Game Notes: Iowa at Nebraska

Nov. 23, 2015

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Iowa is 11-0, 7-0, with wins over Illinois State (31-14), at Iowa State (31-17), Pittsburgh (27-24), North Texas (62-16), at Wisconsin (10-6), Illinois (29-20), at Northwestern (40-10), Maryland (31-15), at Indiana (35-27), Minnesota (40-35) and Purdue (40-20). Nebraska is 5-6, 3-4, with wins over South Alabama (48-9), Southern Mississippi (36-28), Minnesota (48-25), Michigan State (39-38) and Rutgers (31-14). Nebraska has lost to BYU (28-33), Miami, FL (36-33, OT), Illinois (14-13), Wisconsin (23-21), Northwestern (30-28) and Purdue (55-45).

Nebraska holds a 29-13-3 advantage in the series that began with a 22-0 Iowa win in 1891 in Omaha. The Hawkeyes snapped Nebraska’s five-game winning streak in the series with a 38-17 victory in Lincoln in 2013, but Nebraska holds a 15-3-1 advantage in Lincoln. Nebraska won last year in Iowa City by a 37-34 margin in overtime.

Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th year as a college head coach and his 17th year as Iowa’s head coach. His career record is 138-106 and he is 126-85 at Iowa. He ranks eighth in the Big Ten Conference in coaching victories. Mike Riley is in his first year at Nebraska and his 15th year as a college head coach. Riley is 5-6 at Nebraska and holds a 98-86 career mark. He previously was the head coach at Oregon State.

#3 IOWA at Nebraska
Date Nov. 27, 2015 | 2:36 p.m. (CT)
Location Lincoln, Neb. | Memorial Stadium (87,000)
Radio Learfield Communications
Online Hawkeye All-Access
Live Stats Stat Broadcast | Twitter Game Updates

Iowa won the Big Ten West Division and clinched a berth in the Big Ten Championship game after defeating Purdue, 40-20, on Nov. 21. The Hawkeyes’ East Division opponent will be determined Nov. 28. If Michigan State defeats Penn State, the Spartans will win the East. If Michigan State loses, the winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game will win the East. The Big Ten Championship game is in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kickoff is 7:17 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised nationally on FOX. Iowa will be the home team and wear its black jerseys at the Big Ten title game.

Iowa was ranked No. 5 in the Nov. 17 College Football Playoff poll. The next poll will be released Nov. 24. The top four teams on Dec. 6 advance to the CFP semifinals on Dec. 31 at one of two locations: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. The semifinal winners advance to the National Championship Game on, Jan. 11 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

THREE PHASES OF @HawkeyeFootball
Iowa has its best start in program history (11-0), due to excelling in all three phases of the game.
• Iowa has a balanced offense. Its 4,601 total yards are divided by 2,291 yards rushing, and 2,310 yards passing.
• Iowa has 33 rushing touchdowns, first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally.
• The Hawkeyes have scored 30-plus points in five straight Big Ten games for the first time in school history, including back-to-back 40-point outbursts the last two weeks against Minnesota and Purdue.
• Iowa has six touchdown drives over 90 yards and 18 touchdown drives over 75 yards.
• Iowa has allowed seven rushing touchdowns; tying Michigan for No. 1 in the conference and fourth nationally.
• Iowa leads the Big Ten in interceptions (13), takeaways (21), and turnover margin (+11).
• Limiting big plays: Iowa has allowed 12 scrimmage plays of 30-plus yards. Only Michigan (11) has allowed fewer among Big Ten teams.
Marshall Koehn‘s 57-yard game-winning field goal vs. Pitt is the second longest in school history and the second longest in FBS this season.
• Iowa’s two-man punt team of Dillon Kidd (42.6) and (45.0) rank fourth in the Big Ten averaging 42.0 yards per punt.
Desmond King averages 25.6 yards on KO returns (No. 2 in Big Ten) and 12.7 yards per punt return (No. 3 in the Big Ten).

The Hawkeyes are 4-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa is one of only four schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2) and UCLA (2). Iowa allows 15 points per game on the road, No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 3 in the country (Florida 12.8, Alabama 14.0). QB C.J. Beathard is 5-0 in his career on the road. This year he is 4-0 on 58-of-102 passing for 701 yards. He has thrown five touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also rushed 32 times for 129 yards and a touchdown.

• Iowa won its last trip to Lincoln, 38-17, in 2013.
• Iowa and Nebraska play for the Heroes Trophy. It is the fourth and final trophy game on Iowa’s schedule in 2015: Iowa State (Cy-Hawk: W, 31-17), Wisconsin (Heartland; W, 10-6), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale: W, 40-35).
• Since 2002, Iowa and Nebraska have both won 115 games, tying for the 19th most in FBS.
• Iowa has three players on its roster from the state of Nebraska, including LB Cole Fisher (Omaha), DL Drew Ott (Trumbull), and DL Nathan Bazata (Howells). Nebraska has two Iowans on its roster: WR Lane Hovey (Adel), WR Gabe Rahn (Le Mars).
• Iowa has scored over 30 points in the last two meetings, after scoring as many as 30 points just twice in the first 43 meetings.

Iowa and Nebraska are playing “The Hy-Vee Heroes Game” Friday, with the winner claiming the Heroes Trophy. The trophy game between the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers, established in 2011, is the latest trophy game for the Hawkeyes, who also play trophy games with Iowa State (Cy-Hawk Trophy), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale) and Wisconsin (Heartland Trophy). Iowa gained possession of the trophy for the first time with a 38-17 win at Nebraska in 2013. The Huskers are currently in possession of the Heroes Trophy. It is the only rivalry trophy not in Iowa’s possession.

The Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 71-23 in the first quarter, and 44-3 in the final two minutes of the first half. Iowa has trailed just five times this season, never by more than seven points. The Hawkeyes trailed by seven at Iowa State on two occasions, 10-3, 17-10. Iowa trailed 3-0 at Wisconsin, 7-6 against Illinois, and 17-14 at Indiana. In 660 minutes played, Iowa has trailed for 55:15.

Junior C.J. Beathard is one of only four Power 5 Conference quarterbacks to win each of their first 12 career starts since 2010. The others include Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who led Auburn to the BCS National Championship in 2011; Oregon’s Darron Thomas, who lost to Newton in the 2011 BCS title game, but won the 2012 Rose Bowl; and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who led Florida State to the 2014 BCS National Championship. Beathard’s record in 12 career starts includes a 5-0 mark on the road, a 7-0 mark at home, and an 8-0 mark in the Big Ten.

Iowa has converted 15 of its last 25 third down plays (.667). For the season, the Hawkeyes are 47 percent (72-of-154), which ranks second in the Big Ten and 18th nationally. TE Henry Krieger Coble has caught 12 straight passes for first downs, dating back to the Northwestern game on Oct. 17.

Iowa received the opening kickoff in eight of 11 games this season, and has outscored its opponents 71-23 in the first quarter. In 17 seasons as Iowa’s head coach, Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes received the opening kickoff in 170-of-211 games (103-67). Iowa has started the game on defense in 41-of-211 games under Ferentz (23-18).

QB C.J. Beathard and the Hawkeyes’ rush defense have dominated the fourth quarter in 2015. Iowa’s rush defense, the No. 3 defense in the conference, has yielded 204 total rushing yards in the fourth quarter this season (18.5 yards per game). Beathard is 29-of-45 passing for 427 yards and three touchdowns. He has also rushed 17 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. He has engineered game-winning drives in the fourth quarter two times this season (Iowa State and Pitt). He was 4-of-4 for 46 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, and he rushed for 27 yards on three carries to set up K Marshall Koehn‘s 57-yard game winning field goal against Pitt. In Iowa’s last 12 games, including the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl, Beathard’s fourth quarter numbers include 36-of-52 passing for 522 yards and five touchdowns, and 19 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Beathard did not play in the fourth quarter against North Texas.

Iowa has allowed seven rushing touchdowns this season, tying Michigan for the Big Ten lead and ranking fourth nationally. The Hawkeyes yield an average of 107.6 rushing yards per game, third best in the Big Ten and seventh nationally. Iowa limits its opponents to 3.4 yards per carry — third in the Big Ten and 15th best in the country. The Hawkeyes allowed just one rushing touchdown through the first eight weeks, but surrendered six over the last three weeks (2 at Indiana, 3 vs. Minnesota, 1 vs. Purdue).

Iowa leads the Big Ten with 13 interceptions. The Hawkeyes have returned three interceptions for touchdowns (Josey Jewell, 34; Bo Bower, 88; Desmond King, 88). The 88-yard interception returns by Bower and King tie for the seventh longest interception returns in school history. Iowa ranks 12th in the country with three defensive scores this season. Iowa has at least one interception return for a touchdown in each of the last eight seasons, and 13 of the last 15 seasons.

Three Hawkeyes (Jordan Canzeri, 256, Akrum Wadley, 204; LeShun Daniels, 195) have combined for eight 100-yard rushing games this season: Canzeri (4x), Wadley (twice), and Daniels (twice). The last time the Hawkeyes had three different players rush for over 100 yards in a game in the same season was 2005: Albert Young (8x), and Shonn Greene and Damian Sims once each. The Hawkeyes also have three receivers with 100-yard receiving games: Matt VandeBerg (1), Tevaun Smith (1), and Jerminic Smith (1). It is the first time since 1995 three different Hawkeyes recorded 100-yard receiving games: Tim Dwight (2x), Demo Odems (1), Scott Slutzker (1).

For the first time in school history, Iowa had a different running back rush for 200 yards in consecutive games (Akrum Wadley at Northwestern and Jordan Canzeri vs. Illinois). Wadley recorded career highs in carries (26), rushing yards (204), and touchdowns (4) against the Wildcats on Oct. 17. Canzeri amassed 256 yards rushing on a school-record 43 attempts against the Fighting Illini on Oct. 10. The feat is the first time an FBS school had two different running backs eclipse 200 yards rushing in a game since 1996. SHINING AT AWARDS SEASON
Iowa has been honored with five Big Ten weekly awards this season. QB C.J. Beathard earned the offensive award following Iowa’s win at Iowa State, PK Marshall Koehn was the special teams winner following Iowa’s last-second victory over Pittsburgh, DB Desmond King earned co-defensive honors for his play in Iowa’s win at Wisconsin, RB Jordan Canzeri earned the offensive honor for his play in a win over Illinois, and RB Akrum Wadley earned the offensive honor following Iowa’s road win at Northwestern. Iowa’s three offensive award winners are the most for the program since 2002, when QB Brad Banks was recognized three times and TE Dallas Clark was honored once. The last time three different offensive players earned weekly conference honors was 1997 (Tavian Banks, Tim Dwight, and Rob Thein).

The Hawkeyes have used 14 first time starters: RB LeShun Daniels, Jr., LT Boone Myers, DT Nathan Bazata, DT Jaleel Johnson, LB Cole Fisher, LB Ben Niemann, SS Miles Taylor, TE Jameer Outsey, DE Parker Hesse, WR Riley McCarron, LT Cole Croston, WR Jerminic Smith, LG James Daniels, and RB Akrum Wadley.

The Hawkeyes have started four different offensive tackles this season. Three of them — LT Boone Myers, RT Ike Boettger, LT Cole Croston — entered the season with one combined career start (Boettger started as a second tight end against Wisconsin in 2014). OL Sean Welsh had 13 career starts at left guard before sliding out to right tackle at Northwestern. Iowa’s offensive-tackle-by-committee is replacing a pair of NFL lineman — 2014 Outland Trophy winner LT Brandon Scherff (Washington Redskins) and RT Andrew Donnal (St. Louis Rams). Myers joined the program as a walk-on and was put on scholarship prior to the 2014 season. He saw action in four games last season. Boettger joined the team as a tight end but was moved to offensive line in 2013. He saw action in seven games as a redshirt freshman in 2014. Croston joined the team as a walk-on in 2012, and had played primarily on special teams prior to this season. He joined the program for the 2015 spring practice season. Welsh was a high school All-American in Springboro, Ohio, and was named first team freshman All-Big Ten by BTN in 2014.

• The Hawkeyes do not face Big Ten opponents Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers.
• Iowa has four trophy games on its schedule in 2015: Iowa State (Cy-Hawk: W, 31-17), Wisconsin (Heartland; W, 10-6), Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale: W, 40-35), and Nebraska (Heroes).
• The Hawkeyes are 4-0 on the road with a pair of wins over ranked opponents (#18 Wisconsin; #20 Northwestern). Iowa is one of only four schools with multiple road wins over ranked opponents: Alabama (3), Michigan State (2) and UCLA (2).

Iowa has played 1,204 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 624-541-39 (.533). That includes a 393-213-16 (.641) record in home games, a 231-328-23 (.413) record in games away from Iowa City, a 313-366-25 (.457) mark in Big Ten games and a 276-177-15 (.600) record in Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa has posted 115 wins since the start of the 2002 season, which ties for the 19th highest total in FBS. The list includes the following: Boise State (155); Ohio State (152); Oklahoma (147); LSU (141); USC (141); Alabama (137); TCU (134); Georgia (136); Oregon (134); Florida State (133); Texas (130); Wisconsin (130); Virginia Tech (128); Florida (127); Auburn (123); Utah (120); West Virginia (120); Virginia (115); Iowa (115); Nebraska (115); Miami, FL (112); Michigan (111); Texas Tech (110).

The University of Iowa football program has 16 players on its 2015 Leadership Group, including 13 seniors, two juniors, and one sophomore. The purpose of the group is to assist in formulating policies, and being involved in team decision-making matters regarding the upcoming season. Players are selected by a team vote. The seniors are OL Austin Blythe, RB Jordan Canzeri, DL Darian Cooper, FB Adam Cox, TE Jake Duzey, WR Jacob Hillyer, PK Marshall Koehn, DB Jordan Lomax, DE Nate Meier, DE Drew Ott, LB Travis Perry, FB Macon Plewa and WR Tevaun Smith. The junior class is represented by QB C.J. Beathard and RB LeShun Daniels, Jr., and LB Josey Jewell represents the sophomore class.

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