-372
Punts-Avg. 6-29.5 5-44.2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-3
Penalties-Yds 5-49 3-21
Time of Possession 37:24 37:36
3rd-Down Conversions 5-of-15 10-of-20
4th-Down Conversions 0-of-0 1-of-1
Iowa Statistical Leaders
Passing CMP ATT YDs TD
Jake Rudock 19 38 230 2
Rushing CAR YDs AVG TD
Mark Weisman 24 82 3.4 0
Receiving REC YDs AVG TD
Kevonte Martin-Manley 6 63 10.5 1
Defense S-A TOTAL SACKS INT
Jordan Lomax 6-2 8 0 0
Nebraska Statistical Leaders
Passing CMP ATT YDs TD
Tommy Armstrong, Jr. 12 27 202 4
Rushing CAR YDs AVG TD
Ameer Abdullah 13 106 8.2 0
Receiving REC YDs AVG TD
Kenny Bell 3 53 17.7 2
Defense S-A TOTAL SACKS INT
Nate Gerry 10-5 15 0 1

Iowa’s first-down attempt skimmed off the hands of tight end Ray Hamiltonbefore Nebraska stopped senior Mark Weisman for a 2-yard gain on second down. Rudock fired an attempt to Jake Duzey on third down, but the ball was high, forcing the Hawkeyes to settle on Marshall Koehn’s 25-yard field goal, giving Iowa a 34-31 lead.

Iowa’s defense bottle up the Huskers on their first two downs before Armstrong connected with Kenny Bell for a key 12-yard gain to the 9 on third-and-6. On the next play, Armstrong rolled to his right with pressure coming before finding Bell again for a 9-yard touchdown strike. Bell bobbled the ball on the play — it was reviewed and stood — giving Nebraska a 34-31 victory.

Iowa finished with a 372-363 advantage in total offense, finishing with 142 rushing and 230 passing yards. In the end, the Hawkeyes couldn’t overcome a four-turnover first half, where they lost three fumbles and threw an interception — all in the first half.

Rudock completed 19-of-38 attempts for 230 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Senior Mark Weisman and Canzeri combined for 137 yards — 82 by Weisman; 55 by Canzeri — and senior Kevonte Martin-Manley had six receptions for 63 yards.

After holding Nebraska to 92 yards in the first half, the Huskers offense awoke over the final 30 minutes and overtime, piling up 271 yards to give them 363 yards for the game. Armstrong, Jr., was 12-of-27 for 202 yards with four touchdowns, Abdullah had 106 yards on 13 carries, and Bell had three catches for 53 yards with two touchdowns.

Iowa carried a 10-7 lead into the second half, and appeared to take control, scoring 14 points in the first 5 1/2 minutes to take a 24-7 lead.

Following a Husker three-and-out, Iowa went 53 yards over five plays to push its lead to 17-7. Rudock opened the series with an 11-yard completion to fullback John Kenny to move the ball to the Nebraska 28. On third-and-5, Rudock threw a quick out to junior Tevaun Smith, who side-stepped Nate Geary and scampered 37-yards for a touchdown.

Iowa then kept Nebraska’s offense at bay, limiting it to a single first down and an 18-yard possession. Husker punter Sam Foltz bobbled the snap before kicking the ball for 31-yard loss when it hit the back of John Faulkenberry, where it caromed toward the Hawkeye end zone. Junior Drew Ott snagged the ball at the 12-yard line and returned it for a score, giving Iowa a 24-7 lead with 8:45 left in the third quarter.

The Huskers responded with a five-play, 62-yard drive to the Iowa 10 with most of the yards coming off a 53-yard run by Abdullah to the Iowa 8. Iowa’s defense kept Nebraska off the scoreboard when Carl Davis blocked Brown’s 27-yard attempt.

On its next possession, the Huskers followed with a 64-yard scoring drive to make the score 24-14. Abdullah got the series started with a 27-yard run to the Iowa 37. Three plays later, Armstrong’s patience in the pocket paid off, as he found Taariq Allen by himself in the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown strike.

Following an Iowa three-and-out, De’Mornay Pierson El had a 49-yard punt return, where Hawkeye punter Dillon Kidd made the touchdown saving tackle. On the first offensive play of the drive, Armstrong connected with Bell for a 32-yard touchdown pass, where Bell went up and got it in the midst of two Iowa defenders.

Iowa’s offense managed one first down on the ensuing series before punting and Pierson-El made it pay again. The freshman caught Kidd’s punt at his own 20 before finding a seam and going 80-yards for the go-ahead touchdown, giving the Huskers a 28-24 advantage with 12:06 to play.

“The two things that cost us today were the turnovers and then errors or misgivings in the special teams area,” said Ferentz. “I’m not going to say it came as a surprise. We didn’t punt and cover well enough, especially on those two opportunities.”

Taking over at its own 47 with 7:06 remaining, the Hawkeyes used a 12-play, 53-yard drive to take a 31-28 lead. Rudock connected with Duzey for 15 yards to the Nebraska 37 and Smith for 10 yards on third-and-11 to the 27. Weisman picked up 8 yards on fourth-and-1 — the first of six-straight carries, moving Iowa to the 5. On third-and-goal, Rudock connected with Canzeri on the swing pass for the 5-yard touchdown, putting the Hawkeyes back on top, 31-28.

The Hawkeyes controlled the first half, holding a 2-1 advantage in yards (178-92) and time of possession (20:01-9:59), but Iowa committed four turnovers to only take a 10-7 lead into the locker room. The Hawkeyes moved the ball inside the Nebraska 10 yard line three times in the opening half, but had only three points to show for it.

Iowa drove 62 yards on 12 plays on the game’s first drive, and had a first-and-goal at the Nebraska 6. On third-and-goal from the 7, Rudock targeted junior tight end Jake Duzey on a short post, but Gerry intercepted Rudock’s pass in the end zone.

After the defense forced a punt, the Huskers forced the game’s second turnover. Following a 50-yard boot from Foltz, sophomore Matt VandeBerg had a 20-yard return, but Foltz knocked the ball loose in the process, where Nebraska’s Chris Jones recovered at the Iowa 34.

The Hawkeye defense allowed two yards on three carries before kicker Drew Brown missed a 49-yard field goal wide right to keep the game scoreless.

After taking over at its own 32, Iowa went on a 15-play, 63-yard drive, but came away with zero points. On third-and-20, Martin-Manley drew a pass interference call on Joshua Kalu to move the ball to midfield. Iowa moved the ball down to the 8, but Nebraska’s Zaire Anderson blitzed and stripped Rudock on third-and-4 and Trevor Roach returned the fumble 6 yards to the 11.

Iowa’s defense got the Hawkeyes on the scoreboard on the Huskers’ first series of the second quarter. On third-and-12 from the 9, senior Carl Davis hit Armstrong as he threw, and Lowdermilk intercepted the attempt at the 17 before returning it for pick six. It was Lowdermilk’s team-leading third interception of the season.

Following a Nebraska three-and-out, Iowa used an 11-play, 58-yard drive to push its advantage to 10-0. On third-and-8 from its own 40, Rudock zipped in a 15-yard completion to Martin-Manley for a first down before connecting with the senior for 25 yards on the next play to the Nebraska 20. Four-straight rushes moved Iowa to 4, but a false start on second and goal derailed the drive, forcing Iowa to settle on Koehn’s 22-yard field goal.

Sophomore Desmond King intercepted Armstrong on the second play of the ensuing Husker drive, but Nebraska followed by forcing Iowa’s fourth first-half turnover and converted it into its only points of the half. On second-and-10 from its own 41, senior Damond Powell caught a 7-yard pass, but was stripped by Joshua Kalu, who recovered and returned the ball 11 yards to the Iowa 36.

After being stopped for -3 yards on the first two downs, Armstrong stepped up in the pocket before finding Carter on the Iowa sideline for 34 yards to the 5. On the next play off play action, Armstrong found Abdullah by alone in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 10-7.

Iowa finishes the regular season 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes bowl destination will be announced Dec. 7.

“(This loss) will linger,” said Ferentz. “But the big thing is we’ve got to get back up on our feet and figure out how to win our eighth game.”

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