November 26, 2014

The Eternal Season - 11/26/14 Sedge's 2014 Hawkeye Football Game Notes - Week 14: Nebraska @ Iowa

Sedge's Hawkeye Football Game Notes - 2014 Edition
Iowa’s Record: 7-4, 4-3 Big Ten, 3-2 B1G West 
Iowa’s Rankings:
USA Today: 1 vote
College Football Playoff:

August 30th v. Northern Iowa, WIN 31-23
September 6th v. Ball State, WIN 17-13
September 13th v. Iowa State, Loss 20-17
September 20th @ Pittsburg, WIN 24-20
September 27th @ •Purdue, WIN 24-10
October 11th v. Indiana, WIN 45-29
October 18th @ Maryland, Loss 38-31
November 1st v. •Northwestern, WIN 48-7
November 8th, @ •Minnesota, Loss 51-14
November 15th @ •Illinois, WIN 30-14
November 22nd v. •Wisconsin, Loss 26-24
November 28th v. •Nebraska (Black Friday), 12:00 pm, ABC

•Big Ten West Division Game

*Times Eastern

Scouting next opponent:
Bowl game and opponent TBD

Wondering which BTN channel we are on? Click, enter, find.
November 28th, 2014.  Iowa v. #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 8-3, 4-3 Big Ten, 3-2 B1G West
Previous Meetings: 44, Huskers lead 28-13-3
Last Meeting: 2013, Hawkeyes 38, Huskers 17

Current Line: Iowa -1

Turnover Margin: -3,  B1G #11, FBS #107

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack - 2014
Total   400.7  Pass 243.1 Rush 157.6  Scoring 27.7
B1G    #6             #4               #8                    #7
FBS    #63           #51             #69                  #75
Total   331.9  Pass 173.4  Rush 158.5    Scoring 22.8
B1G    #6              #2                #7                   #7
FBS    #21            #8                #57                 #33 
The New Big Ten:
West                             East
Iowa                              Michigan
Nebraska                      Michigan State
Minnesota                     Ohio State
Wisconsin                     Penn State
Illinois                            Indiana
Northwestern                Maryland
Purdue                          Rutgers

Big Ten West Standings:
Wisconsin   9-2, 6-1 B1G, 4-1 B1G West
Minnesota   8-3, 5-2 B1G, 4-1 B1G West
Nebraska           8-3, 4-3 B1G, 3-2 B1G West
Iowa                  7-4, 4-3 B1G, 3-2 B1G West
Northwestern   5-6, 3-4 B1G, 2-3 B1G West
Illinois           5-6, 2-5 B1G, 1-4 B1G West
Purdue           3-8, 1-6 B1G, 1-5 B1G West


Week 13 Recap: Badgers

Here is a thought, Greg and Kirk - let’s start with the aggressive offense that started the Mildcat game, when we led 38-7 at half, and combine that with the aggressive offense from the 2nd half of the Badger game, when we outscored them 21-10, and see what happens!

We needed just one more possession last week, but alas, after the he-man job the defense had done against the Badger rushing attack for most of the game, they could not get the stops we needed on the final Badger drive.  And so, a game that the Kinnick crowd had willed to the team with all their might, had ended with another heartbreak to the Badgers.  

Just one stat of note to discuss in this one, something I saw on Twitter a day or two ago, shared by Matt Benson @mbenson6.  Since the 2000 season, quarterbacks who had faced the #1 ranked team in total defense, in the month of October or November, and had thrown for over 300 yards, with more than 1 touchdown, and no interceptions.  They are:

Phillip Rivers, on 10/7/2000, against Clemson, 370 yards passing, 3 tds, no picks.
Josh Huepel, on 10/14/2000. against Kansas State, 374, 2 tds, and no picks.    And - 
Jake Rudock, on 11/22/2014, against Wisconsin, 311 yards, 2 tds, no interceptions.

So coaches - let’s be ready to attack on Friday.

Week 14 Preview: Huskers

Because the Huskers are susceptible to being punched in the mouth.  

They enter this game with back to back losses, and rumors swirling in Lincoln that Pelini 
could be on is way out, regardless of what happens Friday.  

The Huskers opened the season with a 55-7 cakewalk over Florida International, but then in week 2, Nebraska got a major scare from - McNesse State.  The Cowboys scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the 4th quarter to tie the Huskers at 24, and Nebraska had to score with 20 seconds left to avoid going to OT and possibly losing to an FCS team - for the first time ever.

A trip to Fresno State followed, and the Huskers had no problem in the desert, winning 55-19.

Then Miami came to Lincoln, and that brought out a crowd of 91,600, and all time record in their home stadium.  This was kind of back and forth, but the Huskers pulled away in the 2nd half, thanks in part to 5 personal foul calls on the Hurricanes, to win it 41-31.  But that made Miami 2-2 on the year, not the Hurricanes of your scribes younger years.

4-0 entering the Big Ten slate, the Huskers hosted Illinois, and had no problem, 45-14.  Now 5-0, they ventured to East Lansing to visit Sparty.

Here, the Spartan defense stuffed the Husker rushing attack for just 47 yards net, as Michigan State had a 27-3 lead entering the 4th quarter.
And then Nebraska scored 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter, and on two of them, they went for the two point conversion, and the Spartan defense stopped it.  Which would be rather huge, as the final ended Spartans 27, Huskers 22.

The Huskers then went to Chicago, and the Mildcats must have had too much deep dish pizza, and lost 38-17.  

Then Rutgers came in, welcome to the Big Ten, and lost 42-24.  Of note in that game, Abdullah rushed for 225 yards, and he broke the Nebraska recored for all-purpose yards with 341 yards total.

The Huskers then hosted Purdue, and while the game itself was not much of challenge, Abdullah went down with a knee injury late in the 1st quarter - and never returned.  Nebraska won it 35-14, but some doubt began to creep in with the starting tailback perhaps out for a while.

But the Huskers had a bye week before the showdown with the Badgers.  And we know what happened.

Abdullah did return, but his 17 carries for 69 was mere child’s play to Gordon’s 25 for 408, as Wisconsin turned the 17-3 1st quarter deficit into a 59-24 win.

Then last week, the Rodents ventured to Lincoln, and Nebraska had them down 21-7 at the half.  Hawk fans were liking that result.

But the Huskers could only manage a field goal in the entire 2nd half, as the Rodents scored with 3:25 left in the 4th to stun the Huskers 28-24.  That, the two game losing streak.

Abdullah had 20 carries for 98 yards in this one, but it was the loss of their starting center, and then two plays later, Nebraska’s all time leading receiver, Kenny Bell, to a likely concussion, that has the Huskers reeling heading into Kinnick.

The Huskers actually allowed a total of 581 rushing yards to the Badgers, and they followed that up with 281 allowed to the Rodents.  

Unlike last year, the Hawkeye defense will face the Nebraska starting QB, #4, Armstrong Jr, a sophomore.  

He is 140 for 267 passing, for 2112 yards, but that 54.2% completion rate is not very good.  He has 15 passing tds, but 9 interceptions.  Making him pass on 3rd and long will be key for the Iowa defense.

However, Armstrong Jr is not a pocket passer, he is the dual threat like we see more and more of these days.

He is in fact, the 2nd leading rusher on the team, with 122 carries, for 633 yards, with 5 rushing touchdowns.

So the Hawkeyes MUST contain him on obvious passing downs - by not over pursuing on the rush upfield for the D line, the linebackers must have their head on a swivel to keep an eye on him, and the secondary must be ready to come up and drill him if he wanders too far down field.  

The main rushing of course comes from Abdullah, 224 carries for 1417 yards, with 15 tds.  He has also caught 14 passes for 195 yards - with a long of 58 (that the play that beat McNeese State with 20 seconds left).

Wideout Bell is the top receiver with 37 catches or 644 yards, and 3 tds, but with a likely head injury, and a short week, we may not have to worry about him.  

Those are the keys to the Nebraska offense, now when the Hawks have the ball.

Clearly, the Huskers are having major trouble stopping the run during this two game losing streak.  Let’s see if the Hawkeye offensive line can open the holes needed to get our ground game going.  But the best way to do that may be to - 

Attack down the field from the start.  To date, the Huskers allow 193 yards per game in the air, which isn't terrible by any stretch, but they just played (and lost) to two teams that are not exactly passing experts.  Jake must use all his weapons, wideouts, tight ends, screens, whatever, and Davis better use these guys from the start.  If we do, it should be a very effective day for the Iowa offense.

Concerning the special teams, the Nebraska kicker, a freshman, is 11 for 16 on field goals - so let’s see if the Kinnick crowd can rattle him.  When it comes to punting, the Huskers average about 39 yards net, but almost 9 yards in punt return defense, so maybe this week…

When the Huskers joined the conference and this Heroes game was placed on Black Friday, there was mumbling among many Nebraska fans that Hawkeyes/Huskers was not a rivalry.  That frankly, they would own us.

Since the start of the annual showdowns, Nebraska won the first game 20-7 in Lincoln, in then in the second meeting, they barely got by the Hawkeyes while on our 6 game losing streak, just winning 13-7 in 2012.  

Last year - the Hawkeyes took Nebraska to the woodshed, as you may recall.

So after the Hawks win this one, the series will be 2 all since this border battle went full time.

The Hawks may just be a rival, yet.

Iowa rushes for 210 but it’s on the strength of the passing attack that nets Jake 325, as Iowa holds Abdullah to 54% of his average, and forces Armstrong into 3 turnovers.  Kinnick will be rocking, and the Huskers will be wondering if this 3 game losing streak will cost them their coach.

Final, Hawkeyes 38, Huskers 24.



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