|IOWA at NEBRASKA|
|DATE||Friday, Nov. 24 | 3 p.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Lincoln, Nebraska | Memorial Stadium (86,047)|
|RADIO | LISTEN||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
1: Iowa has won the Heroes Trophy the last two seasons, and has won two straight games played in Lincoln. Iowa is 2-1 in trophy games this season, ands 9-2 in trophy games since the start of the 2015 season.
2: DB Josh Jackson leads the country in interceptions (7) and passes defended (24), and ranks third in passes broken up (17) and interception return yards (163). His seven interceptions tie for fourth among Iowa’s single-season leaders. Desmond King (2015), Lou King (1981), and Nile Kinnick (1939) share the single-season Iowa record with eight.
3: QB Nate Stanley needs four touchdown passes to tie Chuck Long for Iowa’s single-season record. Long threw 27 touchdowns in 1985. Stanley has 23 touchdown passes, third in the Big Ten and tied for 19th in the nation. He is the first Hawkeye to throw 20-plus touchdowns in a season since James Vandenberg threw 25 touchdowns in 2001.
4: LB Josey Jewell, one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation with 11.7 tackles per game. He has 117 tackles this season, tops in the Big Ten, fourth nationally, and nine shy of matching his single-season career high. He is a finalist for the NCAA Senior CLASS Award, and a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Bednarik Award, and Butkus Award.
5: RB Akrum Wadley needs 138 rushing yards to reach 1,000 yards this season. He rushed for 1,081 yards in 2016, and with another 1,000-yard campaign could become the fourth Hawkeye in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and the first since Fred Russell went back-to-back in 2002 (1,355) and 2003 (1,264).
6: TE Noah Fant has 25 receptions, including a team-high eight touchdowns. The eight touchdowns are a single-season record for an Iowa tight end. He has 14 catches that resulted in a first down. Fant’s eight touchdowns are the most by a Hawkeye since Marvin McNutt caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012.
7: The Hawkeyes have three players that rank in the top 20 in the Big Ten in sacks. DE Anthony Nelson is tied for seventh with six sacks (27 yards). LB Josey Jewell and true freshman DE A.J. Epenesa are tied for 18th in the Big Ten with 4.5 sacks. Among league freshmen, only Northwestern’s Samdup Miller (5.0) has more sacks than Epenesa, who leads Iowa with eight quarterback hurries. Jewell’s 4.5 sacks are a single-season career high.
8: Season-ending injuries to senior tackles Ike Boettger and Boone Myers have cleared the depth chart for redshirt freshman LT Alaric Jackson and freshman RT Tristan Wirfs. Jackson has started every game this season at left tackle. Wirfs has started the last six games at right tackle. He is the first true freshman in Ferentz’s 19 seasons to start at offensive tackle.
9: Iowa’s first 11 opponents in 2017 have a combined record of 79-42 (.653). Iowa’s three nonconference opponents (Wyoming, Iowa State, North Texas) are a combined 22-11. TeamRankings.com lists the Hawkeyes at No. 8 in strength of schedule in the country, third among Big Ten teams (No. 3 Penn State, No. 7 Ohio State).
10: Kirk Ferentz has 141 overall wins and 85 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 85 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games. Ferentz is two wins from tying Hayden Fry as the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest football coach.
Iowa has played 1,231 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 639-553-39 (.535). That includes a 400-219-16 (.643) record in home games, a 239-334-23 (.420) record in games away from Iowa City, a 323-374-25 (.465) mark in Big Ten games and a 284-184-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium.
BATTLE FOR HEROES TROPHY
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 was established in 2011. Iowa gained possession of the trophy for the first time with a 38-17 win at Nebraska in 2013, reclaimed it in 2015 with a 28-20 win in Lincoln, and defended it with a 40-10 win at Kinnick Stadium in 2016.
Iowa is 2-1 in trophy games this season. Iowa successfully defended two rivalry trophies, winning at Iowa State, 44-41 (OT,) to retain the Cy-Hawk trophy, and topping Minnesota, 17-10, to retain Floyd of Rosedale. Iowa lost its bid to regain the Heartland Trophy, falling 38-14, at Wisconsin. Iowa is 9-2 in trophy games since the start of the 2015 season.
Iowa and Nebraska will meet on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, for the seventh consecutive season (3 p.m., FOX). The teams have split the last six meetings on Black Friday. The schools have played on Black Friday every year since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference. This season, for the first time since the rivalry was resumed, the game will kickoff at 3 p.m. (CT) and be televised on FS1.
The two teams are scheduled to meet on Black Friday in 2018 and 2019, but the Big Ten Conference announced Sept. 12 that the teams will move off of their Black Friday date in 2020 and 2021. Iowa will close both seasons against Wisconsin, while Nebraska will close the regular season against Minnesota.
2 HAWKEYES EARN ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
DE Parker Hesse and DE Anthony Nelson were named to the Academic All-District 6 first team. The announcement was made Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Hesse and Nelson will now have their names placed on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors. The district honor is the first for both Hesse and Nelson. Both are members of Iowa’s 2017 Leadership Group.
Hesse is a junior from Waukon, Iowa (Waukon). He carries a 3.72 GPA and has earned his degree in Interdepartmental Studies. He was named Academic All-Big Ten in both 2015 and 2016. Hesse earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2016 and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by BTN.com in 2015.
Nelson (6-foot-7, 260 pounds) is a sophomore from Urbandale, Iowa (Waukee). He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2016. Nelson holds a 3.89 GPA and is an accounting major.
IN THE RANKINGS / STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Iowa’s first 11 opponents in 2017 have a combined record of 79-42 (.653). Iowa’s three nonconference opponents (Wyoming, Iowa State, North Texas) are a combined 22-11. Nebraska, Iowa’s final regular season opponent, is 4-7 overall. TeamRankings.com lists the Hawkeyes at No. 8 in strength of schedule in the country, third among Big Ten teams (No. 3 Penn State, No. 7 Ohio State).
The 2017 schedule includes five schools currently ranked in the AP top 2 – No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 12 Penn State, No. 21 Michigan State, and No. 23 Northwestern.
FERENTZ AMONG B1G LEADERS, CLOSING ON FRY
Kirk Ferentz has 141 overall wins and 85 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 85 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
Ferentz’s 141 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank sixth in league history and second all-time at Iowa. He is two wins from tying Hayden Fry as the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest football coach.
Both Ferentz (141, 85) and Fry (143, 96) rank in the top six in overall wins and Big Ten wins. Only Iowa and Michigan have two coaches ranked in the top 10 of both win categories (Bo Schembechler 194, 143; and Lloyd Carr 122, 81).
Iowa has outscored its opponents 99-57 in the fourth quarter. QB Nate Stanley has a 140.0 passing efficiency in the fourth quarter and overtime (132.6 overall). The numbers include 44 completions in 79 attempts for 565 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Iowa scored points in the final two minutes to tie the game or take the lead against Iowa State, Penn State and Northwestern.
WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED
Junior DB Josh Jackson leads the country in interceptions (7) and passes defended (24), and ranks third in passes broken up (17) and interception return yards (163). His seven interceptions tie for fourth among Iowa’s single-season leaders. Desmond King (2015), Lou King (1981), and Nile Kinnick (1939) share the single-season Iowa record with eight.
Jackson returned two interceptions for touchdowns against Wisconsin (43, 52). He is the first Hawkeye to have two interceptions returned for a touchdown in the same game since B.J. Lowery (35, 13) did it in 2013. Jackson is the first Hawkeye to do it in a Big Ten game. Lowery and Jackson share Iowa’s single game record. Iowa returned two interceptions for touchdowns against North Texas in 2015 (Jewell 34, Bower 88).
Iowa has four pick-sixes this season (Snyder 89 vs. Illinois; Hooker 30 vs. Ohio State; Jackson 43 vs. Wisconsin; Jackson 52 vs. Wisconsin). The four pick-sixes ties a team single-season record (1995, 2010, 2015, 2017).
Jackson tied a school record with three interceptions against No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 4. He is a Bednarik Award semifinalist and was named the Walter Camp national defensive Player of the Week for his play against the Buckeyes.
Jackson has started all 11 games this season after entering the year with one career start at defensive back. He was a wide receiver in Iowa’s 2015 spring camp.
Jackson and S Amani Hooker have stepped up to lead a secondary that lost two members to the NFL (Desmond King, Chargers; Greg Mabin, Bills/49ers).
Hooker returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game against No. 3 Ohio State. It was Hooker’s second career interception and first touchdown. He made his first career start Week 4 against No. 4 Penn State and recorded a career-high 13 tackles. Hooker has missed the last two weeks due to injury. He has 44 tackles this season, sixth on the team.
JACKSON NAMED B1G CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DB Josh Jackson was named Big Ten Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 38-14 loss at No. 6 Wisconsin on Nov. 11. Jackson recorded two pass interception touchdowns at Wisconsin, covering 43 and 52 yards. He also had a forced fumble that was recovered by teammate Manny Rugamba, three tackles, and one pass break-up.
The honor marked the second straight week Jackson was recognized by the Big Ten. He is the second Hawkeye ever to earn conference Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks. Tim Dwight was named special teams Player of the Week on consecutive weeks in 1997.
Jackson tied a school record with the two interception returns for scores (B.J. Lowery, 2013), and he is the first Hawkeye to do it in a Big Ten game. His first theft came on Wisconsin’s opening drive and gave the Hawkeyes a 7-0 advantage. The second interception and return cut Iowa’s deficit to 17-14 in the third quarter.
JACKSON EARNS NATIONAL AND BIG TEN HONORS
DB Josh Jackson was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 55-24 win over No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 4. Jackson was also named the national defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
Jackson tied a school record with three pass interceptions (Tyler Sash and Grant Steen), and also added three solo tackles. His first theft led to a touchdown that gave Iowa a 31-17 halftime advantage. His second interception led to a field goal, and his third stopped an Ohio State scoring threat in the fourth quarter. His final interception was also recognized by ESPN as Saturday’s Play of the Day in college football.
Jackson and the Hawkeye defense allowed just seven points in the second half while holding Ohio State 200 yards total offense and 22 points below its season averages. He is the second Hawkeye to earn the Walter Camp weekly defensive honor this season, as senior linebacker Josey Jewell was recognized following Iowa’s victory over Wyoming in the season opener.
STANLEY MAKING AND CHASING HISTORY
QB Nate Stanley needs four touchdown passes to tie Chuck Long for Iowa’s single-season record. Long threw 27 touchdowns in 1985. Stanley has 23 touchdown passes, third in the Big Ten and tied for 19th in the nation. He is the first Hawkeye to throw 20-plus touchdowns in a season since James Vandenberg threw 25 touchdowns in 2001.
Stanley has thrown five touchdown passes in a game twice this season (at Iowa State, vs. Ohio State), becoming the first Hawkeye to have two five-touchdown passing games in the same season. Stanley’s five TD passes against Ohio State tied a Kinnick Stadium record (Chuck Long in 1985, Fred Riddle in 1963).
In program history, only Stanley and Chuck Long have two career games with five or more touchdowns. Long threw six TDs against Texas in 1984 and six against Northwestern in 1985.
Stanley threw 12 touchdowns in the first four games of the season, becoming the first quarterback in program history to throw 12 touchdown passes in their first four starts. The four-game stretch was Iowa’s best since Chuck Hartlieb threw 12 touchdowns over a four-game stretch in 1987. Chuck Long threw 14 touchdowns in the first four games in 1985.
Stanley threw three touchdowns in his first career start Week 1. The last quarterback to do that was Ricky Stanzi (3, vs. Florida Atlantic in 2008). Since, 1999, the only other quarterback to throw three or more touchdowns in his first career start under Ferentz was Jon Beutjer (4, at Indiana in 2000).
Stanley threw for five touchdowns and 333 yards against Iowa State in Week 2, becoming the first Iowa quarterback with 300-plus passing yards and five-plus touchdown passes since Chuck Hartlieb vs. Northwestern in 1987.
TACKLE BY JOSEY JEWELL
LB Josey Jewell, one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation with 11.7 tackles per game. Jewell missed the Northwestern game due to injury. The DNP snapped a streak of 37 consecutive starts. He has 117 tackles this season, tops in the Big Ten and fourth nationally. He is a finalist for the NCAA Senior CLASS Award, and a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Bednarik Award, and Butkus Award.
Jewell has 117 tackles this season, nine shy of matching his single-season career high. He is the third Hawkeye in program history to have three seasons with at least 115 tackles (Larry Station 83, 84, 85; Abdul Hodge 03, 04, 05). Jewell has led the team in tackles in each of the last two seasons (126 in 2015, 124 in 2016).
Jewell has 418 career tackles, fifth all-time in program history. He needs 17 stops to tie Brad Quast for fourth all-time (435). He has 21 career games with double digit tackles, including eight this season. He matched his career high with 16 tackles vs. Penn State and at Michigan State.
Jewell was named Walter Camp, Lott IMPACT, and Bednarik Award national and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 24-3 win over Wyoming on Sept. 2. He led Iowa with 14 tackles, including seven solo stops.
Jewell was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week, Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik Award, and College Sports Madness Defensive Player of the Week following his performance vs. No. 4 Penn State. He matched his career best with 16 tackles, including 11 solo stops. He added three tackles for loss, two pass break-ups, and a recovered fumble. His fifth career interception and 33-yard return in the second quarter led to Iowa’s first touchdown of the game.
Jewell was named midseason first team All-American by five media outlets, including Associated Press, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, Sporting News, and The All-American.
Nebraska holds a 29-15-3 advantage in the series that began with a 22-0 Iowa victory in 1891. Iowa has won two straight and three of the last four meetings. The visiting team had won four straight prior to Iowa’s 40-10 win at Kinnick Stadium in 2016. The 40 points scored were the most by the Hawkeyes in the series’ 47-game history.
The Hawkeyes have won the last two meetings in Lincoln. Iowa’s 38-17 win in 2013 was its first win at Nebraska since 1943. Nebraska holds a 15-4-1 advantage in games played in Lincoln.
The 1999 Iowa-Nebraska game in Kinnick Stadium marked Coach Kirk Ferentz’s first game as Iowa’s head coach.
The first 10 games in the series were played in either Omaha (eight games) or Council Bluffs (two games). The series was even at 4-4-2 in those 10 meetings.
The Hawkeyes have three players that rank in the top 20 in the Big Ten in sacks. Sophomore DE Anthony Nelson is tied for seventh with six sacks (27 yards). Nelson had six sacks as a freshman last season, second best on the team. Senior LB Josey Jewell and true freshman DE A.J. Epenesa are tied for 18th in the Big Ten with 4.5 sacks. Among league freshmen, only Northwestern’s Samdup Miller (5.0) has more sacks than Epenesa, who leads Iowa with eight quarterback hurries. Jewell’s 4.5 sacks are a single-season career high.
TIGHT ENDS MOVE THE CHAINS
Second-year tight ends Noah Fant (So.) and T.J. Hockenson (redshirt freshman) have combined for 48 receptions this season. Among those 48 receptions, all but seven have resulted in a touchdown (11) or first down (30).
Fant has 25 receptions, including a team-high eight touchdowns. The eight touchdowns are a single-season record for an Iowa tight end. He has 14 more catches that resulted in a first down. Fant’s eight touchdowns are the most by a Hawkeye since Marvin McNutt caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012.
Hockenson has 23 receptions, including three touchdowns and 16 catches that resulted in a first down.
WADLEY PURSUES RARE FEAT
Senior RB Akrum Wadley has 862 yards rushing in 2017. He rushed for 1,081 yards in 2016, and with another 1,000-yard campaign he could become the fourth Hawkeye in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and the first since Fred Russell went back-to-back in 2002 (1,355) and 2003 (1,264). The other Hawkeyes with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons include Sedrick Shaw (1,002 in 1994, 1,477 in 1995, 1,116 in 1996) and Ladell Betts (1,090 in 2000 and 1,060 in 2001).
WADLEY MOVING UP THE CHARTS
RB Akrum Wadley is one of 15 players in program history to rush for 2,000 career yards. He has 495 career carries for 2,625 rushing yards, sixth all-time. He needs 135 yards to tie Fred Russell for fifth all-time.
Wadley has 24 career rushing touchdowns, tying for fourth all-time, 31 career touchdowns, sixth all-time, and 186 career points, 12th all-time.
Wadley has 3,454 career all-purpose yards, ninth most in program history (2,625 rush, 729 receiving, 100 KO returns). He is averaging 116.6 all-purpose yards per game, sixth best in the Big Ten.
VANDEBERG STREAKING UP THE RANKINGS
Senior WR Matt VandeBerg has a reception in 30 consecutive games played. He has 131 career receptions, 10th most in program history. He has 1,652 career receiving yards, 16th in program history. He is 33 yards from passing Bill Happel in career receiving yards, and four catches from tying Ed Hinkel in receptions.
VandeBerg has played in 52 career games, one shy of tying Desmond King for most games played in program history.
VandeBerg missed Iowa’s final nine games of 2016 due to a foot injury sustained in practice on Sept. 26. He played in the first four games of the season, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (19-284-3 TDs) before the injury. On Dec. 21, 2016, the Big Ten Conference granted the University of Iowa’s medical hardship waiver request on behalf of VandeBerg and granted the wide receiver a fifth year of eligibility.
A NEW LOOK TO NATION’S TOP OFFENSIVE LINE UNIT
The Hawkeyes entered the season with seven players returning on what was the top offensive line in the country in 2016, but season-ending injuries to senior tackles Ike Boettger and Boone Myers have cleared the depth chart for redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson and true freshman Tristan Wirfs.
Jackson has started every game this season at left tackle, a position Myers has occupied 17 times, including the last five games of 2016.
Wirfs has started the last six games at right tackle. He is the first true freshman in Ferentz’s 19 seasons to start at offensive tackle, and only the fourth true freshman under Ferentz to ever start on the offensive line. Center James Daniels, a junior in 2017, made two starts at left guard in 2015. The other two true freshman include Byran Bulaga in 2007 (5 games at LG) and Mike Jones in 2003 (seven games at left guard).
Boettger (LT, LG, RT), Myers (LT, LG), and Sean Welsh (RG, RT); Daniels (C), Lucas LeGrand (C), and Keegan Render (LG, RG); and Levi Paulsen (RG) all started at least one game for an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2016.
The Joe Moore Award honors offensive line units that display a high level of toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, and “finishing”. It is the only major college football award to honor a unit.
The Hawkeyes were selected over national runner-up Alabama and third-ranked Ohio State. Iowa was selected by a voting committee comprised solely of people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore, and select media. Iowa’s offense averaged 171.8 rushing yards per game — averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and more than two yards before contact — and 325 yards total offense per game.
KIRK FERENTZ RADIO SHOW
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz is featured on “Hawk Talk with Kirk Ferentz” each week during the regular season. The radio call-in show is hosted by Gary Dolphin, the play-by-play voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The show airs live each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. from Carlos O’Kelly’s in Iowa City.